Former "long-haired hippie" Anti-Nuclear Activist Explains His Rethinking Process
I can almost hear Another One Bites The Dust, the ubiquitous Queen song played at so many American high school sporting events. According to Professor Barry Brook’s Brave New Climate, James Hansen and Tom Blees have influenced another long time anti-nuclear activist to take another look at nuclear power, especially in light of the climate crisis and the proven potential of the Integral Fast Reactor to answer many of the more frequently repeated objections to using fission.
This time, the convert is Geoff Russell, a man with a number of green credits in his resume. According to Barry’s post titled Rethinking Nuclear Power,
“Geoff is an unpaid committee member of Animal Liberation SA, also long standing member of Amnesty International, Australian Conservation Foundation and Oxfam. He is a computer programmer and mathematician who earns a living writing computer software in the transit scheduling industry. He is also a keen cyclist and food grower and and has written for The Monthly, Dissent, Australasian Science and the Independent Weekly.”
Geoff provides a thoughtful conclusion to his essay explaining why he has decided to go public with his personal decision to think differently about the use of nuclear fission as a replacement for coal, oil and gas burning power plants:
Nuclear risks are different, they are all of the may variety and the only one worthy of a little paranoia is the risk of a nuclear war. A reactor accident, even a shocker like Chernobyl, simply doesn’t cut it beside the daily global carnage of malaria, typhoid, dirty water, car accidents, tobacco, hunger, meat, obesity and alcohol or beside the certainty of a bird flu pandemic which will kill tens or hundreds of millions. Many virologists regard this as a certainty, with the only uncertainty being when it will happen.
I don’t view my reassessment as a cop-out. Most of the current nuclear industry, the uranium miners, the coal lobby and the politicians in their sway, will fight IFR tooth and nail. But we need it, not just in a country blessed with sunshine, land and hot-rocks, but globally we need it.