Gwyneth Cravens’s new book Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy has been released and should be available in book stores around the US. I recently received my bound edition after having received and read an advance copy about six weeks ago. It will make a valuable edition for any library. I highly recommend that you put this book on your Christmas shopping list – not necessarily for yourself, but for all of those friends of yours who do not understand your fascination with a controversial technology.
I took a quick look around the web and found Cravens’s book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Random House.
There is an Atomic Show interview with Cravens and Rip Anderson, the man who served as the tour guide for her journey of discovery about atomic truth. It is a two part interview; the second part will be available in a day or so.
I also found a review of “Power to Save the World” written by Bill McKibben titled ATOMIC IDYLL: Global warming has given nuclear power new appeal. But is the cost too great?. That review was written for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) web site.
As people who have followed nuclear politics for long will note – NRDC is pretty agnostic when it comes to nuclear power. They have a lot of reservations, but are not as adamantly opposed as some groups like Sierra Club or Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS). The review is reasonable and recognizes that Cravens has done a lot of homework, but it criticizes her for not interviewing people with opposing views – people like my favorite Harvard and Oxford drop out, Amory Lovins.
It frosts me to read passages like the following from someone who advocates a questioning attitude about all forms of power:
If she’d driven north for a day from New Mexico, for instance, she could have spent some time with Amory Lovins, director of the Rocky Mountain Institute and longtime advocate of a different energy path. As charismatic in his way as Anderson is (though not as laconic), Lovins has been working with myriad Fortune 500 companies (and the Department of Defense) in recent years to plot a very different energy future. Instead of promoting the massive and centralized power system represented by nuclear energy, Lovins imagines a much more supple, decentralized electricity grid — “distributed power,” he calls it — taking advantage of everything from solar and wind to cogeneration and small-scale natural gas. And he’s been doing more than imagine it. He’s been watching it grow, much faster than nuclear power is growing.
Lovins is a gospel preacher, too. He’s been harping on energy conservation for two decades, and with increasing success (big companies like DuPont have managed to trim their energy budgets radically; Lovins’s own house high in the Rockies uses essentially no energy in the course of a year). While private capital is financing the growth in micropower, “only huge subsidies have kept the nuclear power industry alive,” Lovins says. Reactors, he notes, “are bought only by central planners.”
When I get back from my day job, I might take the time to poke holes in every one of the above assertions. In my absence, perhaps you dear readers can take some shots.
In the meantime – go buy “Power to Save the World” from your favorite vendor. If it is not in your local book store, ask for it. Show that there is real interest in this important topic.