We believe nuclear power can and will actually save the world – Matt Bennett, Third Way
One of the most tweeted sessions at the 2016 Nuclear Energy Assembly consisted of a panel of people from outside the industry that told the crowd they were doing important, exciting, society-saving work. The panel moderator, Entergy’s Bill Mohl, was visibly surprised by the enthusiasm for nuclear technology shown by Rachel Pritzker, Ben Heard and Matt Bennett.
After the introductions and opening remarks from the moderator, Matt Bennett of Third Way quickly established the tone for the session.
As I’ve done with a couple of other panel discussions from NEA 2016, I’ve included an embed of the entire discussion and will follow with some highlights and color commentary.
Each of the panelists shared a conversion story about how they moved from being opposed to nuclear energy to being not only mild in favor of the technology, but aggressive, active supporters investing time, money and even their career progression into sharing what they have learned about the technology.
Rachel Pritzker was raised by “hippy environmentalists who met on a commune.” One of her first memories was grabbing the wrong leg wearing corduroy bell bottoms at an antinuclear rally because from her level as a small child, all of the legs looked the same.
As she looked at the scale of the challenge associated with addressing climate change along with providing the power that could lift people out of poverty, she realized that limiting the menu of options to the popular and acceptable ones of efficiency and renewable energy turned the problem from really hard to impossible.
Ben Heard’s awakening came while he was working as a sustainability consultant. He learned, through the experience of planning a carbon neutral “car park” how painfully difficult it was to implement a system that made a tiny difference in emissions. He recognized that the real mission needed to be replacing facilities like the Latrobe Valley lignite power station. That requires a technology that could produce power on the same scale and with the same predictability.
Matt’s journey to thinking differently about nuclear energy involved a trip to Chernobyl with Vice President Al Gore when he worked in the White House in the 1990s. He told the crowd that “going to Chernobyl made me profoundly pronuclear.” That story demonstrates that Bennet is a critical thinker who pays attention to what he sees and figures out more than what he hears from the people around him.
Aside: As much as I appreciate the amazing progress that Rachel, Ben and Matt have made in recent years, I remain a tiny bit jealous of nuclear advocates with a conversion story. I don’t have one. I’ve been a fan of nuclear technology since I was eight years old. Before that, I didn’t know what nuclear energy was and had no opinions on the topic. Oh well, it’s a cross I must bear.End Aside.
For people who are interested in nuclear advocacy, Rachel emphasized the importance of having something new to say, being able to engage in an issue whose benefits cut across both party and ideological barriers and being able to express a future vision of hope and improved prosperity.
Ben described Australia as perhaps the most — maybe the second most (after New Zealand) — antinuclear country in the world, having formally passed a law that outlaws the use of nuclear power. He then described how that position has changed during the past five years, to the point where a Leftist government decided to invest $6 million to study how it could become more involved in the global nuclear industry.
Ben’s primary point was to emphasize the fact that it is wrong to assume that attitudes and positions cannot change. Public opinion is easier to influence than the weather or laws based on physics, thermodynamics or chemistry.
Ben also described the importance of the South Australian program to accept used nuclear fuel and explained his disappointment that breeder reactors and their associated recycling capabilities are not farther along. Because the technology has not yet been fully demonstrated in an integral system — thanks to Senator John Kerry and President Bill Clinton with their 1994 move to halt the Integral Fast Reactor program — the Royal Commission could not find sufficient evidence that the technology would be an affordable investment for South Australia.
Recycling used fuel into new fuel may not be the most economic choice — at least at our current stage of technology development and process refinement — but it is a lot more exciting and satisfying than burying the material in deep holes in the ground.
During a discussion about how the issue of climate change provides an opening to discuss the importance of nuclear energy with people who are on the left side of the political spectrum, Rachel made an observation about the value of nuclear as a way for people on the right to accurately point out that they have been supporting beneficial technologies all along.
This segment reminded me of one of my dream near term outcomes of discussions like this one — it would be very cool if people on the left and right, Democrat and Republican would start racing each other on the issue of which one could be more supportive of advances in nuclear technology and actions to keep the existing power plants from premature closures.
Final note: I hope all of the people who have enjoyed seeing high quality, timely videos of important sessions from the NEA take the time to say thank you to the Nuclear Energy Institute. There have been staff members who have been suggesting similar actions for several years, but organizers have been understandably cautious about the potential impact on attendance.
For me, the session videos have been extraordinarily informative. They reinforce the feeling that I need to make the effort to attend similar events in person as often as possible. However, we all lead busy lives, have budgetary constraints and often have schedule or health conflicts that cannot be overcome. Recorded and accessible videos of key sessions after the fact is a valuable knowledge management tool for the industry.
Live streaming that enables some live interaction via tools like Twitter is also a great tool for those who have access at the moment the sessions occur.
This was a stellar discussion. Only thing wrong was that it was whistling in the same church and not on PBS or Science Channel or Charlie Rose. For me, it’s only a feel-good pow-wow about nuclear’s future watching sessions like this caged in obscure on-line niches which antis don’t waste their time and efforts — they Get Out to spread and debate their word. I’d loved to’ve seen this super fine panel stand up and loudly declare an open debate challenge to Helen and Arnie and Greenpeace that would fire up YouTube. All these other lame tactics at promoting nuclear to fast shrinking support in this country Just Ain’t Working! The solutions are THERE like pushing (hounding for) open debate challenges and no-holds-barred Ads! They’re just being passed up by the top nuclear advocates and orgs for who really need them! Who in the media (even pop “science guys” on cable) mourns for each shuttered NPP and jobs lost? I don’t know about you, but I mostly see people and media rejoicing over that! (check Shoreham)
Re: “Ben described Australia as perhaps the most — maybe the second most (after New Zealand) — antinuclear country in the world, having formally passed a law that outlaws the use of nuclear power.”
Call me naive, but I’d really REALLY like to know the basis in fact and proof that supported the legislature to mandate this — to deprive an entire nation of a source of energy I assume without a plebiscite — or was it another “with the power of my pen” moment with Australians and Zealanders down there? Is there even a chance how this happened offers a toe-hold for greens to same here?
This excellent guest post at my blog will give you valuable background on the prohibition.
It was a sneaky and clever move.
Does the average man-on-the-street in Australia who hasn’t puked it totally swallow the formalized FUD of this underhanded legislative tactic or are there enough people sitting on the fence to force a well-educated referendum? Has it even been tried?
Rod, in regard to your statement – “As much as I appreciate the amazing progress that Rachel, Ben and Matt have made in recent years, I remain a tiny bit jealous of nuclear advocates with a conversion story. I don’t have one.”
I don’t have a conversion story either, rather an awakening story. That fact evokes many emotions but jealousy is not one, perhaps more than a tiny bit of sadness or disappointment, not for myself, as I feel as blessed as anyone has reason to expect as a sentient, cognitive being. The sadness or disappointment I speak of is more ubiquitous.
Having graduated High School in 1969, I marched proudly to receive my diploma (after all the US was about to put men on the moon) and relievedly (as I would now be able to pursue life with all of its challenges and opportunities) .
Little did I suspect that I was marching straight into the energy crisis of the 1970’s which resulted in the worst economic decade of that century, save the Great Depression decade of the 1930s.
This led to a perspective that I hold to this day, that “The ONE thing that a highly industrialized, technological society MUST HAVE is clean, abundant, affordable energy and that Nuclear Energy held that promise.
Concurrent with developing that personal perspective and despite the educational and scientific prowess we possessed as a nation, a dearth of intellectual curiosity surrounding scientific pursuits pervaded much of the 1960s “Back to Nature” counter-culture. So prevalent was this philosophy that the scientific method that had emerged during the Age of Enlightenment became antithetical to the ideology of that culture.
Sadness and disappointment became manifest as an ideology antithetical to science gained sufficient adherents to become a potent political philosophy and force, resulting in the realization that until that antithetical philosophy abated and the fear it engendered was conquered, nuclear energy would not be a path that we as a nation, as a society, as a world, would truly embrace.
Fortunately, as this panel seems to exemplify – “that a generation has slept on the public good does not preclude its progeny from awakening”.
Nuclear power acceptance is a subject with many angles. There are many different actors attempting to influence this acceptance, for different reasons, by employing different approaches and by appealing to different values. The result is one huge muddled mess where is has become exceedingly complex to agree on almost anything. It has also resulted in a free-for-all where some actors have discovered that the subject of nuclear is so poorly understood that it doesn’t seem to matter whether arguments are accurate or not. The nuclear debate is effectively broken. It’s a no-mans-land where the normal procedure of collecting and evaluating evidence seems to get little traction.
That is why I advocate for a strong response to those groups and individuals who invest in deliberately injecting and perpetuating false beliefs into this already severely broken debate.
If the nuclear debate is like a pool of muddy water, then these antinuke propagandists are analogous to a sources of mud steadily feeding into this pool. Scientists and pro-nuke advocates can (and have been) spending a lot of time and energy at the edge of this pool, trying to clear these waters by feeding clean water into it in an attempt to dilute the pollution, in order to help observers see to the bottom of this pool. But as long as the mud inflow is not stemmed, the bottom of the pool will never be visible. Hence, my desire to see a new front opened which is focused specifically on stopping the inflow of mud. How to best do that can be a new discussion, but in my view it includes a campaign to expose the nature of these mud-flows so that observers can recognize and appreciate how this mud is harming their ability to gain clarity on the nuclear issue. Observers should be helped to not mistake these mud-flows for any kind of legitimate contribution to the nuclear debate. They should identify these mud flows as being solely directed against resolution of the debate, because they are nothing but an assault on observer’s ability to develop an bona fide informed opinion.
Check this out.
Why would Japan or Asian nations — or we — continue nuclear plans or startup now? How would the Johnny come lately nuclear community/industry rebut this?
Oh, look, a rehash of a concept from the 1970’s that went nowhere then for the same reasons it is still going nowhere. It’s a huge fixed structure that will collect hundreds of tons of ice in winter storms and can’t be feathered against high winds. It’s still subject to the Betz limit and can’t generate wind when there isn’t any.
Perhaps you should ask the people at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution why they thought coal-fired steam engines were so great when they had wind for free; you might learn something.
Why would any serious movement recycle BS concepts that they KNOW cannot work to actually eliminate fossil fuels, unless they are secretly working to protect fossil fuels?
I thought this panel discussion was very good and very inspiring.
But I fear it is not enough. The antinuclear movement is too entrenched, too strong, too active and well organised, too well-funded and too devious. It is clear to me that they will never stop lying, and that their lies are very effective. Their lies are deepening and expanding. The main antinuke opinion-makers have no fear. They know that they are free to lie as much as they want: nobody will challenge them or think less of them. They are all-powerful. They hold all the cards. They control the press, academia, politics (national and local) and they own the moral high ground in the public opinion. They are unassailable through normal avenues of polite discussion.
So apart from from great pro-nuke public figures like Rachel, Matt and Ben, I remain convinced that we also need the growing group of ‘bullies’ who dare to stand up, point their finger, and in righteous anger call out antinukes for their lies. Not just in online discussion but also in conferences and other public venues. I’ve done it myself in the past and continue to so (stand up in the audience and call antinuke panel member(s) liars and traitors), but recently I’m noticing that others are beating me to it. The group of people who is fed-up with the antinuke movement is growing. I would love to see the day when an antinuke liar spewing his FUD in a public forum is shouted down. I want to see more people in the audience rising en masse and condemning them for their lies and deceit, just like the antinukes try to do sometimes when a pro-nuke tries to say a few things in public. I want to see this situation reversed. I want to see these liars tarred and feathered, stripped of their diploma’s and positions of power, ridiculed and their reputations destroyed. I want those antinuke propagandists to return from a public forum where they have been shouted down by an angry mob and tell themselves: “I’m done with it. I’m not going to try to undermine nuclear anymore. It’s not worth it. The public can’t be fooled anymore” And I want the public to realise: “Hey, there are people passionate about protecting nuclear power! Why is that?” I believe that until such things start happening more often, we have no reason to believe we are making much progress on nuclear advocacy, unfortunately. I hope I am wrong – people tell me I’m wrong about this all the time – but I don’t think I am wrong.
The problem is that they have always been willing to fight dirtier than the pro-nuclear side.
It’s far easier to be against something than for something. When you’re against something, people tend to give you the benefit of the doubt. That’s why an airhead like Jenny McCarthy (whose only accomplishment in life is taking her clothes off for Playboy) gets airtime as an “expert” on vaccines causing autism, while real experts and organizations of experts, who have actually studied this issue, get a mere footnote in the reporting.
Pro and con will never get a fair shake in the media as long as con leads to higher ratings.
The only way to win is to provide greater entertainment value. The only strategy that has even a chance of succeeding is to ridicule “environmentalist” groups on many of their ridiculous claims (whether related to nuclear or not) to undermine their credibility as much as possible in the public eye. You’ll alienate the True Believers (but they were never going to be on your side anyway, so who cares?), but you’ll win the middle ground of people who just have never thought much about these issues.
I agree. Which is another reason to stimulate people to stand up *against* antinuclear fearmongering (or rather, antinuclear psychological terrorism, as I like to call it). I would try to motivate people to view the antinukes just like they would view any other terrorist: as a person who is assaulting our way of life and undermining our common future. There is a lot of anger and distrust in our society today, for more or less good reason. If just a part of that anger could be harnessed and redirected toward the antinuke camp, that could be a game-changer. But to do that, people first need to be told that the antinukes are a menace to society which is not going to go away unless people do something about it.
To give you an example of the shocking lengths to which these terrorists go, consider what his my twitter feed a few days ago.
A leader of the Dutch Green party saw fit to point out that the fact that our only Dutch nuclear power plant is losing money these days as a result of Northern European wholesale electricity prices dipping below €30 euro/MWh says something about nuclear power being ‘uneconomic’ and ‘requiring public bailout’.
I was seething.
First these antinukes basically destroy our well-oiled liberalised European electricity market by going completely over the top on subsidising vast amounts of intermittent renewables, which – together with some other factors – have resulted in a crashing electricity market and hundreds of billions of euro’s of losses for electric utilities across the continent.
Now they have apparantly decided to use this pathetic debacle in yet another devious bid to undermine public acceptance of nuclear, by pretending that nuclear power plants are uneconomic!
You can’t make this shit up! And people are buying it! Already, attempts by the Dutch government to make a deal with this nuclear power plant owner in order to help the plant survive the current market catastrophe are being recast as ‘subsidising dirty energy’.
This is just more prove that antinuke terrorism is never going to stop. They are never going to stop until our societies and economies are in complete dissarray. They are a deadly threat and should be identified as such. The damage they do in fact outstrips the damage that any terrorist could do. Sure, comparing antinukes to terrorists is not going to go down with some people, but I call them as I see them. After all: thousands of people are dying in my country due to avoidable fossil polution which is killing them as a direct result of antinuke terrorism. Tens of thousands in Europe proper. So why not call antinukery terrorism? Are there not people dying because of it? Are the antinuke terrorists not defying the recommendations of the IPCC and other scientific insitutions, who all assign a significant role to nuclear power? Let’s make that move and call it terrorism, and get on this case seriously and with the best interest of people and the environment in mind. What have we got to lose?
I just looked up “netherlands feed in tariff” and found http://www.res-legal.eu/search-by-country/netherlands/single/s/res-e/t/promotion/aid/premium-tariff-sde/lastp/171/ .
Dutch wind power is subsidized by a FIT premium *on top of* the market price, of €87.50 / MWh (2014 figures). No wonder thay can afford to ram their unreliable power down the throats of all the other generators, drive them out of business and still walk off with a profit. Absolutely disgusting.
Once again, you’ve made the error of confusing your opinion with fact. There are effective ways to capture attention other than using ridicule.
Bryan Chesebrough says,
@Rod, the following is not meant to be ridicule but an examination of what appears to be revisionist history or selective memory by Matt Bennett.
Alluding to Matt’s conversion story you wrote,
“Matt’s journey to thinking differently about nuclear energy involved a trip to Chernobyl with Vice President Al Gore when he worked in the White House in the 1990s. He told the crowd that “going to Chernobyl made me profoundly pronuclear.” That story demonstrates that Bennet is a critical thinker who pays attention to what he sees and figures out more than what he hears from the people around him.”
I visited Third Way’s site and read Matt’s profile, it states:
“He worked on both of the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, his political hero.” (their words)
In his statements on the NEA 2016 panel he proudly proclaims his support for Advanced Nuclear Reactors.
I find it IRONIC that contemporary with his supposed 1990s conversion and his work on “his hero”, Bill Clinton’s election and re-election campaigns, Dr. Charles Till had a very different take on things, in his book “Plentiful Energy” (page 47, 2.4 Termination of the IFR Program) he writes:
“It was in President Clinton’s second State of the Union address in early 1994 that the bad news came. Development of the reactor that consumed much of its own waste, was largely proof against major accident, and was so efficient that existing fuel supplies would be inexhaustible, was to be terminated immediately.”
“The Clinton administration had brought back into power many of the best- known anti-nuclear advocates. The implications of this were obvious. Ten years of development work were behind us. From tiny beginnings midway through the Reagan administration, success after success in the development work had allowed a broad and comprehensive program to be put in place. Every element and every detail needed was being worked on. With the momentum existing then, another two years or so should bring successful completion of the principal elements.”
“In 1994, Democrats were in the majority in both houses of Congress. Anti- nuclear advocates were now in key positions in the Department of Energy, the department that controlled IFR funding. Other anti-nuclear people were now in place in the office of the president’s science advisor, in policy positions elsewhere in the administration, and in the White House itself. The IFR had survived the first year of the new administration on its unquestioned technical merits, but only after some debate within the administration.”
“The anti-IFR forces were led by John Kerry. He was the principal speaker and the floor manager of the anti-forces. He spoke at length, with visual aids. He went through the litany of anti-nuclear assertions, articulately and confidently.”
“But now the president’s words in his 1994 State of the Union address were chilling: ―We will terminate the unnecessary programs in advanced reactor development.”
Perhaps, Matt should amend both the timing and the profoundness of his conversion.
OR If indeed, going to Chernobyl in “the 90s” did make him “profoundly pro-nuclear”, he could have reflected on, and perhaps reconsidered his heroes.
OR. If he feels that his hero selection was and is just fine, then perhaps a bit of contrition for actively campaigning for the fellow and his followers that ended Advanced Nuclear Development in 1994.
OR perhaps he’s not quite the “critical thinker who pays attention to what he sees and figures out more than what he hears from the people around him” for which you credit him.
Hope you don’t mind me changing your user name. It seemed like you were wanting to do it.
I’ll see if Matt Bennett would like to address your question. I think I have his Twitter handle.
Rod – No, not at all. I’m merely expressing my opinion, for what it’s worth.
I know the difference between opinion and fact, and even more, I change my opinion when presented with new facts. It’s called “learning,” and I highly recommend it. It beats stubbornness every time.
For example, if you had asked me this time last year whether Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president, I would have said, “No way!” That was my opinion. Today, he is going to be the Republican nominee. That’s a fact.
How did he win it? Well, the only thing in his campaign that has been consistent has been the name-calling and ridiculing of his opponents (“Little Marco,” “Low-Energy Jeb,” etc.). Apparently, ridicule works.
Geez … You’d think that you’d have learned this from all of that nonsense about “climate change.” Ten years ago, most people had never heard about “climate change.” Then came a movie staring a retired politician that contained not only “facts” but also “truths.” Today, nobody but a small cult of True Believers pays any attention to “Man-Bear-Pig.” Once again, ridicule works.
You follow left-wing media, Rod. How many young liberals get almost all of their news and information about current events from The Daily Show, which rather than being a news program or even a program offering intelligent commentary, is just 30 minutes of ridiculing anyone who doesn’t agree with left-wing ideology? It’s all just a string of jokes at someone else’s expense. Yet, look how influential it is. Ridicule works.
Even MSNBC has followed this format for the most part — although it’s less funny and more snarky and condescending than Jon Stewart was.
This is my opinion, but it’s backed up by a boatload of facts.
When the Atomic Workers contingent of OCAW laughed off how “The Simpsons” perniciously portrayed Homer’s NPP job to a gullible public way back I knew the die was cast as how hard and willing the nuclear community was about seeing that the public views nuclear in a positive light.
I’d even go so far to say that Homer Simpson has done more damage to public opinion of the US nuclear industry and nuclear science and technology in general than the combined efforts of Greenpeace, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the scores of other anti-nuclear groups out there.
When the public gets it into their subconscious — through humor and entertainment — that nuclear plants are owned by Mr. Burns and run by Homer Simpson, it’s almost impossible to put out a serious message that will resonate with the average person.
Calm, rational discussion won’t work here. Trying to reason with your “environmentalist” opponents isn’t going to get you anywhere. They know they’ve won the PR battle and now they’re winning the war of attrition.
The best defense is a good offense, and the most effective weapon for gaining public opinion is entertainment.
DISCLAIMER: But this is only my opinion, of course.
“How did he win it? Well, the only thing in his campaign that has been consistent has been the name-calling and ridiculing of his opponents (“Little Marco,” “Low-Energy Jeb,” etc.). Apparently, ridicule works.”
Yes, it works. He now has a huge following of remarkably ignorant people.
I wouldn’t call Trump’s following “huge.” As far as I can tell, the actual number of people who have voted for him in Republican primaries (somewhere north of 11 million people) is pretty small in comparison to the population of the United States or even to the population of registered voters.
I will agree that his following seems to include a large portion of remarkably ignorant people. Some might be kind of smart in other fields, but understanding of the importance of good government led by capable people isn’t one of them.
To be clear, I’m not sure either of the parties is offering us the opportunity to vote for the kind of person who should be leading our already great nation.
poa – In other words, he has been successful in wooing the proverbial John Q. Public that you keep rambling on about. Might I remind you that this is what you keep telling Rod that he needs to do.
No, Brian. Trump’s drooling idiots aren’t John Q. They are actually the inevitable result of the RW narrative we’ve been fed by the likes of Fox News and koolaid swilling imbeciles such as yourself these last few years. Its actuallyironic seeing the beast that those such as Libbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Kristol, etc have spawned. They tapped into, appealed to, gross ignorance, and are now recieving the “rewards” that come with such a feckless appeal. It amuses me seeing all these pundits declaring exuberantly how Trump has “attracted” a fresh contingency of voters into the Republican embrace. Closed minded ignorant bigots, flooding into your ranks. Congratulations, Brian, ya reap whatcha sow. Smile man, your crop has been harvested, and is on full display for the entire world to see.
I agree with you Rod. Hillary rivals trump in her unsuitablity for office. To support either of these posturing embarrassments requires a complete lack of integrity or comprehension about what this myth called “american values” were supposed to look like. Truly, with these two being bandied forth as the best we can hope for when choosing a leader, one must realize how dangerously close to the abyss our nation is. We really are in deep sh*t.
poa – For someone who complains so much about how badly everyone around here treats the poor environmentalists, you are one of the most vile, nasty, and mean-spirited name-callers around. When it comes to being nasty, Donald Trump ain’t got anything on you, except money.
Between that, your never-ending vendettas, and your other personal problems. You add zero value here.
Still don’t acknowledge your own part in it, eh, Brian. Well….anyone thats been here for any amount of time has got to be well aware of your inability to engage in introspective evaluation. I’m sure, if you have regrets about your own participation, its that you have failed to run me off like you’ve managed to do to others that dare disagree with you. Of course, you can always whine to Rod, and implore him to banish me, like you do on occassion. Look inside, if you dare, Brian. Trust me, you might find a tune-up is in order. But don’t wait too long, because you might just find, as you age, that a total rebuild is required.
“For someone who complains so much about how badly everyone around here treats the poor environmentalists…..”
Gosh Brian, are you too ignorant to follow a train of thought. The victims aren’t the environmentalists, damaged as a result of your absurdly abrasive strategies of PR. YOU are the victim of such rhetoric. Haven’t you noticed??? The “environmentalists” are winning. NE is being shut down, in no small part because of the industry’s incompetence, and the ridiculous notion idiots like you entertain that making enemies out of everyone and their cousins is somehow going to win the day for you.
in no small part because of the industry’s incompetence
Please be more specific about the areas where you believe the industry is “incompetent.”
It would be exceedingly difficult to argue that the industry isn’t doing a terrific job in its primary mission of producing reliable, affordable electricity with virtually no environmental impact–other than small site-specific disruptions from having built the plants in the first place.
One might be on more solid ground with an argument that the nuclear operating companies have not done such a good job in carrying out all of the activities that define highly successful businesses in competitive markets. (Their PR and growth strategies are not winning.)
poa – I didn’t really need an additional example of what I was talking about (the projection, the childish name-calling, the seething hatred), but thanks anyway.
Well Rod, you know what I’m talking about. You nailed it. Doing a good job ain’t worth much if the public doesn’t know you’re doing a good job.
Just go away Brian. Or hey, you’re overdue for a good sniveling whine directed towards Rod about how remiss he is for not banishing me so you can continue stroking yourself, unchallenged.
You know I cannot let a comment about industry incompetence stand without challenge.
The lack of good communication skills among engineers and technicians is understandable. It also makes sense to me that managers and executives that grew up in the traditional electric utility business will have difficulty transitioning to a somewhat more competitive environment.
Bashing others does no good. You’ve pointed that out, but you often ignore your own advice.
But unlike you, poa, I have a financial stake here. This site is no longer a hobby, it’s a money-making venture, and I have been a (volunteer) paid subscriber ever since Rod started taking subscriptions a couple of years ago.
At some point, I have to reconsider whether my money is being wasted. After all, if abrasive, obsessive, mean-spirited jerks like you are allowed to go unchecked to the point of regularly insulting and antagonizing paid subscribers, I have to assume that your childish antics are driving other people away. Since the entire point of this site is to inform people and perhaps to engage in some adult discussion, I need to decide whether my money would be better spent elsewhere. If I do decide so, naturally, I would recommend to others that they not bother wasting their time and money reading or subscribing to this site.
I hope that most of the subscribers or lump sum contributors here come for the front page articles. There are also some pretty decent, thought provoking conversations. If I could have my druthers, there would be a lot more focus on the topics at hand and ways to change those situations that need changing. In my judgement, we won’t get where we need to go by ridiculing groups that are so large they cannot share all of the same ideas and goals. It should be obvious that “environmentalist” “Republican” “Democrat” “liberal” “conservative” “libertarian” “white” “black” “hispanic” “capitalist” and “socialist” are examples of those kinds of terms.
I want to make sure that there is room in the pro-nuclear movement for people that would put themselves in any or several of those classifications.
“At some point, I have to reconsider whether my money is being wasted”
Oh, I guarantee it is. If you are looking at it considering whether or not you are winning over anyone to NE’s side. Some here are doing a decent job. Rod certainly gives it a go. Then you, with your ignorant left this, left that, environmentalist this, environmentalist that, democrat this, democrat that BS work your damnedest to undo any positive or constructive efforts Rod or the others make.
And BTW, brian, its actually comical seeing you comment about “driving people away”. Its an effort you make daily by insulting wide swaths of people through stereotyping and ridicule, questioning motives, and insult. Then you snivel and whine when someone throws it back in your face. If you had your way, Tod would simply be preaching to the choir, and you’d be the sole decider who gets to belong to that choir. If theres any one thing that is a constant source of amazement to me, its your unceasing and ever present hypocricy, and your apparent inability to recognize it.
Rod – You know as well as I do that this is not about labels. This is about sociopathic personalities — or rather one personality.
Nobody pays for the content here. It’s a blog; the content is free to anyone. When someone contributes money, it’s to support the general message and to keep the content coming. It encompasses more than just paying for articles in your local newspaper.
And there have been plenty of conversations that have been hijacked by a handful of perpetual malcontents. These people contribute very little substance to the conversations here, but have wasted a great deal of space … and patience.
If you want to have customers, Rod, then you’re going to have to deal with customer service, and the first rule of customer service is not to let your customers be harassed and abused by the loiterers. If it were only me, then I wouldn’t bother to bring it up, but this particular person has carried on feuds with respected contributors here, like Engineer-Poet, and … frankly … anyone he suspects of ever having watched “Fox News” or who might not share his particular political views.
At the end of the day, I have to ask, why the hell I’m I paying for this?! And that question affects your bottom line. Hoping doesn’t.
I mostly pay as little attention to POA as I can get away with (and when I break that rule it’s usually because I’ve found some bit of hypocrisy to throw back in his irony-blind face), but…
FOX NEWS? Is he serious?!
I haven’t turned on a TV to watch “news” on it for something on the order of 40 years. Others have in my presence, and one of the things I recall seeing on the Detroit affiliate was an account of a local non-event with some very poorly-staged footage from “the scene” so the talking head wouldn’t be on camera for the whole bit.
My contempt for television so-called “news” is boundless. The national networks just have higher production values; all you’re getting is what some people in Washington and New York want you to be talking about, which is usually to keep you from putting any attention on what’s important.
EP – Yeah … I mostly ignore him, but as anyone can see, his OCD means that he feels compelled to attack me, regardless of whether I have participated or not. That’s what I’m complaining about.
I too find his “Fox News” accusations hilarious.
I’m married to a liberal (well … she considers herself to be an independent, because she once voted for Michael Bloomberg when he was running as a “Republican”). The only politically oriented TV that is watched in my house is The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, or occasionally one of the shows on MSNBC.
I rarely watch TV — a couple of shows on AMC (which I DVR and watch later) is about it for me.
@poa, Brian Mays and E-P
My druthers would be for all commenters here to focus on nuclear energy as a common topic of interest despite your many areas of disagreement.
There is no doubt that there are dozens of other topics worthy of discussion somewhere, but let’s agree to try to shift this particular venue to a more productive and focused conversation. I know I’ve been guilty of introducing controversy and getting distracted; I’ll strive for better.
Recent Comments from our Readers
The Clinton Nuclear Plant also in Illinois was shutdown essentially for almost 2 years before it was taken over by…
Good Podcast – Very informative One thing that was not discussed is how to deal with a particular fear that…
Renewables people are masters in marketing. Unreliable intermittent generators whose output is all over the place, and usually badly correlated…
Looking at their lineup, Westinghouse seems bound and determined to keep Gen IV in its “place” which is apparently the…
So they are developing a scaled down version of the AP1000, which is a scaled up version of the AP600,…