I am learning to play with a new tool – Google Book Search Beta. Though I have some concerns about Google’s treatment of authors and their copyrights, I am excited by the prospects of being able to do serious research from my home office. Until today, I did not realize just how many obscure, but important information sources would be opened up by this project.
For example – the US Government and its agencies are prodigious publishers of technical information and political history. Those works, created by people working for government paychecks, rightfully belong in the public domain.
University press books, especially those that have been long out of print, also hold great promise as sources of information that may change the world if the contents become readily exposed to the sunshine provided by excellent search engines.
As many of you may know, I have been searching for years for tidbits of evidence to back up my frequently repeated assertions that at least part of the opposition to nuclear power is a well funded enterprise that has – rather logically – been supported by a variety of fossil fuel interests.
Therefore, one of my first uses of Google Book Search was to look for some evidence to support this notion.
Here are some quotes, with references – I expect that I will continue this effort for some time to come, with occasional posts on this web log.
“The coal lobby, which was nuclear power’s only organized national opponent until the late sixties, felt it had more to lose from a battle over potential health risks than the nuclear community. When the Atomic Industrial Forum arranged a December 1963 meeting with the National Coal Association, the coal lobby suggested that both sides cease discussing health hazards. The Coal Association was “willing not to bring up the health and safety problem in the future” if the Forum would agree to do the same.” (Balogh, p. 261)
“Since nuclear power was so competitive, some politicians asked, why were large federal subsidies required? Why, asked the coal lobby, did the Atomic Energy Commission, despite billions of private investment dollars flowing into commercial nuclear power, insist that nuclear power had no “practical value”?” (Balogh, p. 309)
“The only significant corporate opposition to nuclear promotion came from the coal industry. It was muted by the sector’s political weakness deference to national security, and perhaps the hope that very cheap nuclear power could allow coal resources to be used as feedstock for syn-fuel and the chemical industry.” (Cohn, p. 28)
Title: Chain Reaction
Author(s): Brian Balogh
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: Nov 26, 1993
Subject: Politics / Current Events
Dimensions 6.10 x 8.92 x 0.79 in
Title: Too Cheap to Meter
Author(s): Steven Mark Cohn
Publisher: SUNY Press
Publication Date: Oct 1, 1997
I think I might have found a couple of books to add to my library.