Robert Stone deals with antinuclear heckler at an Australian showing of Pandora’s Promise
From the moment he first started thinking about producing a documentary that showed nuclear energy in a favorable light, Robert Stone, the director of Pandora’s Promise, recognized that he was going to be under intense scrutiny from people that adamantly oppose nuclear technology. As part of his plan to ensure that the important message of the film was taken seriously and could not be dismissed as industry-funded propaganda, he carefully selected his funding sources and refused any nuclear industry-related money.
I can testify that Stone refused financial assistance from at least one source related to the nuclear industry – me. Since I was working for B&W mPower, Inc., a nuclear reactor design firm, at the time that Robert was raising funds to enable him to produce Pandora’s Promise, Robert politely told me that he would not accept any contributions from me.
As Robert clearly states in this response to an antinuclear heckler, people have the right to say anything they want, but they need to understand that his effort is sincere. He is motivated to share information that he has learned about nuclear energy’s valuable role as a tool in the important struggle to avoid the worst effects of climate change. It’s expanded use can displace coal, natural gas and oil combustion and slow the rate at which our technological society dumps CO2 into the atmosphere.
I liked the way that he acknowledged the fact that nuclear energy has — so far — been supplied by companies that are heavily involved in the established fossil fuel industry. As Robert pointed out, some of those same large multinational companies also supply wind turbines and solar collectors or are involved in their financing, construction and operation.
Like Helen Caldiocott’s appearances in Pandora’s Promise, the performance by the antinuclear activist in this video clip reminds me of a tag line that George Monbiot used to use on his blog:
Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.
PS: Hat tip to Ben Heard at DecarboniseSA.com. He recently mentioned that tag line in a blog post about his personal journey from being a nuclear opponent to being a nuclear proponent, largely due to his strong desire to develop workable solutions to sustainable energy supply challenges.
Robert is cool under fire And quite articulate.
Very good for the cause
Someone get that man a rabies shot.
Perhaps a shot of rabies virus might be better for Australia?
I saw Pandora’s Promise tonight in Brisbane which is the last showing of the Australian tour. It was well received by a smallish but still reasonable audience given the difficulties of promoting an independent doco. There were no hostile questions during the Q&A session and certainly nothing like that bloke in the video. There was a good round of applause after the film and after the Q&A.
I find it a little hard to judge the impact, because there is not much in it that is new to me. My nineteen year old daughter liked it and thought it had impact.
I respect Robert Stone a lot, not only for making the film, but the really hard slog of promoting it. I guess it would not be the first time he has had to deal with that sort of thing and probably won’t be the last. He is articulate and does a great job.
While I was unable to attend a Pandora’s Promise screening, I have been to a couple of Caldicott lectures over the years. There are ALWAYS audience members, like the man in the video, that go on their anti-nuclear tirade during question time. It’s rather sad. It’s kind of like a a habitual blogger copy and pasting their dozen talking points over and over again.
The only difference is that in this instance, Stone rebuked the ‘argument’, where as Caldicott would have validated it.
The good news is that a person like the heckler is not likely to win over many people who are undecided with a performance like that. That kind of screaming and name-calling is a signal to most people that you don’t have facts on your side.
Luv the anti-nuclear power nuts! They almost always end up embarrassing themselves and their cause in a rational debate. That’s why pro-nuclear advocates need to engage them whenever possible, IMO.
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