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8 Comments

  1. Great video Rod! Perhaps it could be even improved by adding some text and pictures to support the points?
    Thanks for your blog!

  2. Awhile back I learned there is such a thing as “Senator School” and “Congress Person School” where new senators and congress men and women go for a sort of orientation to learn how to do their new jobs. Rumor is that the school lasts about 2 weeks. From what I can tell, there is no website or other ready information source which explains how Senators learn how to do their jobs. I guess publicizing this would make them look bad in the public eye.
    The reason I bring this up is I wonder if they have any sort of course for the senators to learn about energy and resources before they join the energy and resources and related committees? Based on the comments from Bernie Sanders it would appear they don’t. What is the point of calling in and questioning a subject matter expert like Steven Chu if in fact they really don’t have a good grasp of the fundamentals of the topic themselves? Chu obviously doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers and doesn’t tell any of them they don’t know what they’re talking about so he keeps it civil.
    I know the senators have science advisors as well, but ultimately there is gap of knowledge that I’m not very confident has been bridged. Most legislatures don’t have science or engineering backgrounds and thus are as vulnerable as any to want to believe in whatever brand of “science” suits their constituency.

  3. I would like to say that I found the video style you have experimented with (short clips from Senate Testimony followed by Adams comment) to be an engaging and entertaining one. In the hands of a knowledgeable commenter in the subject area of the discussion things develop quickly and attention on the discussion is heightened. Senate Testimony watched from end to end of session is frequently tedious and this experimental format delivers a kind of impactful and incisive quality.
    In the hands of someone with less knowledge or a less well developed sense of fairness and commitment to high standards of honesty this format could easily devolve into a style of caricature and unfair ad holmium attacks. Carefully selected short segments can be patched together to make someone interviewed appear to say almost anything. There is a context to every communication and normally this is preserved if you view a complete session of Senate testimony and then follow with an extended comment. This short segment followed by comment approach creates interest and a kind of suggestion of interactive dialog when really everything is being orchestrated by the commenter.
    This experimental video format is really fun but I suggest you will have to make concerted efforts in the editing to be fair to avoid subtle or gross distortion of the original message and intent of the person being commented on.

  4. Senator Bernie Sanders is an anti-nuke plain and simple. A while back I was listening to the Senate NRC oversight hearings. Bernie did his solar rant then too. The NRC has no regulatory authority over solar. Bernie does everything in his power to make nukes more expensive at the same time he claims it is too expensive.
    There is a huge amount of data on the cost of making electricity with nukes. There is very little data to suggest that solar even works and even the best producers of electricity with solar do not tell the generating cost.
    It should be noted that the company that has filed to build a solar thermal power plant in California is now being touted for their effort to fail in China. Not one mention was made of the American jobs created building nuke plants in China (a big Bush accomplishment). I am confident that the nukes being built in China will get finished and produce electricity because it has been done several times. I do not think will ever hear about how much electricity the $5b

  5. Rod –
    The claim that nuclear has had the most subsidies is baseless unless you attribute the whole WW II effort to civilian nuclear energy. The claim has been disproven through an analysis published by the National Academy of Sciences, which had this to say about subsidies:

  6. I second Robert Steinhaus’ comment about the timely interjection of knowledge and comparison.
    1) IMHO, energy “independence” is a mirage given the fungible nature of energy resources. Energy “security” may be a preferable term to describe what is a national goal.
    2) Sen. Sanders seems to be Exhibit A of someone who appears to know little about the complex subject of energy. Rather than doing his homework, he promotes platitudes or falsehoods about cost comparisons that Rod admirably places in context.
    3) Sec. of Energy Chu ought to have had the fortitude to clarify or educate the Senators in the manner of Rod. Chu is an engineer, but he doesn’t need to be a wimp, particularly when he’s the most knowledgeable person in the room on such an important subject. Using some creative thinking and ideas would spur legislation or cooperation at solving some of these problems.
    Keep ’em coming, Rod!

  7. Thank you for this post, Rod. A well-done and thoughtful video.
    Meanwhile, here in Vermont, I am blogging about bananas. Okay, about beta-emitters. Tritium in the water of a close-to-the plant test well at Vermont Yankee. Obviously, the most dangerous environmental impact in history! All the Democratic candidates for governor of Vermont have stated that they are in favor of closing Vermont Yankee. Five candidates, with just one aim in mind.
    Great work, Rod.

    1. Perhaps it’s grandstanding to win the primary. I hope it is. (Sometimes, I wish my fellow Dems would grow a spine. Especially the guy from Google running for Gov of VT, he has NO EXCUSE to be grandstanding on this, doesn’t he know what powers his servers? Hasn’t he seen the Tech Talks about nuclear? Jeez.) Sorry about the tritium, not so great timing.
      Could someone maybe get Jim Hansen to come up and testify to these VT legislators and tell them what they’re doing by trying to close down such a large carbon-free generating resource rather than coal, natural gas, and oil plants? I hope he would come if he was asked.

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