Nuclear Criticism From the Left

On the far-left website The Huffington Post, liberal Joseph Lowndes chastises Obama for not immediately bringing to a halt all attempts to reintroduce nuclear power to the US. In essence, he is complaining that Obama has not had a typical partisan, knee-jerk, reaction to the crisis in Japan and is not using it for progressive political purposes (per Rahm Emanuel’s dictum that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste”).

Lowndes is horrified over Energy Secretary Stephen Chu’s statement that the disaster in Japan would “strengthen America’s nuclear industry.” How could it not? We learn from mistakes as much as we learn from success, if not more, and the nuclear industry is watching this very closely and learning. One of the results from this terrible disaster will undoubtedly be a safer nuclear facility design.

If Lowndes’ reaction was applied to all accidents, disasters, or crises, progress in all things would have come to a halt centuries ago. The first automobile accident to cause an injury would have insured their demise and the first shipwreck or sinking would have ended maritime exploration and commerce. In fact, we would still be living in caves – until the first cave-in caused us to abandon even that.

The problem here, of course, is that Lowndes’ reaction is a purely ideologically biased one, not a rational one. He lavishes praise on a 70’s movement that “prevented hundreds of facilities from being built across the country” (which increased our dependence on oil) while bemoaning “the central role of capitalism in the destruction of the planet”. He stretches the imagination by attributing everything but the invention of the iPod to that 70’s movement he yearns for.

Practicality finds no fertile ground in Mr. Lowndes’ “pie-in-the-sky” screed. There is no mention of an energy crisis, dependence on Mideast oil, or how nuclear power supplied energy to countries that would, otherwise, have been burning even more dirty coal and polluting the planet  further. His impenetrable bubble has been hardening since the 70’s. If he is not living in a tent and using the sun as his only source of energy, he is just a hypocritical traitor to his own idealistic cause.

David J. Hentosh

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