Year 2, Month 4, Day 8: Trust Us.

USA Today notes that the public doesn’t feel very confident about nuclear reactors anymore. I thought it was worth making the point that it’s not just about Japan’s agony, but that all the energy corporations appear to be equally avaricious and incompetent.

Sent March 30:

As the natural and human-made disasters in Japan achieve a terrifying synergy, public support for nuclear power has understandably dropped off significantly. And for good reason. With countless examples demonstrating that the profit motive invariably trumps safety concerns, people see no reason to trust any of the world’s energy companies. BP’s mishandling of the Deepwater Horizon blowout led to the fouling of huge areas of ocean; in Fukushima, TEPCO’s sloppiness has likely led to a nuclear disaster of Chernobyllian proportions. While it is premature to forecast the end of nuclear power generation (when the alternative is burning coal, the specter of catastrophic climate change looms very large indeed), we need to recognize a hard truth: whether it’s oil, coal or uranium, the era of “cheap” energy is over. Conservation, once derided by Dick Cheney as merely a sign of personal virtue, must be the foundation of our national energy policy.

Warren Senders

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