James Hansen on Big Green – it’s all about the money

The truth is that present energy and climate policies of the United States and the United Nations are dishonest and tragic.

In October 2014 Dr. Hansen wrote an essay covering some of his personal history. I would like to highlight just a few words that support my explanation:

Why do the big name “environmental” NGOs seem to support every policy except the ones that will actually work.

My thesis is they prefer to raise money over promoting sound policy. Their big contributors do not like nuclear power. But oh my, they do so love Amory Lovins’ soft power. So the NGO leaders have a stark choice – support policies that will impact emissions. Or raise more and more money. Dr. Hansen:

It is not always easy to speak truth to power, but all citizens have the opportunity if they choose. I have one minor, easy suggestion for you to consider, and another requiring more effort.

The first concerns “Big Green,” the large environmental organizations, which have become one of the biggest obstacles to solving the climate problem. After I joined other scientists in requesting the leaders of Big Green to reconsider their adamant opposition to nuclear power, and was rebuffed, I learned from discussions with them the major reason: They feared losing donor support. Money, it seems, is the language they understand. Thus my suggestion: The next time you receive a donation request, doubtless accompanied with a photo of a cuddly bear or the like, toss it in the waste bin and return a note saying that you will consider a donation in the future, if they objectively evaluate the best interests of young people and nature.

The other suggestion is to donate time to Citizens Climate Lobby. They need people to write letters to the editor and op-eds, and to visit members of Congress. The aim is to make the price of energy honest, in a way that spurs our economy, creates good jobs, and enhances the future of young people and nature. To be sure, our democracy has developed flaws, especially the inordinate role of money in Washington, but we still have the opportunity to make it work.

My view is the Big Greens have blood on their hands. Greenpeace in particular because they not only block nuclear around the world but they continue to block live saving advances like Golden Rice. Shame!

And kudos to James Hansen: Who speaks truth to power.

2 thoughts on “James Hansen on Big Green – it’s all about the money

  1. It is not often that I fully agree with someone, but I do fully agree with Dr. Hansen.

    I’m sure than many politicians, including even president Obama, fully understand the need for nuclear power. However, they are afraid of being attacked by the anti-nuclear crowd and losing elections if they strongly support nuclear power.

    The media, including PBS, are also at fault. Finally, finally, finally PBS recently mentioned nuclear power, but it was played down to the degree that it could have passed unnoticed. If they ever actually support nuclear power, I will resume making donations to them. Meanwhile, they know why I stopped, i.e., their opposition to nuclear power.

    Interfaith Power and Light strongly opposes nuclear which is why I will not donate to them. I appreciate that they agree on the importance of greatly reducing CO2 emissions, but their proposals to do so will make only a very small difference. Here is a link to Interfaith Power and Light:
    http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org

    Here is a link to a page that contains their position on nuclear power; it was difficult to find:
    http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/public-policy/

    Here is a quotation from the above page:

    “Interfaith Power & Light works to promote ethical, moral, just and sound solutions to global warming and energy needs. The urgency of the climate crisis demands a rapid transition to clean, safe, cost-effective energy sources. While nuclear power plants release no carbon dioxide, there is no nuclear technology being used for energy that meets these criteria.
    For the following reasons, IPL does not believe building new nuclear plants presents a viable solution to global warming.

    “Cost and Timeline: The high cost and long time frame required to build new nuclear plants is prohibitive, given the immediacy of global warming. Energy efficiency and conservation are the fastest, cleanest, and cheapest ways to achieve significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and this should be our first focus. Taking into account the entire life cycle of mining uranium (a nonrenewable resource) and disposing of the waste, nuclear power production is neither clean nor renewable. Investing billions of dollars in this technology drains funds away from much more cost effective, rapidly deployable, and truly renewable alternatives, such as wind, geothermal, and solar power. (For more information on cost, please see economic studies referenced below)

    “Safety: From mining uranium to the end of the fuel cycle the technology is not safe. Until scientists find a safe way to deal with radioactive waste generated at every phase, building more nuclear power plants would be irresponsible to present and future generations. The link to weapons proliferation and terrorism cannot be avoided. Placing dangerous nuclear materials in the midst of our communities poses an unacceptable risk of a catastrophic event. Such an event could be a massive release of radiation due to a plant meltdown or a terrorist attack, and could kill tens of thousands of people as well as poison large areas with radioactivity for millennia.

    “Justice: As people of faith, we believe in justice that transcends generations, race and class. Our indigenous brothers and sisters and economically poor communities in the US and throughout the world carry a disproportionate burden of past uranium mining legacies and end waste that pollute water and harm health. Passing on radioactive materials, with a half-life of 100,000 years, to thousands of generations to come is a profound moral failure. Even a small accident could cause the contamination of groundwater for 300,000 years.

    “As an additional justice issue, nuclear power plants require enormous amounts of fresh water, a precious resource whose growing scarcity is increasingly at the heart of resource conflicts and the suffering of humans and other species.

    “Therefore, IPL urges a redoubled focus on energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable resources to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
    Economic studies:
    The Rocky Mountain Institute has conducted extensive economic analysis of the cost of nuclear compared to renewables. See: “The Nuclear Illusion” By Amory Lovins and Imran Sheikh.

    “The Nuclear Policy Research Institute and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research have published an excellent book detailing the possibilities for reaching a carbon free future without nuclear energy: Carbon Free and Nuclear Free, A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy by Arjun Makhijani.

    “Taxpayers for Common Sense has documented the often overlooked and exorbitant costs the U.S. taxpayers would be asked to absorb in the event of a nuclear accident.”

    I strongly suggest contacting them and advising them about alternative nuclear reactor technologies that circumvent their list of problems. I have already done so, but they will not post alternative opinions and insist that they lack the time and expertise to evaluate such technical matters.

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