Earlier this morning Newt Gingrich and John Kerry pretended to debate
Global Warming issues, in a bipartisan love-fest which spun around
the following issue:
Can free-market incentives produce a reduction in carbon poisoning in
the atmosphere, or must we resort to government regulations and all
the bureaucratic hoopla THAT entails?
Gingrich argued that a few million-dollar prizes for innovative ideas
will cause the markets to move forward by themselves. Kerry argued
that government needs to do something, but not much. He supports
Yesterday, a New Zealand research lab announced a breakthrough that
may reduce the cost of solar panels by 90%, says Newt. It may get as
cheap as coal or hydro, he adds.
We need “cleaner, safer nuclear power, like they are developing in
France” says Newt, acknowledging an earlier and very brief
pro-nuclear comment by his “friend” John.
The fact of the matter is, a carbon tax credit is yet another way to
give an enormous new income stream to nuclear power. Oh sure, it
also might give a small incentive to an outgunned small-scale
renewable energy industry, which right now produces about 1% of the
electricity produced by the nuclear power industry and which has
about 0.01% of the political power of the Nuclear Mafia.
When a lady in the audience asked directly: “What about
nuclear? France is over 70% nuclear! Why can’t WE do this?” a small
portion of the audience applauded vigorously.
“In the near-term, [nuclear] is GOING TO BE PART OF THE MIX”
emphasized Kerry in response, despite the three problems he
sees: Cost, waste stream, proliferation. (He didn’t mention safety,
security, nukes as weapons for the enemy, etc. etc..)
Gingrich was ready for this planted pro-nuclear question, and
responded with a long list of numbers he had on hand for the moment,
such as that the U. S. Navy operates 82 reactors, and has operated
over 500 reactors overall, with almost 6,000 cumulative operating
years of experience, and has “never had a fatality.”
So obviously, for Newt, fatal brain cancers among ex-submariners
don’t count. Their children’s leukemias don’t count. Hundreds of
sailors lost in sub accidents where the reactors (and the subs) were
also lost — and the cause NEVER definitively determined — don’t
It’s interesting to note, although Newt didn’t mention it, that,
based on these statistics, the average naval reactor operates for
only about 10 years. It should also be noted that naval reactors
don’t burn nuclear fuel efficiently, when one takes into account the
energy used to make the fuel in the first place — or the lives lost
in the process. Naval reactors are “compact and robust” — they are
considered unlikely to fail despite “battle conditions.” In reality,
a lost reactor at sea is an environmental catastrophe, regardless of
whether the reactor itself is the cause of the loss or merely a
victim of some other failure. And, ANY nuclear navy reactor (at
least when it’s surfaced) can get “sunburned” (hit by a Sunburn
missile) just like anything else.
This author has only informal, anecdotal information to go on, but
having met scores of ex-submariners and their family members (I do
live in a navy town!), he is CERTAIN that cancer IS an epidemic among
them — and not just among the U.S. Navy’s submariners, but also
among nuclear submariners from Russia and other countries too. Of
course, NO navy will study this.
While debating a carbon tax to save the planet, neither John Kerry
nor Newt Gingrich can envision a RADIATION TAX to save our DNA. For
the first hour this morning, nuclear power went nearly unmentioned —
John Kerry’s early use of the phrase “half-life” referred to how long
global-warming gasses stay in the atmosphere — a wholly
John Kerry is not an environmentalist, and neither is his friend Newt Gingrich.
This meeting was a sham to promote nuclear power and denigrate ANYONE
who would question that policy — Mr. Kerry called such people
“leftists” and “extremists.” Undoubtedly, some are.
Off to the side, after the meeting had ended, you could hear some
young engineers — clearly the people who had cheered the lady’s
pro-nuclear softball question — upbraiding Kerry for not being more
adamantly pro-nuclear. “What about France’s fusion torch, which
reduces nuclear waste?” asked one. “All these things are important
and America needs to do more research too” was Kerry’s response.
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