September 15, 2007

Why Jane Fonda is to blame for global warming.

Seriously.

15 comments:

joe said...

No nukes, no coal, no petrol. For us commoners, that is. We are expected to go back to living in caves by the neo-Luddites, while the Fondas, Gores etc. maintain their high flying lifestyles. After all, they are working for the greater good.

Christy said...

"The China Syndrome" reflected an already vigorous anti-nuke movement, it did not cause it. During the late 70s, before the movie, the price of plants became uncertain. Anti-nukes were already delaying the issuance of operating licenses. I remember about that time one plant, built but unable to get an operating license, was paying $10M/month in carrying charges (a lot of money back then.) Nuclear power plants in the pipeline had already been canceled. Short version - the movie was a symbol not a cause. But isn't it nice for Hollywood to think otherwise.

David53 said...

France, which generates nearly 80 percent of its electricity by nuclear power.....

The French got this right.

Zeb Quinn said...

Since the numero uno accused culprit behind the phenomena known as human-caused global warming is the internal combustion engine, it's hard to feature how the China Syndrome played majorly into that one way or another.

The anti-nuke neo-Luddites were/are separate and different.

knoxwhirled said...

the NYT has JFDS!

AlphaLiberal said...

That nuclear waste will be radioactive long after our society has perished.

How do we keep it safely removed from living things when we're gone?

Plus, the scale of potential harm from an accident, which the movie provide a rare look at, should give us reason to take a cautionary pause.

Add to this, the industry has corruption and is regulated basically by it's friends. There have been problems caused by low maintenance, such as a football-sized hole in the top of a reactor vessel in Ohio.

Humans make mistakes, especially corrupt ones.

blake said...

I thought it was aliens that caused global warming.

And what of The Pepsi Syndrome?

You know, environmentalists wouldn't have to destroy the environment if we'd all just die.

SteveR said...

She represents those who are to blame, provided its real and caused primarily by humans. She is after all, a human being.

By any measure, scientific, environmental, economic, etc. the logical choice is clear and has been for many years.

blake said...

By the way, The China Syndrome is a fine movie. Jane, Michael and Jack Lemmon. James Bridges finest work.

It's not like the producers staged Three Mile as a publicity stunt, overhyped though the event may have been.

The real problem seems to be the sort of simplistic equations the news media encourages: "Nukes bad." Of course, "Oil bad." and "Coal bad." too.

Revenant said...

How do we keep it safely removed from living things when we're gone?

Who gives a rat's ass what happens to the world after humans are gone? Let the cockroaches figure out what to do with it.

tjl said...

"Let the cockroaches figure out what to do with it."

But imagine a fall-of-Rome scenario in which the Earth is inherited by barbarian tribes. They wouldn't recognize the radiation symbol or understand the danger.

Trooper York said...

"I'd just as soon not get into a discussion about Jane and her politics. I'd just as soon stick to what we're here for, the picture." Henry Fonda

Bruce Hayden said...

That nuclear waste will be radioactive long after our society has perished.

How do we keep it safely removed from living things when we're gone?


A couple of points here. First, breeder reactors will handle the higher grade wastes. Burying the rest will keep it safe for thousands, if not tens and hundreds of thousands, of years.

But as important, just looking how the technology has improved in the last century, and that the rate of change is accelerating, either we will be able to effectively handle it shortly, and reprocess what has already been discarded, or we will be back to a point where we won't be worried about it.

Plus, the scale of potential harm from an accident, which the movie provide a rare look at, should give us reason to take a cautionary pause.

Maybe when Fonda made the movie, but technology has advanced significantly, with the goal of making sure that reactors fail safely. One example of this are pebble bed reactors that look extremely promising, and are apparently incapable of melting down.

Add to this, the industry has corruption and is regulated basically by it's friends. There have been problems caused by low maintenance, such as a football-sized hole in the top of a reactor vessel in Ohio.

And exactly how many were killed from that?

In any case, to not expect agency capture is absurd. That is the nature of man and government, and it is plain silly to expect to be smart enough to design a system that won't fall prey to this sort of thing.

Humans make mistakes, especially corrupt ones.

Which is why I am conservative. The idea that man is perfectible is a liberal Utopian conceit. They can't be, and that is why it is better to have less government, not more of it.

Alpha is right though, that human error was the primary cause of TMI. The French put PhDs running their reactors, and we were putting HS grads. The difference is that our operators at that time didn't actually know what was going on, just symptoms. So, when an alarm went off that had gone off a lot of times before for other reasons, the operator just shut the alarm off.

Christy said...

Bruce, the problem with putting highly educated people in operating rooms is that operating a nuclear power plant is boring as all get out. Educated people, with more options, do not willingly choose boring jobs. The lessons learned from TMI changed both the way operators were trained and organized.

Headless Blogger said...

As a nuclear engineering undergrad I went to the Orpheum when The China Syndrome premiered to protest errors with several classmates. We received our normal share of abuse, including being called death-no-crats by a young woman. As much I like that name, it is nice to finally be thought of as saving the earth through the peaceful use of atomic energy.

It has been a long time, but I recall one of the themes of the movie was the Jack Lemmon character being pressured by his evil management to overlook the plant defect in the interest of budget and schedule. Silly kids, we thought that was fiction.

I cannot blame Jane Fonda for the industry's demise, it was self inflicted. The film may have been flawed technically, but it portrayed the human element with some accuracy. Things are better in the business today, but it is foolish to think things are perfect.