James Lovelock, independent environmental scientist, spiritual father of the green movement, and originator of the Gaia hypothesis, has again stirred up controversy among environmental activists with his support of nuclear energy. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and other so-called environmental groups are unanimously coming out against Lovelock's statements. This was predictable, but it is still disheartening. Why are these groups so adamantly opposed to nuclear energy, which has shown itself to be the safest of all the major forms of energy production?
I believe there is one major difference between Professor Lovelock and the leaders of these environmental groups -- he is an environmental scientist, while they are first, and foremost, activists. Scientists try to maintain objectivity. Ethical scientists are willing to change their minds at any time based on the facts. Activists, on the other hand, don't require facts or evidence. All they require is faith and belief that their vision of the world is right and proper, for them and for you. In this way, they are remarkably similar to right-wing, religious fundamentalists.
I don't care to delve too deeply into the similar psychologies of left-wing activists and right-wing fundamentalists. I've been exposed to too many examples of both in my life. Actually, I just wish that members of both groups would shut the hell up and get out of the way. Then the rest of us could get down to the really important work of making sure that our children inherit a world that's in better shape than the one we started out with.
One statement by a so-called environmentalist really sums up the whole problem with activists. Stephen Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said (speaking of Lovelock) "...He's right to question previous assumptions. But he's wrong to think nuclear power is any part of the answer." In reality, Greenpeace's stance against nuclear power is based entirely on assumptions -- assumptions they refuse to question themselves, and really don't want you to question either. That would be heresy!
Read Professor Lovelock's May 24th statement here: Nuclear power is the only green solution.
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