Mark Lynas is best known for shoving a pie in Bjorn Lomborg’s face. So when he says people in the environmental movement are closed-minded and resort to intimidation, it’s worth paying attention to what he says. He’s come to the realization that nuclear power doesn’t deserve its reputation and is a valuable tool against global warming, which has earned him scorn from his peers. He explains:
On a deaths per gigawatt-year basis, nuclear is safer than coal and oil.
Curiosity whetted, I searched the scientific literature for evidence to support the other great green charge levelled at nuclear power: it kills its neighbours. I sifted through piles of rigorous epidemiological studies from all over the world, searching for proof that people who live near nuclear sites are more prone to cancer and leukaemia. None of the reputable journals turned up a link.
These are just two examples of eco-myths: there are many more. If only we were allowed to discuss them without being flayed for heresy.
When I e-mailed a senior ecological scientist with my conclusions, he agreed, but only privately. “Do not cite me as promoting nuclear,” he begged. I am still shocked that people of his stature are too intimidated to speak out. The result of this fear is that the public is dangerously misinformed about nuclear power.
Perhaps next he’ll realize that greens and liberal dogma have been responsible for many environmental catastrophes. We can but hope.