Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Nuclear Power – Taking It To The Streets

I am spending a lot of time reading up on nuclear power. It would not be worthy of this blog to just say that I have a strong gut feeling that this is simply too risky to use, that it feels wrong, or that every disaster up until now has been, well relatively lucky for us, and the next one might not be so. The reality is that my lack of scientific understanding makes me a poor candidate to offer a ‘factual’ analysis. I have another post or two to share on the topic and I will then move on.

In the meantime, if I cannot glean anything from the scientific front, perhaps there is something to learn from the car bumpers that are in front of me for a couple of hours each day. I have seen a number of variations on the bumper sticker below. It seems that there are a significant number of environmentalists who support nuclear energy. If you are one of these people, I would love to hear from you.

Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, I want to (to quote Stephen Colbert who stole it from my country of birth) tip my hat to them. I appreciate when people take a label but do not then blindly support everything that the label is supposed to encapsulate. To quote Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “You are all individuals,” Brian cried to a crowd. “I’m not,” one replied.

Now I understand that quoting from bumper stickers, Stephen Colbert and Monty Python, all in one post, is probably not extolling my image as a grassroots activist. I suspect that it is a knee jerk reaction to not being able to understand the issue of nuclear power. So I shall leave you with the words of one of our Presidents.

Maybe your desk, Mr. President, but I need to check my renter's insurance is okay with this.

Finally, I would like to finish with one friend’s words of encouragement.  He told me it would be easier to persuade him to stop supporting nuclear power (or oil for that matter) if I can come up with a cheap and sustainable alternative. Thank you, sir. You have given me the strength to continue blogging.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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