It’s spring time and that means baseball is back in season. There is an old baseball bit of wisdom that says a batter who steps away from home plate with his leading foot in fear of being struck by a pitched ball, instead of a straight-ahead stride, is said to “have put his foot in the bucket.”
This is, metaphorically speaking, the problem Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders has with nuclear energy. Instead of meeting the issue head on, he steps away in foolish, irrational fear and spreads his message of uncertainty and doubt to his supporters.
This is too bad because the green and sometimes liberal wing of the Democratic party has some good ideas about saving the planet, but eliminating nuclear energy is not one of them.
Baseball coaches at all levels of the game have specific methods for raising the batting average of players by swinging at the pitch from a true position of confidence. The nuclear industry may not be able to coach Sanders, who has a lifetime of political ideology behind him, but it can reach out to his supporters.
Here’s what others have said about Sanders. And further on below are some specific things you can do on Earth Day to tell a confident story about nuclear energy.
Sanders’ energy proposals would increase emissions
(Foreign Policy) Though Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has called climate change “a global environmental crisis of unprecedented urgency,” his energy policies would be likely to increase the nation’s carbon emissions, write Keith Johnson and Molly O’Toole.
“There is a basic reality here, which is that nuclear energy is the single-largest source of zero-emissions electricity in the United States,” said Josh Freed, Third Way’s vice president of clean energy. “If you care about climate change, that should be a very significant influence on your policy.”
Sanders’ opposition to nuclear, gas would hurt US
(Wash Post Editorial) If the US is serious about reducing carbon emissions, it cannot follow Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan, writes the editorial board of The Washington Post. His opposition to nuclear energy and natural gas would lead to an increase in emissions. “[E]ither the country would fail to maximize emissions cuts, or it would waste huge amounts of money unnecessarily replacing nuclear plants,” the board writes.
ANS on Earth Day
We have a great opportunity to get pro-nuclear/environment messages to a general audience on April 22 through both Earth Day and the COP21 agreement signing taking place in NYC.
The American Nuclear Society will be posting several environmentally-related items on Facebook and Twitter. You can help spread the word. with shares / likes / retweets / comments. If you post your own items, please use the hashtags #ParisAgreement and #EarthDay
Tari Marshall, the director of communications at ANS, says that according to the French nuclear society’s monitoring tool, it reached up to 300,000 views on Twitter at peak times during COP21 last December. With your help, we can continue to keep nuclear in the spotlight on earth day.
ANS on nuclear innovation
The American Nuclear Society sent a letter to the Senate on behalf of its members to express support for the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (S. 2795), and to the House for the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act (H.R. 4979). ANS President Eugene Grecheck said in the letter,
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. and the world will need to significantly expand nuclear generating capacity in the coming decades to address growing energy demands while reducing emmissions of greehouse gases.”
He noted that while the U.S. has led the world in developing new reactor technology, other nations, including Russia and China, are moving aggressively to develop Generation IV reactors.
“The U.S. must recommit itself to improving its advanced reactor technology portfolio…to maintain its influence over global nuclear safety and nonproliferation norms,” Grecheck said.
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