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A Christmas Peril


Today – Public Citizen, Beyond Nuclear, Friends of the Earth and the Nuclear Information Resource Service staged street theater based on Charles Dickens’s, A Christmas Carol.

The street theater was held as part of the international “Don’t Nuke the Climate” action day, with over 200 events being held in 10 countries, intended to block nuclear power multi-nationals from exploiting the Copenhagen, Denmark climate negotiations to resuscitate their moribund industry at public expense

The cast of characters — from atomic robber baron Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons to ghosts of nuclear power’s past, present, and future, as well as depictions of solar power, wind energy, and energy efficiency – assembled in front of the Department of Energy to deliver the message that nuclear power -costly, dirty and inherently dangerous –is not a viable solution to climate change.

The last time I participated in a Christmas play I was second solo in a piece called, “Up on the Rooftop”, a song that takes great pains to describe the roof–to-stocking process of delivering presents from the North Pole. And while Santa’s one night a year job deserves its due attention, today’s play focused on critical issues that are currently being debated in both the halls of Congress and on the international climate stage.

At the end of the play, Scrooge Burns realizes the error of his greedy ways and hands over all his federal handouts to the sun, wind and efficiency characters. Here’s hoping life imitates art. But just in case that Christmas miracle doesn’t happen, please call both your Senators and demand that they oppose any effort to add nuclear subsidies to the Senate
climate bill.

Allison Fisher is the Energy Organizer for Public Citizen

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Joseph Connell permalink
    12/13/2009 8:56 pm

    Why are you guys so down on nuclear power? Nuclear plants today are supplying a good percentage of our power without any significant impact on greenhouse gases and although wind and solar are viable candidates the problem is probably greater than just wind and solar can provide.
    Nuclear storage and the proliferation issue are not insurmountable since no technological breakthroughs are required.
    Since nuclear plants have been subsidized in large part in the past by the government there are no big dogs out there lobbying for this solution.
    I believe we must use all techniques we can to keep our energy supply up.

    • Elizabeth I. Riseden permalink
      12/14/2009 7:27 pm

      As a guinea pig for America’s 1950s atomic testing mess, who lost several friends and relatives, I will never trust that nuclear power’s horrific end result—plutonium plus—is worth the short-term goal of energy extraction. MEGAPOLLUTION LATER, does nothing to solve the planet’s ills.

  2. Allison Fisher permalink*
    12/14/2009 3:32 pm

    Thank you for your comment. I want to keep the lights on as well. The first step is reduce demand (or address energy waste) through energy efficiency. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, projects that the implementation of various energy efficiency measures -like those provisioned in the house climate bill- would “avoid the need for 419 medium sized power plants” by 2030.

    Second, couple energy efficiency with an integrated deployment of renewable energy. There is no dispute that we have enough renewable resources to meet demand. The question is whether there is the political will to transform our energy sector. Check out Dr. Arjun Makhijani’s feasibilty report on moving away from fossil fuel and uranium based energy economy at

    For more on Nuclear and Climate Change: Check out Physicist Amory Lovins for a great technical explanation of why nuclear would “would reduce and retard climate protection”.

  3. Joseph Connell permalink
    12/14/2009 8:12 pm

    Ms. Riseden;

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss of friends due to what you call “That testing mess”.
    I know the lay public gets its fear of Nuclear Power plants from the media , and concern about accidents as well as the legitimate concern over fallout in the southern Utah area.
    I’ve worked both on weapons testing for the AEC at Los Alamos at Nevada and Eniwetok, and on nuclear rocket testing in Nevada as well as a test reactor up at Hanford WA.
    I think I can safely say that confusion between these uses is giving the nuclear industry a bad reputation.
    Power reactors are entirely different in design and use. The problems of nuclear waste and proliferation are the only real concerns that apply and these are in my opinion manageable. There are many good reasons to use Nuclear Power as it is safe and non-polluting to our atmosphere.
    Just to let you know I don’t have any financial reason for my opinion since I’ve been retired for mony years.

  4. Joseph Connell permalink
    12/23/2009 6:27 pm

    Ms. Fisher

    Read the article by Mr.Amory, but have a problem in believing he has really given the problem very much thought. For instance: Has he recognized that the cost of fossil fuels will be going through the roof either as a result of penalties incurred due to global warming treaties? Has he considered that design costs could be minimized by using standard designs as are being done on solar and wind, or is he just looking at past history?
    I could be wrong, but still do not think the enviromental communiry has given nuclear power a fair shake.

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