Examining Anti-Nuclear Bullshit

Ted Nordhaus bravely calls out the deceptive tactics used by anti-nuclear activists—some operating as academics with cover from similarly duplicitious “peer reviewers,” to promote what are ideologic viewpoints unsupported by science. This is not an easy area to write about—with the ever increasing threat of lawsuits—but the evidence is mounting that much of what has passed as academic studies falsely showing negative or no benefit from nuclear power, has been “peer reviewed” by people with ideologic aims.

Increasingly, these reports advocating for 100% renewables have been widely debunked by real scientists using the same data. Such academic “fights” have even poured out into the courts, as in the case of the devastating take-down of Mark Jacobson’s almost entirely bogus 100% renewable study which was published by the National Academy of Science and received an award as one of the best studies of the year, but whose glaring flaws were broadly debunked by a rather serious and impressive cadre of some thirty other scientists.

Jacobson, hurting from the smack-down, chose to employ the courts in his behalf, having ample funding from renewable and fossil fuel supporters—all of whom benefit from the failed RPS policy approach that he advocates—but found, instead, that the courts sided with those calling “bullshit” on him and he was forced to pay for both his own failed litigation as well as the legal expenses of the scientists he has attempted to intimidate into silence.

While it is tempting and appealing to think that we can address climate change with the aesthetically appealing technologies of just wind and solar, in fact, the data increasingly shows that such a plan isn’t even remotely feasible. Yet, there remain many for whom that vision is their brand.

Many of these ideologues continue to rail against the use of nuclear energy, and Nordhaus reports on the most recent publication of a new paper by Harrison Fell, Alex Gilbert, Jesse Jenkins and Matteo Mildenberger with the take-down of the a study published last fall in Nature Energy by Benjamin Sovacool and others at the University of Sussex Energy Group.  

Read Ted Nordhaus’ exquisite examination of the difference between bullshit and lying in “On Anti-Nuclear Bullshit,” published at The Breakthrough Institute.