By Lenka Kollar
Dr. Patrick Moore was there for the beginnings of Greenpeace and then later co-founded the CASEnergy Coalition, which is a pro-nuclear energy organization. Moore's testimony before a senate committee earlier this year spiked some controversy. You can read the highlights here but I think the most striking thing about his testimony was the following:
Teaching children that “the human species is a separate, evil thing from nature is extremely damaging to their orientation of life.”
This statement is in reference to the climate change movement and how we are acting like we are the absolute enemies to the Earth and will cause its, and our own, destruction.
I believe that humans, even in an industrialized society, can work with "mother nature" and not destroy the Earth. And, the very notion that this is possible is something that we should consider. I think that many people think that in order avoid climate change, or any man-made effect on the Earth, we need to drastically reduce our population and go back to "caveman days." However, there is an equilibrium that we can reach to not destroy our environment. Reliable and clean base-load electricity should be part of the plan and nuclear energy can play a big role.
How do we move towards a more sustainable future?
By Lenka Kollar
A colleague of mine sent me this excerpt from an interview with John McCain on TIME.com and I felt compelled to share it with my readers. McCain talks about many political issues in his interview but this struck me as so honest, and frankly, sad.
McCain did used to be very engaged on the issue of climate change and I remember him talking about building 45 nuclear reactors by 2030 during his 2008 presidential campaign. My fellow nuclear engineering students at Purdue were so excited about this prospect.
Q. You used to be very engaged on the issue of climate change?
According the quote above, McCain basically gave up on his nuclear dreams because the people on the left are going to reject it, even though they are the ones primarily concerned about climate change. This kind of thinking has to stop for us to make any progress climate change. Politicians shouldn't be making these technical decisions but instead taking the advice of the research scientists and engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy to make effective policies. I don't agree with McCain moving on the other (easier) issues because we need practical people like him on the right side of aisle.
What do you think will make Congress move forward on effective climate change legislation?
What do you think of when you imagine a nuclear engineer? The Simpsons? A 50-something white male? Someone boring and anti-social? A scientist locked in a lab with glowing radioactive liquid?
The I'm a Nuke campaign was formed to change the image of the nuclear engineer and show the public that we are real people with diverse interests. We all became nuclear engineers for different reasons and have done many different things with our degrees and careers.
Meet Melanie, a nuclear engineering graduate student at MIT. She's from Montreal, has a Bachelor's in music, and describes herself as a "super hippie environmentalist." Her first memories of nuclear energy came from The Simpsons and the three-eyed fish in the lake on the show. She later realized that nuclear energy did not create three-eyed fish and that it could be used to power the world in a "green" way.
Melanie studies heat transfer at MIT, meaning that she figures out how to optimize the heat transfer from the reactor to the water/steam that spins the turbines, which then makes electricity. Thus, she is working on making nuclear power plants even more efficient. Watch Melanie's full interview below.
What questions do you have for Melanie?