Tag Archives: debate

Why I do not trust "We don't need nuclear" rethorics

Dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist... for decades You have been telling me "It's easy to get off nuclear, if we just want to!". Well, alot more powerful people than You have made similar promises...

Where do we stand today after all these promises? Pretty much exactly where we were 5-10-20-40 years ago.

So - dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist - You promise me gold and green forests... but You don't deliver. Maybe this wasn't Your fault. Maybe You'd like to blame Big Oil or lazy politicians or a public that just won't see things the way You do. It's allright... You can try to shift the blame any place You want. But it doesn't matter whose fault it is, becasue assigning blame does not alleviate the problem.

So when You - dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist - today, yet again, try to tell me it's allright to renounce nuclear power, it means I cannot trust You, because things might no go they way You promise me they will.

What will You - dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist - need to do to gain my trust again?

Well it's easy: get the replacements up and running. Get full replacements for fossil fuels and nuclear power up and running, hooked to the grids and pumping GigaWatthours of energy into them, and I'll trust You again.

So... dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist.... get to work. We're eagerly waiting for You.

Oh... and one last thing: while we wait for you to get this work done, You do not get to say we cannot make any new nuclear power if we want to, at least on the "We're not gonna need it in a while"-argument alone.  Just saying this FYI...

Nuclear power opponents trying to silence harsh criticism

This article is long overdue. Earlier I didn't pay much notice to people using the power of the "delete" button on their blogs to shut out criticism of their reasoning - or lack of such. Just now however things stepped up a bit as Allianz Insurance, partner to the World Wildlife Foundation in creating the so called Climate Scorecards, just did the same thing.

Before we get to them, take a look at others who have discovered some of the practical buttons that comes with being a blog administrator.

Monica Antonsson, of the blog "Änglagård, Tjernobyl och Jag", recently turned off the ability to post comments on her blog. She claims that this was because "[She] was terrorized by a rabid nuclear power lover". What happened was that practically every blog post she made was quoting some other nuclear opponent. She admitted herself that she did not even fact check these quotes, only that she found them "interesting". Most of these quotes had errors of fact, grossly exaggerated the state of matters or were in some other way worthy of criticism. When members of Nuclear Power Yes Please pointed that out to her, she claims we "spit on the information".

Monica claims that she is not opposed to nuclear power, that she is "only collecting information". But the links on her blog, not to mention her behaviour in general in the matter, tells a very different story. You don't have a link with the headline "No to more nuclear power. You can sign (the petition) here!" when you are  "just collecting information".

The thing that finally made her snap and turn off comments was when I relayed to her the fact that every nuclear reactor that replaces the equivalent amount of coal power saves up to 15 000 lives. Her immediate reaction was to lash out and call me a liar, without checking the fact. I relayed to her the data behind the statements, and she immediately dismissed them as conspiracies by the EU and the UN, and shortly thereafter turned off the ability to further criticise what she posed.

This is what she calls "being terrorized". Well, I guess someone coming up to you telling you "You're so very wrong" and showing he has good cause for it(!) is quite terrifying. 😀

Peter Swedenmark is a former editor in chief, and chief of the opinions & debate desk of a Swedish newspaper. After only two posts he made opposed to nuclear power under which I had discussions with other people on his blog, he quickly shut me out because "[he] didn't want this to become a playground for nuclear proponents". I guess having had the say-so of who gets to voice their opinion in the paper and who doesn't was stuck as an old habit.

Anders Grönwall, press secretary of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation(SNF) did not appreciate when I criticised their hate-campaign against nuclear power where they among other things constantly and next to obsessively call it "expensive and dangerous". I wrote a comment on that saying that this had a certain likeness in method to another well known hate-campaign we all know about. The exact comment was:

Nobody except ardent opponents of nuclear power believes the scare-mongering where you are saying "Beware of the Jew...", sorry, "Beware of Radiation, it will come and get you!

Anders Grönvall mailed me and said "It feels as if you are trying to say that nuclear opponents are like nazis". I mailed him back and told him that this was of course not the case since trying to conserve nature and nazism were of course(!) completely unrelated. Such a connection would be completely invalid and silly. I also told him that I did not intend to not remove the comparison of the method since scare-mongering was the key issue I was criticising. He ignored all of those arguments and just repeated he wanted that wording removed. When I again wrote him a lengthy email explaining that if SNF did not agree, all they needed to do was defend themselves and argue the case. This mail he just ignored completely, never answered and withheld the comment.

And now, the latest one,  Thilo Kunzemannof Allianz SE. As you know we posted a critical blog entry about how WWF and Allianz wantonly manipulated emissions data on the climate scorecards. A bit later I found the Allianz web page about the scorecards for 2009. A conversation had already started and Thilo had posted a sour comment where he tried to defend Allianz saying they had not lied because they had in some places told people that they had changed and misepresented the data. I posted a comment saying that a lie does not become diminished just because you admit to it.

A strange turn of events then followed. Thilo mailed me and said he wasn't going to approve the comment, claiming it was insulting to call them liars just because they admitted to lying. 😀 When I checked the page though, the comment was there, despite him saying he wouldn't approve it. 24 hours later still, I got a email saying that the comment had been removed, and indeed it had. Luckily I saved a screenshot of it; you can grab it here.

All in all, we are seeing a pattern where nuclear opponents are getting increasingly desperate when their claims are getting challenged. Having had the stage practically to themselves for over 30 years, they are finding themselves stumped when someone else gets up there with them and starts criticising their arguments. 

Well they better get used to it. Trying to shut us out will not make us go silent. Oh no, quite the contrary. 😀

P.S: Greenpeace didn't approve my comment critical of their Hiroshima Day article either. But I might write that one off since they don't seem to be accepting any comments at all on those pages.

The right to call your opinion a load of fetid dingo's kidneys.

Je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire!

The saying above - I detest that which you write, but I would give my life for you to be able to continue writing - is often attributed to Volatire. Unfortunately it does not show up in any of his works nor in his letters and is most likely misattributed. However no quote better encapsulates these fundamental principles: Freedom of Opinion, and Freedom of Expression.

A person - calling himself The King of the country Lagom - recently blogged about some comments I made to one of his earlier blog entries. Since the blog entry in question was in Swedish, I have provided you with a translation.

The King of Lagom says that I am "not respecting other people's opinions", that I am "forcing my opinions on them", that I think my own opinions are the only ones right, while everyone else's is wrong. This isn't exactly the first time someone has accused me of this. Let me break down the criticism in parts.

"He thinks he is right"

Isn't this one a complete no-brainer? Would I be expressing an opinion if I thought it was wrong? Is that what the King of Lagom does; expressing opinions he doesn't think are right?

"He is forcing his opinions on others"

This one is just plain silly. I do not have brainwashing powers. Nor am I versed in suggestive hypnotism, subliminal HTML, or mind control. And to the best of my knowledge I have yet to seek out someone out with a baseball bat and go "Hold this opinion, or else!".

I cannot "force" anyone to hold any kind of opinion, nor do I have any interest in it. If by "forcing" he means that I respond to people's opinions with some of my own, he's throwing rocks in a glass house.  

"He is not respecting other people's opinions"

In subjective matters, I don't say that I am right and everyone else is wrong. That's for kids to do, saying "Britney/Kate Perry/Nine Inch Nails is best and everyone that doesn't agree is stupid!". I don't discuss subjective opinions because there is nothing to discuss. I know what I like and if someone else likes other things, that's their own lookout.

However when it comes to objective issues, we are not dealing with matters of preference any more. If someone is going around saying that a Swedish BWR/PWR reactor can explode like a Soviet-built RBMK reactor, then are talking about something completely different. The King of Lagom however thinks that I am engaging in some kind of misconduct when I tell people that the laws of physics do not approve of their opinions. So basically he says I'm "not respecting his opinion" when I speak up against statements that are equivalent of claiming the Earth is flat.

People like The King of Lagom confuse the concept of respecting their right to hold and express opinions with being forbidden to speak up against them. This is of course wrong. I have my own right to hold and express opinions. And if I am of the opinion that what someone said is a load of fetid dingo's kidneys, then I am in no way obliged to "respect" their silly statement by not uttering those very words.

The person vs. the person's opinions

Reading the blog entry again I see that The King of Lagom has a very rude manner. He is hurling all sorts of insults and abuse my way. He acts as if a person is the same thing as that person's opinions. This would explain why he is so upset, because I speak out against his opinions and this he takes as a personal insult. He acts as if I have said mean things about him personally simply because I showed that his arguments does not hold up to science or facts.

This again is a matter of mixing up things and missing important nuances. I have no idea who the King of Lagom is as a person, nor do I care because this is not important. What matters is the things he says. I will never attack a person's character in the way the King of Lagom did. Not only is it poor style and rude, but it also hints very strongly that the person has run out of factual arguments for their case. I used to include insults a long time ago when I first entered the Internet. I have since grown up and stopped using character attacks.

However...

I will attack a person's opinions, arguments and statements, and rip them to shreds if I think I have due cause for it. This is my right and I intend to exercise it. Just like in the expression above, even if I do respect their rights to voice opinions, I also have the right to say that I truly detest the things that they write. If this offends The King of Lagom, or any other person whose opinions I comment, that's solely their own problem.

Opinionated people who are not prepared to deal with others expressing opinions of their own are not advised to engage in a discussion to begin with.

If you can't take the heat, the kitchen door is at your disposal.

/Michael

ADDENDUM: there is a second blog entry that deals with the factual errors of The King of Lagom's blog entry. And even though I called him on using Ad hominem attacks, he is not stopping. The man just keeps on trying to insult me and dodge the subject.