Why is Sunday morning the traditional time-slot for airing political opinions and news yak fests? I guess it harks back to our centuries old heritage of combustible Sunday sermons delivered from church pulpits across the world; or, in the case of network tv, maybe it’s just that Sunday morning’s low broadcast ad rates can’t justify anything more compelling than interviews with talking point spewing politicos…anyway, here’s my contribution.
Just perused an article on MSNBC that examines the negative impact of the practice of utilizing rivers and waterways to cool nuclear reactors, on our fish populations.
Each year millions of fish, fish eggs and fry are destroyed by nuclear power plants like New York’s Indian Point when they suck-in millions of gallons of water to cool their reactors each day. There’s a growing legal battle that finds existing nuke plants fighting the expensive conversion to fish-friendly cooling towers by citing the economic hardships such a mandate would entail, a mandate they say could put them out of business.
With energy now a giant economic and national security issue, how can we balance the value of aquatic life and the health of our waterways, with that reality of our sky rocketing monthly utility bill? Senator John McCain, a strong proponent of nuke plant construction, points out, nuclear power is emissions-free. The spiraling costs of fossil fuel and gasoline only making nuclear power that much more economically attractive. But are the federal subsidies needed to build nuclear plants, the environmental impact, the challenges of disposing of toxic, radioactive waste and the security issues associated with plants like Indian Point worth the investment? I think not.
Perhaps we have to take the radical step of actually making the individual and group sacrifice of reducing our power consumption, paying a small sales tax on power guzzling electronics and do-dads, and investing (with the same enthusiasm we finance the Pentagon) in alternative energy projects like: wind, wave and solar — technologies that offer low environmental impact, and tremendous longterm economic and emissions benefits. Why pour more cash into a dangerous, short-sighted solution like nuclear power — a knee-jerk reaction to our current economic plight? It’s time to fight the fear and economic panic; be pragmatic and commit to a new generation of eco-friendly energy solutions. Amen.