Greenjacked! The derailing of environmental action on climate change

Regular BNC commenter and my friend Geoff Russell (@csiroperfidy) has published a new book. It’s called “Greenjacked!: The derailing of environmental action on climate change“. The blurb:

Today’s anti-nuclear movement began as the anti-atomic weapons movement in the late 1950s. At this time, DNA repair mechanisms were unknown and there was only one known cause of cancer … radiation. Then, during the next half century, DNA repair mechanisms of immense power were discovered along with many more causes of cancer. We now know radiation is a minor player compared to cigarettes, alcohol, red meat, processed meat and obesity; to name a few. We now know why Japanese people moving permanently from Tokyo to either Paris, New York or Sydney would experience a much bigger rise in cancer risk than if they moved into the area currently evacuated around the Fukushima reactors.

Nevertheless, despite growing and increasingly sophisticated knowledge about cancer causes, the anti-nuclear movement kept nuclear power hamstrung using obsolete notions of the risks posed to DNA by radiation. This paved the way for our fossil fuelled world and kept our cleanest most potent energy source off the table as a response to climate change. GreenJacked explains, in lay language, the progress in our knowledge about cancer and shows that nuclear power is our best hope in the battle against a deteriorating climate and why we have to overturn long held but obsolete fears.

Nobel Prize winning biologist Peter Doherty has endorsed GreenJacked, along with climate scientists and activists. If you are an anti-nuclear environmentalist concerned about our planet, then you need to open your mind, prepare to be amazed and read this book.

You can buy it as a Kindle book (which is readable on Kindle devices, iPads, PCs, Android readers, etc. all with free software, so no excuses) and it less then the cost of a couple of cups of coffee. Get it! (Australians must buy it on the Amazon AU electronic store, here).

I have to say, Geoff has come a long way on the issue of sustainable nuclear energy since I first persuaded him to look at the issue seriously back in 2009! The next post on BNC is a new critique by Geoff of a recent Catalyst TV program on the Fukushima aftermath, so read on…

 

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7 Comments

  1. Australian’s can get GreenJacked! at either the US or the AU Amazon stores. If you login via the AU store, then fine. But you can switch back to the US store anytime (which is useful, because some publishers don’t make titles available on the AU store).

  2. Wow! When I saw the subject of the email I received about this book, I thought it might be about the way the large enviro not-for-profit corporations have bought into the capitalist paradigm (cap-and-trade, trade in pollution credits, support for fracking vs. coal (as if those are the only two options), and the like).

    So what we have here, apparently, is reminiscent of others who have fallen for and promoted the pro-nuclear power hype, projected as the solution to the planetary energy crisis (fossil fuels, coal, mountaintop removal) leading to climate catastrophe. The book appears to be reminiscent of British commentator George Monbiot’s and NASA scientist James Hansen’s short-sighted support for the nuclear power industry. Too bad.

    Nuclear power is an extremely dangerous and false “solution” to the very real planetary ecological crisis we’re facing. Just to keep the fuel rods from melting, millions of gallons of water must be used everyday per power plant! How is that eco-friendly? Plus all the other problems with storage of radioactive rods, and many other ecologically disastrous problems.

    Nuclear power is all about the concentration of energy production into the hands of a small consortium of powerful corporations.

    One answer is the development and application of decentralized, publicly owned and controlled solar, wind, tidal and geothermal power — as David & Peter Schwartzman’s “SolarUtopia.org” and Harvey Wasserman’s “Solartopia.org” advocate, among others — and not the extremely dangerous nuclear power whose radioactive emissions even when functioning normally — to say nothing of the emissions during catastrophic events like Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and others — are disastrous to human health and the surrounding environment.

    Mitchel Cohen
    Brooklyn Greens / Green Party

  3. @MitchelCohen: Have you got any points of substance you’d like me to respond to? I couldn’t help noticing the lack of facts in your comment.

    Personally, I’m not keen on power residing in the hands of a small number of multinationals, but if they get the job done, then I’d rather that than a whole lot of really nice people with terrific intentions but no serious expertise. In any event, solar isn’t a some touchy-feely cottage industry, it’s serious technology in the hands of relatively few multinationals … but it’s not very effective and it’s also far more environmentally destructive at utility scale (e.g., Ivanpah) than nuclear per GWh.

  4. Mitchel Cohen, another victim of purple prose, goes full scientific illiterate on us:

    just to keep the fuel rods from melting, millions of gallons of water must be used everyday per power plant! How is that eco-friendly?

    If you didn’t pump water through the towers at Ivanpah, the central collectors would melt within seconds.  That’s exactly the same problem, but you don’t get upset about it.  As in the nuclear plant, the water is required for the plant to carry out its purpose:  it transfers heat, to make steam, to run the turbines that generate electricity.  Without generating heat, the plant does nothing useful.

    One answer is the development and application of decentralized, publicly owned and controlled solar, wind, tidal and geothermal power

    Strange, is it not, that you ignore the publicly-owned nuclear fleet of France and its sterling performance in de-carbonizing the French grid (almost by accident, as this was a decade before Kyoto was even negotiated).  Instead, you propose a host of technologies that have not eliminated fossil fuels from any grid, anywhere (“green” Denmark burns an awful lot of coal).  You just assume against all evidence that your magic buzzwords, which are yet to be proven useful, will do the job.

    Or perhaps that’s not your goal.  Perhaps you just want to shut down Indian Point to increase the profits of the competition.  Tell us, Mr. Cohen, do you hold any stock in or options on Pennsylvania fracking operators or pipeline companies?

    as David & Peter Schwartzman’s “SolarUtopia.org” and Harvey Wasserman’s “Solartopia.org” advocate

    Oh, Harvey Wasserman.  He’s the nutcase who claimed that emptying the Fukushima fuel pools would end life on earth.  The #4 pool is almost empty.  I haven’t noticed that I’m dead yet, have you?  Maybe if Wasserman was dead, the amount of hysteria in the world would go down a notch.

    And speaking of hysteria:

    not the extremely dangerous nuclear power whose radioactive emissions even when functioning normally — to say nothing of the emissions during catastrophic events like Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and others — are disastrous to human health and the surrounding environment.

    Nuclear power, when functioning normally, emits less radioactive material than coal or even natural gas plants (which dump radon into the atmosphere).  Save the base-load technologies of hydro (scarce) and geothermal (scarcer), all the “renewables” require coal or gas as backup.  The climate consequences of even small amounts of fossil-fuel use will be devastating, the Aral Sea disaster multiplied a thousand-fold.  Chernobyl?  The whole area is habitable now.  Fukushima?  Not one area outside the town has radiation levels higher than the monazite sand beaches of Guarapari.  People have been going to those beaches for their health, for centuries.  If radiation was deadly, you’d think they would have noticed, wouldn’t you?

    The twin secrets to longevity are supposedly red wine and radiation.  I note that Passover wine is red wine.  I have to wonder if, in the privacy of your home, you are practicing what’s good for you rather than what makes good press.

  5. I (and a lot of others)believe that the UN standard for radiation is set at an artificially low figure in line with a “linear no threshold” base line. People in the Ramsar area of Iran live with 260mSv /pa and have been doing so for thousands of years. Folks come to the ‘BlueZone’ of Ikaria in Greece to drink and bathe in the radioactive hot springs and that goes back even earlier with more positive than negative benefits. The key work is ‘hormesis’ a word that Helen Caldicott doesn’t want to know about.

  6. Mr Cohen,

    You are a seriously disturbed person, with concepts widely displaced from reality. You mention emissions from Fukushima – well the Japanese people were participants in “…the most cynical experiment ever carried out in biology…”

    Listen to Melvyn Bragg introduce Hiroshima into his “In Our Time” broadcast – “Genetic Mutation” at 14:40. Then set your brain straight by listening to an impartial geneticist – Steve Jones – who will educate you about the outcome of this ‘cynical experiment’. He will then go on to warn you that you and yours should be far more concerned about what other carcinogenic substances might be in your local environment – some of them will undoubtedly be from forms of energy generation other than nuclear.

    :Listen and learn: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008drvm

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