In Praise of George Monbiot

Yes, you read that right.

For those not familiar with the name, Monbiot is an English watermelon (there are no Greens, those who claim the mantle are only Green on the outside, whilst remaining a deep Marxist Red on the Inside) and columnist for the Mail and Guardian.  He is also the prime inspiration for the all too appropriate “Moonbat” appellation.

But being an honest man, I am compelled to take note when my enemies admit of error and conform their new opinions to verifiable facts.

Mr. Monbiot looked around him at the reporting on the Fukushima incident, and found the reporting appalling.  More importantly, he let the facts of the matter sway his long held “neutrality” towards nuclear power.

How is that, you ask?

Fukushima is a 40 year old design.  Among it’s design factors were survival when faced with an 8.0 earthquake and a 5.7m tsunami with the electrical switching yards located between 10m and 13m above sea level.  What they got was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake (which did NOT damage the key systems of the plant) and a 14m tsunami, which not only topped the protective wall (at 5.7m) but was higher than the elevation of the switching yards.

Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power

GEORGE MONBIOT Mar 22 2011 06:17

You will not be surprised to hear that the
events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be
surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster
at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the

A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster
earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking
out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The
disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting.
Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of

Nor any other life threatening injuries.

The plant is a write off.  It will require prolonged and expensive effort to clean and dismantle.  The plant did indeed fail; it failed in a predictable and controllable manner, despite being hit with threats it was not designed to withstand.

The absence of the plant’s power from the grid is far more likely to result in death or serious illness and injury than the radiological and other effects of its failure.

Mr. Monbiot concludes:

Yes, I still loathe the liars who run the
nuclear industry. Yes, I would prefer to see the entire sector shut
down, if there were harmless alternatives. But there are no ideal
solutions. Every energy technology carries a cost; so does the absence
of energy technologies. Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of
the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet
has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of
nuclear power.

Will the wonders never cease?

Hat Tip:Charlie Martin at the PJTattler

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