Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The return of nuclear power?

With John McCain talking about building new nuclear reactors to satiate our appetite for power... I recall a recent conversation I had with Elizabeth Esty about trying to address America's energy needs. She mentioned something new to me:

thorium - a chemical element with the symbol Th and atomic number 90. As a naturally occurring, slightly radioactive metal, it has been considered as an alternative nuclear fuel to uranium.

I don't mean to say she said it was a utopia. But she did indicate that it'd be worth studying to see if it could address America's energy needs... while it may also avoid the troublesome concern of fissile material falling into the hands of some nutcase.

And that reminds me... I rarely watch TV news anymore, but did hear that Obama refused McCain's request for a dozen town meetings this summer. That's too bad. I'd love to see the two of them get into some actual policy discussions, including the pros/cons of America building more nuclear reactors. Unfortunately, if they stick to the usual three debate matchup... I'm confident we'll never hear any of the nuance of their positions... instead being left with soundbites like "cut'n'run" vs. "redeploy the troops."

I wish Obama would take McCain up on his offer.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Obama is too busy accepting paybacks for favors to sleazy real estate developers. He doesn't have time for debates.

The (liberal, pro-Obama) Boston Globe published this report on Friday :

“As a state senator, (Obama) coauthored an Illinois law creating ... tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.

“A Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies - including several hundred in Obama's former district - deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.

“Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.

“Campaign finance records show that six prominent developers - including Jarrett, Davis, and Rezko - collectively contributed more than $175,000 to Obama's campaigns over the last decade and raised hundreds of thousands more from other donors. Rezko alone raised (another) $200,000, by Obama's own accounting.

“One of those contributors, Cecil Butler, controlled Lawndale Restoration, the largest subsidized complex in Chicago, which was seized by the government in 2006 after city inspectors found more than 1,800 code violations.

“Butler and Davis did not respond to messages. Rezko is in prison; his lawyer did not respond to inquiries.”

This gives a whole new meaning to Obama’s slogan, ”Yes we can!”

Obama's dealings with Tony Rezko - who was convicted of 16 corruption counts including fraud, money laundering, and taking kickbacks - are just the tip of the iceberg.

What else don't we know about Obama?

Anonymous said...

That Boston Globe story can be found at


Anonymous said...

If McCain were involved in such slimmy corruption,they'd be all over him. But Obama gets a pass. He's for hope and change, you know.

cedar lane said...

Character counts, and actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

I'm just another engineer who doesn't try practicing law but too often I find lawyers trying their hand at engineering. Lawyers and politicians should stick to stuff which doesn't have the nasty little habit of 'glowing-in-the-dark' for 50,000 years or more after you can't use it anymore.

And if it only glowed useful visible light we'd maybe find a use for it but alas, it glows some really nasty stuff which has as an unintended consequence, death, unintended genetic modification and destruction to living things which accidentally wonder by.

Town politicians would be much more beneficial to all of us poor old local tax payers if they tackled local problems and maybe fixed a couple. Here's a couple for you right off the top of my list.

First, let's stop doing really crazy stuff like paying $300,000 plus per year to basically dump vast amounts of heat into South Cheshire because some of us decided that a plastic sandwich wrap covering for a year round town pool set us apart from the rest of the state and most of New England ( it does set us apart but in a way that at this time is pretty embarrassing for all).

Until we stop this obscene energy waste at our pool I'd have to say that Cheshire is working overtime to increase global warming since the pool cover allows almost all the heat to escape almost immediately into the atmosphere!

Second, I understand the high school for one still makes use of electric heat. Change it out immediately.

Just 2 things local politicians who cared could do.

Local politicians with no credentials in nuclear physics kind of remind one that Al Gore also has no credentials in computer science - - -

Anonymous said...

"Local politicians with no credentials in nuclear physics kind of remind one that Al Gore also has no credentials in computer science"
I can't agree more!
Why is Ms. Esty trying to find a new enegy source when she is one of the biggest reasons this town is wasting so much energy.
Fix the pool issue.
As Tim would say..."these are not the droids"

Anonymous said...

1) Good grief. Now someone can't even weigh in on an issue with an opinion. I am not an E. Esty fan, but if you can't discuss issues that are of concern to all Americans, why be a citizen? Grow up for pete's sake. Maybe you should try getting energy from Boron, which rhymes with...

2) The high school will be addressed now that electricity is cheaper than oil. The big question is why wasn't this done sooner, when the gap in energy cost (electricity vs. fossils combustion) and the cost payback was more attractive? Also, speaking of Boron, can Bowman do this job? Maybe you fellas can just make a bubble over the high school electric wing to hold in the heat.

Anonymous said...

"Good grief. Now someone can't even weigh in on an issue with an opinion. I am not an E. Esty fan, but if you can't discuss issues that are of concern to all Americans, why be a citizen? Grow up for pete's sake. Maybe you should try getting energy from Boron, which rhymes with..."

And that wasn't my "opinion"? I can't weigh in on it like she did and like you did?
I find it very ironic that the person looking for alternate energy uses is also voting to keep funding the biggest energy waste in our town.
Fix that problem and then find alternate energy uses.

Anonymous said...

How amazing. Provide constructive criticism on our elected officials who are not solving local problems but who seem to want to pontificate about the vagaries of that most serious form of energy conversion, nuclear power, and B-A-M the name calling starts.

I guess I can only wonder what the name caller thinks will come from any discussion on nuclear power by local politicians. Let's face it folks, based on their performance over our highly expensive pool anything they might contribute to nuclear power technology probably wouldn't be safe and probably wouldn't work either.

Now if we could all only capture the hot air generated by politicians babbling about stuff which isn’t going to take place any time when it will be helpful maybe it could be used to augment our home heating systems this winter so we could reduce our consumption of $5/gal furnace oil.

Leaders who have no technical credentials really aren't doing any of us a favor by pandering to factions of the electorate hoping for magic fixes to real problems. For a change how about holding our local politicians accountable for something simple. Just have them fix the pool for this year and send the wasted $300,000 plus back to the town tax payers.