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PopeWatch: Green Religion

 

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

The Pope seems to want two contradictory things:  an economy that lifts more people out of poverty and ever tightening environmental regulations.  Stephen Moore, chief economist of The Heritage Foundation, notes in an op-ed in Times that the environmental policies embraced by the Pope would make the poor poorer:

 

Pope Francis— and I say this as a Catholic — is a complete disaster when it comes to his policy pronouncements. On the economy, and now on the environment, the pope has allied himself with the far left and has embraced an ideology that would make people poorer and less free.

Pope Francis is reportedly preparing a lengthy encyclical message to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on the need for decisive action on climate change and will speak before the United Nations General Assembly on this subject this year. The pope recently declared: “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”

This is the language of the radical green movement that is at its core anti-Christian, anti-human being and anti-progress. He has aligned himself with a secular movement that is antithetical to the fundamental theological underpinning of Catholicism — the sanctity of human life and the value of all souls.

The modern pagan green religion in developed nations needs to be denounced by the Vatican. These are the people and organizations that have come to believe that an excessive number of human beings is destroying Mother Earth.

Some of the great atrocities of the past half-century have been borne of this belief that the world is overpopulated. Has the Vatican forgotten the detestable and immoral population-control policies, including, eugenics, tens of millions of forced abortions and forced sterilizations, and one-child policies — all in the name of greens trying to save the planet? It was Pope John Paul II who heroically denounced this theology and reminded Catholics and all other Christians that human beings are resource creators, not resource destroyers.

The Vatican’s warning that we are witnessing “great cataclysms” of weather events is contradicted by scientific evidence. The numbers of hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, typhoons, monsoons, earthquakes, floods, freezes and so on are not on the rise, as even the U.S. government’s own numbers confirm. The pope has been snookered. The best way to counteract death and destruction from severe acts of Mother Nature is through economic development.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Extreme environmentalism turns the Earth into an idol to be worshiped and sacrifices the poor upon the altar of Gaia.  It is perhaps the favorite substitute religion of the chattering classes who shape public opinion around the globe.  One of the keys to understanding the current pontificate is that Pope Francis will rarely take stances that go against what the chattering classes promote.  Most of his pronouncements would be quite at home on the editorial pages of the New York Times, or the faculty lounge of Harvard.  Where he must disagree with them, on abortion for example, the correct statements are made, but without any policy follow through.  The forthcoming “green” encyclical should make for very interesting reading and may be a wratcheting up in the alliance of the Pope and the champions of the liberal zeitgeist.

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

34 Comments

  1. Any surprise here? This Pope is far from being the humble man portrayed in the press. He has an opinion on everything and is not shy about giving it.

  2. Folks,
    .
    I will continue to repeat this because truth has to be repeated over and over again to counteract the chattering heads of eco-wacko nonsense.
    .
    Coal power mortality rate = 170,000 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours
    Natural gas mortality rate = 4000 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours
    Hydroelectric mortality rate = 1400 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours
    Rooftop solar mortality rate = 440 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours
    Wind mortality rate = 150 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours
    Nuclear mortality rate = 90 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours
    .
    Only Enoch, Elijah, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a handful of cosmonauts and astronauts made it off Earth alive. No one here at TAC – most of all myself – rate up with them. We ain’t getting out alive.
    .
    That said, if Pope Francis cares about human life, then what source of energy will he recommend?

  3. Who in power anywhere on earth read Pope Benedict on the environment in sections 48-51 in Caritas in Veritate? Which Catholic authors quoted those sections subsequently?
    I think virtually no one on earth is reading them. I think if a Pope wrote on hell, predestination, the particular judgement, punishment in this life, why does God allow tragedies to children like that girl who escaped the plane crash that took her parents etc. etc…..I think tons of people would read them again. No one reads this stuff they’re writing. They have no training in penology, finance, economics, making peace, deterring murderers ( Catholic Latin America in the north is a non death penalty murder capital…murder capital of planet earth….no Pope notices )…. but they keep authoring instead of administrative work…like stopping gay pride clubs in Catholic Universities. Modern media beginning with the TV has turned them away from writing on the Last Things….to writing on Everything in such broad generalities that no one in an actual job involved can get anything binding out of an entire tome of general statements. I’m sorry but the world lionizes authors therefore the Church suddenly lionizes authors. Look for encyclicals by Pope prior to 1800…hard to find. Popes were administrating….working at their job. Do you think the sex abuse by clergy would have happened under St. Pius V and Sixtus V….no….it happened while Popes were writing….authoring. Author, Author!!!

  4. Paragraph 49 in Caritas in Veritate advocates industrialized countries to cut back on energy use. All the referenced paragraphs talk about or allude to alternative – that is to say, renewable – energy. None discuss the ultimate renewable energy: heavy metal breeder reactors. No discussion is provided on real solutions for impoverished and energy-poor countries: actinide fission. I love Pope Benedict, but even he does not “get” it. Our relative wealth is a direct function of energy availability and cost. This problem is technically solvable but the religious, political and economic powers in charge do not want it solved. Eliminate impoverishment and they will have no self-righteous pedestal on which to stand and pontificate. Besides, burning mineral rock, mineral slime and mineral gas is big bucks for the collection plate, the tax rolls and the corporate bank accounts.

  5. Paul,
    That fear of nuclear is tied in to the new papal pacifism….post 1990 of all three Popes. 1991… don’t dislodge Hussein from Kuwait which he just invaded, dire things will follow…John Paul II. 1995…. Evangelium Vitae….don’t execute murderers based on John Paul II surgically removing the death penalty mandate from Gen.9:5-6 which he then uses sans it’s middle to argue against execution ( sect.39 )….by citing the beginning phrase and ending phrase of Gen.9:5-6 and never showing the reader the middle execution passage. 2010…Benedict states in Verbum Domini sect. 42 that the old testament massacres were sins ( scripture repeatedly says God ordered them only after punishing the Canaanites slowly for 400 years cf
    Wisdom 12) and he wants scholars trained in “genre” criticism to expound on them in line with the gospel values. Isaiah who Benedict says opposed “every form of violence” ( ibid ) says God ordered them.: Is. 23:11
    ” The LORD commanded the destruction
    of Canaan’s strongholds”.
    Then we reach Pope Francis who said to stop Islamic State but ” I do not say bomb “. This from a Pope who thinks life sentences are a hidden death penalty.
    Paul….nuclear anything….stands no chance with these men post 1990 because it’s name reminds them of nuclear war.

  6. Bill Bannon, we are in violent agreement. It is not ironic that the very thing which can consume weapons grade plutonium and uranium while safely generating low cost electricity – PWRs, BWRs, Candus, MSRs, LMFBs, GCRs, etc – is opposed by all the right – er, I mean left – thinking people?
    .
    Is it not ironic that the very thing which can obviate nuclear weapons is opposed by those who oppose nuclear weapons?
    .
    It is not also ironic that none of these people who equate peaceful nuclear energy with the mushroom cloud of a nuclear detonation ever equate gasoline with napalm? Yet without a qualm, with nary a whimper, they fuel their autos.
    .
    Is it not ironic how they decry fossil fuel pollution, but not a one ever stops to buy gasoline, or diesel fuel, or electricity from a coal fired power plant?
    .
    Hypocrisy, the lot of them. God will give them up to the consequences of their decisions. Sadly they take too many innocents with them.

  7. Paul,
    We can’t rule out solar panels in the dome and facade of St. Peter’s after the encyclical….but let us pray for Chartres and it’s stained glass.

  8. Bill, you’re funny!
    .
    😉
    .
    From Things Worse Than Nuclear:
    .
    http://www.thingsworsethannuclearpower.com/2012/03/panel-plant-pollution.html
    .
    The manufacture of solar photovoltaic panels results in the release of more toxins to the environment than any nuclear power plant releases.
    .
    And did I mention capacity factor? Night time – no power. Cloudy days – reduced power. Sunrise and sunset – reduced power. Snow in winter time – no power. At a maximum of a 20% capacity factor, 80% of the time when you need solar it is not there. So you always have to have spinning reserve. The Vatican gets that from one of three sources since Italy de-nuked itself in the 1980s: coal, oil or gas. (Oh, I forgot – Italy imports electricity from France’s nukes and if the Vatican clerics were aware of that, they would protest). Indeed, if solar were so darn good, then why don’t we still bake bricks in the sunlight as the ancient Sumerians did? Why does Italy import nuclear electricity?
    .
    Useless, worthless green power. Yes, there is a saying: green power, black death.
    .
    Sorry that this subject burns me up, but it really does. We have enough thorium and uranium on Earth to supply our 7 billion people with energy at the consumption level of the average American for thousands and thousands of years with minuscule pollution compared to coal, oil, gas, solar, etc. NO ONE NEEDS TO BE POOR. We do NOT have an environmental or an energy problem. We have an idiot problem with clerics, politicians and corporate executives enamored by adulation, power and greed. That’s the issue. It’s exactly what John the Baptist told the Pharisees – who warned you brood of vipers about the coming day of wrath? I work in the safest, cleanest, most regulated industry in the history of mankind. We make electricity safely, cleanly and at low cost so that when you wake up in the middle of the night and flick the light switch, you can see. And all this pomposity of a pontiff can do is pontificate about horse manure. I probably will spend extra time in Purgatory for making that statement, assuming I make it as far as Purgatory.
    .
    🙁

  9. Well, as long as I am on a roll, I encourage everyone to read Paul Driessen’s Book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death:
    .
    http://www.eco-imperialism.com/
    .
    Donald McClarey is 100% correct when he wrote in this blog post:
    .
    “Extreme environmentalism turns the Earth into an idol to be worshiped and sacrifices the poor upon the altar of Gaia.”
    .
    Gaia is a false goddess, non-existent at best, and demonic at worst. She impoverishes and murders. She does this with green power, black death. We can fix that, first by worshiping the only true God: Jesus Christ, Lord, Savior and King; and second, by using the brains He gave us to think critically and logically. I can’t say dispassionately because I am anything but dispassionate. Nevertheless, we do NOT have an environmental or an energy problem. We have a sin problem: lust for adulation, power and money. Green power, black death is but one manifestation. It keeps people in starvation poverty. Fix the sin problem and everything else will fall into line.

  10. The Energy Subcommittee within the US House of Representatives held a meeting on December 11, 2014 on “The Future of Nuclear Energy.”
    .
    http://science.house.gov/hearing/energy-subcommittee-future-nuclear-energy
    .
    Statements and Testimony all linked at the web page above were given by:
    .
    Energy Subcommittee Chairwoman Cynthia Lummis, Republican, Wyoming
    Chairman Lamar Smith, Republican, Texas
    The Honorable Peter Lyons, Assistant Secretary, Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
    Dr. Ashley Finan, Senior Project Manager, Energy Innovation Project, Clean Air Task Force
    Mr. Mike McGough, Chief Commercial Officer, NuScale Power
    Dr. Leslie Dewan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Transatomic Power
    Mr. Daniel Lipman, Executive Director, Policy Development, Nuclear Energy Institute
    .
    The following portion of Dr. Leslie Dewan’s testimony is noteworthy:
    .
    ——–
    .
    The commercial nuclear regulatory structure in the United States is currently set up only for light water reactors, 100 of which are operating in this country. The regulatory system works well for light water reactors, but it needs to be broadened to successfully encompass advanced reactors as well, so that the U.S. can start taking advantage of the benefits of these new designs. Right now, there is no viable pathway for bringing advanced nuclear reactor designs beyond laboratory-scale development. Informal estimates discussed at a recent advanced reactor meeting in Washington, D.C. suggest that it would take approximately 20 years – at a minimum – before such a regulatory pathway would be available in the United States. This is a major delay. Furthermore, there’s a great deal of uncertainty in how much regulatory approval will cost the company commercializing the design. Estimates for licensing just a prototype facility through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission range from $200 million to $500 million. A commercial license would cost significantly more, and there are no good estimates for what the commercial licensing cost would be for an advanced reactor.
    .
    This high cost and long timeline – and furthermore, the uncertainty in the estimates of cost and timeline – effectively blocks large-scale private investment in new nuclear reactor designs. Investors of course won’t put their money into a project without good numbers for how long it will take and how much it will cost.
    .
    The current system incentivizes reactor designers to develop their first products outside of the US. In fact, this has already happened: some existing nuclear reactor design companies are planning on building their first power plants overseas – in Canada, China, or the Philippines – because they do not think it will be possible to build an advanced reactor in the US under the current regulatory system.
    Talking with other advanced reactor developers in the US, we all want to be able to build our reactors this country, and license them under the NRC – NRC licensing is known as the gold standard worldwide. We’d like to find a way to adapt the system so that the NRC’s high standards can be used to regulate advanced reactors as well. A good path forward would be to move to a set of technology-agnostic guidelines based on functional criteria, such as maximum radiation at the site boundary during an accident. A similar set of functional regulations were recently adopted in Canada to govern their reactor licensing processes, and is driving significant advanced reactor progress in that country. Ideally, these guidelines could be developed in a coordinated effort by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, to effectively combine the NRC’s licensing experience and the DOE’s advanced reactor experience.
    .
    ——–
    .
    I am convinced that there is a concerted effort to constrict energy supply through strangulating regulation just as health care access is being restricted under Obamacare, the education system is being stupidified under Common Core, the police and military are being emasculated by Obama’s racial prejudices and social engineering, and the morals of the nation are being despoiled by promotion of abominable sexual wickedness as marriage. This is all demonic. There may be no overt conspiracy among the various human actors, but St. Paul has it right in Ephesians 6:12:
    .
    For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

  11. ‘ I am convinced that there is a concerted effort to constrict energy supply through strangulating regulation just as health care access is being restricted under Obamacare, the education system is being stupidified under Common Core, the police and military are being emasculated by Obama’s racial prejudices and social engineering, and the morals of the nation are being despoiled by promotion of abominable sexual wickedness as marriage. This is all demonic. There may be no overt conspiracy among the various human actors, but St. Paul has it right in Ephesians 6:12: .
    .
    For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.’
    .
    Well said, Paul W. Primavera. If only the Pope and his advisors would speak so in the name of all that is holy because they, in deed, practiced mercy. The year 2015 promises betrayals of trust that will not bolster people into being more obedient or loving to God.

  12. If history does repeat itself as farce, as Marx is alleged to have said, we’re going to have to update Longfellow

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad silly.

  13. Apropos thoughts from Chesterton, taken from Orthodoxy (pp 7-8 of the Chapter “The Flag of the World, found here):.

    Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. Any one who knows any body knows how it would work; any one who knows any one from the Higher Thought Centre knows how it does work. That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.
    .
    All the same, it will be as well if Jones does not worship the sun and moon. If he does, there is a tendency for him to imitate them; to say, that because the sun burns insects alive, he may burn insects alive. He thinks that because the sun gives people sun-stroke, he may give his neighbour measles. He thinks that because the moon is said to drive men mad, he may drive his wife mad. This ugly side of mere external optimism had also shown itself in the ancient world. About the time when the Stoic idealism had begun to show the weaknesses of pessimism, the old nature worship of the ancients had begun to show the enormous weaknesses of optimism. Nature worship is natural enough while the society is young, or, in other words, Pantheism is all right as long as it is the worship of Pan. But Nature has another side which experience and sin are not slow in finding out, and it is no flippancy to say of the god Pan that he soon showed the cloven hoof. The only objection to Natural Religion is that somehow it always becomes unnatural. A man loves Nature in the morning for her innocence and amiability, and at nightfall, if he is loving her still, it is for her darkness and her cruelty. He washes at dawn in clear water as did the Wise Man of the Stoics, yet, somehow at the dark end of the day, he is bathing in hot bull’s blood, as did Julian the Apostate. The mere pursuit of health always leads to something unhealthy. Physical nature must not be made the direct object of obedience; it must be enjoyed, not worshipped. Stars and mountains must not be taken seriously. If they are, we end where the pagan nature worship ended. Because the earth is kind, we can imitate all her cruelties. Because sexuality is sane, we can all go mad about sexuality. Mere optimism had reached its insane and appropriate termination. The theory that everything was good had become an orgy of everything that was bad.

  14. Let us get one thing straight. God ordered the annihilation of all the nations before Israel because they continued human sacrificing of their children to Molock, like we do with abortion.
    .
    Paul: The reason we do not use nuclear power is because we KNOW it is coming, the punishment from God for aborting our posterity, who are present to God, even now.

  15. Ernst Schreiber wrote, “we’re going to have to update Longfellow Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad silly.”

    A thought Longfellow borrowed from Sophocles in the Antigone

    “ὅταν δ’ ὁ Δαίμων ἀνδρὶ πορσύνῃ κακὰ,
    τὸν νοῦν ἔβλαψε πρῶτον ᾧ βουλεύεται.”

    “ whenever a daimon prepares harm against a man, he first damages the mind of the one against whom he is plotting.”

    An anonymous Latin version is “”Quem deus vult perdere, prius dementat”

  16. In fact, it is the Hard Left, especially Anarcho-Sydicalists, that has been most sceptical of the Green Movement – this from the Tarnac 10 – ” Without ecology, nothing would have enough authority to gag any and all objections to the exorbitant progress of control. Tracking, transparency, certification, eco-taxes, environmental excellence, and the policing of water, all give us an idea of the coming state of ecological emergency. Everything is permitted to a power structure that bases its authority in Nature, in health and in well-being.”

  17. Phillip: “What I suspect is an accurate read of Francis and this Encyclical:
    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/mullarkey/2015/01/francis-political-illusion
    .
    “Conscientious concern for the environment is not at issue. Man’s stewardship of the earth’s resources is to be taken with great seriousness. But debate as how best to effect that stewardship is intricate and ongoing.” from the above First things link.
    .
    Respect for man, then, respect for the environment.

  18. I must add. Dr. Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College said that nowhere in the Bible will you find God telling us to love humanity. God tells us to love our neighbor, the man next door, the persons in our family, and I might add the person unborn. Many of the biblical personages were quite wealthy. the father of the prodigal son was wealthy, so was Tobit, Judith, Jesse was no piker, either.
    .
    Both Francis and Obama will be telling us to love humanity instead of our neighbor.

  19. Mary Devoe wrote:
    .
    “Paul: The reason we do not use nuclear power is because we KNOW it is coming, the punishment from God for aborting our posterity, who are present to God, even now.”
    .
    Dearest Mary,
    .
    You are correct but in ways that you do not know. Using nuclear energy safely requires verbatim compliance to procedures and rigorous rules and regulations. A people who cannot control its sexual passions and appetites lacks the self-control necessary to obey the laws, regulations, rules and procedures that govern the safe use of nuclear energy.
    .
    Let us say this another way: if one can’t exercise enough control to keep one’s pants zipped up and one’s legs crossed, then one cannot exercise the even greater self-control required to safely slit atomic nuclei. People who wallow in heat like a mindless baboons and then expect no consequences for their actions – abdicating responsibility and evading accountability – cannot be trusted with the power of the atom.
    .
    Now that said, there is an excellent video series on “how nuclear power can save the world” – not my title. The links to the various series of videos comprising this movie are located here:
    .
    http://library.fora.tv/2007/09/14/Could_Nuclear_Power_Save_the_Planet/how_to_stop_worrying_and_love_nuclear_energy
    .
    There are a total of 22 videos in this series. While I am a climate change skeptic and this video series hypes up climate change, I would still encourage the interested reader to spend the time necessary (1 hours and 43 minutes) to view this series of videos, especially those people ignorant of nuclear energy (being ignorant does mean you are bad; it just means you don’t know. Wanting to stay ignorant, however, is bad.)
    .
    I will also add this one thing, as I have done at pro-nuclear blog sites: no amount of nuclear power can save an immoral and unrighteous people.
    .
    Lastly, to MPS: it is liberal progressive Democrats in the United States – Mario and Andy Cuomo, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Ed Markey, Henry Waxman, Bernie Sanders, etc., who oppose safe, clean nuclear energy, and who are beholden to that demon goddess Gaia. Canada seems to have a similar problem, but not as bad except in Quebec which shutdown Gentilles. 🙁

  20. Paul: “I will also add this one thing, as I have done at pro-nuclear blog sites: no amount of nuclear power can save an immoral and unrighteous people.”
    .
    I agree, Paul.
    .
    Karen Silkwood all over again.

  21. Hi, Mary!
    .
    I would not hold up Karen Silkwood as an example, however regrettable her death was. There are significant questions about her illicit drug use, and about her personal work practices at Kerr McGee’s Cimmaron plutonium processing plant. Those does NOT obviate any guilt on the part of Kerr McGee for bad procedures and lack of safety standards. However, this occurred under the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) before Congress divided the AEC into the Dept of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). That division separated the nuclear promotion aspects of government from the nuclear regulation aspects.
    .
    Furthermore, Kerr McGee manufactured plutonium fuel pins for the fast neutron flux test facility in Hanford, Washington. It did NOT manufacture fuel for commercial nuclear power plants, nor was what it did in the slightest representative of either commercial nuclear power or the current regulatory structure for commercial nuclear power. The problems that Karen Silkwood encountered – some of which she in her drugged stupor created – are now fixed and cannot recur. Furthermore, we now have a robust fitness for duty program which would weed people like her out before they can do damage.
    .
    Another thing: all nuclear event reports – medical, fuel facility, power reactor, test reactor, radiological instrumentation, etc – are daily recorded here – enjoy:
    .
    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/
    .
    You can go all the way back to 1999. Events prior to that aren’t available here because the NRC changed databases. But I have been receiving these events since I got into commercial nuclear power as a training instructor decades ago. You can drill down to year, month and day. Fully 30% of ALL events are MEDICAL – doctor drops radioactive source, doctor overdoses patient, doctor doses the wrong patient, doctor underdoses patient, etc. One physician at the Veterans Administration – Dr Kao – dropped a radioactive source on a person’s behind. He has been banned for life from working with radiation and radioactivity.
    .
    Another 30% of NRC events are stupid idiot mistakes in non-nuclear industries (steel manufacturing, logging, oil drilling, etc) – we lost a radioactive gauge, we lost our tritium signs, we misplaced a radiographic source, our technician wasn’t wearing a dosimeter, we overdosed our technician, we can’t tell what the technician’s dose was, etc.
    .
    Then there is a faction of left over events on commercial power reactors. Many of these are like this – we had a car oil leak in the parking lot, we spilled sodium hypochlorite (bleach) on the road, etc. Almost all events are self-reported, that is to say, reported by the nuclear utility. And every nuclear power plant has 2 NRC inspectors as well as a separate QA department. Employees are REQUIRED to report safety issues. In my job, if I do not report a safety issue, I get fired. Period. Karen Silkwood events are no longer possible.
    .
    I could go on about individual enforcement actions (for example, when the NRC punishes individuals for lying) or company enforcement actions. People have been jailed because they neglected safety issues. I could go on about the Davis Besse reactor vessel head degradation event more than 10 years ago (p.s., it was caught before anything bad happened, and the plant was shutdown for repairs). Engineering people had lied about maintenance that was done. They faced the Department of Justice. Really! First Energy (the company) paid millions in fines and in lost revenue during plant shutdown and reactor vessel head replacement. This stuff is serious business and we do not mess around. That is why we are the safest industry – the lowest mortality rate per terawatt-hour. I will say again: I will get shit canned post haste if I fail to report a safety problem. It is that simple. With all due respect, you have no idea what a regulated industry this is.
    .
    In the meantime, a Duke Energy coal fired power plant gets to dump 39 million tons of toxic coal sludge in the river system near Wilmington, NC, and you hear nary a word about it. And did you hear about the Lac-Megantic train explosion across the border from Maine in Quebec? More than 30 buildings in the town’s centre, roughly half of the downtown area, were destroyed and all but three of the thirty-nine remaining downtown buildings had to be demolished due to petroleum contamination of the townsite. 47 people – many women and children – died and the blast radius was 1 kilometer (0.62 miles). Can you imagine a little child being burned to death as she sleeps at 1:15 in the morning?
    .
    To the anti-nuke: Nah! Don’t tell me how unsafe nuclear is because I know the alternative is murderous. Don’t tell me about Karen Silkwood when hundreds of thousands of nuclear professionals work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that when you go to Mass, the lights in the sanctuary work and the electric organ plays and the microphone for the priest works. Everyone wants their electricity 24 / 7, but no one wants the responsibility it takes to make that happen.

  22. should he be so concerned about the “purple” mafia or the thousands of Catholic Schools being closed in our country due to “lack” of funding (maybe because of the billions paid out to sex abuse victims” ) and lack of teaching of the true faith in the last 60 years? it goes on and on. It’s hard being a “trad” isn’t it folks?

  23. My! So much erudition! I am floundering in the waters, stretching my hand out to a Holy Father as Christ to save my soul: and all I’m offered is how to save a planet! What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?

  24. Question: Will the Pope consider this as a non-polluting, inherently safe source of energy having a capacity factor of greater than 90%?
    .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2015/01/07/nuclear-power-turns-to-salt/
    .
    Answer: I doubt it.
    .
    I have written letters to the Dioceses of Raleigh and Charlotte, and to the USCCB only to be ignored. These people do not want to open their minds and then they have the temerity to say that conservative orthodox minds are closed.
    .
    But do read what James Conca, an industry expert, has to say. God forbid that we should stop paying attention to environmentalist protesters and start paying attention to those who really know the truth.

  25. Paul, I know that you are a conscientious nuclear engineer, because you are conscientious about God. Karen Silkwood has become a synonym for being “unconscionable”, as Judas has become for “traitor”.
    However, I must admit that my ignorance of much of the present state of nuclear energy comes from the cavalier expenditure of the atomic energy group of writing off ten people living within one mile from the facility, six in two miles and one in ten miles. I’m sure that has been rectified.
    .
    And I do thank you, Paul, for the time and energy you have expended in my behalf. I am better for your work.

  26. Mary,
    .
    You wrote: “However, I must admit that my ignorance of much of the present state of nuclear energy comes from the cavalier expenditure of the atomic energy group of writing off ten people living within one mile from the facility, six in two miles and one in ten miles.”
    .
    I have worked in Naval Nuclear Propulsion and in the commercial nuclear energy since 1976. I have never met anyone – Naval nuclear officer, commercial nuclear power executive, government regulator, etc. – who ever thought or said that. Never. Not once. During the preparation we made for the Y2K transition at Indian Point Unit 3, I remarked to the NRC Inspector overseeing my activities, “You want to protect against acts of God, don’t you?” She said, “Yes, and we will.” She meant what she said.
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    As for the 10 mile evacuation radius around commercial nuclear power plants, never has one had to be used for an actual nuclear evacuation scenario, but the plans for several facilities have been used for evacuation due to other disasters: chlorine or petrochemical explosion, toxic gas release from train derailment, etc. People think it is an imposition that having a nuclear power plant necessitates an evacuation plan. Why aren’t other industries – like those dealing with really toxic chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, oil, natural gas, molten sulfur, etc. – subject to the same requirements? No disrespect intended, but do you know what would happen to NY City of an explosion happened at the toxic chemical tank farms off I-95 in upstate New Jersey? Bhopal, India times 5. Do you recall the Union Carbide toxic gas release in 1984 that exposed 500,000 people to deadly methyl isocyanate gas? The local government said that 3787 people died from exposure and hundreds of thousands were permanently injured. Or how about the Lac Megantic train derailment in 2013 that destroyed 1 square kilometer of a towntown area in Quebec, killing 47 people outright and permanently contaminating the local area such that it had to be abandoned? Here’s the statement of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone giving Pope Francis’ prayers for the victims:
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    http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-prays-for-victims-families-of-canada
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    A little too late – no evacuation plan for those people. Petrochemical and railways thought too little of those lives, yet we willy-nilly think nothing of using gasoline – oil’s by-product – every day of our lives.
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    As far as I am concerned, the nuclear industry got it right and the rest fail big time. Just consider that if it were not for the Indian Point evacuation plan, there would be NO evacuation plan for all the residents downstream of the nearby Kensico dam when it fails. And here is the regulation on emergency planning for nuclear power plants – 10 CFR 50.47.
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    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0047.html
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    I could give all the Regulatory Guides and NUREGs that accompany these, and explain that when I am an employee at a nuke plant, I have 3 jobs: my regular one, my refueling outage job, and my E-Plan job where I am on call 24 / 7 for your safety. But I will stop for now. Really, my animosity isn’t directed towards you, Mary, but towards stupid dumb idiot anti-nukes and politicians like Mario and Andy Cuomo.
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    We ain’t perfect in nuke power. We make mistakes, lots of them. That’s why there are regulations, codes and standards. And that’s why we got a robust Corrective Action Program and a robust Fitness for Duty Program. And that’s why every piece of safety-related equipment has lots of safety margin built in. But we sure are darn better than any of the rest in polluting fossil energy where a 1/4 mile of natural pipe line can detonate with the force of a small nuclear device. And we don’t burn up little girls in their beds at night, or suffocate them with deadly gas.
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    Everyone wants all the trappings of modern life and no one wants the risks.

  27. Paul: “Really, my animosity isn’t directed towards you, Mary, but towards stupid dumb idiot anti-nukes and politicians like Mario and Andy Cuomo.”
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    Forgive me, Paul for causing you so much grief. I hear what you are saying. It is good then, that others may also hear what you are saying. I am not alone in my ignorance of nuclear energy and the situation. For long Paul, I have known that you are very much persuaded to support nuclear energy. I thought: Paul has worked with nuclear power and he is still here, so that speaks to me of safety.
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    Of all the other scenarios, coal, gas, Bhopal, I am painfully aware.
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    Do not give up, Paul.

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