‘70s Rockers Turn to YouTube to Renew Nuclear Energy Protest

November 8th, 2007 4:09 PM

"Stop, hey, what's that sound?" Nuclear power getting put down. Again.

In 1979, musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne were hailed "the energy source everyone had been looking for" to fight against nuclear power. The result of their support was termed a "chain reaction." The group has returned, picking up where it left off nearly 30 years ago.

And what better to bridge the gap into the new millennium than YouTube. (Video after the break)

The group's new video, featured on their Web site Nukefree.org, shows Raitt asking "Why should the American people be subsidizing something that hasn't worked for 50 years?" (even though the U.S. already gets 19 percent of its electricity from nuclear) and Browne claiming "Solar and wind have really blossomed in the last 30 years."

On November 7, The Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by Raitt and Harvey Wasserman, co-founders of Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE).

"The industry has lately made much of the idea that atomic reactors might help solve global warming. But in fact they can do little, if anything, to help" claimed Raitt and Wasserman.

But they did not explain why nuclear power could do little to help the situation, instead merely suggesting an increase in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

Browne's claim that "Solar and wind have really blossomed" ignores the fossil-fuel-based costs of building those energy sources as well.

"Carbon-free fairies do not magically drop windmills onto moutaintops," said Jack Spencer of the Heritage Foundation in an October 29, 2007 commentary. "For example, 2 million tons of concrete, about double what a nuclear plant requires, must be produced and delivered to anchor enough windmills to match one nuclear plant's energy production. Just producing this concrete emits the CO2 equivalent of flying a Boeing 747 from New York to London 450 times."

Celebrities like Robert Redford, Sheryl Crow, and Jane Fonda have already signed the anti-nuclear petition on the Nukefree.org Web site. This isn't the first time Hollywood, including Fonda, has crusaded against nuclear power.

Only 12 days prior to the March 28, 1979, accident at Three Mile Island (TMI), the movie "The China Syndrome" was released. The movie illustrated a Hollywood-scripted nuclear meltdown.

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, co-authors of the book "Freakonomics," reminded New York Times readers of the movie in September and mentioned something they call the "Jane Fonda Effect." They argued the movie, starring Fonda, was a major contributor to the "widespread panic" that followed the TMI accident.

The accident, however, resulted in no deaths or injuries to humans - only to the nuclear power industry.

"And so, instead of becoming a nation with clean and cheap nuclear energy, as once seemed inevitable, the United States kept building power plants that burned coal and other fossil fuels," asserted Dubner and Levitt, calling these the "unintended consequences of Jane Fonda."