Movie Review: The China Syndrome (1979)

The China Syndrome ___ 10/10
Precautionary, thrilling Hollywood tale

[Originally reviewed on the Coffee Coaster: 5/11/2007]

Written by Mike Gray and T.S. Cook
Directed by James Bridges

Jane Fonda … Kimberly Wells
Jack Lemmon … Jack Godell
Michael Douglas … Richard Adams
Wilford Brimley … Ted Spindler

Trying to stay with sort of a weekly theme, I cast about for environmental movies outside of Al Gore’s documentary.  During my read of the book for this week, The Weather Makers, I discovered a few notable scientists—chiefly James Lovelock (author of the Gaia concept)—argue for nuclear energy as a the only realistic means for escaping the global warming conundrum.

Needless to say, Lovelock has many critics.  Certainly his nuke hypothesis is reasonable, especially with the advent of fail-safe pebble-bed reactors.  But I think most environmentalists see renewables (solar, wind) and other methods (biomass) as fully capable of replacing carbon-intensive sources.

At any rate, one movie that offers a warning, at least on the current “fail-deadly” technology of nuclear power, while at the same time providing top-notch entertainment value is The China Syndrome.  In a profound case of life imitating art, the Three Mile Island partial core meltdown occurred 12 days after the US release date (March 16, 1979).[1]

The plot centers around Kimberly Wells (a very young, and hot Jane Fonda) an LA TV news reporter, who feels stuck doing ridiculous human-interest fare.  In her features capacity, she gets a chance to travel to the (fictional) Ventana Nuclear Power Plant to perform what amounts to a puff piece on local atomic energy. Continue reading

Book Review: Unstoppable Global Warming (2007)

by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery
… or ‘how I learned to stop worrying and love smokestacks up the ol’ wazoo.’

WarmingThe orthodox global warming theory (GW) holds that humans, by burning fossil fuels mainly for vehicular transport and power generation, are warming Earth’s surface and atmospheric temperatures through emissions of carbon dioxide (which reflects radiation energy back to earth).

Many supporters of GW further hold the corollary view that carbon-based warming is enough to imminently (within the 21st century) threaten human well being and needs to be reined in.

Al Gore’s book and movie, An Inconvenient Truth, and my favorite book on the issue so far, Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, are among many popular works representing the orthodox GW position.  Two graphics of particular importance to this theory are the Keeling Curve and the so-called Hockey Stick graph from the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Continue reading

Guest Column: Big Oil’s Big Lies on Alternative Energy

Doubling down on carbon-effluent technology
by Antonia Juhasz

Big Oil vs. AlternativesIt’s unfashionable in my neck of the ideological woods to consider profuse carbon-generating energy technology as anything but benign… and those who worry about the increasing atmospheric concentrations of our favorite respiration waste product are often accused of being tools of the Global Warming Conspiracy. (A conspiracy I agree is operative by the way.) Nonetheless, I cleave to the Little Boy Truth #3 articulated in my book the Truth Torpedo, which holds that ‘humans are fouling their nest with fossil fuels.’ Which I hold can be alleviated by removing restrictions on alternatives and state privileges for oil companies… not to mention ending the corporate state’s long suppression of energy alternatives. Anyway, Antonia has Big Oil’s number as few journalists ever have. — bw Continue reading

Book Review: Crimes against Nature (2004)

Son of Bobby nails the Plunder Elite for destruction of the environment
by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Crimes Against Nature

What’s so exciting about this expose is that Mr. Kennedy—senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, and president of Waterkeeper Alliance—advocates an extreme “free-market” position:

“You show me a polluter and I’ll show you a subsidy. I’ll show you a fat cat using political clout to escape the discipline of the free market and load his production costs onto the backs of the public.”
— pg. 190 Continue reading

Brian’s Column: The Truth Torpedo

Blowing away the Barrier Cloud
by Brian Wright

PhotonHow many of my baby boomer generation remember sitting around the college dorms (on Friday night, no less) watching Star Trek? Whenever the Enterprise found itself in a major battle and the phaser banks neared depletion, Captain Kirk would tell Chekov to fire the heavy artillery, the ultimate weapon: the Photon Torpedo. Then, FWAP! The heavens instantly flashed white, and Bah Bah to the Klingons or Romulans or whatever fleet of Galactic Pond Scum felt it could mess with our high-flying Federation-istas. Continue reading

Book Review: The Weather Makers (2005)

How man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth
by Tim Flannery
Review by Brian Wright

weather_makersThe paleoclimate record shouts out to us that, far from being self-stabilizing, the Earth’s climatic system is an ornery beast which overreacts even to small nudges.
— Wallace Broecker,
Cooling the Tropics

A lot of Old Guard liberty sorts, believing in the Infinite Sink and wide open spaces forever (or being susceptible to overwrought, self-serving oil-cartel propaganda), don’t even like the word environmentalism.  Let’s call it conservationism then….

Continue reading

Guest Column: Game Over for the Climate… if…

The science of the situation is clear
— it’s time for the politics to follow
by James Hansen

Excerpted by the Coffee Coaster 5/14/12Global Warming, Hansen
Full 5.10.12 column in Common Dreams

‘Global warming’ is a controversial subject in the freedom movement, with a sizable percentage dismissing it as globalist propaganda intended to better control the masses. I think we need to separate the science from the agendas present on one side of the Cartelocracy or the other, then do what we can as human beings to avoid realistic dangers of climate catastrophe in the geologic-time near term.

Dr. Hansen‘s comments, now as a private citizen, seem prudent and solid to me from the perspective of simple rationality. Plus his suggested fixes appear to be a lot freer from politics and globalist meddling than cap and trade. — bw Continue reading