Tag Archives: Stewart Brand

Review of the misleading movie Pandora’s Promise

Here’s a trailer for the “documentary” pro-nuke film that comes out today, Pandora’s Promise. The film discounts solar and wind energy because its makers don’t understand the exponential decrease in solar prices or the night backup power ability of wind connected with a smart grid. The vast majority of the American people already are demanding those real renewables instead of nuclear or coal, and the economics of wind and solar are also rapidly beating natural gas.

Atom Ecology’s promotional writeup 7 June 2013, Pandora’s Promise – Anti-Nuclear Mob Burns Environment In Coal Fired Forges Of Industry For 30 Years begins,

A new documentary film that reveals how opposition to and voting against nuclear power turned into massive increases in coal burning power plants. The far worse outcome for the environment as coal has filled energy demand is the story just coming to theatres.

The tiny germ of truth in that ten years ago is just plain wrong now that coal is not the alternative because solar has reached grid parity with nuclear, coal, and natural gas.

The movie plays up Stewart Brand’s conservationist credentials and his conversion to pro-nuke. Not in that movie, but in this TED talk, you can see Stewart Brand lose a debate with Mark Z. Jacobson, who argued we can power the whole world with sun, wind, and water. Jacobson’s summary: Continue reading

Nuclear (Stewart Brand) vs. renewable energy (Mark Z. Jacobson) at TED

Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalog fame is a long-time environmentalist who in recent years decided nuclear was necessary. (He also decided no-till was necessary, which was enough to convince me he’s gone barmy.) Here at TED he debates Mark Z. Jacobson, whose new study says we can power the world with wind, water, and sun. I think Jacobson should reconsider including building more hydroelectric dams, but his study does demonstrate that we don’t need nuclear or biomass. But watch it and see what you think:

Here is my critique of Brand’s arguments: Continue reading