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Pandora's False Promises

Pandora's Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film's premise and early claim that it features "a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists" who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report - Pandora's False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda - and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora's Promise fades into deserved oblivion.

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Friday
Jun142013

"A pro-nuclear propaganda film featuring the Breakthrough boys" GRIST

From David Roberts in GRIST. An excerpt.

"Long story short, writing about nuclear power has always been more trouble than it’s worth, at least for me. No matter what you say, a bitter, endless argument ensues in which no one changes their mind. Ever. At all. There are all sorts of things happening in energy right now that are more interesting than nuclear, so I focus on those.

Regular readers will know I feel roughly the same way about the Breakthrough Institute. BTI “bad boys” Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus receive a degree of press coverage that wildly exceeds their intellectual contributions and, like nuclear power, have an ineffable power to render everyone involved an unbearable douchecanoe.

All of which suggests that the last thing I should be writing about is Pandora’s Promise, a pro-nuclear propaganda film featuring the Breakthrough boys. It’s like a cosmic douche vortex. No one will escape un-douched.

All of which suggests that the last thing I should be writing about is Pandora’s Promise, a pro-nuclear propaganda film featuring the Breakthrough boys. It’s like a cosmic douche vortex. No one will escape un-douched."

Thursday
Jun132013

Real scientists see through phony Pandora infomercial

"By oversimplifying the issues, trivializing opposing viewpoints and mocking those who express them, and selectively presenting information in a misleading way, it serves more to obfuscate than to illuminate. As such, it adds little of value to the substantive debate about the merits of various energy sources in a carbon-constrained world." 

So writes high energy nuclear phycisist, Dr. Edwin Lyman of Union of Concerned Scientists, who saw straight through the infomercial propagandism of Pandora's Promise.

Another choice excerpt: "My hand got tired trying to jot down all the less-than-half truths put forth by the talking heads in the film, which could have benefited from some fact-checking. Here’s just one example.  Gwyneth Cravens, when prompted by the interviewer about the leak of tritium from the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, stated that someone would get more radiation from eating one banana than from drinking all the water coming out of the plant. Well, I thought I would double-check this one. The dose from eating a single banana is about 0.01 millirem. Entergy, Vermont Yankee’s owner, estimated in a 2011 report to the NRC that the leak detected in early 2010 released 2.79 curies of tritium into groundwater.  Assuming someone consumed all of this tritium in the form of tritiated water, that person would receive a dose of 185,000 millirem. Ms. Cravens was only off by a factor of twenty million."

Read the full review.

Wednesday
Jun122013

The Nation busts the myths in Pandora's Promise

The Nation magazine's Mark Hertsgaard laid out the 10 worst myths advanced in Pandora's Promise, succinctly busting each one. Read Pandora's Myths vs. the Facts. And read the interesting dialogue between Hertsgaard and Terry Tempest Williams.

Wednesday
Jun122013

Beyond Nuclear debates Breakthrough on fallacies in film

Beyond Nuclear's Linda Gunter and The Breakthrough Institute's Michael Shellenberger debated the points made in Pandora's Promise on KPFA radio. Listen here.

Wednesday
Jun122013

New York Times sees through the fallacies of Pandora's Promise

“'Pandora’s Promise' is as stacked as advocate movies get....A parade of like-minded nuclear-power advocates who assure us that everything will be all right just doesn’t cut it."

So concluded Manohla Dargis, reviewing Pandora's Promise in The New York Times, who saw through the one-sided, pre-meditated infomercial. Read the full review.

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