My friend Alison, the MIT-trained physicist, has been patiently explaining to me why she is an environmentalist and bird-lover who supports nuclear power. She just sent this link to a Thomas Friedman column about nuclear power, Iran, and democracy in the Middle East: The Geo-Green Alternative - from the NY Times. If you're not a subscriber, try this link.
(Friedman writes) "I am a geo-green. The geo-greens believe that, going forward, if we put all our focus on reducing the price of oil - by conservation, by developing renewable and alternative energies and by expanding nuclear power - we will force more reform than by any other strategy. You give me $18-a-barrel oil and I will give you political and economic reform from Algeria to Iran. All these regimes have huge population bubbles and too few jobs. They make up the gap with oil revenues. Shrink the oil revenue and they will have to open up their economies and their schools and liberate their women so that their people can compete. It is that simple.
"By refusing to rein in U.S. energy consumption, the Bush team is not only depriving itself of the most effective lever for promoting internally driven reform in the Middle East, it is also depriving itself of any military option. As Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, points out, given today's tight oil market and current U.S. consumption patterns, any kind of U.S. strike on Iran, one of the world's major oil producers, would send the price of oil through the roof, causing real problems for our economy. "Our own energy policy has tied our hands," Mr. Haass said."
The Dove is expanding her limits here by giving both Thomas Friedman and nuclear power some airtime. True peace only comes when you open your mind.