An investigative journalist held two meetings on Thursday, Oct. 21 about the importance of renewable energy and the dangers of nuclear power.
In Karl Grossman’s first workshop, “Energy We Can Live With,” at 3 p.m. in Humanities 116, he stressed the importance of renewable energy sources. In his second, “The Push To Revive Nuclear Power,” at 7 p.m. in the Coykendall Auditorium, he explained the detrimental effects of nuclear power.
He said the biggest reason why there has not been a switch to renewable sources is because of economic and political issues with the oil companies. He also said that we are challenged by the mainuplation of the oil companies, referring to “Renewables Are Ready” by Nancy Cole and P.J. Skerrett.
“The means to create zero carbon emissions are already here,” Grossman said. “It takes both individual and group efforts to change.”
Grossman has been interested in topics concerning energy for quite some time, and has published several news articles and two books on energy. His first book was “Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power,” and the second was “Power Crazy: Is LILCO Turning Shoreham Into America’s Chernobyl?” He is now a professor at SUNY Westbury where he teaches investigative journalism and continues to speak his mind on energy sources.
The renewable energy sources Grossman discussed were wind, tidal wave, solar, biomass and hot dry rock geothermal energy.
“Wind is the fastest growing energy source, it grows 25 percent each year,” he said.
Hot dry rock geothermal energy was one means of renewable energy that Grossman said has almost no environmental drawbacks.
In his second lecture, Grossman made it clear that he is extremely against the use of nuclear power. The main point of Grossman’s second lecture was that all nuclear power emits radioactivity that is harmful to everything.
Power plants have routine emissions of harmful radioactive waste that hurt people, contribute to global warming and damage the surrounding wildlife, he said.
Two of Grossman’s close friends recently died, and he believes the cancer they had was a result of vacationing near a nuclear power plant.
“There is no such thing as peaceful nuclear power,” Grossman said. “There are much easier, cheaper and safer ways to get energy other than nuclear power which is extremely dangerous.”
Nuclear material has been used in the making of bombs in the past. Power plants have malfunctioned and caused thousands of deaths.
Grossman wants people to be informed because he wants people to start taking both individual and group action against nuclear power and toward renewable energy.
Students seemed to be moved by what Grossman had to say in both of his lectures.
“It is alarming and somewhat worrisome that more people aren’t questioning the use of nuclear power,” said Kendra Durden, a second-year sociology major, who attended the second lecture.
Grossman said his ideal world would be one with absolutely no nuclear power.
Josh Simpson, a second-year history major, also attended the second lecture.
“By not looking at the full array of renewable sources,” said Simpson. “America is not only hurting the economy, but it is also hurting the environment.”
Grossman made a comparison of nuclear power to the illegalization of mustard gas and he feels that the same should be done with nuclear power.
“I’m an optimistic guy, but I don’t know how our children and their children are going to make it,” Grossman said. “In my view, if they are going to survive we will have to be nuclear free.”
Grossman believes the world will turn away from fossil fuels and nuclear power over to renewable source.
“This is life and death stuff we are dealing with,” Grossman said. “We can win. We got to win!”