April 14, 1998|
Near the end of the March 26 episode of "The Nature of Things" on nuclear
power, David Suzuki wonders aloud why representatives of the nuclear
industry declined his invitation to be interviewed. It is easy to
postulate reasons. Mr. Suzuki is a vocal anti-nuclear spokesman, has
been on the board of one of this country's most significant anti-nuclear
groups (Energy Probe), and has slammed nuclear power before in the name
of "science" and "nature" on his show. It would not have taken a genius
to foresee the kind of circus he was putting together for the March 26
episode. Who wouldn't have turned down a chance to be roasted alive in
national prime time?
The show itself justifies the decision of the nuclear industry. In
between clips from The Simpsons, the cold war, and the inevitable atomic
bomb documentaries, Suzuki presents a litany of all the "bad" things that
have happened to nuclear power over the years, and rarely attempts to
balance this with the "good" things. Is this science? Is this
information? Is this a valid use of public funding?
Information on the positive side of the nuclear industry is both abundant
and freely available, and need not come in sound bites from pro-nuclear
spokesmen. Suzuki's resorting to audio-visual trickery is the clearest
indication of a lack of solid material. He is not a poor science
journalist, so presumably this is a case of bias clouding better
I hope public Canadian television refrains from "subsidizing" the
anti-nuclear movement in this manner in the future.