Counter-Frames in Action: Is Nuclear Power a Rip-Off or a Climate Solution?

Perhaps the most effective frame used by opponents of nuclear energy is that it is simply not "cost effective."  Not only is it wasteful, argue opponents, but government subsidies are a leading example of the big-money influence of industry lobbyists. As the Sierra Club's Carl Pope told Big Think in a 2008 video interview: "This is not an energy source, it's a way to hijack the treasury...This is a huge rip off." 

Building public support for re-investment in nuclear energy, I wrote earlier this week, turns on a re-framing of the issue. As I described in a paper published last year, opponents of expansion have a powerful and resonant framing arsenal that they draw upon. 

Yet several comments in response to my post I think point to the seeds of an effective counter frame. As does the view expressed by fmr. EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, who places nuclear energy in the larger context of energy independence and climate change.

Watch Carl Pope discuss the issue in the video below.  Following that, I have posted a comment from earlier this week along with video of a 2008 Big Think interview with Christine Todd Whitman.  What do readers think?  How do we move beyond the heat on the issue and open a space for substantive discussion and informed decision-making?  Are statements like Pope's helpful or a hindrance to this goal? What do you think of the counter-arguments?

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