Australian news, and some related international items

A new propaganda film to jolly up the pro nuclear enthusiasts

‘Atomic Hope: Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement’ Review: Uncritical Doc Empowers a Controversial Energy Solution

While intriguing, this Irish documentary’s boosterism doesn’t really provide a thorough argument for embracing the nuke.

Variety, by Dennis Harvey 4 May 22, ……………………….. in recent years, some voices have argued that nuclear power is in fact humanity’s best option to meet its energy requirements amid escalating environmental and resource crises.

It’s an intriguing if unpopular viewpoint that merits clear explanation and debate, things that “Atomic Hope” ultimately does not provide. 

Irish filmmaker Frankie Fenton’s second feature, following the much more intimately focused “It’s Not Yet Dark,” chooses to focus primarily on pro-nuke advocates and their uphill public campaigns — as opposed to the pro-nuke arguments themselves, which are never rigorously addressed. Nor are opponents heard from at all. The result is a slick globe-trotting documentary that holds attention, yet doesn’t really leave the viewer more enlightened on the subject at hand than they were before.

…………………………  Among those enthusiastic about nuclear being the safest, cleanest and most productive energy option going forward are leaders from disparate advocacy orgs Thorium Energy Alliance, Generation Atomic and Mothers for Nuclear.

……………..  A major figure in “Atomic Hope” is author and recurrent California political candidate Michael Shellenberger. He’s presented as a plucky, good-humored rebel for his more combative stances as an “ecomodernist,” notably raining on the parade of those championing “renewables,” i.e. wind and solar power. The film entirely sidesteps the controversy of his views among many environmental scientists and academics who’ve termed them misleading or inflammatory.

Indeed, even as it sprawls from San Francisco to Manila, “Atomic Hope” somehow eludes the harder questions that might have both challenged and ballasted the stances of proponents onscreen. We don’t doubt the genuineness of their concern or activism, but the full evidence isn’t here to win us over. While it finds some colorful personalities and situations to capture (notably some desperate ploys for public attention), the film errs in assuming activists themselves merit central focus when their cause itself remains so poorly understood.

At heart it’s a documentary for the converted, at a time when most viewers will still require converting. ………………….


May 5, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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