I attended the NRC meeting yesterday in Brattleboro, or at least, I attended most of it. I'll blog a little about it later, but you might want to watch this video for the general idea of the endless fear of tritium in the river. Of course, we had Putting Picos in Perspective from John Wheeler, and Rod Adams excellent Tritium Calculation. Dan Yurman noted that exaggeration is not a defense of the environment and I blogged with pictures of bananas. Still, Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about tritium remain alive and well in Vermont.
Perhaps devious and dumb are alive and well also.
Chasing a Quote
Last week, I went to a meeting sponsored by Entergy and blogged about it. In the blog, I posted a picture of a man from NEC (New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution). He was taking a picture of a model of a reactor. I thought it was only polite to link to the NEC website when I posted the name of the organization, and so I put in a link.
Once I was on the NEC website, I read a sentence, ascribed to Arnie Gundersen, which he supposedly stated after the Senate vote against Vermont Yankee. In this sentence, Gundersen supposedly praised NEC as being an early strong organization against Vermont Yankee, and that NEC had tied Entergy's ankles together (that "ankles" business was an easy phrase for me to remember) and other organizations had later come and pushed Entergy's shoulders, knocking them over.
Now, this sentence didn't surprise me. Before Mr. Gundersen was a consultant to the legislature of Vermont, he was a consultant to NEC. This is not a secret. His belief that VY should be shut down isn't a secret either. So I just noted that there was an interesting quote from Gundersen on the NEC website, and forgot about it. In all honesty, it didn't strike me as a particularly big deal. If I had thought it was a big deal, I would have put the exact quote on my blog.
I wish I had quoted those words and posted them.
I almost immediately got an email from NEC, stating that they had checked with Gundersen, he had never said that quote, and they had taken it off their website. I was surprised, but amended my posting.
At the Brattleboro NRC meeting yesterday, NEC had set up a table with their literature. This whole thing puzzled me, and I wanted to find out more about it. I talked to the man at the NEC table. He was very uncomfortable, and merely said that they had been asked to take down the quote, that Gundersen never said it. I asked who put the words up, if Gundersen never said them. He re-iterated that they had been asked to take it down, and that is all he knew about it. He looked completely miserable when I repeated my question.
I will never be a bull-dog reporter. I let the matter drop.
I have two hypotheses here.
First possibility. Gundersen never said this. Somebody not-too-honest or not-t00-bright (okay, somebody either devious or dumb) put the sentence up, ascribed it to Gundersen and hoped Gundersen would never see it. Further, the NEC organization was not organized enough to notice this had happened. However, due to my blog, Gundersen became aware of it, and the incorrect quote was removed.
I like this possibility, because as a blogger, I strive for truth and justice, and this scenario shows me righting a serious wrong! This is my favorite possibility!
Alas, there is also possibility two. Gundersen said it, didn't mind it being posted, and then became upset when a person who doesn't buy into NEC's agenda (that is...me) noticed it. I don't like this possibility, because it shows Gundersen as being pretty naive.
Lots of people who don't agree with me read my blog, and I know it. Some reporters read it. Sierra Club members read it on occasion. Several of the walkers told me they followed my blog during the walk to Montpelier. If Gundersen and NEC think that only their supporters will read what they put on the web, they are naive beyond belief. At least, naive beyond my belief. I reject this possibility entirely.
It's possibility-one for me. I am glad I brought this misquotation to Gundersen's attention and it got corrected. I expect Gundersen to give me a word of thanks next time we meet. (Unless, of course, the truth is possibility two, in which case he will probably be steaming mad because I made this matter public. We shall see.)