By Don Simpson | March 2, 2013
Director: Robert Stone
Sure, it seems pretty strange for a devout environmentalist to take a pro-nuclear energy stance; but after seeing Robert Stone’s documentary Pandora’s Promise, it seems like a perfectly logical switch. It is difficult to debate Stone’s assertion that if nuclear energy was made safe from contamination and theft, then it essentially becomes the ideal energy resource. Stone and the like-minded subjects of his documentary believe this is a possibility. They believe nuclear energy has been given a bad rap, both by disasters such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, and by nuclear weapons; they also believe that we have been spoon-fed misinformation by corporations with ulterior motives; and they believe that wind and solar are not practical solutions because of their over-reliance upon back-up resources such as oil.
Stone and his subjects make several compelling arguments, but the greatest strength of Pandora’s Promise is its ability to avoid political party lines. Sure, Stone’s primary objective is to convince liberal democrats to become more open to the concept of nuclear energy as a feasible environmental solution; but he also shows that this perspective should have no political affiliation. Stone obviously understands the political roadblocks when climate change is discussed by the House and Senate, so he does his best to flatten any obstacles.
That said, Pandora’s Promise will be a bitter pill for many environmental activists to swallow, especially after decades of negativity towards this energy resource. As of now, Stone’s documentary has not yet convinced me of the cleanness and safety of nuclear energy; though I will admit that I am more open to the concept of nuclear energy, if (and that is a mighty big IF) it can be done right.