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Saturday 25 October 2003

Selfish Activism

Sticker seen on a car in a parking lot in Front Royal:

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is selfish and shortsighted, according to this Corolla driver.

Now, it goes almost without saying that I don’t agree with this bumper sticker. But, more than that, I don’t even really understand it.

Nuclear power is selfish and shortsighted? What the hell does that mean? I assume that it’s nuclear power (as opposed to nuclear power) that’s being complained about here.

The ‘selfish’ part is most bewildering. I think it’s just used because ‘selfish’ is the worst thing the antis can call something. Plus, Dick Cheney has been quoted as supporting nuclear power, so it must be selfish.

And it would be a lot more shortsighted to continue burning coal and oil (both of which spew lots of radioactive and otherwise nasty gunk into the air when burned, even in modern plants) simply to avoid facing the challenge of finding something to do with nuclear waste. The shortsighted position is to assume that because we don’t have a perfect process for dealing with nuclear waste now, we never will have one.

Posted by tino at 14:22 25.10.03
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I generally ignore any car that has more than one political bumper-sticker on it. In most cases, it is obvious that the owner is unable to develop a coherent political theory on anything, and is willing to take someone else’s boiled down opinions as gospel, and plaster the back of their car with them.

“Dude, I get my political opinions from the bumper-sticker rack at the head shop” is just as dumb as “I get my political opinions from the bumper-sticker rack at the gun shop.” Sadly,

that’s too long to fit on a bumper-sticker.

Posted by: Twonk at October 27, 2003 10:22 AM

Well, I like bumperstickers because they are pithy, amusing (depending on your politics) expressions of opinions that I already hold. Nobody’s going to buy the “nuclear power is selfish” sticker if it makes no sense to them. Rather, they buy it because it makes perfect sense.

Bumper stickers aren’t really meant to be instructional. They’re more a means of expressing solidarity with like-minded people.

Posted by: Tocharian at July 16, 2004 03:48 PM