The Dec. 25 letter from Andreas Kolb, “ Ridiculous antinuclear claims,” is quite disturbing in its gross misrepresentations, xenophobia and blatant racism. Even if The Japan Times editorial staff don’t agree with Kolb’s statements, they have some responsibility not to give a public platform to baseless accusations.
Kolb’s accusation that “in Germany, children are indoctrinated to hate nuclear energy” and his claim that fear of the “yellow peril” has been invoked in Germany are completely inappropriate for any honest discussion of the issues. I can assure you that “yellow peril” is not from the common vernacular of Germany, and it certainly isn’t of the current common vernacular in American English.
Kolb ignores the impact that the Chernobyl disaster has had on Germany. There are still foods and livestock in Europe that are not safe to eat some 25 years later. The Chernobyl disaster spawned citizens groups like Strahlentelex and CRMS to test food so that people could find what was safe to eat. The more recent nuclear protests in Germany were against the transport of nuclear fuel across the German and French countryside. Geiger counters were bought to check around the Castor nuclear fuel transport trains, not because of a lack of understanding of nuclear power. Germans are not ignorant in deciding to move away from nuclear power.
Kolb also makes the strange insinuation that Germany’s actions in changing their energy policy somehow impact the rest of the world. The only factor outside of Germany that is impacted by these changes is the illusion that people must have nuclear power to survive as a modern society. Having other people see that renewables are a viable option is a very powerful and dangerous thing if you’re a nuclear energy company whose profits and future depend on keeping that illusion in place.
We know nothing of Kolb’s background or possible industry ties, yet he has had two rather bizarre opinion pieces printed by the paper. The other one (July 17, “Throw out the ‘what if’ scenarios”)makes the claim that lowering the elevation of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had nothing to do with the impact of the tsunami.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.