By Michael Mariotte

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Steven Stills, John Hall et al, at a press conference before the August 2011 Musicians United for Safe Energy concert in Mountain View, California. They’re talking about nuclear power, not chord changes or stage decor.

Today I sent out a letter to NIRS’ supporters and I thought I’d share part of it here too. Not that I want to make GreenWorld just another platform for NIRS’ Alerts and other missives; in fact, I try deliberately not to do that. And we have sent out a lot of Alerts and the like since GreenWorld began that have never shown up here.

But I wanted to share this one, because I don’t think the musicians who have steadfastly supported the clean energy movement for as long as I’ve been involved in it–really, even longer–receive the credit that is their due.

As the letter states, these people are not just musicians, they are activists. They work at this, they try to stay informed, and while they can and do bring crowds to events and raise money for clean energy organizations, they also use their celebrity to open doors that otherwise would stay closed.

And they like that part. They like meeting with politicians (much more than I do, I’ll bet) and pressing them to do the right thing. They like taking on the nuclear power industry every way they can.

I gave one example below, from 1997, but there are more. And, as the paragraph about the 1997 activities indicates, there is a lot more to that one than I could put in a letter like this. But yes, you’ll have to read most of it in my memoir if and when I get around to finishing it….

Bonnie Raitt and Crosby, Stills and Nash at the MUSE concert August 2011. Photo by Michael Mariotte.

But I thought I’d add one more little piece here. At that White House meeting described below, the Clinton officials pressed us hard to support the White House on climate change. They had been beating their heads trying to get Congress to recognize the importance of the Kyoto Protocol that would be signed later that year, and they were getting nowhere. They wanted more public pressure on Congress and were basically pleading with us to help out.

We were then, always have been, and always will be, supportive of real efforts to deal with the climate crisis. And we told them we’d help–to an extent, and we tried to do that. The problem was that the Clinton administration supported nuclear power as a climate “solution,” just as the Bush and Obama administrations that succeeded them. And nuclear power is not only unacceptable as a climate solution (I’m pretty sure the adage jumping from the frying pan to the fire was written specifically for this), it is actually counterproductive–it makes things worse, not better.

So the Clinton folks might not have understood what they were getting into when they asked us to get more involved. Because, …read more

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