Nuclear Matinee: Filmmakers Michael Moore and Robert Stone discuss Pandora’s Promise

Years ago, filmmaker Robert Stone helped Michael Moore make his very first movie (Roger & Me). Here, Stone and Moore discuss the pro-nuclear energy documentary Pandora’s Promise, directed by Stone and featured this summer at Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival.

Being on the political left apparently no longer means being anti-nuclear (energy).

Pandora’s Promise makes its television debut on CNN Thursday, November 7, at 9PM Eastern Time.

Also see Rod Adams’ excellent post on this video at Atomic Insights.

Thanks to Pandora’s Promise YouTube for hosting this video

pandora globe 357x201


10 thoughts on “Nuclear Matinee: Filmmakers Michael Moore and Robert Stone discuss Pandora’s Promise

  1. Mike Conley

    @ Eric Schmitz – Here’s a quote that I find helpful, to explain to others why I’m left of center and a staunch nuclear advocate:

    “The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.” – Bertrand Russell

  2. Rick Wood

    Pandora’s Promise will be showing at the Milwaukee Film Festival next weekend. Come on Point Beach, let’s support the film and film makers. Saturday September 28th at 1:00 pm at the Oriental Theatre. This is a great movie theatre. Hope to see you all there.

  3. Mitch

    Denis Beller | September 20, 2013 at 16:11 |
    on his decision to support nuclear at very high levels (CEOs, Congressmen, governors, Cabinet members, relatives of past US Presidents, environmental leaders, etc.) rather than making public statements

    And a lot of good that did!!

  4. Bruce Behrhorst

    Appreciate Mr. Stone & Mr. Moore reversing decades of mis-info by anti-nuclear political (bad science) fear mongering is a start. It won’t happen overnight in crafting sensible energy policy in the U.S.
    I kinda like province of Ontario’s energy mix breakdown:
    Last year Ontario’s energy mix sources: 53% nuclear, 21% hydro, 13% natural gas, 5% wind & solar, 3% coal, 5% conservation.

  5. Denis Beller

    @James: Rhodes’s book was published in 1986, and his consulting on the movie was after that and before it’s 1992 release, so I suspect the conversion from anti- to pro-nuclear came in that period. I don’t recall ever discussing it extensively with Rhodes or Newman (we preferred to talk about auto racing, things nuclear, or food).

    I’ll not comment further in public on his decision to support nuclear at very high levels (CEOs, Congressmen, governors, Cabinet members, relatives of past US Presidents, environmental leaders, etc.) rather than making public statements like he did for The Nature Conservancy (“not here”). That’s for his biographer.


  6. James Greenidge


    Just some corrections. Paul’s nuclear conversion came much earlier than the periods you cited. YouTube should have the “E! Entertainment” interview for “The Sting” where he agreed with Liz Taylor that we ought eliminate the “scourge and curse” of atomic energy. (hyper-humanitarian Liz was VERY Hiroshima vengeful). I have an unfounded (faint TV memory) suspicion he was caught up in post-TMI protests too. Had Paul harbored pro-nuclear views in the pre-80’s I think we would’ve long caught wind of them and he would’ve been part of those speaking out against the near post-TMI panic and subsequent media and Hollywood FUD back then. My wild guess is Paul’s interest in the beneficial applications of atomic power flowered from the radiation treatments for his cancer and the self-education widened his positive view of things nuclear like for post-2000 climate change remedy issues. I think what’s truly troubling is the downplay of his pro-nuclear views in his later life. I mean of all the major and minor causes a celeb could support and their publicists hawk, his pro-nuke views were virtually stealth but to nuclear insiders. I don’t know whether this was a prudent career PR point on his/manager’s part or disaffection by the Hollywood libs and media or not, but his name and repute being widely heard on the issue could’ve made a world of difference in how the public perceives nuclear energy. Newman vs Gundersen? No contest!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  7. Denis Beller

    @James: you may be correct about Paul Newman being a supporter of this movie, but you are entirely wrong about Newman’s anti-nuclear views and when they changed, if ever. Newman flew to Nevada in his private jet in 2002 where he visited UNLV for presentations on disposition of used nuclear fuel and toured Yucca Mountain with the YMP Chief Scientist and a Nevada mayor; he and Joanne Woodward then hosted a nuclear dinner-debate with about 25 very high-level people and subsequently did two dinner-discussions in 2005; and he put the ANS’s decals on his open-wheel race cars long before he toured Indian Point (c.f. Transactions ANS winter 2006). Newman told me that the YMP tour was the most impressive thing he’d ever seen. ANS award and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes (also featured in Pandora’s Promise) was Newman’s close friend and probably deserves the credit for his enlightenment, which probably occured during the filming of Fat Man and Little Boy, in which Newman played Gen. Groves.

  8. James Greenidge

    I trust Michael Moore’s nuclear “enlightenment” as far as I can throw an elephant. The man’s just a rabble-rousing mercenary. If he truly was that open to nukes he could easily stuff green where his mouth is — and I don’t mean cabbage — and produce or fund Pandora II or else henceforth hawk his “new” nuke views to his politically “progressive” circles and genuflecting fawning (anti-nuke) media instead of a single closed-niche interview. Ain’t gonna happen.

    It’s a shame that “Pandora’s Promise” long ago lost who would’ve been its ideal poster boy; actor Paul Newman, the consummate Hollywood liberal icon and highly regarded humanitarian, whose early anti-nuclear views were turned around by an expertly educational tour of one of Connecticut’s nuclear plants. He’d made a credible and respected nuclear evangelist to the social and political arenas most gullible to FUD and pop fear-mongers, alas, dying too soon after his nuclear epiphany to make his mark on erasing the undeserved stain nuclear’s received from those with implacable fears and philosophical anti-nuke grudges.

    R.I.P. Paul Newman.

    We needed you like yesterday.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

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