Matt Springer of Built on Facts has a post up where he defends the potential of nuclear power. Regular readers of this weblog will know that I am broadly sympathetic. I understand that the "atomic age" is not going to be a utopia by any means nor will it solve all our problems, I do have a suspicion that much of the opposition is driven by the wisdom of repugnance. I've surveyed attitudes toward nuclear power in the GSS before, the NUKEGEN and NUKEFAM variables asked people in the early 1990s how dangerous they thought nuclear power was to their family or the environment. There were five options: -Extremely dangerous -Very dangerous -Somewhat dangerous -Not very dangerous -Not dangerous I took the first two responses and put them together. Let's label these the "fearful." Who are these people? They are: the black, the female, the liberal, the uneducated, the religious, the fundamentalist and the dumb. I pruned the classes below so that most of the numbers exhibit no overlap on the 95 percent confidence intervals (where they do, it is the middle values who may overlap with the extremes, but the extremes do not overlap).
Nuclear Power is Extremely or Very Dangerous To....
ReligionAtheist & Agnostic31.334
Know God Exists42.246.6
Bible Is...Word of God50.156.2
Inspired Word 3640.7
EducationLess Than High School49.355.1
IntelligenceDumb (WORDSUM 0-4)53.857.8
Normal (WORDSUM 5-7)40.245.8
If you're curious, the correlation between the two columns is 0.96.
Smart (WORDSUM 8-10)2933.1