How can a person convince politicians and business experts from the energy sector that the present set of energy policies are dead-end doomed? By writing, that’s what David Lowry teaches us. He is no chief editor, no best-selling author, belongs to no political party, and remains in the shadows of power: living on a shoestring budget as a gutsy journalist stringer and self-employed environmental policy consultant, his most valuable asset is his wealth of information. David Lowry is an activist researcher with a cause.
Radicalised by the accident at Three Mile Island which took place while he was employed as a teaching assistant at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, David learned, as he puts it, “very quickly how the nuclear industry could distort the truth and lie thorough the media, putting public relations before public information or safety.” He continues, “I have since worked with various dissidents, and felt strengthened by the experience of standing up for the importance of telling – and revealing – the atomic truth. I think it is fair to say that the drive of my research, publishing, and academic education career has been framed by this belief.”
Since 1980, David Lowry has published an immense number of specialist and populist articles, as well as letters to the editor, in the local, national and international print media. His writing has appeared in Science, Nature, New Scientist, Economist, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Times Higher Education Supplement, Futures, Public Administration, New Statesman, Africa Now, Third World
“I learned very quickly how the nuclear industry could distort the truth and lie thorough the media, putting public relations before public information or safety.”
Quarterly, and even Penthouse, as well as in such newspapers as The Observer, Sunday Times, The Times, Financial Times, Independent, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, International Herald Tribune, San Francisco Examiner, and The New York Times.
Lowry’s engagement regarding issues such as the Sellafield quality control falsification scandal, a toxic quagmire in part spurred to light by his questions to politicians and letters to editors, provides one of the most recent examples of David’s long-term critical research.
Mycle Schneider, director of WISE-Paris and a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, remarks of his friend David: “The activity which certainly finds him a historical place in the European Parliamentary systems is his outstanding record of tabling what he calls “carefully crafted Parliamentary questions”. One has to imagine that the UK government (plus the European Commission and the European Council) had actually to answer over 3,000 of his questions essentially on nuclear issues asked by various MPs and MEPs! David must be the most hated – but maybe respected too! – man in the UK nuclear administration, which has to handle these questions. This insisting and pertinent questioning of the Government led to significant results in some areas, and in particular on the plutonium issue. Bit by bit the Government had to admit a certain number of disturbing facts.”
If the day should ever arrive when UK energy policy makers break with the past and come up with some environmentally responsible energy decisions, one can assume that David Lowry’s writer’s hand was again at work. After all, he did work as a researcher with the current British environment minister, but before the election…
– Craig Reishus