Claims that one's religious or ideological opponents have made a deathbed conversion have a long and disreputable history. It's a seedy stratagem as the departed are forever unavailable to defend themselves. The latest instance of this come from the juvenile Neoconservatives at the National Review. They claim that Paul Newman, life long leftist and environmental activist was coming to view atomic energy as acceptable. We who can remember the National Review in its period of intellectual maturity can only cringe.
Paul Newman was a gifted actor and an arresting presence. He was in some fine films and a few are among my favorites. I have a copy of his film, Nobody's Fool, a fine little film about hard times in Upstate New York. Everything I've read about Newman supports the idea that he was a decent and likable man.
He was also a Marxist of long standing, who devoted a lot of energy through his signature products, to leftist causes of one sort or another. He made a big point of advertising this. And as in the case of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I made a point of not buying either product for this reason. Why finance people who are committed to overthrowing my way of life?
This said, why would anyone waste ink on the opinions of an actor about energy policy? The National Review of old would have made no comment, except perhaps a snide one about actors and their opinions. The silly Neocons of the post-modern NR must think that the kind of people who consult actors/celebrities for advice about energy policy are now reading NR. They are probably right. Sad.