Recently J. Robert Smith wrote a blogpost arguing that the panic-driven coverage of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant illustrates an aversion to risk bordering on the, well, psychotic (my words, not Mr. Smith's). I would agree to a point, but I fear he has only elucidated part of the truth.
His fundamental premise is but partially right; the inner core of liberals (as opposed to the useful idiots) don't fear breaking a few eggs to make an omelet, but rather understand that control of the populace can only be achieved by controlling their energy usage. The goal is to keep 'em poor, ignorant, and lethargic. Wind and solar and the menagerie of "green" power guarantee a low energy lifestyle, which guarantees the elites can turn off the lights when and where they choose. Without energy you have no water pumps, no farm vehicles, no heat, no refrigeration. You have no internet, no talk radio. Control the energy flow and you control the masses. It's why they oppose drilling for oil. It's why they oppose nuclear. It's why they oppose coal. Anything that brings the prices down, makes for easier access to energy, weakens their stranglehold.
There are several fundamental things the Left seeks to control: food, water, energy, finance, weapons, and the dissemination of information. Control these things and the populace must obey. It really is as simple as that. They cloak their ambitions in deceitful platitudes -- environmentalism, fairness -- but in the end it is the pursuit of political power that drives them, and we must understand this to understand them.
They especially hate nuclear power because it provides easy domestic access to energy. The only way to get the public under their thumbs is to make the acquisition of energy difficult, and that means reducing its abundance. Make us dependent on foreign sources! Limit drilling for oil, for gas, digging for coal, and stop nuclear and they can choke energy at the ports.
That's not to say Mr. Smith isn't nearly right; liberals are a fearful bunch, and their lust for power bespeaks a lust for control of their own destiny. Liberals fear the chaos and uncertainty that freedom engenders; they want everything neatly pigeonholed. This desire for order, for control, drives their efforts to wrap the human spirit up in a tight, pretty package that they think of as compassion but which strangles. Liberals see security as the foremost virtue, and to get security they will bind everyone in a straightjacket.
I would argue ultimately that theirs is a fear born of a rejection of the permanent things. They seek novelty in their lives, and reject the God of the Bible in favor of a world governed by the wisdom of Man alone. Even the religious left ultimately pursue a social gospel rather than the Gospel of Salvation. A social gospel elevates Man to the center of things, and Man makes a poor god. As long as the purpose of life revolves around human attempts to perfect a fallen world, there will remain fear, disillusionment, and anger -- hallmarks of the modern Left.
It is a sad world that liberals inhabit. Their only hope is to remake Man in their own image.
So power is their god, their only hope; they lust after it much as holy monks after salvation. The idea that there is no justice in this world is insufferable to them, because they ultimately believe there is no other. They HAVE to remake the world!
Now, there are conservative atheists, but they ultimately still hold to the permanent things; they believe that the world has to be taken as it is, and that the best they can do is hold to things handed down to us from the past, those tested by time. They believe in natural law. They see things greater than themselves. They do not believe they can make themselves gods.
But too many on the Left believe precisely that. To be a god, one must have power.
And, as Lord Acton famously observed, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When liberal dreams come true the reign of terror begins.