Sunday, May 26, 2024

To Win the War against Climate Change we Need Nuclear Energy

by Rod Williams, May 26, 2024- I am firmly convinced that if activist environmentalist had less political power, we would be further along toward reducing carbon emissions. In my view, our primary approach to combating climate change has been based on fairy dust and wishful thinking. It is not that we do not need environmentalist, but we need more rational environmentalist who accept cost-benefit analysis and are more accepting of calm consideration of alternative policy positions rather those environmentalists on a spiritual quest to somehow remake man and dream of us all living in harmony with nature. Climate change deniers and radical environmentalist have been allies in defeating advances in combating climate change. 

It’s been more than 30 years since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change first warned the world that greenhouse gases were warming the planet. Decades of climate negotiations followed, culminating in the 2015 Paris Accords. Since then, we have pumped more carbon dioxide into the air than in the previous 240 years. The approach of the Paris Accords is to extract promises of future reductions. That is so easy to do. A county (or an industry) can easily promise that by 2050 they will be producing 50% less carbon emissions or be carbon free. The person making the promise knows that by that time he may be dead or retired or not in charge by 2050. That is almost the whole extent of the Paris Accords. This approach has been worthless. Yet, environmentalist remain wed to the Paris Accords. 

Another failed approach is the scam of carbon off-sets. While in theory this should make sense, it is primarily a scam and environmentalist play along. Thankfully, there are some environmentalists such as Greenpeace USA that are waking up and pushing back against the scam, but for years we have accepted the smoke and mirrors of carbon offsets as meaningful progress in combatting climate change. 

Much of environmentalist approaches have been counterproductive and actually led to greater carbon emissions. They have opposed actions generating carbon emission in America, the result of which is often that the products that could be produced here are produced in other countries where production methods and energy sources generate greater carbon emissions.

Environmentalist have opposed natural gas fracking, thus preventing natural gas availability which generates lees CO2 than the oil and coal it would have replaced. They have stopped oil refineries and pipelines which have often had the result of keeping sweet crude oil off the market in favor of dirtier oil.

Worst of all, environmentalists have been successful in stopping nuclear energy.  Renewables are simply not going to meet our energy needs. If we are going to stop the planet from warming, we need nuclear energy. 

Writing in The Atlantic, Roge' Karma says we need to again start producing nuclear energy. He examines what causes nuclear to be so expensive and how to fix it. You can read the full article at this link. Below are excerpts:

Nuclear Energy’s Bottom Line. by RogĂ© Karma, The Atlantic, May 26, 2024- ... For all the recent progress in wind and solar energy, renewables on their own almost certainly won’t be enough. Arguably, then, we have no choice but to figure out how to build nuclear plants affordably again. ... The safety risk of nuclear energy is often wildly overblown. No one died at Three Mile Island, and later studies found that it didn’t have any adverse health effects on the local community. Even including the deadly meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear power has most likely caused only a few hundred deaths, putting its safety record on par with wind turbines and solar panels, which occasionally catch fire or cause workers to fall. ... The claim that excessive regulation single-handedly ruined the American nuclear industry, however, doesn’t hold up.... 

Given the impracticality of nuclear energy, some environmentalists argue that we should focus on wind and solar. These technologies can’t power the entire grid today, because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. ... The case for nuclear, then, is less about technological possibilities than it is about political realities. Nuclear can generate the same amount of power while using 1/30th as much land as solar and about 1/200th as much as wind. Reactors can be built anywhere, not just in areas with lots of natural wind and sunshine, eliminating the need for huge transmission lines and making it easier to select sites without as much local opposition.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment