Friday, December 13, 2013

Nuclear Power: A Serious Approach to Global Warming

I have often said that I will not take global warming seriously until global warm mongers behave as though they take it seriously. One way that the warm mongers demonstrate their unseriousness about this issue is their intolerance of any solution that does not include higher taxes and a more authoritarian, centralized government.

The warm mongers say flatly "no" to solutions such as hydroelectric dams, nuclear power and remediation, such as tropical ocean fertilization. 

Scientific American makes the case for nuclear. Expect the warm monger empire to strike back. In fact, all you have to do is read the comments at the end of the article to take the measure of these fundamentalists. 
With more money for development of novel designs and public financial support for construction—perhaps as part of a clean energy portfolio standard that lumps in all low-carbon energy sources, not just renewables or a carbon tax—nuclear could be one of the pillars of a three-pronged approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions: using less energy to do more (or energy efficiency), low-carbon power, and electric cars (as long as they are charged with electricity from clean sources, not coal burning). "The options for large-scale clean electricity are few in number," Sachs noted, including geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, solar and wind. "Each part of the world will have different choices about how to get on a trajectory with most of the energy coming from that list rather than coal."

As long as countries like China or the U.S. employ big grids to deliver electricity, there will be a need for generation from nuclear, coal or gas, the kinds of electricity generation that can be available at all times. A rush to phase out nuclear power privileges natural gas—as is planned under Germany's innovative effort, dubbed the Energiewende (energy transition), to increase solar, wind and other renewable power while also eliminating the country's 17 reactors. In fact, Germany hopes to develop technology to store excess electricity from renewable resources as gas to be burned later, a scheme known as “power to gas,” according to economist and former German politician Rainer Baake, now director of an energy transition think tank Agora Energiewende. Even worse, a nuclear stall can lead to the construction of more coal-fired power plants, as happened in the U.S. after the end of the nuclear power plant construction era in the 1980s.

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