Sunday, February 10, 2019

I ❤ Nukes!

There was an interesting essay by Richard Rhodes today in the NY Times Book Review on the new book, A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow by Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist. The book sounds very intriguing and I imagine I will wind up reading it. But for now, what I have to go on is Rhodes' review, which is quite positive. Rhodes rehearses some of the book's arguments and comes, in the end, to the question of politics. The claim that nuclear power is politically infeasible, according to the authors, “is just a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we should not be so quick to write off the most practical solution for humanity’s most serious problem. Politics have a way of catching up with necessity.”
Rhodes sees this happening, but in a halting fashion:
"The tide may be turning. Politics may catch up with necessity. But the “Green New Deal” recently championed in Congress includes even existing nuclear power production only grudgingly, and promotes the notion that “A Bright Future” disputes — that 100 percent renewables can save the day. Nuclear has stalled in America and in Western Europe, largely for political reasons, partly because of the boom in fracked natural gas."
As I've remarked before, I always find it amazing that those who see a GND as a matter of life and death so cavalierly ignore one of the important and effective ways to combat climate change. Weird.
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NYTIMES.COM
In “A Bright Future,” Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist look to Europe for examples of how nuclear energy can help solve the global warming crisis.

1 comment:

  1. Leaving aside the occasional Chernobyl, it’s too expensive. No one will build these without government assistance.

    No one has or ever will figure out what to do with the waste. It’s piling up and it has to be taken care of for thousands of years - a time frame that is many times longer than the entire history of human civilization. What could possibly go wrong?! It is not a solvable problem.

    And even more oddly, the cost of nuclear power waste disposal is never included in the cost of nuclear power, which is already too expensive to compete without government assistance. This waste disposal cost has been magically passed onto the government. If we’re going to have the government spend trillions of dollars for thousands of years to “solve” the climate problem, let’s spend it on something other than nuclear power. I can think of many many better ways to spends a few trillion dollars.

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