No one would accuse climate researchers
James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira, and Tom Wigley of
moderation when it comes to banging the climate crisis drum. The
four have now issued an open
letter challenging the broad environmental movement to stop
fighting nuclear power and embrace it as a crucial technology for
averting the possibility of a climate catastrophe by supplying
zero-carbon energy. From the letter:
As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate
change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and
deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your
organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of
renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power
threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.
We call on your organization to support the development and
deployment of safer nuclear power systems as a practical means of
addressing the climate change problem. Global demand for energy is
growing rapidly and must continue to grow to provide the needs of
developing economies. At the same time, the need to sharply reduce
greenhouse gas emissions is becoming ever clearer. We can only
increase energy supply while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas
emissions if new power plants turn away from using the atmosphere
as a waste dump.
Renewables like wind and solar and biomass will certainly play
roles in a future energy economy, but those energy sources cannot
scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and reliable power at the
scale the global economy requires. While it may be theoretically
possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the
real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that
does not include a substantial role for nuclear power.
Well, yes. Just last week, I argued that solar and wind power
Ready For Prime Time Renewable Energy Technologies.”
The whole letter makes interesting reading.
Back in 2009, I pointed out “The
Cultural Contradictions of Anti-Nuke Environmentalists,” in
which they were proud of the fact that they had killed off the
nuclear power industry. Had the industry developed as projected,
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that they worry about would already
be at least one-third lower than they are now.
One other observation: Using current technologies, nuclear
socialism is more likely to result in adequate energy supplies than
is solar socialism.
For more background, see Reason contributor John
review of Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/climate-change-alarmists-for-nuclear-pow