Friday, April 08, 2005

The New York Times > Opinion > Nicholas Kristof: Nukes Are Green

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Nukes Are Green: "But it's time for the rest of us to drop that hostility to nuclear power. It's increasingly clear that the biggest environmental threat we face is actually global warming, and that leads to a corollary: nuclear energy is green."

While I agree with Mr. Kristof, it seems to me that a more pressing reason to promote nuclear energy than global climate change is the effect of insufficient energy for modern civilization. Insufficient energy will lead to increased use of carbon sources and accelerated trashing of the atmosphere, but it will also increase the probability of war, which could be catastrophic to the point of rendering global climate change a non-issue.

I responded to an author with an anti-nuke bent a couple of years ago in this little piece on my now stagnant personal web page. In that piece I included a chart of population growth and a chart of projected energy consumption. The shapes of the two curves are the same, and they illustrate that the problem is more and more people, almost all aspiring to more energy intensive lifestyles.

The ones needing the most energy to lift them out of poverty are also the most numerous by far. Since we're not likely to try to get rid of the people, or even seriously try to control their numbers, we'll have to have the energy.

Mr. Kristof is right. Let it be nuclear not fossil.

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