"Good Reasons"

 

In a review of Vaclav Smil's books on global energy use, Tim Maly at The Atlantic, after explaining the virtual impossibility of transitioning to low energy density primary power sources in time to avert potentially catastrophic global warming, tells us that:

We know how to make nuclear reactors and hook them up to the grid, but Americans just don’t want to do it anymore. And there are good reasons for this!

So, the only transition away from carbon combustion that can occur quickly enough to save us from significant warming is the transition to nuclear. But hey, there are "good reasons" not to go that route. So I guess we'll just have to run the 4 degree experiment and see who survives.

or as commenter 'Theoretical Conspiracist' put it more politely:

A nonsense, throwaway sentence like this really mars an otherwise excellent article. I say that not to deny that there are "good reasons" for the policy/political resistance in America to nuclear power, but to remark on this odd, defensive, kneejerk inclusion of that "Hey, not that there's anything wrong with that!!" aside in an article whose overall conclusion is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have been honest or realistic about climate change and energy policy yet.

Since nuclear retains the existing grid infrastructure and has improved energy density (vastly advantageous to wind and solar), we really ought to be doing more to consider nuclear as a clean power source, perhaps as a transition to that far-future renewables infrastructure. We ought to interrogate the so-called good reasons and weigh them honestly against the alternatives rather than just handwaving briefly and moving on toward an otherwise terminal dilemma.

 

Source: What The History of Fossil Fuels Teaches Us About Renewable Energy - The Atlantic

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