Build more nukes or head back to the Dark Ages?

If reducing carbon emissions to stave off imminent climactic disaster is really their main goal, you’d think environmental groups would be clamoring to replace coal-burning power plants with nuclear reactors, which don’t emit any carbon. 

Surprise! Not only are they steadfastly opposed to nuclear power, they’re now arguing that building nuclear plants will actually “set America back in the race against global warming” because – get this – thanks to them, there’s no new reactors under construction, and it could take a decade or more to cut through all the bureaucratic red tape.

A new report by Environment America also claims that even if a miracle happened and 100 new nuclear reactors were built by 2030, that still wouldn’t be enough to meet their stringent carbon reduction targets. That gives you an idea of how much existing power plants that burn fossil fuels are under attack . 

“Today we have cleaner, cheaper, faster solutions that we should be investing in before we seriously consider reviving the nuclear dinosaur,” says Dave Hamilton, the Sierra Club’s director of energy programs. 

One of their solutions (besides nuclear power) is energy efficiency (i.e. unplug everything). Another is using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass (which people used before electricity was discovered) that “are far more effective than nuclear power in both cutting global warming pollution and saving consumers money,” claims Anna Aurilio, Washington office director of Environment America. 
 
“That’s nonsense and they know it,” replied Dan Kish at the Institute of Energy Research. “All they have to do is go to the Energy Information Administration’s home page (www.eia.doe.gov

“Clean energy strategy is not just about renewables. Dan should know that and be ashamed of himself,” Hamilton retorted. “We have a Saudi Arabia’s worth of energy that we can reduce with on-the- shelf technology.”

So if cap and trade passes, it’s either unplug everything your own or rely on alternative energy sources that have never supplied more than a fraction of the total demand for electricity in any advanced industrial society. And it will be literally back to the Dark Ages if environmentalists get their way.

). Both solar and wind are significantly more expensive than nuclear energy.”

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