Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Solution to Dependence on Foreign Oil

Not only is nuclear power green, it's economically the best choice.

Admit it. There's a little bit of the feeling among some American conservatives that somehow, anything that makes the oil companies sweat a little bit - or gets between them and the auto industry - is a communist plot. Sometimes, but not usually. You'll hear the lazy oil companies whining as they die off over the next few decades (and demand corporate welfare) , and the smart ones will diversify into new energy as it becomes profitable (hey, the tobacco companies did it just fine!) And speaking of new energy, with this just-discovered cool little trick you can cheaply generate hydrogen from saltwater with radio waves.

Even though that trick isn't ready for prime time, nuclear is, and has been. As those power bills keep going up, maybe people's attitudes will change.


Squid said...

Honestly, I cannot understand the Green lobby's reflexive hatred of nuclear power. If carbon dioxide is the chemical that's going to doom us all to a painful extinction, why not embrace a proven, reliable, scalable power source that has zero CO2 emissions? Did I mention that it's proven technology that we can start building today?

I think it's because radioactive waste is so nasty, and it's not the kind of nasty stuff that you can send up a smokestack, disperse into the atmosphere, and forget about. No, this stuff sits around in leaky drums that glow in the dark (at least, that's how it works on The Simpsons, which I think is the only source of information most of these people have). Even so, I'd rather see the waste poured into an open lagoon in the desert and poison a hundred square miles of scrubland, than continue to shoot mercury and sulfur into the sky to poison everything north and east of Ohio. Not to mention all the CO2, which my younger friends insist is even worse than heavy metals.

Yet still they remain blind to what's right in front of their face. It's almost as though they don't really believe that CO2 is the threat they say it is.

(Can you tell I'm a physics geek?)

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

Bingo. I was reading the Sierra Club newsletter a few months ago and one article was lambasting a few politicians for suggesting that until we find a cheap clean
power source that can quickly and easily replace oil, we shouldn't switch over. The author said that such a suggestion is ridiculous because it's tantamount to saying we should never do anything, which I agreed with, and then threw the goddamn magazine across the room because that's also EXACTLY what the Sierra Club has been doing for years with nuclear power. That power source is here!