Friday, January 20, 2017

Eduardo Porter Says States that Close Nuclear Plants are Going in Wrong Direction for Climate

Diablo Canyon circa 2007 (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
In a recent New York Times column titled On Climate Change, Even States in Forefront Are Falling Short, Eduarto Porter begins by lauding California’s claimed position as a leader in environmental consciousness. He points to recent political statements by the state’s elected officials indicating they plan to stubbornly resist any Trump Administration efforts to interfere with their actions to create more challenging goals for emissions reductions.

Porter then pointedly describes the disconnect between claims made by politicians and reality.
And yet for all the pluck of the Golden State’s politicians, California is far from providing the leadership needed in the battle against climate change.  Distracted by the competing objective of shuttering nuclear plants that still produce over a fifth of its zero-carbon power, the state risks failing the main environmental challenge of our time.
California’s effort to close its remaining nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon is merely the last remaining act of a lengthy process to increase the state’s natural gas market sales.  The effort has allowed for some fuel conservation assistance from wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and energy efficiency, but mainly it has been focused on pushing uranium out as an energy supply option.
The visible and vocal front of the antinuclear movement has consisted mainly of politicians and groups that wrap themselves in Green clothing, but dedicated research efforts have exposed numerous conflicts of interest.  Most of the largest Green groups and their political partners have received either financial support or have direct financial interests in competing sources of energy, including wind and solar but most importantly natural gas.
As Porter notes, experience has shown that the predictions of catastrophe that motivated many people to oppose nuclear have turned out to be false.  Even with an occasional, highly publicized, accident, nuclear fission has turned out to be the safest form of large scale power generation.

As James Hansen and Pushker A. Kharecha documented in a peer-reviewed article titled Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power nuclear energy has saved millions of lives already.

Read more at Eduardo Porter Says States that Close Nuclear Plants are Going in Wrong Direction for Climate

No comments:

Post a Comment