Friday, April 08, 2005

Grist Grapples With Nuclear Energy

Yesterday, we told you about how countercultural figure Stewart Brand said it was time for the environmental movement to reconsider its opposition to nuclear energy.

Coming on the heels of public statements by James Lovelock, Patrick Moore and Hugh Montefiore, it seems as if this change of heart is beginning to have an effect inside the environmental movement -- evidence of which can be found over at Grist.

Yesterday, environmental advice columnist Umbra Fisk was forced to admit that if environmentalists want to seriously address climate change, then they have to give nuclear energy a second look.

Over at their blog, Gristmill, there's a spirited debate going on concerning the merits of new nuclear build. Here's what one reader had to say in response to Fisk's reluctant conclusion:

Assuming the demand for power, and therefore power plants, continues to grow - nuclear power seems almost reasonable when compared to coal. Of the two, I would rather a new nuke plant be built in my state

Smokestack releases effecting global climate as well as local health and air quality would be eliminated, and destructive mining practices associated with coal would be reduced (though uranium mining is not benign, it does not consume countless tons of strip-mined material daily).

It might be time to compromise and accept nuclear power to meet the inevitable growth of power demand.

And finally, Grist is also conducting an online poll asking their readers if nuclear energy deserves a second look. The last time I checked, 56 percent of their readers said yes.

Looks to me like things are changing for the better. Too bad the Washington, D.C. Department of Energy doesn't agree.

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1 comment:

Norris McDonald said...

The Grist Magazine debate has been fun. There have been some surprisingly enlightened comments made about nuclear power. Of course, the deep ecology anticapitalists will never come around. They would oppose candles on the grounds of indoor air pollution if we did not have electricity.