Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, writes in TCS Daily this morning that it's time for America to consider expanding the use of nuclear energy for reasons of energy security and sustainability, but has some worries about the environmental movement:
The question is whether, despite the lead of people like [G. Pascal] Zachary and [James] Lovelock, the environmental movement as a whole will be willing to abandon knee-jerk opposition to nuclear plants. Though there are good reasons to support them, rather than oppose them, on environmental grounds, I fear that too many environmentalists who, like Zachary, cut their teeth on antinuclear activism will be less willing to respond to changed circumstances with changed attitudes. Social movements are often more about beliefs than about reality, and ever since Tom Hayden et al. organized the antinuclear movement as a way of preserving some of the anti-Vietnam-war movement's infrastructure, it's been as much a political movement as an environmental one.We hope so too. For more on Zachary and Lovelock from our archives, click here and here.
Will we be able to turn our back on outdated beliefs in order to salvage things in the 21st Century? I certainly hope so.
UPDATE: A commenter over at TCS had something interesting to add:
It's hard for me to take seriously anyone who tries to say both of the following:More later, if warranted.
- we must stop emitting greenhouse gases to stop/reverse climate change
- nukes are off the table
We have a 30 year record of increasingly safe and efficient operation and a new generation (or two) of reactor technology to work with. It's time for greens to put adolescent fears behind them and get their priorities straight. Either stopping greenhouse emission is urgent and nukes are our best source of alternative energy, or climate issues aren't change and energy policy should be subject only to the geostrategic matters on which Reynolds focuses his attention.
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