Third Way, a strategy center for progressives, today released a policy memo entitled, Another Inconvenient Truth: Solving Global Warming and Energy Security Requires Nuclear Power. The memo supports expansion of nuclear power and calls on political progressives to support it for three reasons:
1. Expanding nuclear power will make a difference in addressing the problem of global warming.
2. Embracing nuclear power by progressive leaders would have a galvanizing impact on the public, demonstrating the severity of the climate change problem and the need for everyone to make hard choices.
3. Moving forward efficiently on nuclear power could help provide momentum to take additional steps to curb carbon emissions.
But what really caught my eye in the report was this passage concerning the position of environmental activists on the expansion of nuclear energy:
Many advocates have taken this approach, attempting to keep the debate fixed solely on conservation and renewable sources. And no one denies that both are crucial to addressing the problem of global warming—a solution is impossible without real shifts in public behavior and a huge increase in our investment in renewable energy.To download the PDF, click here.
But we believe that by talking only about conservation and renewable energy,
advocates have undercut the seriousness of their own argument on climate change.
The American public may not know much about base-load capacity, but they understand that we are not going to get out of our CO2 problem by relying solely on wind farms or geothermal power at this point in time. And they may be reluctant to make hard changes in their own lives—or demand policy fixes to climate change—until environmentalists start making some tough choices too.
Indeed, if advocates were to embrace nuclear power, which many have spent their careers fighting, it would help prove to the public that a dramatic shift in our thinking as a nation is required when our way of life or very existence may be at risk.