Skip to main content

James Lovelock on Germany's Nuclear Phaseout

James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia Theory and a prominent pro-nuclear environmentalist was interviewed by the Guardian today. He was as provocative as always, and had this to say about Germany's planned phase-out of nuclear energy:
"It looks to me as if the green ideas they have picked up now could be just as damaging. They are burning lignite now to try to make up for switching off nuclear. They call themselves green, but to me this is utter madness."
How mad is it? Click here for a piece from Brad Plumer of the Washington Post.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good for Germany!
I too once thought nuclear power was the only way forward and then Fukushima happened...
I would sooner let fairly harmless co2 become more abundant rather than radiation kill every life form on this planet. Historic evidence shows co2 rises and falls regardless if it is created by man or not.
Albert Einstein warned us about Uranium, we’ve ignored him and now we will all die as a result!
Power from Uranium is floored through and through but we still plough head-on into extinction.
Shut down ALL of these non-stoppable death machines (if we can) before it is too late!
mf said…
then you should know this: burning coal is the most significant source of man-made radiation in the atmosphere. Ans not just any radiation, but alpha emitters that you inhale.
jimwg said…
Anonymous, do some non-Greenpeace recommended research, uh?
Sigh!

James Greenidge
Queens NY
It's all very well to be wise after the event. James Lovelock may be very wise but not necessarily right. What we have to ask ourselves is whether the historical record of nuclear power has sufficient empirical data to prove it is within a statistically reliable level of reasonable risk. It only takes one catastrophic event to render these speculative hypotheses utterly unacceptable, so since Fukushima may already be that event, we have no other choice than to seek alternative means of energy procurement. It may be unwelcome but it is necessary. Fukushima remains an enormous threat since even the gravity of the health "fallout" from Chernobyl is still disputed. We are playing with dice, without the instinctive skills to read the warning signs. The problem is basically twofold: the first is the abject precocity of our pretensions to knowledge, but the second is the level of PR disinformation spun out by the international nuclear-weapons cartel. We need to heed the most reliable data on Fukushima, and ignore the blandishments of those vested interests that could destroy our biospheric habitat, endangering all life on earth from sheer ignorance and hubris. Who are these authorities? They are not gods, but children playing with forces they cannot possibly understand nor control...
moriarty said…
Germany's only right in scrapping conventional nuclear power; she needs to replace it with thorium though as this is the safe form. Meltdown proof and leaves no long lived waste. Replacing nuclear with fossil fuels is indeed madness.
moriarty said…
Nuclear power is indeed the only way forward, but it needs to be liquid fluoride thorium reactors instead of conventional nuclear power. Germany's current stance is madness indeed to be scrapping nuclear power altogether.

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…