In 1945 there were 5 million cars on the planet. Now there are more than 1 billion. The first coal-fired power plant was built in 1882. Now there are 23,000 planet-wide.
How difficult is it to say plainly that the 1C rise in average temperatures since 1880 probably have a human component? I’ve seen many ‘skeptic’ scientists acknowledge this, but not so many in the climate conversation carried out on weblogs. There are obvious follow-up questions (How much? To what effect? How much of that rise was before industrial scale emission? So what?) but we rush on to the follow-up questions without answering the first.
France gets about 76% (down from 85% a few years ago) of its energy from a fleet of nuclear power plants, most of which were constructed in one decade, a decade that saw some of the strongest economic growth in the country’s history. The safety record of these plants is admirable and their performance has been exemplary.
How difficult is it to say plainly that the solution to human contributions to climate change is well within our grasp? Nuclear power can not only provide us with electricity for homes and factories, it can power a renovated rail network and recharge the batteries in our electric cars. I’ve seen some activist scientists acknowledge this, but not many here in the climate conversation on weblogs. There are obvious follow-up questions (What will we do with the waste? Who will insure us against potential disasters? Where will the plants be located?) But again, we rush into the follow-up questions without addressing the primary point.
I’m all in favor of solar power. I am a strong advocate of reforestation. I accept that we don’t know what atmospheric sensitivity is and that human contributions consist of more than CO2 emissions. Our emissions may not be the dominant driver of the temperature change we have seen.
So what to all of that? The problem is clear–our emissions have helped raise temperatures and we know our emissions will increase. We don’t know where the off switch is on the climate control machine. Nuclear power can solve this problem.
Not wicked. Not wicked enough to justify the turmoil. If only Pachauri had written a different book…