William Tucker’s “The Case for Terrestrial (a.k.a. Nuclear) Energy” is a thoughtful discussion of our energy alternatives and powerful case for: (1) taking a cue from the French, and aggressively adopting clean, reliable nuclear power, and (2) using sustainable, fast-breeder reactor technology. To my great surprise and delight Tucker is an alumnus of my doctrinaire “liberal*” and politically correct alma mater.
Many Western governments subsidize and from a regulatory standpoint advantage so-called alternative energy, by which is meant wind mills, solar radiation and a range of biofuels. In his 2006 and 2007 State of the Union addresses President Bush, pandering to environmentalists who didn’t vote for him and indulging Green fashion rather than leading, touted wood chips. While they may have niche applications, none of the much ballyhooed alternative energy sources will power modern 21st century economies. It is high-time to stop indulging in reckless fanciful romanticism. No energy is cost free. One can, indeed must, make rationale rather than sentimental choices. The world will rely upon some mix of nuclear, coal and oil for the remainder of the century. Public policy will affect the mix and cost, which have a huge impact on the prosperity and health of mankind.
If public policy –notably in America, Great Britain and Germany, does not do a 180° on nuclear energy, coal, which is abundant, will be the de facto choice. Coal however comes
at a much higher cost in human lives, pollution and carbon emissions. It is time for public policy makers concerned about the economic welfare and health of their citizens to act responsibly and champion nuclear power.
*In the current US rather than European or classical sense of the word.Author : Eric Grover