Any sane Green New Deal should include nuclear power

The James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant is located in the town of Scriba, near Oswego, along Lake Ontario. New York Governor's Office

The following editorial appeared in the New York Daily News on Sept. 10:

NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — At a CNN town hall on climate change [two weeks ago], the Democratic candidates for president said it over and over again: The United States must lead the world in curbing greenhouse gas emissions by weaning itself off fossil fuels that pump megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

They’re very right that an aggressive transition to cleaner forms of energy is imperative to protect coastal cities like New York from sea-level rise, to prevent extreme weather, to stop the destruction of delicate ecosystems and more.

They’re very wrong to omit nuclear power, one of the most consistent and reliable forms of energy — and an essentially zero-emissions generation method — from their transformation plans.

The Paris climate agreement requires carbon emissions of 2.6 percent per year, each and every year, between now and 2025. That’s a pipe dream unless we use every tool in the toolbox.

Here in New York, steep targets in a new state law tackling climate change will be all but impossible to achieve, and blackouts will likely become more frequent, if reactors like Indian Point, which now provides a quarter of the metro region’s electricity, simultaneously go offline.

That’s because as we transition away from fossil fuels, the unfathomable amounts of energy New Yorkers now use to heat their homes, drive their cars and the like will all have to come from the electrical grid. Wind, solar and geothermal power are getting better all the time, but they’re nowhere close to being able to pick up the slack.

Nuclear energy is imperfect. Waste storage is a persistent challenge. Accidents have happened, though nothing in America, thankfully, on the order of the fever dreams of the 1970s and ’80s. Plants in operation in the United States today are rigorously inspected, and safe.

Fission offers an ever-ready and abundant supply of energy, and a path to a carbon-free future. We turn away from it at our peril.

Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. © 2019 New York Daily News.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(5) comments

Holmes -- the real one

From the fake Holmes:

"The Green New Deal isn't about climate change it's about destroying the economy."



Honestly, this is just amazingly devoid of any factual basis.

Where do you get this stuff?


rdsouth

Indeed. The GND seems to be of the "bright green" persuasion. The idea is to use technology to avoid draconian economic measures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright_green_environmentalism

Holmes

The Green New Deal isn't about climate change it's about destroying the economy.

Besides, who listens to listen to attention-grabbing socialists who claims that the world is going to end unless you immediately pass my bill.

hermit thrush

my god, what a world you live in.

here in the actual world, yes, the gnd is about climate change.

rdsouth

Yes, to meet the Paris Agreement goals (which "we" have pulled out of), we can either institute an unending global depression or dark age (which we can paint a smiley face on and call "back to the earth meditation time"), or we can include nuclear power. Which is how France (the location of Paris) has historically been a thriving but very low emissions country. Japan also did it this way. Both are moving away from nuclear power, however, since 2011. Modern technologies will prevent a Chernobyl like meltdown, but that only rules out one possibility. There are many other things that can go wrong. If we are going to do nuclear the government needs to be on the top of its game to make it work right. The government is currently not on the top of its game.

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