nuclear power

Are Liberals Science Deniers? Now’s A Good Time to Find Out

It seems inevitable. Although we don’t know yet just how bad the situation is at Japan’s damaged nuclear plants in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, the events across the Pacific are already triggering a new and differently tinged debate over nuclear power back here at home.

Nuclear defenders are calling for keeping things in perspective—fossil fuels, they point out, have many more costs and risks associated with them than nuclear power; and newer generation reactor designs are far safer than those built in Japan many decades ago (a number of US plants from the same era have the same or similar designs).

Yet figures as influential as Senator Joseph Lieberman are already saying we should “put the brakes” on developing new nuclear plants in the U.S.—despite plans for a so-called “Nuclear Renaissance” that have won strong support from President Obama.

As someone who specializes in reporting on the politics of science, I find all of this fascinating—for the following reason.

Wind Power Outpaces Nuclear, China Outpaces Itself

A new report issued by the Worldwatch Institute finds that new wind power installations outpaced new nuclear power plant construction by 10-to-1. Globally, the wind industry added 20,000 MW of new capacity last year, while the nuclear industry added less than 2,000 MW.

A big surprise for the author of the report was the massive upswing in wind installations in China:

“The biggest surprise is China, which was barely in the wind business three years ago but which in 2007 trailed only the United States and Spain in wind installations and was fifth in total installed capacity. An estimated 3,449 mega­watts of wind turbines were added in 2007, bringing China's provisional total to 6,050 megawatts and already exceeding the govern­ment's target for 2010.”

Solutions: Switch to faucet fuel from fossil fuel to stop global warming

Is it possible that amidst all the bogus claims, political controversy and foul cries about looming economic destruction, there’s actually a simple solution to the ravages of climate change?

A prominent Canadian engineer and scientist believes the solution – not just any solution but the only solution – rests within a tiny cell we ingest every day. And it can eliminate both carbon emissions and world conflict over oil supplies while saving the planet from global warming.

So pour yourself a glass of water and read on.

In US South, Drought Spooks the Nukes!


Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

EU, UK carbon-reduction targets questioned, but Britain holds steady

Citing an internal briefing paper for ministers, the Guardian newspaper reported that under current policies it would be “challenging” for Britain to reach a target of 9% for energy renewables such as wind, solar or hydropower - well short of the EU's 2020 target of 20%, but up from the current 2%.

An early environmentalist is embracing heresy in climate-change battle

Stewart Brand, publisher, writer and one of the foremost founders of the environmental movement in the 1960s, has taken the surprise step of endorsing nuclear power as an alternative to coal in the struggle against global warming. Nuclear waste is a problem, he says, but carbon emissions are worse.

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