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View Diary: The Irrational Fear of Nukes - A German Perspective (262 comments)

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  •  France, with extraordinarily low CO2/capita (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, Recall, polecat, Klaus, Lucy2009
    •  And with the problem of having to import (10+ / 0-)

      electricity each time there is a drought and having no idea what to do with all the nuclear waste that they produce.

      I dread to think what would happen if a French Nuclear Plant blew... basically all of Europe is downwind from France.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:07:30 PM PDT

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      •  Is climate change serious? (6+ / 0-)

        France has 50% less CO2 per capita of the Germans. That's unlikely to change any time soon. So, project this 20 years out. How many marginal deaths will result from this difference due to climate change? Risk modeling cuts both ways.

        •  It's a false choice that you're trying to present (12+ / 0-)


          It's not an either/or situation with nukes and coal.

          France actually has great renewables resources... and they've finally started pushing renewables.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:15:53 PM PDT

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          •  It's not a false choice, it's a reality (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Recall, evanaj, Klaus

            in nearly every country in the world to date. A few countries have been blessed with excellent hydroelectric or geothermal power sources. A couple others are experimenting with large scale wind/solar production (e.g. more than 20%). The rest burn fossil fuels or fission atoms.

            •  It's a false choice because it's not (9+ / 0-)

              the ONLY choice. One of the most important things about citisven's diary is that it helps us to think outside the box of the current assumption that we must have the industrial base that we have, that we must have the need for so much transportation of goods, that we must use industrially produced fuels, that we must consume as much as were do now or more.

              •  Unless your plan involves instantly stopping (3+ / 0-)
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                evanaj, Klaus, ebohlman

                our usage of all non-renewables, we're still going to have to prioritize one or the other. Do we get rid of fossil fuels first or do we get rid of nuclear first?

                It's a choice.

                It's a real choice.

                You can face it or not, but it's real either way.

                •  Do we get rid of (8+ / 0-)

                  wasteful energy usage first? Thats what citisven tried to get at, at the end. Thats also what always needs to be asked.

                  As long as the US allows itself an energy usage per capita five times higher than even western europe, this whole debate is pointless. The US not even has a serious gas tax. A civilized western industrial nation can at least live with 9 dollars a gallon gas, as we in Western Europe demonstrate every day. The US doesnt want to have that out of pure wantonness? then none of them has a right to claim that nuclear energy must be used if fossils should be shut down. Go pay actual energy prices, and then see how much nuclear energy you really need to get by. Go try to use at least a little bit sane and rational structuring in how your society operates with energy, including the renewable energy ressources your country is rich of, and then you can see whether that is really a necessary choice between evils. The entire point of Svens diary was that, at the end. If you want to waste energy as if there´s no tomorrow; then you´ll need nukes and coal and oil and whatever you can get. And you´ll doom the planet (your own offspring included) with it. The true choice is not between nukes and coal but between rabid recklessness (thats what describes much of the West´s behaviour up to now with the US way out in front) and sane planning.

                  we have yet to prove that we can build an industrial society that can provide for our needs for more than one to three generations, leaving behind a deserted wasteland for those unlucky enough to be born later. Doesnt matter so much if it is a nuclear contaminated wasteland or a carbon dioxide desertified wasteland. We are here in the lucky richness that we have only because there weren´t a few generations a bit earlier in history that behaved so as we behave today.

                  Ici s´arrète la loi.

                  by marsanges on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:14:14 PM PDT

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                •  Our "plan" was shoved out the door with Reagan. (8+ / 0-)

                  We could have been well on our way to a post fossil fuel economy (and yes, Carter was pro-nuke as well, having served in the nuclear navy).  Amory Lovins envisioned a hydrogen economy back then generated from solar/wind, combined with increased standards for electrical efficiency of industrial equip and appliances. The need for nukes would have been minimal.

                  After nuclear energy was shown not to be clean, safe or cheap, the next line of promotion was threat: "do you want to freeze in the dark?". Now it's "nuclear or you'll fry". I'd be more inclined to be rational if it wasn't the usual suspects giving us our "options".

                  “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”, Theodore Roosevelt

                  by the fan man on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:27:12 PM PDT

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              •  Modern industrial society (0+ / 0-)

                Life expectancy: 80 years.

                •  for now sure, that may prove to be a blip (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Linda Wood, mrkvica

                  considering how quickly and effectively we're poisoning the world and destroying our ecological endowments while calling it "growth".

                  When you spend more from your savings than you earned as interest, do you claim it was income?

                  Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider! - George Carlin

                  by Earth Ling on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 05:54:46 PM PDT

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                •  Those 80-year-olds didn't eat (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Monsanto engineered toxin loaded products for lunch or drink BPA-laden baby formula. Progress, Ronald Reagan's favorite product when he was a public relations tool for GE, does indeed include the development of medical technology, safety in engineering standards, worker safety regulations, highway safety regulations, truth in advertising, the listing of food product ingredients, and the testing and research necessary for all of that progress. I agree.

                  But the basic premise, FIRST DO NO HARM, underlies the human urge for progress. It doesn't extend our lives to have an unknown secret amount of nuclear waste building up in sites unknown to us at a cost unknown to us and only reported to us when there's a predictable disaster. That's not progress, and it's not extending our life expectancy.

          •  Yes it is. (0+ / 0-)

            Even if we never build anything other than renewable energy sources ever again, we still have to decide which plants to decommission first. To pretend otherwise is dangerous and irresponsible.

        •  The sad reality is that the climate change (0+ / 0-)

          horse is already out of the barn and it can't be recalled.  The heat already stored in the world's oceans guarantees that the ice caps will melt, drowning the areas that more than 50% of the current population of the world call home.

          And that's if we don't burn another stick of wood, another chunk of coal and we all hold our breath for the next 100 years.

          Climate change is a done deal.

          So the issue becomes, imho, that we NOT screw up the remaining areas with nuclear pollution.

          No one is outside the circle of the heart

          by kafkananda on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:30:47 AM PDT

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