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eve
Aug 18th, 2005, 08:43 AM
Author Considers Nuclear Lesser of Two Evils (16 August 05) by Roddy Scheer

After a speech last month in San Francisco, an audience member asked 'Collapse' author, Jared Diamond, if the threat of global warming augured a renewed role for nuclear power--as has been suggested recently by such environmental luminaries as Stewart Brand and James Lovelock. To the surprise of the audience, Diamond said he agreed: "To deal with our energy problems we need everything available to us, including nuclear power." Echoing the concerns of others, Diamond added that it should be done carefully "like they do in France" so as to avoid accidents.

Diamond's recent book Collapse documents how the mismanagement of natural resources and the environment led to the downfall of some of humanity's greatest civilizations. Most attendees of the San Francisco speech would have thought that Diamond considered nuclear power to be the kind of folly that could lead to the collapse of our existing civilization. But apparently Diamond, along with some environmentalists, considers global warming to be so serious a threat that any power source that doesn't load up the atmosphere with carbon dioxide looks more appealing.

Ultimately, most environmentalists envision a future powered by renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass and geothermal. But with renewables currently meeting less than three percent of our energy needs, that future is a long way off indeed. In light of these facts, a growing number of environmentalists are changing their tune to support nuclear power--which they previously derided due to safety and nuclear waste disposal concerns.

Above is beginning of article at http://www.emagazine.com/view/?2829

bittersweet
Aug 18th, 2005, 06:26 PM
Just been reading in this months New Internationalist about the dangers of some so-called "environmentalists" jumping on the nuclear bandwagon just because they're shit scared of what the fossil fuel brigade are doing...it's still no answer...

Roxy
Aug 18th, 2005, 06:51 PM
I could be a little off track here, as I don't know a great deal about this kind of thing but.......

To create nuclear power, wouldn't they need the same materials that are needed to make nuclear bombs, such as plutonium?

As far as I can see, as long as plutonium is being produced, the threat of nuclear warfare will continue to remain.

As a peace promoting individual then, I don't really agree with this nuclear power option. If we want peace, then we have to disarm all of the nations (and whoever else) possess nuclear weapons and stop nuclear production.

Well, sorry if I am way off base and nuclear power/weapons are 2 totally different things.

Kevster
Aug 18th, 2005, 07:14 PM
You're not off base, yes it seems the right thing to do (decommission), but scientists and environmentalists have found that governments and corporations just aren't prepared to fund and support large scale renewable efforts, for reasons probably that there is still a lot of money to be made in fossil fuels, and as supplies decline there'll be more money to be made.

As for nuclear it is phenomenally expensive, and dangerous, though a small station can power a great deal of homes/businesses. Renewable is less reliable perhaps, but ocean power is a possibility that hasn't received adequate investment. A combination of wind/ocean/solar could easily meet our cuurent needs, however, we actually need far less electricity than we use. How did we ever survive without it?!

Hands up who wants a nuclear power station next to their house.

Roxy
Aug 18th, 2005, 07:16 PM
Righto thanks Kevster :)

adam antichrist
Aug 19th, 2005, 02:30 AM
What saddens me most is that in 1980 when I was 7 years old I knew that we had to stop using fossil fuels because there was enough info available even then that a little kid could understand the problem.

Now this whole thing is because they haven't bothered to work hard enough on applying renewable energy programs, they say well we'll have to use nuclear power :confused:

Even more offensive is here in Australia (where coal comes from) they say "why switch to nuclear power when we've got all this cheap coal" :confused: :confused: :confused:

Roxy
Aug 19th, 2005, 03:41 AM
You will have to excuse my ignorance.......what is the bad thing about coal? Is it very polluting? Also, I guess it's the fact it's another of the earth's resources that will run dry.

adam antichrist
Aug 19th, 2005, 03:51 AM
Coal is made of carbon and along with oil is what is referred to by 'fossil fuels'. Because it's made of carbon, when it's burned it produces carbon dioxide. Most of the power stations in Australia generate electricity by burning coal, and it's used in steel plants etc to fuel those huge ovens they use. Probably equally responsible for the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as petrol is.

If humans hadn't cut down so many trees it wouldn't be so bad, because they turn carbon dioxide into sugar and release oxygen as by-product. But we pump more CO2 into the atmosphere than they can consume and this is the major atmospheric cause of global warming, followed by methane (CH4) from cattle waste.

Incidentally, in veganfreaks book there is a fact that blew my mind... last November in Nebraska a 2000 ton pile of manure in a feedlot caught fire and they couldn't extinguish it... for three months!!!

Roxy
Aug 19th, 2005, 04:35 AM
Thanks so much Adam. You're an encylopedia of information (even if you didn't know what a biscuit weevil was LOL :p )

adam antichrist
Aug 19th, 2005, 04:49 AM
:D I do now

Roxy
Aug 19th, 2005, 05:02 AM
Because I looked it up LOL ;) :D

Kevster
Aug 19th, 2005, 09:12 AM
Coal is made of carbon and along with oil is what is referred to by 'fossil fuels'. Because it's made of carbon, when it's burned it produces carbon dioxide. Most of the power stations in Australia generate electricity by burning coal, and it's used in steel plants etc to fuel those huge ovens they use. Probably equally responsible for the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as petrol is.

Oh, so that is why the Aussies didn't sign up to Kyoto.

adam antichrist
Aug 19th, 2005, 09:45 AM
Yup, I'd say that's the main reason.