Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Wonderful Discussion of Energy Alternatives

From my friend, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.,

Consider this: If the goal is to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low-level by 2050 (in precise terms, at 450 parts per million or less), then the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.
Natural gas is not a long-term solution to the challenge of stabilizing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, because it is still carbon intensive, but the rapidly declining U.S. emissions prove an essential policy point: Make clean(er) energy cheap, and dirty energy will be quickly displaced. To secure cheap energy alternatives requires innovation — technological, but also institutional and social.  The innovation challenge is enormous, but so is the scale of the problem. A focus on innovation — not on debates over climate science or a mythical high carbon price — is where we’ll make process.

Anthony Watts then chimes in with some great commentary about thorium reactors and promising ways forward. Read it here.

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