Fixing Global Warming a "Distraction" From Fixing Global Warming

This blog, on numerous occasions since its founding over a decade ago, has agreed that global warming is a significant issue. But, we are interested in fixing the problem, not milking it for political power or money. That is why we are strong advocates of new generation nuclear power. 
To be clear: While I include currently available Generation III+ nuclear, I want our society to focus on molten salt reactors, liquid fluoride thorium reactors, and (hopefully) fusion. Gen III+ is safe and the new technologies will be extremely safe while producing large amounts of electricity. The newer technologies, after the technology is proven, will be inexpensive. The advantage is that clean power can be implemented in parts of the world that need it so as to bring people out of poverty.

That is why this comment made by Greenpeace last week caused extreme frustration (screen shot from their web site):
Greenpeace opposes the use of nuclear energy because it is a dangerous and expensive distraction from real solutions to climate change [emphasis mine] Of course, Greenpeace is among the Big Climate organizations that believe unreliable windmills are a good idea. Let's take Greenpeace's objections one by one.
  • Dangerous. Even MIT, hardly a hotbed of global warming skepticism, calls the current III+
reactors "safe"(read the article). No serious scientist believes the current generation of nuclear power is unsafe. The three new types of reactors will be extraordinarily safe. 
  • Expensive. This is correct for the current III+ generation. They are very expensive because of unreasonable regulations and because they are built to unique designs, one at a time. Regarding the three new nuclear technologies, while there is (yes, expensive) research to be completed, we are close to experimental implementation (Canada is in the process of implementing next-gen). Once plants are reliably proven, it is believed that, since there is no risk of nuclear proliferation or dangerous radiation, new reactors can be inexpensively mass produced as well as refueled at reasonable price. Not only would they solve global warming, they have the potential to bring millions out of poverty. 
  • Distraction. That is the real issue. Big Climate wants the financial gravy train to grow and continue and they want ever-increasing political power. If no-carbon energy is available relatively soon at reasonable prices, their reason for existence goes away and the money dries up. 
Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has, many times, discussed the "iron law" of climate -- that people will not accept major cuts to their standard of living now to prevent a possible moderate to serious issue in the future. That, combined with Big Climate not wanting to actually solve the global warming problem, is why -- for 30 years -- all that has occurred has been trillions spent on research (which has accomplished little) and lots and lots of hot air in the form of talk.
Via Twitter
Chart (above) by Willis Eschenbach demonstrates that, in spite of expensive, high-carbon expending meetings in glamorous locations, the rate of increase in carbonization in the atmosphere is unchanged. 

Want to solve global warming challenge? Two things are required:
  1. New generation nuclear as outline above as, where possible, taking advantage of hydro-electric and natural gas (for coal). 
  2. Building more extreme weather resilience into our society. 
It really is that simple. 


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