Way to go Europe

Europe seems to be intent on “carbonizing” us back to the stone age along with India, China and the US. I used to think the Germans were pretty green, but:

Enel and many other electricity companies say they have little choice but to build coal plants to replace aging infrastructure, particularly in countries like Italy and Germany that have banned the building of nuclear power plants. Fuel costs have risen 151 percent since 1996, and Italians pay the highest electricity costs in Europe.

So they don’t mind accelerating climate change and shooting themselves in the foot for paying higher prices for electricity. Seriously, is anyone thinking rationally anymore? Also, why is the father of climate change James Hansen repeatedly giving us silence on nuclear? At this rate, he is going to become known as the man who knows all the problems but not one solution.

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5 Comments »

  1. 1
    Red Craig Says:

    I sympathize with your thoughts on Dr. Hansen’s reticence. On the other hand, this topic has become confused mainly by experts talking outside their own areas. It’s better, I think, that Dr. Hansen speaks only on the science of climate change. As it is, he’s had to go against the express wishes of the White House even to warn that too much CO2 is a bad thing. For a long time, our nation’s top executives expressed the view that CO2 is beneficial and discouraged scientists from saying the opposite. I’d be afraid that if Dr. Hansen started discussing solutions the topic would take him out of his own area and he’d lose credibility.

    So it’s up to us the citizenry to emphasize to policymakers that nuclear energy is one of the few things we have going for us.

  2. 2
    nucleardreams Says:

    I greatly admire Dr. Hansen for his perseverance in pushing the climate change issue in the face of depressing political opposition. However, I also believe that he is someone who would be listened to more than many others and therefore should take an initiative in emphasizing what he thinks are good solutions. A simple thing would be for him to write a book. As for expertise, I think that a scientist as accomplished as him could easily become an informed spokesperson for nuclear power and not lose credibility. Only when people start more or less automatically associating climate change with the need for nuclear power do I think will progress be made. As you said, we the informed citizens should definitely make efforts. But it would be very fruitful to be supported by top scientists such as James Hansen in such endeavors.

  3. 3

    After all, Sir David King did so. I suppose that he may not be well-known enough in the US to be a household name, but he’s a textbook example of what we should be going for.

    What distresses me about Hansen is that he waffles on the nuclear power issue and is meanwhile lending his name and credibility to “solutions” that simply aren’t credible. Maybe he’ll come around, maybe not. We have a basic disconnect though, between the climatologists, the economists, the engineers who actually understand energy technology, and so on. The climatologists understand the problem but lack the knowledge needed to craft the solution, as do the economists. I think this is finally changing, but we still have a ways to go.

  4. Well, no one knows solutions to every problem he or she is aware of, neither experts, nor others. However, businessmen and politicians usually have the ready made solutions for any problem – first ones pay cash, and second ones persuade everyone that black is white, and both are keen on that kind of solutions.

  5. 5

    The climatologists, economists and policy makers certainly need to work together. Otherwise they just keep accusing each other of having limited vision, of thinking about one aspect of the problem but not others. In my opinion, people like Hansen need to get informed about other aspects of the issue and then have public discussions about them.
    As for politicians, they are the problems which suggest “solutions” 🙂


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