One of the scientists in the UK who helped convince Tony Blair that global warming was an issue of real concern has gotten in trouble for proposing something that might actually make a difference in the war on climate change:
His book prescribes a barrage of technological measures based on nuclear energy, wind power, cutting emissions from cars and buildings, increasing the global area of solar panels by a factor of 700, and capturing and storing emissions from fossil fuel power generation. Only with a nuclear component, he argues, might Britain “just about manage” to reach its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% on 1990 levels by 2050.
He recalls how he sparked fury at a meeting of Blair’s ministers when he refused to agree to stay silent in public about his pro-nuclear views, even though the cabinet had, at the time, opted not to press ahead with plans for new power stations. “Let me say that John Prescott’s reaction was almost violent,” he says.
Why would that be? Well, it seems that Mr. Prescott have figured out what organizations like Greenpeace are really about: a deeply anti-human philosophy of the human future:
He says: “There is a suspicion, and I have that suspicion myself, that a large number of people who label themselves ‘green’ are actually keen to take us back to the 18th or even the 17th century.”
He characterises their argument as “let’s get away from all the technological gizmos and developments of the 20th century”.
“People say ‘well, we’ll just use less energy.’ Come on,” he says. “And then there’s the real world, where everyone is aspiring to the sort of standard of living that we have, which is based on a large energy consumption.”
Greenpeace, never one to miss a media opportunity to make their opinions known, had this to say:
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said it was King, not green activists, who was living in the past. “We need science to get us out of the climate change hole we’re in – that’s why Greenpeace wants to see research funding piled into the cutting-edge low-carbon technologies that can deliver deep emissions cuts in a very short timeframe,” he said.
And those would be? I mean, you’re talking about nuclear power, right?
“We’re talking about technical solutions that can also be safely spread to every country in the world, no matter how unstable. Nuclear power isn’t that technology, but Sir David wants to take us back to the 1950s, the last time we were told it would solve all our problems.”
Oh, the 1950s. When nuclear power eternally earned your ire for not being too cheap to meter? Do tell, what was the efficiency of solar arrays and windmills back in the 1950s? I seem to recall Greenpeace telling us that solar, wind, and conservation would solve all our energy problems in the 1970s…
…and the 1980s…
…and the 1990s…
Actually I’ve stopped waiting and I’m busy working on something that really can make a difference in producing abundant clean energy and fighting global warming, the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor.
RUDY GIULIANI: Says “every potential solution” must be pursued, including nuclear power, increased energy exploration and more aggressive investment in alternative energy sources. Says energy independence can be achieved through a strategy that emphasizes diversification, innovation and conservation.
MIKE HUCKABEE: Wants to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil by pursuing “all avenues” of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass.
JOHN MCCAIN: Wants to limit carbon dioxide emissions “by harnessing market forces” that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster. Seeks to reduce dependence on foreign supplies of energy. Wants the U.S. to lead in a way that ensures all nations “do their rightful share” on the environment.
MITT ROMNEY: Wants to accelerate construction of nuclear power plants as part of a “robust, cleaner and reliable energy mix.” Seeks energy independence not by halting all oil imports but by “making sure that our nation’s future will always be in our hands.”
HILLARY CLINTON: Says she’s “agnostic” about building nuclear power plants. Prefers renewable energy and conservation because of concerns about nuclear power’s cost, safety and waste disposal. Wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years to cut oil imports by two-thirds from 2030 projected levels, with some money going toward alternative energy.
JOHN EDWARDS: Opposes nuclear power because of cost and safety concerns. Favors creating a $13 billion-a-year fund to finance research and development of energy technologies; wants to reduce oil imports by nearly a third of the oil projected to be used in 2025.
BARACK OBAMA: Says the U.S. can’t meet its climate goals if it removes nuclear power as an option but says such issues as security of nuclear fuel, waste and waste storage need to be addressed first. Wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years to develop new energy sources. Seeks to reduce “oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent by 2030.”