I've finally found someone who is calling out the environmentalists for their contribution to the current carbon crisis: Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KGO, 810AM.
The hypocrisy is this: at the tail end of the oil shock, a fear of nuclear power was pushed in the United States by environmentalists. Fear that nuclear plants can "explode" (still a fear by ignoramuses out there who don't understand the technology), fear of nuclear meltdowns like The China Syndrome (see Chernobyl note below), fear of nuclear proliferation by the Carter administration, fear of radiation, etc.
As a result:
- Nuclear waste has been piling up thanks to a Carter administration ban on nuclear reprocessing (see IFR). We now plan on burying this nuclear waste in the Nevada desert instead of creating more electricity with it.
- Nuclear power plants have become obscenely expensive to build, probably more because of the lack of continuity in building them for the last 30 years, and the number of projects that were partially or completely built and then cancelled (like Shoreham -- easily the main attraction in this theater of the absurd against nuclear power, helped along by Mario Cuomo)
- All electricity that could have been produced by nukes is now being produced by gas and coal.
- Fossil fuel use has gone up.
- Carbon emissions have gone up.
- Radioactive materials released into the atmosphere have GONE UP. Burning coal releases more radiation than nuclear plants.
So everything about nukes they pushed against in the 70s has basically come back to bite their own global warming argument in the ass. Without the same fearmongering bozos that now peddle global warming, global warming is unlikely to be a large concern!
Nuclear technology is the most ridiculously powerful technology ever discovered and developed by man. Problem: we discovered it far ahead of our political ability to deal with it, so only those who understand it well are not put off by disasters like Chernobyl and see the advantages of it in light of the bullet points above. Others cling to unattainable goals like solar and wind power, whereas a box of a few square meters can power a submarine for years on one fueling (as the French have done).
Fortunately, enlightened environmentalists are coming around. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, now agrees that nukes are the only viable answer we have to the growing power needs. Sadly, not everyone has wised up yet. I recently saw a New York Times / Discovery Channel show about Chernobyl that was plainly filled with lies to scare people away from nuclear power. They included a "nuclear physicist" saying that Chernobyl could have exploded in a megaton explosion (an all-out fabrication).
In the meantime, we'll have to put up with these fearmongering blowhards now getting in our faces about global warming while they fly around in their private jets and air condition their 5,000 sq. ft. houses in Tennessee.
The Chernobyl note: Chernobyl was caused by poor reactor design, not a flaw in the idea of nuclear power. The Soviets designed their reactors with a graphite moderator, which is flammable. The real problems at Chernobyl started when the moderator caught fire. Our reactors all use water as a moderator. You can read Richard Rhodes' article on the exact circumstances of Chernobyl and why it cannot happen with our reactors.