Make America Green AgainsteemCreated with Sketch.

in environmentalism •  10 months ago

The Sierra Club just sent a sticker in the mail: Make America Green Again. I'm going to use this sticker, and enjoy using it, even though it is anathema to their mission.

Specifically, they are "unequivocally opposed to nuclear energy." While I don't have anything against their main slogan, "Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet" (I don't think you'd find many opposed to those general ideas), I am severely at odds with them regarding nuclear energy.

They are against nuclear energy because of the "three serious disasters." They go on to say that:

Tragically, it took a horrific disaster in Japan to remind the world that none of the fundamental problems with nuclear power have ever been addressed.

Of course, there's no mention that France has about 75% of their energy supplied by nuclear energy and has never had a death associated with nuclear plant accidents.

Why have these "fundamental" problems not been addressed, you ask? Well, nuclear proliferation is a good place to start. The U.S. government doesn't want to privatize nuclear research, because, well, they want the monopoly on nuclear weapons. Fair enough, you might say. But wait. What about thorium powered reactors, which can be weaponized but not as easily as traditional uranium powered reactors? The research on them has been stalled for decades. Add to that fusion, which has very limited proliferation application, and we've at least addressed that problem, although not entirely solved it.

Nuclear power is not cheap and dangerous; it is safe and expensive, hence why it hasn't been implemented wholesale. Why is it so expensive? All new technologies are expensive in the beginning, until the research and development has paid for itself and a profit can be generated. Add to that the extreme regulations governments impose on nuclear research, and the answer seems pretty clear.

Nuclear has a carbon-neutral footprint, although you do have to bury the radioactive waste. No worries, just bury it in the desert. It's far, far more environmentally friendly than "green" energies by almost every standard. Add to that that it's much more productive, and in my mind, we have a clean winner (pun intended).

So, to sum up, although Sierra Club and I differ in how to Make America Green Again, I will employ their sticker and sermonize about the green benefits of nuclear energy.

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