How to Lose the CO2 War
In an article by Mark Lynas out of UK’s The Guardian is a summary of last week’s nuclear news. If one is CO2 concerned, the news is very bad indeed.
In a strong motivator for the environmentalists the week also saw the Arctic ice cover is recorded at its lowest ever extent. This news contrasts with Japan’s Prime Minister announcement that Japan plans to phase out nuclear power entirely by 2030.
Plus, in a nearly amazing reversal of public policy the new leftist socialist French President revealed a plan to dramatically reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear power, an industry that currently gives France some of the cleanest electricity in the world and is an export across Europe. Voters in these two countries have to be wondering, “What have we done?” It looks a lot like simple economic intentional self-destruction. How do these politicians expect to keep the lights on, the offices and factories open, warm the winter chills and cool the summer heat waves? It’s an alarming turn of policy.
Lynas, meanwhile turns on the environmental guilt with, “Let me be very clear. Without nuclear, the battle against global warming is as good as lost. Even many greens now admit this in private moments.” When it comes to dumping CO2 and the even more credibly threatening soot blanketing the planet, plus some chemistry best left in the ground, Lynas’ warning is a little late – Germany is already shutting nuclear plants down, building coal fired power plants and looking very hard at their rapidly failing solar plans.
The article does offer a rather difficult to reconcile fact set about Fukushima. The Fukushima nuclear plant tsunami event has killed no one. Scientists also agree there will never be an observable cancer increase in the Japanese population attributable to the Fukushima tsunami event. Other than the press driven public hysteria, which is quite a story in its own right, the Fukushima event isn’t much of an event.
The Fukushima event does offer some important data for an economy. Oil and gas imports to Japan have doubled, and carbon dioxide emissions soared by more than 60 million tons. Oil users worldwide are paying more due to the tsunami, and the political aftermath that saw the whole Japanese nuclear powered electric generation fleet shutdown. The fleet is still in the process of restarting. It was an astonishing and profligate waste of money.
Lynas says, “It is nothing short of insane that politicians around the world, under pressure from populations subjected to decades of anti-nuclear fearmongering by people who call themselves greens, are raising our collective risk of catastrophic climate change in order to eliminate the safest power source ever invented.”
The news out of France is simply too new for an inventory of responses yet. France may decide to keep its nuclear stations as it watches Germany’s environmentalist driven quest for solar power go up in a cloud of coal smoke. Both countries will have to have legislative efforts successful to make the ‘plans’ the law.
There in lies the fact of the matter. Energy policy is responsive to public opinion and the greed of tax generation hidden in prices. The facts as most people seem to know them are based on the press and media hype. The day is upon us in the war for eyeballs, readers and viewers that have morphed from the old journalism of explaining the day’s events into a new class of mass tabloid journalism.
That’s the war – the opinion of the idiot rules now. Polls, special interests and the inattentive public are the battleground. Politicians can absolutely count on the press media and public not looking back to see how things got to be such a mess.
Which begs the question, if you don’t know the causes of the problems how will you divine the solutions?
By now the U.S. should have an 80% nuclear powered electric grid from both uranium and thorium fuels in not less than six different kinds of reactors with utility bills well less than a third of today’s rates.