Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Green Heresy or Green Reformation

There's murmurings amongst American Greens. Whispers abound at a new way of thinking, a way of thinking that is against the grain, and goes completely against the environmental establishment. Already two of the most prominent ideologues have "converted," is it treachery? Apostasy? Or is it simply pragmatic thinking?
I'm talking about Nuclear Power of course, and how in light of the fact that current forms of renewable energy don't meet the demands of consumption that coal and oil give us, others see the return to the Nuclear Age as the pragmatic thing to do "in the mean time."
Case in point is one time Greenpeace champion and leader, Patrick Moore, who now is pushing for the velvet revolution amongst the environmental community. According to detnews.com:

"Nuclear power plants are the only sustainable way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels," Moore said ... "There is no other existing technology to address this problem [global warming]"

While detractors are saying that his conversion comes due to another form of green, the spendable kind, Moore isn't alone.
The man seen as one of the Father's of the Environmental movement, Stweart Brand*, has also made the leap of faith. The Economist in an interview with brand said:

But his support for the revival of nuclear power is even more controversial. For years, he held the orthodox environmental view that nukes were evil. He now confesses that this was merely “knee-jerk opposition”, and not a carefully considered opinion. His growing concern about global warming, which he calls “the single most important environmental threat facing mankind”, explains his U-turn in favour of this low-carbon but hugely controversial source of electricity.

Can the movement last? Well it seems that the scientists and engineers are beginning to line up behind the prospects of a Nuclear Renaissance. In South Africa, construction is scheduled to begin on a plant initially designed by the Germans but which has been perfected by the Chinese. Even governments who may not be keen on the environmental issue as much as divesting themselves of Socialist South American and Arab blood money are making it easier for regulators to approve of new reactors. According to some, as many as 12 could be approved for construction this year in the US alone. This has helped spur courtship for the latest designs by Westinghouse, GE, and France's Areva - that espouse ESP: Efficiency, Safety, Power.
All this of course as the French sit back and say, "Je vous ai dit."
*As an aside, I encourage all of my green friends to read about Stewart Brand's "environmental heresies" and note that this is a blend of Environmental Theory with Classic Humanism.

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