The hot new thing is... not global warming, but going nukuler... oh, sorry, nuclear.
Well, seriously, some former environmentally-sensitive groups have joined the nuclear bandwagon. I just don't understand it. It will take many years before the current proposal phase becomes a set of functioning nuclear power plants, but now is exactly the right time to examine carefully what is going on with nuclear as an energy source.
1) Most scientists and engineers agree that the supply of uranium if used with current technology (and none of the proclaimed, hoped-for more efficient technologies such as fast breeder reactors are available or have been shown to work) is limited to about 40 years. Read more.
2) There are no safe long-term disposal facilities for nuclear waste. Read more.
3) Nuclear plants are major terrorist targets from air or land attack, and can be made relatively easily to release a highly dangerous cloud of radioactivity.
4) Nuclear energy has never shown itself to be economical, and has existed under a cloud of repeatedly over-optimistic statements regarding cost and safety. Read more
So, we have a limited, dangerous, highly polluting, and expensive resource in nuclear fission as a potential power source. Why then is there so much attention being paid to it now, including by our President George Bush (he of the "nukuler" disposition)?
Could it be that oil and gas will be fading soon on the horizon, coal companies are already firmly in place, and only nuclear energy remains as a new area of expansion where LARGE CORPORATIONS can exert control and extract large sums of money from the public. Photovoltaic, wind, and other solar-sourced energies are suitable for implementation at the level of the individual home or business owner, or perhaps under the guidance and buying power of local energy groups - in any case, not beholden to the large corporations that until this century have had a lock on power generation.
Could that be the reason that General Electric and George Bush seem to love their "clean" nuclear energy? Nah, it must be a coincidence. I am sure they and their friends would support all the small and medium-sized companies now developing photovoltaic, wind, and water-based renewable sources of energy, if those technologies were as renewable, clean, safe, and economical as nuclear energy! Right?