This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Attn: global warming believers this book. Nuclear power is the place where many of opposing views can agree and move forward to a productive energy independent future.

Everything you thought you knew about nuclear power is wrong. This is just as well, according to Mark Lynas in Nuclear 2.0, because nuclear energy is essential to avoid catastrophic global warming. Using the latest world energy statistics Lynas shows that with wind and solar still at only about 1 percent of global primary energy, asking renewables to deliver all the world’s power is “dangerously delusional”. Moreover, there is no possibility of using less energy, he reminds us, when the developing world is fast extricating itself from poverty and adding the equivalent of a new Brazil to global electricity consumption each year. The anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s and 80s succeeded only in making the world more dependent on fossil fuels, he shows: its history is “not lit by sunshine, but shrouded in coal smoke”. Instead of making the same mistake again, all those who want to see a low-carbon future need to join forces, he insists, concluding the book with an ambitious proposal for an Apollo Program-style combined investment in wind, solar and nuclear power.