Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, has stated in an interview with Ryuichi Otsuka, a news researcher for the prominent Japanese news provider Yomiuri Shimbun, that Nuclear Power is an essential part of the solution to climate change.
According to Sachs;
Q: Nuclear power has various risks, but threats of climate change are much more serious?
A: That is exactly right. Climate change’s danger is great. What scientists tell us is that by the end of this century, if we don’t take strong measures, the Earth’s climate will change to be in a condition unlike anything that humanity has ever experienced — with many more extreme events, with much hotter temperatures, with much more frequency of typhoons, droughts, floods and with the risks of very significant rise of sea levels — which could create catastrophes of many of the world’s greatest cities.
And if opponents of nuclear power say nuclear power should not be used, they have the responsibility to show the alternative. Germany is closing down its nuclear power, but it’s burning more U.S. coal exported to Germany. And I find that really unacceptable. It’s bad not only for Germany but for the world.
And in China, people are suffering massive lung disease and premature death from all the air pollution coming from coal plants. A scientist estimated that more than one million people have died as a result of coal-fired power plants, whereas with nuclear plants, the number of deaths has been very small.
Jeffrey Sachs has added his voice to the voices of other leading greens, scientists such as Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Kerry Emanuel and Dr. Ken Caldeira, who have demanded political acceptance of nuclear power, to save the planet. Guardian Columnist George Monbiot has maintained strong support for nuclear power, despite a substantial backlash against his stance from fellow greens. Anthony Watts, and other skeptics support nuclear power.
Leading engineers at Google Corporation, one of the world’s greenest companies, have reluctantly concluded that renewable power is not ready for mainstream use. Within the framework of belief that CO2 is an imminent threat to the planet, it is utterly implausible to deny the need for nuclear power to be a large part of the solution.
In my opinion, it is time for greens to demonstrate they actually believe in anthropogenic global warming, by throwing their wholehearted support behind the nuclear option.