I like this approach to the global warming climate debate:
1) Rapid human economic development is good (not argued here) and inevitable (you aren't going to stop China, India etc. from developing)
2) The only valid alternative to fossil fuels for our energy needs is nuclear power. This is really a matter of doing the arithmetic. According to The Integral Fast Reactor – Summary for Policy Makers (IFR Summary article) , which is written from the POV of keeping CO2 under 450ppm, then we will need to produce 1 GWe per day of new clean power every single day for the next 25 years.
3) The integral fast reactor (IFR) is the safest and most efficient form of nuclear power about. It was invented by Charles Till in 1965 (Plentiful Energy and the IFR Story) who led a team which produced a small (non commercial) fast reactor which ran for 30 years without incident. Unfortunately, this program was shut down by Bill Clinton’s administration in 1994 for political reasons. In Congress, the main argument against (by John Kerry) was civilian nuclear proliferation (which I suppose is a valid concern today as well – although the end product of IFR is not suitable for weapon production I’m less certain about the fuel inputs, still researching)
4) So if you are a climate alarmist then you should support IFR (as James Hansen does, see Science Council for Global Initiatives)
5) If you are not an alarmist but support future human development then you should also support IFR, not so urgently but essential for the future.
There is a debate happening in Adelaide, Australia, this Friday presented by The Australian Solar Energy Society, Sustainable Populations Australia and The Zero Carbon Network, will see a debate on “Should we consider Nuclear Power as a response to climate change?” with Mark Diesendorf and Helen Caldicott for the negative and Barry Brook and Tom Blees for the affirmitive (The Nuclear Debate). I've booked a seat.
For more information about IFR do some reading from this page of Barry Brooks blog, Brave New Climate.
Tom Blees video, part 2 of 3:
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