Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Nuclear Option

The global warming nuts are strangely silent about the obvious solution to their problem - nuclear power - no greenhouse gasses, no blood-for-oil, no dependency on despotic oil suppliers.

The French, by the law of averages, have done the right thing here, as the WSJ opines (subscription):

No country gets a larger share of its total electricity from nuclear power than France at 78%. Perhaps more amazing, France consumes less than 4% of the world's energy but produces about a sixth of its nuclear power. The U.S. and Britain get only 20% of their electricity from nuclear plants.

Most puzzling is that much of the opposition to nuclear power comes from the left -- which, in the U.S. at least, often takes its cue from France -- and in particular environmentalists. How the greens can on the one hand rail about fossil fuels' contribution to "global warming" and on the other criticize nuclear reactors that don't emit carbon dioxide is a mystery.

Absent the political risks and excessive regulatory burdens typical of the U.S., the French have found nuclear power to be cheaper than coal. Per kilowatt-hour it is less than one-third the cost of gas and oil, according to figures compiled by Energy Velocity and EUCG Inc. As the French have so aptly proven, nuclear power plants can be safe as well as productive.

I suspect the answer is that global warming boosters are more concerned to reduce western living standards than they are by the odd 1 degree rise in their flaky computer models.