The profiteers that wallow in the subsidies for unreliable and intermittent wind and solar hate nuclear, principally because it works, 24×365, irrespective of the weather or time-of-day.

Nuclear power is the only stand-alone power generation source that does not emit carbon dioxide gas during the process. And by reference to the amount of power it generates, nuclear is far away the safest power generation system, there is.

The wind industry (which really only got off the ground in the late 1990s and still generates a trifling amount of electricityhas clocked up around 220 fatalities, so far – for the numbers see the helpful collection of wind industry death and injury stats compiled by Caithness Windfarm Information Forum all available here: www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk

STT promotes nuclear power for all the reasons that renewable energy rent seekers hate it. So does American environmentalist, Michael Shellenberger – who has been promoting nuclear power for all the right reasons, for years now. Here he is being interviewed by Sky News’ Chris Kenny.

Environmental expert says nuclear is ‘cleanest source of energy by far’
Sky News
Chris Kenny and Michael Shellenberger
27 May 2021

“Nuclear is the cleanest source of energy by far,” says environmental policy expert Michael Shellenberger.

“It’s because it produces so efficiently, it produces such large quantities of electricity on small amounts of land – tiny quantities of Uranium can produce all the energy I need in my entire life,” he told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“And the mining is the most lucrative, it’s the safest, it’s the best on the environment because you don’t need so much Uranium to produce so much electricity.

“It has the best waste management – solar produces 300 times more waste than nuclear plants.”

Mr Shellenberger said if climate change proponents really believed in their cause they would be “advocating nuclear” and if not – then perhaps their drive is “not about climate”.

Transcript

Chris Kenny: Now, I mentioned the energy debate. As you know, Australia has traditionally had some of the most reliable and the cheapest energy in the world. We’ve got more coal and gas than most countries could dream of.

We’re going down this renewables path. It’s already turned us into a nation with expensive energy that’s less reliable and the future looks ever more dodgy. Why wouldn’t we switch to nuclear? It’s emissions-free and reliable.

One leading environmentalist who argues for nuclear energy is Michael Shellenberger. He’s the author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

And I caught up with him again a short time ago. Michael. Good to talk to you again. I want to focus on nuclear energy and of course its role when we’re looking for greenhouse gas emissions-free energy.

Has the time for this come? I know you’ve been talking about it for many years, but are we starting to see people grapple with this reality?

Michael Shellenberger: We are in the sense that they just shut a very big nuclear power plant in New York State which provided a significant amount of electricity to Manhattan in New York City. As soon as they did it, they had to replace it with natural gas or fossil fuels which we said they would have to do.

Of course, you can’t replace reliable baseload nuclear energy with weather-dependent solar panels or wind turbines. Of course, it’s all coming at a moment when we now know that many of the solar panels that are manufactured in China are made in coerced labour conditions and that’s created a crisis for people who think that somehow we’re going to be able to power the world on solar and that we don’t need nuclear.

Chris Kenny: I want to come back to the equipment needed for renewable energy in a moment. First up, just on reliability and emissions. We know of course renewables are intermittent. You need some power that is reliable.

We know in Australia has endless supply of coal and gas but if we want to reduce emissions, the other thing we have endless supplies of is uranium. Nuclear energy in terms of cost benefit long-term for reliable emissions-free technology or energy… How does it stack up?

Michael Shellenberger: Nuclear is the cleanest source of energy by far because it produces so efficient and produces such large quantities of electricity on small amounts of land. Tiny quantities of uranium can produce all the energy I need in my entire life. Just that amount.

The mining is the most lucrative. It’s the safest. It’s the best on the environment because you don’t need so much uranium to produce so much electricity and then it has the best waste management.

Solar produces 300 times more weight than nuclear plants do and it’s because of this issue of energy density, no air pollution, no water pollution, one quarter of the carbon emissions as solar panels. If they really believe in climate change, then they would be advocating a lot of nuclear and the fact that they’re not suggest that maybe this isn’t about climate.

Chris Kenny: Yeah. This is the point about renewables, isn’t it? Not just the intermittent nature of the energy they produce but too many people don’t factor into the equation the enormous resources that go into the steel for wind turbines that go into the equipment for solar panels as you mentioned and the waste of course that is created when they turn them over every 15 to 20 years.

Of course, the other issue is the batteries that are required to support them are also lead to extensive mining and waste issues.

Michael Shellenberger: We just saw President Biden announce today that we wouldn’t be doing the mining in the United States and we would rely on our partner nations. I think the thing that’s interesting about energy is that nations need to produce the bulk of their own energy. You can’t be your own independent nation and be importing significant quantities of energy from outside.

It creates too much insecurity. It means you basically give up on a fundamental part of your economy. Obviously in Australia, in Europe, in the United States, high energy developed countries, nuclear is the obvious thing that we would be using to address climate change.

The fact that the people that that are shutting down nuclear power plants in the United States and Europe are the same people who claim that we’re in the midst of a climate emergency. It tells you all you need to know about the seriousness of whether they really think we’re in an emergency or not.

Chris Kenny: Yeah. Look, It’s a big model for a country like Australia to grapple with because we’ve never had nuclear energy. As you say, in Europe and the US, nuclear energy has been part of the mix so you need to re-examine it. But it’s a different model, isn’t it?

From the renewables, with the gas supplies, gas, energy sort of acting as a firming generator, whereas nuclear energy would be there all the time. Its baseload. It would effectively be an alternative to renewable energy rather than a supplement. Is that right?

Michael Shellenberger: Yeah, you’ve got it and that’s why we see these big banks, the big shadow banks like BlackRock and Goldman Sachs and others. They want to finance solar even though it’s imported from China to replace nuclear and coal but nuclear is the one that it produces zero-carbon electricity and that’s because that’s what makes the money for the banks and it has provided in the past anyway some greenwashing for the natural gas.

You’ve seen an alliance. In my writings, I’ve been describing how we now have proof of the financial ties between natural gas interests, Chinese solar manufacturer, global banks and global environmental nonprofit organisations.

The biggest in the United States, some of the biggest in Europe are supported directly by natural gas and had Chinese solar interests. Along with this partnership with banks, it’s a very different picture than I think that one like is presented about renewables somehow being able to provide us with independence and with sustainability.

Chris Kenny: Yeah. That’s A fascinating insight. This debate has got a long way to go. Not just globally, but of course in this country as well. We’ll keep in touch, Michael. Thanks for talking again.

Michael Shellenberger: Thanks for talking with me, Chris.


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June 8, 2021 at 02:32AM