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Green Dilemma: Will Climate Fears Trump Nuclear Fears?

The American Interest

The modern environmental movement has a long history campaigning against nuclear power, but that opposition has looked increasingly foolish in recent years as greens have identified climate change as public enemy #1.

Nuclear power doesn’t produce any of those dastardly greenhouse gas emissions your average eco-activist finds so deplorable, and unlike wind and solar, nuclear power can keep the lights on 24/7, even on those cloudy windless days. And yet still, many greens have reflexively held on to their anti-nuclear biases.

Thankfully, it looks like some of the bigger green advocacy groups are starting to see the light, as the WSJ reports:

The Sierra Club, the country’s oldest and largest environmental group, is debating whether to halt its longtime position in support of shuttering all existing nuclear-power plants earlier than required by their federal operating licenses. The environmental group’s leaders see existing reactors as a bridge to renewable electricity and an alternative source of energy as the group campaigns to shut down coal and natural gas plants.

The Environmental Defense Fund is similarly deciding to what extent it should adjust its policy, potentially lending its support to keeping open financially struggling reactors. 

This is good news for Gaia and, if these activist groups can follow through and actually embrace nuclear reactors as the global green energy workhorses they really are, this could be a very positive step for the environmental movement. We’ve long said that the world needs a smarter group of green advocates—one capable of rationally assessing policy options and backing the ones that might actually work. Instead, the environmental movement is led by people like Bill McKibben that would rather distort science to suit their own biases than take a clear-eyed look at the many solutions (yes, they exist) we have to address the problems greens love to depict in such lurid detail.

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