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Guardian Author is for Nuclear Power, Exemplifies the Term Fuddy-Duddy

Nuclear Power Vignette

Reporting with hunched back and squinty eyes, journalist George Monblot wrote in today's Guardian that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi power plant has convinced him the nuclear power is not only safe, but the only viable energy source for the future of mankind. His rambling, Industrian Revolution-citing article ignores the real risks of nuclear power, adopts a "you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette" view of human life, and is painfully ignorant of the fact that sustainable energy policy is still highly dependent on future innovation.

I'll say it again, he sounds like a very very old person. For Christ's sake, he mentions the Industrial Revolution. I would counter that nuclear power is like 70 years old- ancient by today's technology standards. In fact, all the alternatives he mentions are decades old. In design years, that's almost petrified.

Want to run a city, how about using the kinetic energy of people power like the Japanese are using to power a subway station?  How about we throw some money at those bacteria that consume carbon dioxide and produce isobutanol?

It's likely that the technology that saves us is still in development or doesn't have any large-scale implementations.  It also will come from more diverse sources than we are used to.  When Monblot cites the inefficiency of using photovoltaic energy in Britain- and here he shows his real gift for stating the obvious- he shows that he's not just ignorant of the latest developments in energy technology, but that he approaches the entire problem from an out-dated mode of thinking.  Younger generations eat locally, we xeriscape, and our energy production should be equally localized.

Even large-scale, universal energy solutions are forging new paths.  A couple years back I ran into John Holdren, advisor to Obama for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and asked him to explain so-called 'clean' coal to me because I didn't understand how it could be clean and why it wasn't being used anywhere.  After explaining to me what clean coal was (and why my question didn't quite make sense), he explained that clean coal is still in development and that after they find a way to clean the coal emissions, they still have to find a way to dispose or reuse the carbon.  It didn't exist, but he thought it might be our best hope.

The bright-minded scientists responsible for actually solving these problems aren't even thinking in the archaic terms this journalist is. He is, in energy parlance, a dim bulb.

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