The Future is Nuclear (whether we like it or not)
Nuclear power is an extremely powerful tool.
It ended WW2.
It accelerated the end of the Cold War because the Soviet Union had to spend a ton of money on its nuclear defense.
And nuclear power may again decide the world’s next global leader, but I don’t think it will be in the form of a bomb, but in the form of a plant.
I believe technological gains in solar energy and battery storage will be enough to meet much of America’s present energy needs, but I worry it won’t be enough to compete with other nations like China who have fully embraced nuclear technology where every 2 - 3 months China builds a new nuclear reactor.
For America to fall behind the CCP in energy production presents a grave threat to global freedom and human rights because China will undoubtedly rule the world with a robotic fist.
It’s hard to imagine a nation with say a million times more energy at their disposable falling behind anyone else.
It would be as if in the 20th century a bunch of environmentalists took power in the United States and stopped oil production. The U.S. would never have went through the Industrial Revolution then. This wouldn’t have prevented the world from embracing oil, it would have just prevented the U.S. from leading the world.
In our Atomic Age, nuclear energy therefore isn’t so much an “energy alternative,” as much as it’s a national security necessity. We need to lead the world in nuclear power AGAIN because whether we like it or not, much like whether we liked nuclear weapons or not, the safest place for America to be is ahead! Nuclear power is the future. The only question is will we lead it?
With that said, I could be wrong about the existence of this brewing nuclear power race. I haven’t heard anyone frame it in these terms, but I think it’s just a natural extension of current trends.
Are there serious concerns around nuclear energy production? Sure. I won’t pretend to be a nuclear physicist so I’ll leave the designing and maintaining of nuclear power plants to them, but here are the facts: radiation from 3 Mile Island and Fukushima reportedly killed NO ONE and the areas where the meltdowns occurred statistically stayed within normal radiation levels. And the simple fact is if we use statistics instead of emotional anecdotes to guide public policy then we’d acknowledge that nuclear energy is far, far, far safer than natural gas, oil, and coal.
And so if for some reason you needed another clue that mainstream media and Democrat politicians are extremely dishonest just ask them if they support nuclear energy or raising the federal gas tax for that matter? These two policies would do the most to curb carbon emissions in our so-called climate crisis, but instead, they prefer to virtue signal by signing toothless international agreements or handing out billions of taxpayer dollars to their favorite green energy political donors.
When politicians ACTUALLY think we're in a crisis they respond via innovation deregulation, i.e. Operation Warpspeed. Imagine if decades ago we applied a Warpspeed program to nuclear power then today at least 75% of America's power would come from nuclear.
Historically, the speediest drop of greenhouse gas emissions occurred in France when it transitioned to nuclear where today they have about 75% of their power coming from nuclear and that's despite the fact they're by and large a less innovative country than the United States.
Another concern people have about nuclear energy is its waste, but if we took all the nuclear waste of all America’s reactors for the last 60 years it would fit inside a Walmart. Anyone who brings up nuclear waste to try and stop the development of nuclear power honestly has ZERO credibility on this topic because they either haven’t done their research or their job depends on ignoring it.
And so I will conclude by saying to my climate change activist friends,
Will you join the right by choosing to be on the right side of history on one of the most consequential issues of our times or will you put your ego/identity/party above the truth/rationality/America?
It's clear the future is nuclear.
Another excellent commentary, thank you Anthony! It occurs to me that starting with the steam engine in 1850, there has been an energy revolution about every 50 years. In 1900, the internal combustion engine and in 1950 nuclear. Truman came out talking about power too cheap to meter. But somehow the US lost the plot. I suspect that lobbying by the fossil fuel industry was a factor in regulating nuclear in the US into oblivion.
The world needs, by my infallible estimation of course, :) 3-5 times as much energy as we are producing today to bring everyone up to a "decent" standard of living. And the competition to provide it will be brutal. Solar and wind are like bringing a hay wagon to a Formula One race.
And you are spot on about the hypocrisy of the left in rejecting nuclear. Who are the real science deniers?