TED Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

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reikiman
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Here's an interesting debate between Stewart Brand and Prof. Mark Jacobson about what power source to drive our society. Basically renewable energy versus nuclear power. A lot of great points here. The argument seems to center on "base load" energy required to maintain our society in the style to which we've become accustomed.

---------- Their discussion

Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.

About Stewart Brand

Since the counterculture Sixties, Stewart Brand has been a critical thinker and innovator who helped lay the foundations of our internetworked world. Full bio and more links

About Mark Z. Jacobson

At Stanford, Mark Z. Jacobson uses numerical models to study the effects of energy systems and vehicles on climate and air pollution, and to analyze renewable energy resources. Full bio and more links

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marcopolo
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Re: TED Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

reikiman wrote:

Here's an interesting debate between Stewart Brand and Prof. Mark Jacobson about what power source to drive our society. Basically renewable energy versus nuclear power. A lot of great points here. The argument seems to center on "base load" energy required to maintain our society in the style to which we've become accustomed.

Thank you for posting a most interesting debate. Obviously, the fanatics on each side will argue endlessly. However, it's interesting that so many serious environmentalists are starting to accept the logic of untiling the rapidly developing nuclear technology.

A large percentage of the opposition would appear to come from very emotive and poorly thought out scenarios, terrorism, nuclear weapons, accidents etc. Others, can't seem to grasp that in a free enterprise society, there is no reason to stop developing wind,solar, etc. just because you also build nuclear. Nuclear will always be relatively expensive, and more economic alternatives will always be competitive.

Oh, there is one proposal that is simply not practical. The concept that people will abandon the current way of life, to live in a under consuming, restrictive energy, socialist, ideologically driven, society. It just won't happen!

So, take your choice, switch to nuclear and an electron future, ultimately replaced by highly developed renewables, or continue with oil, (more and larger spills) and when oil is depleted, continue with coal for as long as we can still breathe?

Cheers

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marcopolo

redbaron
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Re: TED Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

marcopolo wrote:

A large percentage of the opposition would appear to come from very emotive and poorly thought out scenarios, terrorism, nuclear weapons, accidents etc. Others, can't seem to grasp that in a free enterprise society, there is no reason to stop developing wind,solar, etc. just because you also build nuclear. Nuclear will always be relatively expensive, and more economic alternatives will always be competitive.

True, also the fact that nuclear technology is still immature. Oil and coal powering technology are very mature and nothing really new has come from that sector in a long time. Nuclear still has a way to go before becoming readily excepted though I see it as the only real way to power man's first inter-solar system space craft.

That is unless cold fusion surprises us!

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