Four Nuclear Myths: A Commentary on Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Discipline and on Similar Writings
AUTHOR: Lovins, Amory
DOCUMENT ID: 2009-09
DOCUMENT TYPE: Journal or Magazine Article
Public discussions of nuclear power, and a surprising number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, are increasingly based on four notions unfounded in fact or logic:
1. variable renewable sources of electricity (windpower and photovoltaics) can provide little or no reliable electricity because they are not ³baseload² the time;
2. those renewable sources require such enormous amounts of land, hundreds of times more than nuclear power does, that they¹re environmentally unacceptable;
3. all options, including nuclear power, are needed to combat climate change; and
4. nuclear power¹s economics matter little because governments must use it anyway to protect the climate.
Phi Beta Iota: We would add two observations: first, that nuclear capacity takes too long to build and bring online, and should not require taxpayer gurantees; and second, regardless of who is in power, the President and Cabinet are not getting this kind of “intelligence” (decision-support). The US secret intelligence community is spending $75 billion a year of our money (individual taxes, not corporate taxes that are next to nothing) to NOT give the President this kind of essential information. CIA’s idiotic decision to create a climate change center, and the recent discussion of a new Climate Change Agency, highlight the complete stupidity of the U.S. Government on fundamental high-level threats to humanity (news flash: there are ten of them) and on the role intelligence and management could and should play in harmonizing planning, programming, and budgeting, that neither does. The U.S. Government is good people trapped in a bad system that is organizationally stupid, corrupt, and pathologically mis-directed.