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Ross: The path to zero emissions is paved with nuclear energy

Nuclear power could help us end climate change once and for all. (AP)

Michael Shellenberger is a tree-hugger.

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“Absolutely, my entire life,” he notes.

He runs the website Environmental Progress. But he has annoyed many of his fellow environmentalists, arguing that there is only one way to cut carbon emissions to zero.

“There has never been a successful Green New Deal that wasn’t basically nuclear,” he claims.

He says that solar farms and wind farms have a fatal flaw: That they will always have to go hand in hand with traditional natural gas plants.

“You always have to have a natural gas plant ready to burn gas and produce electricity whenever the sun goes behind a cloud or the wind stops blowing,” explains Shellenberger.

Essentially, we can never get to zero emissions, even as we cover the natural landscape with monster windmills and dark panels.

Whereas a nuclear plant is no bigger than the plant that’s already there, it’s already connected to the grid, and the fuel is as compact as it gets.

“I mean the amount of uranium in a can of Coke is enough to provide all the energy I need for my entire life,” he says.

Michael Shellenberger says to get to zero emissions, the U.S. would need to build 400 more nuclear plants. The number currently under construction?


But maybe there’s a grand bargain here: Republicans stop denying climate change, and Democrats stop denying nuclear power.

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