Ross: Is nuclear power the future of green energy?

Oct 8, 2019, 7:48 AM

Nuclear power...

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


It’s tempting to think that economic growth makes climate change inevitable, and that the only solution is to back off before nature loses all patience and does to us what it did to the Bahamas.

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

Wrong answer, says Andrew McAfee.

Total energy use in America has been flat for about ten years — our carbon emissions are declining,” he noted. “If we lead the way on that, the rest of the world will follow that and they will de-carbonize much earlier in their history than we did.”

McAfee is co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and the trick, he says, is for the government put a higher price on carbon emissions, to motivate the free market to keep doing more with less (incidentally, More From Less is the title of his new book).

Just one catch: We have to be willing to accept all sources of clean energy.

“I think we have an extraordinarily useful, clean, safe, green, scalable energy source out there but it scares a lot of people because it’s called nuclear,” he described.

Fossil fuels could cause clouds to disappear

Nuclear! He was once anti-nuclear, but says the latest designs are safe, affordable, and, because zero carbon is released, thoroughly green.

“I think our future is going to be pretty nuclear powered, but it does require us to get past the ”ick’ factor.”

Fair point, but if the alternative is more Bahamas, I think I’d take that deal.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Palestinians flee to northern Gaza as Israeli tanks block the Salah al-Din road in the central Gaza...

Dave Ross

Ross: When deterrence doesn’t work with the Gaza War

Beyond the debate over morality, the Gaza War is teaching us how a conflict between two groups can rip away the veneer of civilization.

7 days ago

Swimmers take part in the annual Sydney Skinny....

Dave Ross

Ross: Beaches in the buff don’t scream ‘Seattle’

It's not necessarily lewd to go naked. It's just that this is Seattle, not Brazil. The climate here doesn't exactly scream "nude."

12 days ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump waits to take the witness stand during his civil fraud trial a...

Dave Ross

Ross: Turning the Constitution on itself

In a hearing before the DC Court of Appeals, Donald Trump’s attorney argued that the First Amendment protects his political speech and that the gag order against him in the election tampering case is unconstitutional.

13 days ago

Image: Washington Louis sorts through cans of food at the LifeNet4Families community-based food pan...

Dave Ross

Ross: Helping the hungry comes with gratitude that goes both ways

Last week a group of us from KIRO Radio – Management, Sales, and On-Air staff – volunteered at the White Center Food Bank.

14 days ago

Sen. Markwayne Mullin. (Getty Images)...

Dave Ross

Ross: Politics is war by other means

We all know that bullies are a problem. It’s bad enough in the classroom, but it’s really bad when that attitude persists into adulthood and plays out among people in important positions.

18 days ago

Nurse patient...

Dave Ross

Ross: Artificial Intelligence bringing a non-human approach to health care

I'm at the age where after a doctor’s visit I’ll get a form letter basically saying -- we just paid one of your medical bills, please prove it's legitimate.

19 days ago

Ross: Is nuclear power the future of green energy?