Dan Gardner is the author of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear and a principal at Tactix, an Ottawa consultancy
One in three Canadians thinks nuclear power emits as much carbon dioxide as burning oil. Almost three in 10 think it emits more.
There are several reasons to marvel at these facts, which were uncovered by Abacus Data earlier this year. First, they’re spectacularly wrong. After construction, nuclear power is effectively zero-emission electricity, while oil is one of the leading causes of climate change.
Second, the fight against climate change is about replacing fossil fuels such as oil with the short list of zero-emission energy sources. And yet it seems most Canadians don’t know what’s on the list.
But what’s most disheartening is that these are Canadians, of all people. Three countries have massively decarbonized with the help of nuclear power. France and Sweden are the first two. The third – and apparently this will be news to most Canadians – is Canada.
“France replaced almost all of its fossil-fuelled electricity with nuclear power nationwide in just 15 years; Sweden, in about 20 years,” an op-ed in The New York Times recently noted. Both these revolutions were prompted by the energy crises of the 1970s, long before anyone worried about climate change, but they made France and Sweden climate-change leaders, however accidentally.
For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-nuclear-power-is-the-key-to-fighting-climate-change-so-why-dont-we/