We Need a Nuclear New Deal, Not a Green New Deal – by Emmet Penney and Adrian Calderon (The Bellows – September 25, 2020)


In July, presidential candidate Joe Biden released his climate and infrastructure plan, “The Biden Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future.”

From the automotive industry, to infrastructure, to addressing racial inequality, to labor protections, to a massive renewable energy build out, Biden aims to remake the American industrial base, right past wrongs, and generate a gobsmacking 10 million “good union jobs” in the process.

For comparison, the Works Progress Administration under the New Deal created 8.5 million jobs. Biden’s capacious plan has raised eyebrows. Some believe it speaks to his “deceptive radicalism;” others rightly point out that he’s “endorsed the Green New Deal in all but name.”

Both Biden’s plan and the Green New Deal rely heavily on “variable renewables” (i.e. wind and solar, the output of which varies with the weather) to decarbonize the economy.

Renewables like solar and wind, which don’t create greenhouse gas emissions, play a starring role in what is called an “energy mix”: a combination of existing nuclear energy, variable renewables, hydropower, and biomass. Unfortunately, the view of renewables as a naturally harmonious, carbon-neutral technology is more romantic than scientific.

For the rest of this article: https://www.thebellows.org/we-need-a-nuclear-new-deal-not-a-green-new-deal/