Shellenberger: "Nuclear energy and natural gas have reduced carbon emissions far more than solar and wind. Why, then, are the people so apocalyptic about climate change so opposed to them?...Before progressives were apocalyptic about climate change they were apocalyptic about nuclear energy. Then, after the Cold War ended, and the threat of nuclear war declined radically, they found a new vehicle for their secular apocalypse in the form of climate change...
Apocalyptic environmentalists like Sanders, Thunberg, and Extinction Rebellion insist that if we don’t enact their agenda, industrial civilization will come to an end. But if they are so concerned with protecting industrial civilization, why do they advocate solutions that would end it? ...
After all, if nations were to simply use natural gas to transition to nuclear, there would be little need to stop traffic in London, moralize about the virtues of foregoing meat, flying, and driving, or deploy renewables."
CNN's Zakaria: “The Sanders green energy plan is magical thinking. It presumes that we can reduce emissions in electricity and transport to zero in ten years while simultaneously shutting down the only two low-emissions, always available sources of power that collectively provide nearly 60 percent of America’s electricity today. And that makes me wonder: Is the real problem that Bernie Sanders will lose or that he might win.”
Pielke Jr. Key Points: "The U.S. has not yet begun its journey towards net-zero carbon dioxide, whether by 2050 or any other year. None of the proposals put forward by Democratic candidates for president are plausible. This battle has yet to be joined."
"Carbon dioxide emissions reductions in the United States since 2005 are largely the result of the displacement of coal, which is very carbon intensive, by natural gas. Consider that U.S. fossil fuel consumption was just about the same in 1999 and 2018, but carbon dioxide emissions were about 550 million metric tonnes more in 1999 than in 2018. This decrease represents the effects of natural gas displacing coal, but not any less reliance on fossil fuels."
"The evidence indicates that none of the increase in renewables deployment has actually replaced any fossil fuel consumption. U.S. fossil fuel consumption has continued to increase. In the decade following the 2009 financial crisis, carbon-free consumption increased by about 75 mtoe, but fossil fuel consumption also increased by about 75 mtoe. The notable addition of renewables to the U.S. energy mix has all been additive – it has not displaced any fossil fuels."
"The United States saw its carbon dioxide emissions drop by almost 14% from 2005 to 2018, as you can see in the figure below, according to data from BP. As a base year for comparison, 2005 is often selected because it was the year in which U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peaked. Over that same time period carbon-free energy– from nuclear, hydro and renewables – increased its role in energy consumption from 11.6% to 15.7%."
"The U.S. experience shows how a focus on emissions can mislead. Even though emissions dropped from 1999 to 2018, the U.S. is no closer to net-zero carbon dioxide because total fossil fuel consumption is unchanged."
"During the Obama administration, fossil fuel consumption dropped by about 100 mtoe, while renewables increased by about 60 mtoe. It might have seemed that carbon-free energy displaced fossil fuels during this period, but again, the overwhelming factor influencing energy outcomes appears to be the 2009 financial crisis."
“Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good.”
STUDY: “Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good.”
Jo Nova: "The panicked closure of nuclear power in Japan pushed electricity prices up. The UN agrees that no people died from radiation in the Fukushima event, but the frenzied over-evacuation killed up to 2,000 people. After that, higher electricity prices led to at least 1280 extra deaths in the 21 largest cities. That translates into 4,500 deaths if the mortality rate was similar across the rest of the country."