I have never been a fan of nuclear energy, but that has mainly to do with the fact that I have worries around the long lifespan of nuclear material (the longer the timescale the more uncertainty there is with how the future turns out and how our society develops, wars that are fought etc.) and the potential for things like hurricanes (which are likely to increase in future as temperatures rise) to cause catastrophic situations.

However, I watched your Ted Talk on nuclear energy a couple of weeks ago, and really wanted to get back to you to let you know that you are the first person who has managed to make an argument for nuclear that was actually persuasive to me. I guess I would also rather see a more equitable/horizontal and social energy transition, and nuclear power is inherently something that needs centralised organisation, but most wind and solar farms are currently deployed by large energy and fossil fuel companies, so it's not like that is by definition going to achieve that. If we really want to address climate change as best we can, we need to look at the facts, which includes honestly examining why renewables aren't replacing fossil fuels at the rate they need to (if at all). Seeing the massive switch back to coal power in Europe this year has been especially frustrating to see. I commend you for making the challenging case for something to break this cycle of evermore fossil fuel burning, and find it disheartening to see that you get so much pushback from the green movement. Again, we should honestly look at the facts and see where those lead us.

How do you see the role of nuclear power in states prone to conflict, like for example the way nuclear plants are currently being shelled in Ukraine, doesn't this underscore an extra need for international collaboration and peace building, or is that wishful thinking? And what does this say about the potential risks around nuclear power in future as our societies destabilise in the face of more extreme weather, migration, and geo-political power struggles?

Expand full comment

More from "Boston Review" but Texas Blackouts killed ~200 and co$t $ BILLIONS>>> To Save the Climate, Give Up the Demand for Constant Electricity

Waiting to ensure uninterrupted power for everyone as we transition away from fossil fuels will cost too much time—and too many lives. https://bostonreview.net/science-nature/david-mcdermott-hughes-save-climate-give-demand-constant-electricity

Expand full comment