How Not to Deal With Climate Change, by  Michael Shellenberger – The New York Times

“Berkeley, Calif. — CALIFORNIA has a reputation as a leader in battling climate change, and so when Pacific Gas & Electric and environmental groups announced a plan last week to close the state’s last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, and replace much of the electricity it generates with power from renewable resources, the deal was widely applauded.It shouldn’t have been. If the proposal is approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission, California’s carbon dioxide emissions will either increase or decline far less than if Diablo Canyon’s two reactors, which generated about 9 percent of the state’s electricity last year, remained in operation. If this deal goes through, California will become a model of how not to deal with climate change.

While Pacific Gas & Electric asserts Diablo Canyon would be replaced with other forms of clean, low-carbon power, nothing in the proposal would require the company to go that far. Instead, the plan, according to my organization’s calculations, would require the company only to invest in energy efficiency and renewables programs equivalent to about one-fifth of Diablo Canyon’s electricity output. Anything beyond that would be voluntary.” ”

Source: How Not to Deal With Climate Change – The New York Times

Here is an excellent comment from nyt comments that I support.
Bergen County, New Jersey 55 minutes ago

“Agree with this article. I used to be an anti-nuke, but the climate emergency takes precedence. We should at a minimum use all the carbon-free nuclear plants now in service and probably build more, at least to get us over our emissions hump over the coming century. Maybe then, if we have a better mousetrap to provide carbon free baseload electric generation, we can shut down the nukes.

Safety concerns over nuclear plants are legitimate, but do not trump the climate crisis. I am also influenced by the fact that apparently France and Japan have been doing something with their waste smarter than we are –leaving wast at operating plants, because of opposition to Yucca Mountain or other permanent repository. Opposition to Yucca is really just an anti-nuclear strategy of going after a vulnerable point in the nuclear production cycle.

Many environmentalists are constrained by their pre-standing policy and ideological opposition to nuclear energy. A more pragmatic outlook would recognize that nuclear energy, like all carbon-free sources, need to be called to duty to combat our greenhouse gas emissions. It’s all hands on deck and there is no single solution.”

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