A few hours ago, I posted a blog titled Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite. That post included a video embed of Lovins presentation during a March 28, 2014 symposium sponsored by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and Future of Nuclear Energy.
That talk was followed — after a break — by the following panel discussion. If you don’t have time to watch the whole hour and 21 minutes, you might want to focus on the first 20 minutes. That is the section where Armond Cohen, the Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force and former guest on the Atomic Show, provides a presentation with analysis that is direct opposition to the talk that Lovins gave. Though Cohen was not provided an advance review of Lovins’s talk, he has probably heard similar talks from the same source often enough to know what to expect.
Several times during his presentation, Cohen said something to the effect of “And here our conclusion is different from than the one that Amory provided.”
My interpretation of Cohen’s talk was that he once hoped renewables and energy efficiency could be able to do the job without a lot of help from either fossil fuel or nuclear energy, but after running the numbers he recognized that the probability was not high enough to risk betting the cleanliness of our shared atmosphere on a hope.
Cohen is evidently a hockey fan, like several nuclear advocates that I know in Washington, so his prescription for our energy future uses a hockey analogy. He recommends that we take a lot of shots on goal and to avoid removing one of our most potent and proven scorers from the game.
PS – Cohen and I do not see eye to eye on some topics, especially with regard to the potential utility of offshore wind. I am adamantly opposed to offshore wind, especially the Cape Wind project, but have not been spending much time worrying about it. I predicted several years ago that it would never be built, but the project keeps getting jolts from the death-delaying paddles of political intervention.