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10 Comments

  1. I agree that fossil fuels have greatly helped humans enjoy a better life by providing energy. Barring the atmospheric damage they cause, they could go on providing it as long as it lasts. And they will be needed until replacements are provided. But is he forgetting or denying climate science? That is the overriding problem with that form of energy. Vilifying fossil fuels and the people who provide it is not productive. At the same time, not acknowledging its destructive effect and our need to get off it as soon as is possible, is not giving the full picture.

    1. Phil,
      I completely agree. A solid moral argument can be made for allowing poor countries to use cheap fossil fuels for development, but richer countries have a obligation to transition away from highly polluting sources of energy.

      This would also make it cheaper for poor countries to transition to low CO2 energy sources later on.

      1. The distinction between what richer and poor countries might use as an energy source is a false one. It is clear that if nuclear energy is burdened with an extraordinary amount of regulation. This makes it much more expensive than it needs to be. If it were regulated to safety standards comparable to that used for fossil fuels, it would like be cheaper than fossil fuels. It would then be the preferred energy choice for all nations. Fossil fuels would have an advantage only in small-scale applications, e.g., it is difficult to build a automobile directly powered by nuclear energy.

        If there is a moral case for the expanded use of fossil fuels, then there is a strong moral case for the expanded use of nuclear energy in order to free up fossil fuels for those uses.

  2. Alex Epstein is neither forgetting nor denying “climate change”.

    He writes about it in his book, which I very much suggest everyone who is interested in energy should read.

    He basically says that even if it was the slight CO2 increase (0,035% to 0,040%) causing any climate change, our increased use of fossil fuels, leading to a larger reliance on cheap energy, allows everyone to better cope with climate change, and the number of climate-related victims worldwide has dropped by 99% over the course of the last decades.

    He is thus arguing that it is by using *MORE* energy that we become more resilient towards weather hazards, not *LESS* energy.

    A great episode indeed, and I very much look forward to any further developments with Alex Epstein, whose book has strenghtened my views on why energy abundance is key to the survival of society as we know it.

    Thanks Rod!

    Ciao, Luca

    1. Luca,

      When Rod mentioned that a reader had sent him an email asking when he would be writing “The Moral Case for Nuclear Energy”, I thought that that might have been you. I recall that you had posted a link to this book a few weeks back within a certain Facebook group.

      1. Hi EntrepreNuke,

        no, it wasn’t me, as I did not contact Rod with a fake cover for a future book about “The Moral Case for Nuclear Energy”, but I am happy to see that someone else also got in touch with him about this book.

        Yes, I did get in touch with Rod when I discovered Alex Epstein’s book, and suggested him to have Alex as a guest to the podcast. Turns out Rod already had received the book from one of Alex Epstein’s associates, and the interview for the podcast would happen in a matter of days.

        And yes, I wrote about Alex Epstein’s book a certain Facebook group, but I have since been banned from that group as my views on “climate change” differ from what the junta managing that groups believes is gospel.

        Speaking of a future book, I would sure like to see a book about “The Moral Case for Nuclear Energy” appear someday, and I would love if Alex and Rod could work on it.

        Rod has a wealth of knowledge on this blog and in the 200ish episodes of the “Atomic Show”, and I have been listening to all of them ever since I discovered the podcast.

        And this is why I have happily provided a donation to Rod just before Christmas. What he does here is an invaluable service to the whole community.

        Happy Nuke Year everyone! 🙂

        Luca

  3. The environmental argument against all fossil fuels was never that cut and dry either. Inexpensive fossil fuels offset Biofuels/forest fuels. Agriculture was always, and remains, the largest driver of extinctions. Cheap US coal exports offsets dirtier coals/lignite in China and Germany (and forest fuels.) Then there is the whole land use/materials/infrastructure and quality thing with “renewables.”

    It was never going to be as easy of a all or nothing decision as it was made out to be. From all perspectives increasing nuclear shares made and continues to make good sense.

  4. Rod: As I was searching for this book on Amazon today, I also saw another book with a curiously similar title: “Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case”, by Kathleen Hartnett White.

    I’m not sure if you have read that, but might be worth checking out?

  5. Why get poor countries almost irreversibly hooked into fossil fuels and the ravage the earth mentality at the get-go when they can instead avail that Russian company’s example of supplying totally self-contained nuclear electricity without the poor host country having to go through the expense of building a plant infrastructure themselves? I also don’t believe we need anymore literature on nukes for a growing populace the reads it less and less (and wouldn’t be all that inclined to read up on nukes anyway) but for ANS/NEI joint-ventures producing nuclear education videos and TV shows _to get the word out_. We need a nuclear Carl Sagan out there, not another stack of pro-nuke books and mags hardly anyone’s going to read to make a difference.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

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