How Economic Arguments Against Nuclear Highlight Environmentalist Delusions

Two weeks ago, four of the world’s most respected climate scientists took the extraordinary step of sending an open letter to their long-time friends and colleagues in the environmental movement, urging them to reverse their longstanding opposition to nuclear power. The scientists told AP and CNN they felt the need to make public their displeasure after years of trying and failing to reason privately with green leaders, who believe solar, wind, and efficiency are enough to power the planet.

The letter came at a time when mainstream environmental groups like Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and Center for American Progress (CAP) were at pains to differentiate themselves from shrill antinuclear activists, like Helen Caldicott and Greenpeace. In a debate over Pandora’s Promise, moderated by the New York Times’s Andrew Revkin, Bobby Kennedy Jr. chose not to repeat the claim he made a year earlier – that Chernobyl had killed a million people – a testament to the fact that the environmental debate about nuclear energy has fundamentally changed over the last 12 months.

By Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus

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