While politicians prattle on about “renewable” (but uneconomical) energy sources such as solar and wind, or yet-to-be-invented silver bullets, there already exists one practical and economical way to generate all the electricity we need. Nuclear power is cost-effective, generates no greenhouse gases, and is extremely safe with modern technology (especially pebble bed designs).
Despite being the only existing technology that can solve our electricity problems, nuclear power has been crippled in America by demagoguery and NIMBYism. Recently, however, the rising price of oil, increasing concern over greenhouse gasses, and dwindling reserves in electrical generating capacity have let to a resurgence of interest in nuclear power, even among some on the left (eg, Nancy Pelosi).
ASIDE: If you’re not concerned about generating capacity, consider this: Washington DC is projecting rolling blackouts within three years if it cannot drag in power from elsewhere in the country.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama made clear yesterday that he opposes nuclear power (despite earlier indications that he might support it), and prefers to rely on uneconomical and/or nonexistent technologies instead. Speaking in Nevada, which has managed to block the opening of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, he blasted McCain’s proposal to begin building nuclear reactors again. He did say that he might support nuclear power sometime in the future, provided we can find a way to deal with the waste that doesn’t involve putting it somewhere. (Alas, I am not making this up.)
If our nation’s capital starts suffering rolling blackouts in a few years, or if we’re forced to rely on coal for electricity, I hope people will remember why.