Issues relating to global warming are rapidly becoming pass?. They are so over-emphasized by groups ranging from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the Big Red Go Green signs we put on the sides of drafty, inefficient buildings around campus that many people are to the point of indifference. It’s the same old message over and over again about how solar, wind and hydroelectric are good for mother nature. Well here’s something different: Nuclear is green, too (no, not the glowing kind). For all the efforts of our campus, city, and state, to effect positive change on environmental issues, we have been severely handcuffed for the past 26 years.
Since 1983, there has been a moratorium on building new nuclear power plants in Wisconsin (at least until a national or international waste deposition site is established). However, the movement to change that seems to be gaining momentum. Last year, Mr. Doyle backed a report by his Task Force on Global Warming that called for the repeal of the law. This fall, state Republicans indicated they would be on board as well. And now, nuclear advocacy groups from both Minnesota and Wisconsin plan to meet in Hudson to echo those calls.
We are in full agreement.
In 1983 only sissies drove Toyotas, the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates both finished in second place, and nuclear power was responsible for Godzilla. Nowadays the Pirates and Royals suck, Godzilla is dead, and we need to figure out a way to cut greenhouse gas emission while maintaining cheap, reliable sources of energy.
Nuclear power is by no means a panacea for our energy needs, but it certainly deserves to be part of that solution. Already, nuclear power accounts for 20 percent of Wisconsin’s electricity generation, and if Madison Gas and Electric (or any other company) is willing to do it in a safe, secure way, there is no reason to not allow that number to rise. As long as it is handled responsibly, nuclear power can be safe. Anyone who believes otherwise should probably stay the hell away from the Mechanical Engineering building.
Stifling one particular form of energy for the sake of legislative inertia or just because some Ukrainian hit the wrong button more than 20 years ago does a great disservice to the health of our energy system and citizens. If coal power is unsustainable and solar and wind generation remains inadequate, something must be allowed to bridge that gap. Or we could just keep on dropping mercury into Lake Mendota until we can use bluegills as thermometers.