Greenspace August 7, 2013 By Jordan Sayle
May 20, 2012 in Moore, OK by Ks0stm

May 20, 2012 in Moore, OK by Ks0stm

Not surprisingly, the oil sands from Canada that would be transported by the pipeline represent an unpopular variety of next-stage energy among those concerned about our dependency on dirty fuels. The historic surge in natural gas exploration that has been made possible in recent years by hydraulic fracturing hasn’t fared much better in their opinion over concerns about methane leakage and groundwater contamination. And even as new rules are put in place to curb greenhouse gases, putting us on a path back toward 350 ppm, there remain questions about what to substitute for the dirtier sources of energy.

“We need to go quickly to renewable energy,” says McKibben. “Given that the Arctic has now melted, we no longer have much room for easy transition strategies or bridges to the future. We need to make the leap.”

Dr. Hansen agrees, but unlike McKibben, also believes in one possible bridge. He contends that in most nations, moving beyond carbon-derived electricity will require a major contribution from advanced forms of nuclear energy.

“Third and fourth-generation nuclear power is remarkably good, safe and capable of dealing with the nuclear waste problem [by] ‘burning’ it in the fourth generation reactors,” he explains.  “Some of the media, mostly through their own ignorance, have worked to whip up fear of nuclear power, exaggerating the dangers of radiation and failing to emphasize the millions of deaths from fossil fuel air and water pollution.”

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