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The Nuclear debate rages on...

By Benevolence ·
George Ou recently opened up a particularly large can of worms recently when he wrote an article discussing the myths surrounding Windows XP and power consumption. Much of the debate has turned into a discussion on how to best produce power whilst reducing pollution.

One thing many people seem to agree on is that whether or not humans are contributing to global warming, it is in our best interests to reduce the effect and protect our environment.

Some of us believe we need to move toward nuclear energy production, and some of us believe this is a bad idea.

With so many new developments in energy production, and so many differing arguments, what do you think is the direction we should head in?

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Don't kid yourself on the third world

by georgeou In reply to The Nuclear debate rages ...

This was from parent thread.
"and also, when the US ratifies Kyoto maybe the 3rd world countries will follow. The US is still one of the highest polluters in the world! No matter how you look at it!"

First of all, don't kid yourself on the third world.

Second, the US is not even close to being the worst polluter. Go take a breath in Asia or even Paris, it makes our biggest cities look good.

Also from parent thread:
"I understand the desire to stick to old technology, but for one coal is pathetic. Secondly, a shoe box of nuclear waste is a pretty horrible thing"

A shoe box of nuclear waste for the amount of waste a family produces in its life time if all they used was nuclear power is absolutely nothing compared to the thousands of tons of Uranium and Thorium released in to the atmosphere by the burning of coal. You can call coal old fashioned, but until we have a replacement that can produce vast quantities of energy like Nuclear then coal keeps all of our lights and refrigerators and our economy going.

Again, just read what some of the leaders of the Environmental movement have to say about the importance of Nuclear power.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401209.html

http://www.ecolo.org/media/articles/articles.in.english/love-indep-24-05-04.htm

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.02/nuclear.html?pg=5

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Thats exactly what I am saying!

by Benevolence In reply to Don't kid yourself on the ...

I fully agree, that is what I was trying to say about coal in a perhaps too few words: "coal is pathetic"... I really do not like coal as an option in any way.

Also, 'toxic' waste is bad in any form, from any energy production. However, as I have mentioned before, the Gen. 4 Nuclear Power Generators will be great for a number of reasons... including producing less waste by 'burning hotter' (analogous).

Thirdly, the US spreads polluting sources in a very different way to other parts of the world. European countries are smaller in area, and have to pack industry close to cities... In the US, Industry is mostly kept OUT of big cities... hence the effect you are describing. The size of the population, and the level of industry and commerce really add up. I will get you some evidence when I have more spare time.

Sometimes things aren't as simple as they appear... you need to look a little deeper.

That ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will really do a lot! Right now, the US is just providing the perfect excuse for the 3rd World.

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Couple of points

by georgeou In reply to Thats exactly what I am s ...

First of all, you talk like if only the US will sign Kyoto then the third world will sign on too. That simply isn't correct because ALL the third world countries including Russia and China (two of the biggest polluters) have already signed on to Kyoto. The reason they were so eager to sign Kyoto is because they're fully exempt from Kyoto. Furthermore, Kyoto is unenforceable on any of the nations that signed it. Europe has been screaming for Kyoto yet they haven't been able to comply with it. For the thousand dollars a year they expect American and European families to spend, there are far more cost effective ways of saving energy. Things like compact florescent or LED light bulbs, better insulation, double pane windows. Kyoto is simply a bureaucratic fiasco.

"Also, 'toxic' waste is bad in any form, from any energy production. However, as I have mentioned before, the Gen. 4 Nuclear Power Generators will be great for a number of reasons... including producing less waste by 'burning hotter' (analogous)."

Any nuclear power plant produces many orders of magnitude less toxic and nuclear waste than the leading power generator Coal. Furthermore, none of it ever leaks unlike Coal which leaks most of its pollutants out.

Lastly, the worst polluter nations are the third world countries today and Kyoto exempts all of them even if they sign it. There is no comparison in terms of the waste they produce for their manufacturing or their cars.

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The stats speak loudly

by Benevolence In reply to Couple of points

Statistics still show that the US is not doing very well on the green front.

Whats worst, is that the US has the money to fix the issues, but the right wing Fed government wont do much about it. That is why the individual states are having to take the lead.

I am against any kind of toxic waste. I agree that for now Nuclear is a better option (for the West).

If we, in the Western World did more for the 3rd world instead of being as selfish and reckless as we are, they too could afford to improve pollution standards. It's not like anybody actually likes "sh*ting in their own bed".

Kyoto is just a step. Yes, it is very flawed, but at least it is some kind of action. You would think a country like the US, who claims (generally falsely) to want to assist poorer nations (like Iraq) would try to at least not derail basic steps taken by the UN to head towards a positive solution...
But no, like usual, US bureaucracy is too old school and backward to do anything remotely intelligent. Luckily, there are many people who are much smarter than the aforementioned slow moving 1800's style bureaucracy, who have power and influence, and are beginning to see the bigger picture.

EDIT- I really think you should be wary of mentioning cars if you trying to argue that the US is not a major polluter.

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You really need to go to the third world and LOOK

by georgeou In reply to The stats speak loudly

"I really think you should be wary of mentioning cars if you trying to argue that the US is not a major polluter."

I will mention cars loudly and proudly. I drive a big V6 Year 2000 Chrysler 300m that pollutes 50 times less than the average passing score for smog tests. All new American cars have state of the art emission control systems that do 1000 times more than any Kyoto pushing UN bureaucrat ever did. Even the SUVs are clean (they just use more gas) though not nearly as much gas in their life time as one of those private jets used by the Hollywood elite and the Google elite in a single trip. Your understanding of the world is just plain wrong. When you go to China, new cars don't need emission controls and the second most common name for cars is leaky tail. If you try to tell them that in America cars don't have nasty Smokey exhausts they will look at you funny and think you're crazy.

On the rest of the stuff, I don't really feel that this is the place to get in to a political shootout. Let's stick with the topic at hand.

"If we, in the Western World did more for the 3rd world instead of being as selfish and reckless as we are, they too could afford to improve pollution standards. It's not like anybody actually likes "sh*ting in their own bed"."

So long as you have the blame America attitude, nothing will ever change.

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No offence

by Benevolence In reply to You really need to go to ...

No offense meant... honestly... I see you are a very serious patriot. But just like most people who take something very seriously (fundamentalists -EDIT- ) you are actually contradicting yourself.

We need to stop this discussion I think, as it is heading in a bad direction.

Let's agree to disagree George. I hope some other people come into this discussion so we can further 'nut out' ideas.

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I never mentioned politics or religion and I'd prefer not to get in to that

by georgeou In reply to No offence

First of all, I've not mentioned politics or religion once and you accuse me of being a "fundamentalist" out of the blue and you bring Iraq in to the discussion. You don't even know what religion I belong to or if I even belong to a religion at all and it's really no one's business. I will say this though that there are people who know me laughing their heads off at the accusation that I'm a "fundamentalist".

Now I'm asking for civility sakes, can we stick to the topic at hand and keep religion and political affiliation out of it? At least in this thread? If you want to start a religion thread or a Bush sucks thread, by all means do. But I generally stay out of those discussions because I personally do not feel they're productive since no one is on either side is ever going to change their mind by the other side.

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Actually George...

by Benevolence In reply to No offence

Actually, I tried to make it very clear that i was definitely NOT calling you a fundamentalist, but was making the comparison to suggest that you were perhaps fooling yourself about the US pollution problem to allow your Patriotism to continue without encumbrance... but there are plenty of things that make the US great... Pollution standards is NOT one of them.

The Iraq comment was meant to be a joke. Sorry if it offended you. Lets just forget this brief moment of awkwardness.

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But we do have some of the cleanest pollution standards

by georgeou In reply to No offence

I know that for a fact that we do and I'm not going to get stuck on CO2 since pollution involves a lot more than CO2.

CO2 is only a measure of activity and the USA is one of the most productive nations in the world. CO2 is something that people, animals, combustion, nature produces.

But if you REALLY want to reduce CO2 like James Lovelock, Patrick Moore, and myself, you're gonna have to look at Nuclear power objectively.

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Statistics show something else.

by Benevolence In reply to No offence

5% of the worlds population producing around 25% of the worlds pollution... NOT JUST with CO2. I will try and find links to stats (that I don't have to pay for).

This has been well known for a long time, don't kid yourself.

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