Stewart Brand and Erich Pica Debate Nuclear Power


photo via flickr

With the Republicans in control of the House and cap and trade dead for now, it's likely that over the next few years there will be renewed focus on the revitalization of nuclear power as an answer to our energy and climate problems. The Huffington Post recently held a debate on the merits of nuclear power with Friends of the Earth US Executive Director Erich Pica and Stewart Brand, co-founder of the Global Business Network and president of the Long Now Foundation.Brand is of course, the author of the "Whole Earth Catalog", and the new book, "Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary." Brand has changed his stripes from an anti-nuclear power crusader to a strong advocate for nuclear power renaissance .

Both Pica and Brand agree on the necessity to bring greenhouse gases emissions as close to zero as possible, as quickly as possible. But they diverge over nuclear power, which Pica says is too ricky and too expensive to bring online in serious amounts.

Nuclear energy accounts for about 19 percent of the total electricity generated in the United States. Estimates to double that amount of capacity reach into the trillions, and the US government would have to back loan guaranties to producers. A full breakdown of nuclear energy, including its costs, potential, price, and more is available at the US Energy Information Administration website.

Pica advocates for a focus on efficiency and scaling up renewable energy projects to meet energy demands. Watch the entire debate below:

More on Friends of the Earth:
Erich Pica Takes Over Friends of the Earth : TreeHugger
Friends of The Earth Banned From COP15 : TreeHugger - TreeHugger

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