• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • May Your Earth Day Glow Brightly


    According to Earth Day founder, the late-Senator Gaylord Nelson, the commemoration rose out of “concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air.” These are important concerns, indeed. In fact, conserving the nation’s environmental beauty and natural resources is something that most America’s can agree on. Perhaps that is why there is growing public and political support for nuclear power.

    More than any other source of energy, nuclear technology makes the production of massive amounts of reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly power possible. Of course the notion of “environmentally friendly” can be subjective. But based on Senator Nelson’s concerns, nuclear seems to fit the bill better than anything.

    Conserving land. A traditional nuclear power plant takes up a few hundred acres. And the power produced there is often enough to keep the lights on for millions of people. Wind and solar on the other hand can take thousands or tens of thousands of acres to produce the same amounts of energy. New reactor technologies could be even less land intensive.

    But it’s not just about the plant’s footprint. It’s about the technology itself. Despite being mined, the uranium fuel for reactors is also a good choice from a land use perspective. First, mining techniques like in situ mining leave the earth’s surface mostly undisturbed. Secondly, uranium fuel can be recycled and used multiple times. And lastly, uranium mined for other purposes can now be used to fuel power reactors. Indeed, half of America’s nuclear energy (or 10 percent of all of our electricity) is produced from uranium that was converted from Russian warheads.

    Keeping our water ways clean. Despite anti-nuclear arguments routinely criticizing nuclear energy on water issues, the truth is that nuclear power is very water friendly. While it does use massive amounts of water, up to million’s of gallons daily, to cool the equipment within the plant, it consumes very little of that water. Depending on the cooling system, it either returns the water, untouched by anything radioactive, to its source or releases about half of it through condensation before returning the rest to its source. This approach has had virtually no measurable impact on local aquatic life levels.

    Some nuclear power plants, such as the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station, do not even use fresh water for cooling. Instead, it uses waste water from nearby cities for cooling. New nuclear plants, such as one being considered in Florida, are also looking to use waste water to minimize fresh water usage.

    Other energy sources have much more impact on water resources. Take offshore wind, for example, which to produce similar amounts of energy would occupy tremendous amounts of space. For instance, the Cape Wind project in the Nantucket Sound would consist of 130 wind turbines, spread across 25 square miles. Due to the intermittency of wind, it would take approximately 24 of these projects to produce the same amount of energy as one average sized new nuclear plant.

    Then there is the issue of leaking oil that is almost never considered. There are already numerous examples of wind mills leaking oil into the environment. Now people want to line our shore lines with them under the auspices of environmental cleanliness. Here is a list of over 700 wind mill related accidents, including oil spills.

    Breathable air. Nuclear power emits virtually nothing into the atmosphere. That’s because nuclear fission, which produces the heat that is used to run the generators, requires no burning. Even the towers of billowing white clouds often associated with nuclear power plants are only emitting water vapor into the atmosphere. So whether one cares about pollutants such as particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides or emissions like CO2, nuclear energy should be attractive.

    Senator Nelson cited the need to clean our land, water and air as the reason for Earth Day. Nothing has contributed as much to this objective while meeting America’s energy needs as nuclear power, and no source has the potential to ensure the preservation of our environment for the future.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to May Your Earth Day Glow Brightly

    1. Scott Ackert, Utah says:

      The New Religion of Environmentalism

      It’s Earth Day again; and as I was listening to some (person on the street) commentary on the radio, I was struck by the remarkable similarities between global environmentalism and certain religions. And since every religion has to have a catchy name – let's call this new religion, the Church of the Acceptance of Global Environmentalism (CAGE). This “newly” revealed path to enlightenment comes through the acceptance of the ministry of global environmental activism.

      When we compare the new religion with, say, the Catholic Church circa 18th century (post inquisition); we see that both of these religions have a Pontiff (Pope Benedict and Al Gore) and even an Anti-Pope George Souros, various high priests, and doctrine which they claim is infallible (similar to Islam). To argue against this doctrine marks you as an apostate, heretic or infidel and subject to, at the very least ridicule and professional scorn. Like the old Popes of Italy’s city-states they have goon-armies led by wild-eyed, zealot, generals (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid) willing and eager to crush the enemies of the new faith.

      They both have claims which are, for the most part, only substantiated by questionable science, based on fraudulent data (a bit like creationism) which must be accepted on FAITH. The new religion claims that man is the creator of his own downfall and that "in the beginning" the world/earth/Gaia was perfect (aka without the corruption of MAN), and that humans through the sin of waste will bring about a final “Armageddon” which normally involves floods, hurricanes, rising seas, disasters, and other really scary things.

      The threat of disaster is always meant to drive the non-believers into the pews, and to convert the infidels. This in-turn leads to more alms/confiscatory taxes and eventually returns to the people in the form of new grants for innovative alternative energy and “sustainable communities” – “god be praised”.

      This also means that salvation may be had too – but to gain salvation one must repent – in this case repentance is not an act of prayer, but is instead an act of accepting the sacraments of nihilism. A Penitent can demonstrate their “right thinking” through various means, such as: membership in an approved environmental cause (preferably one with a good grounding in environmental evangelism you may know this as guilt peddling), recycling, composting, riding mass transit, the wearing of the holy hemp vestments and the sacred patchouli oil, and of course in acknowledging the inherent evil of birth and human procreation.

      Of course, the higher orders of the religion all know that the true purpose of the new Church of Global Environmentalism is not to remake the earth in the image of HER/Gaia, but is rather to cast down the evil of Capitalism and replace it with the new social order of “Collectivism”. Thereby creating a New Order, also called the Hope and Change to Nirvana. Call it what you will, Collectivism is known by many names: progressivism, socialism, communism, fascism; it does not matter what you name it, it is still the same tired old dogma of Marks, Engle and Lenin the result is the same. In the end Collectivism in all its hydra-like manifestations results in a few certain outcomes; the elimination of individual liberty, thought, self-expression and freedom. And in many cases, the mass murder of tens of millions of slavish subjects (See 20th century history).

      In this state of “collectivist nirvana” all self-expression, and individual liberty is subservient to the “good of the community” whatever that vacuous term means (nobody has ever defined it). In this state, bliss is attained through the subjugation of personal desire to the good of the society. Of course the “good” of the society is an ever-shifting point which is manipulated by a few elite puppet masters. It has ever been so – Amen Brothers and Sisters.

      S.C. Ackert

    2. Brian, Carrollton, T says:

      Extraordinarily high up-front costs. Can't be done without massive direct government assistance. High rates of default on previous projects. NIMBYism on waste disposal. One accident (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl) can trump that entire list of wind incidents (and let's not oversell that list, by the way: in 2 minutes of scanning I found one accident counted twice, and other "incidents" consisting of a cracked blade and the death of a single bat).

    3. Billie says:

      This is about practicality of survival. They're reacting to speculation, not reality. what to do what to do…

      May Your Earth Day Glow Brightly”

      And it did as it does on many days…

    4. Pingback: May Your Earth Day Glow Brightly | Clean Technology Blogs

    5. Pingback: Cape Wind and the Clean Energy Economy | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    6. Pingback: The Cape Wind Boondoggle And What You Can Do « motorcitytimes.com

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.