Climate column should include role of nuclear energy

In his recent column, Paul Roberts speaks in broad generalities without getting down to the specifics (“The success we can look forward to,” The Herald, May 4).

He states, “we must craft a transformative vision for a clean-energy, zero-emission economy and effective strategies to achieve it,” without providing the details. If his vision involves expanding primarily wind and solar energy sources, our electrical grid will become increasingly unbalanced leading to brownouts and blackouts which will be very inconvenient, decrease productivity and increase mortality.

The best and only option at this point that meets Roberts’ clean-energy zero-emissions requirement is nuclear power, yet he does not mention this. If new nuclear power is not part of the mix, and hopefully fusion reactors will be realized at some point in the future, then this series of articles he has provided over the past months are much like the line from Shakespeare’s character in “MacBeth”: they are “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Don Healy


Editor’s note: Paul Roberts’ regular “Eco-nomics” columns have previously discussed the role that nuclear energy should play alongside hydropower, wind and solar, as well as battery storage in the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources. The Herald Editorial Board as well has endorsed Washington state’s investment in a study of a small modular nuclear reactor.

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