Changing Views of Nuclear Power

Even while only a few environmentalists argue for nuclear power, there has been a shift in public opinion. The latest Rasmussen poll “finds that Americans support the nuclear power option by a more than 2-to-1 margin (55% to 24%).” This is also true of Democrats: “By a 52% to 26% margin, [Democrats] support building more nuclear power plants. In the previous survey, a plurality of Democrats were opposed.” Unfortunately, 2/3 believe that conservation is not as important as developing new energy sources, a misunderstanding that all of us need to confront.

This poll was taken before two category five hurricanes formed within a month and then hit the US (after weakening). At RealClimate, a site maintained by climate scientists (and so a wee bit technical at times), a posting on Hurricanes and Global Warming – Is There a Connection? explains that no one category 5 hurricane can be credited to climate change, because (to paraphrase), if twice as many 5s are rolled on five sided dice, we can tell the dice are loaded, but not that any particular roll wouldn’t have produced a 5. (Unless a 6 is rolled on a five-sided die, as was true with the heat wave that killed tens of thousands of Eurasians in the summer of 2003.)

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