What I couldn’t understand was that he couldn’t accept that it was also cleaner than coal or gas. For one thing it has no carbon footprint and therefore, if you think that carbon emissions are causing climate change, surely you would think nuclear power is a good thing?
That’s Iain Dale (rightly) slagging off a greenie for refusing to think about nuclear power. However, we do need to be a little careful here. Nuclear does not have no CO2 or carbon footprint. The process of building a nuclear station, or mining and refining the ore, does indeed have emissions.
As, indeed, the process of making a windmill (they actually use more cement, power for power, than nuclear), building a damn or manufacturing solar panels all have such emissions. Camilla Cavendish gives the appropriate numbers for nuclear in today’s Times:Britain’s clapped-out reactors are still our largest source of low-carbon energy. The electricity they produce creates about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour (after accounting for the carbon costs of reactors), compared with about 350 from gas and 900 from coal.
That number is fractionally above offshore wind (from memory, 13 or 14 tonnes) and hydro (again, 13 or 14 tonnes from memory) and a fraction of solar PV (36 tonnes, again, from memory).
And this is the point: the entirety of life on this planet is carbon-based. This isn't a coincidence, but to do with special properties of carbon atoms (it's mixed up in both the size of the atom and its electron valence bands* (although this, too, is a little simplistic: you'll have to delve into quantum mechanics for more). As such, everything has carbon emissions; yes, even your poo produces carbon emissions.
Which is why the politicians and the eco-loons want to be able to control it, as at least one person of influence has stated.
MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen correctly summed up these types of efforts in March when he said, ‘Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life.'
And that, my friends, is the most bald statement of why these bastards want to control carbon emissions. Control carbon, and you control life.
* Silicon shares many of these properties, which is why sci-fi authors have speculated on silicon-based life. Barring a very few and posited exceptions, I know of no silicon-based life-forms on this planet and certainly none of any complexity.