Friday, June 6, 2008

The next great debate: Nuclear Power

Is there such a thing as global warming or is it just a hoax? Many (NOT ALL) conservatives will contend that it is just a hoax, and Many, (NOT ALL) liberals will contend that it is real; that man is the cause of global warming.

Plus we must realize that not just many democrats but some republicans too have bought into it, as have a plethora of Americans. So it is something that we should take seriously. Whether it's real or not only God knows.

As you guys know from my previous posts, and my header on this blog, I think people should base their political views on facts and common sense before emotion. And that is why I think it would be foolish to think that the global warming crowd is wrong. I think they have a legitimate concern, that we humans may well be destroying our own planet.

Look, my fellow conservatives, I'm not saying we are destroying the planet. What I'm saying is that we simply may be destroying the planet. What do we know? We are puny little people on a huge planet in a magnanimous universe.

To all those liberals who think I'm all of a sudden buying into the idea of global warming, calm down a bit. I'm not. I think it would be foolish to think that we humans could possibly destroy a planet that has withstood natural disasters far grander than anything we humans could create.

Yet I do not stand alone as a conservative who refuses to brush off the global warming crowd, and that is why I endorse Newt Gingrich's Green Conservatism, of which I will expound upon in a coming post.

Yet Gingrich is a strong proponent of nuclear power as a means of cleaning up the planet, something that, in my humble opinion, might bring both conservatives and liberals on the same side.

In my researching of this idea, I came across Warren Tucker, "The Global Warming Two-Step, at, (June 2, 2008) which was written by a conservative who believes in global warming.

He writes that liberal desires to reduce carbon emissions may be more important than their desire to prevent the building of nuclear power plants, with their nuclear waste and all. And this may be important, because nuclear power is the only way we know of that will allow us to reduce carbon emissions.

And, since conservatives have been long chanting how important nuclear power would be toward creating a more energy efficient America, nuclear power would also reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 75% per year -- a goal the global warming crowd could live with.

I also came across an article by Ramesh Ponnuru, "Senator empirical: Bob Corker takes on climate change," in National Review (May 19, 2008), where Ponnuru writes about conservative republican Bob Corker who believes in global warming, but is skeptical about the Lieberman-Warner bill.

What is the Lieberman-Warner Bill? In short, as worded by Ponnuru, the Lieberman-Warner bill is a bill the Senate is scheduled to debate this week, and is called the 'cap and trade' bill. "It would fight global warming by setting a limit on the emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. That's the cap. Companies that got their emissions below their limit would be able to sell the excel emission rights to other companies. That's the trade. The theory is that the companies that could most cheaply reduce their emissions would have an incentive to do so. We would get the most emissions reduction possible for the smallest hit on the economy."

Corker has proposed amendments to this bill that would return money raised from these auctions to taxpayers. Likewise, he states he would "support other republicans as they make the case for relying more on nuclear power. If the amendments pass, he says, he will have improved the bill. If they do not pass, he will have educated people about its drawbacks."

According to Jack Spencer, "Nuclear Power Needed to Minimize Lieberman-Warner's Economic Impact," of, the Lieberman-Warner bill being argued before the Senate this week intends to create a goal for decreasing the amount of CO2 emissions, or cap targets. But, given the energy recourse's currently available, and government regulations, this target may be unattainable.

Whether this bill becomes law or not, this debate in the arena of ideas might offer positive results for both conservatives and liberals. If it becomes law, it opens up the door and creates an incentive for entrepreneurs to develop and purchase other sources of energy, such as windmill, solar and nuclear "faster than they otherwise would."

It this way, as Lieberman contends, "It's a market based approach."

If it doesn't become law, we still have the option of nuclear power on the table as another option for entrepreneurs and lawmakers alike to reduce carbon emissions. And there are better free market options available to encourage this and lower CO2 emissions than this bill, of which I will discuss in more detail in my next post.

Yet still, the debate might bring both sides closer to one key conclusion: the only reliable source of energy that we as humans currently know about that would allow the U.S. to reach the goals of the Lieberman-Warner bill would be nuclear power. Or, better yet, the only way we know of that would allow us to cut CO2 emissions is nuclear power.

Thus, while the global warming crowd, be they republicans or democrats, liberal or even conservative, want less CO2 in the environment (and, technically speaking, who wouldn't?), there are people who don't believe in global warming, and still some who do, who believe more regulations brought on by more regulations would be bad for the economy.

In fact, According to Spencer, "A recent Heritage Foundation analysis... estimates the costs to the U.S. economy (of the Lieberman-Warner bill) at between $1.8 trillion and $4.8 trillion by 2030.

Some republicans, including McCain (of whom Lieberman endorsed for president) support the bill because they claim it is a better alternative to the carbon tax that would raise gas prices. However, Ponnuru writes, the "cap and trade would raise the price of gasoline too, and quite significantly, as oil companies passed along the legislation's cost to consumers... Most economists, whether they favor cap and trade or not, see it as very similar to a carbon tax in its effect. The major difference is political."

And this is why I currently oppose this bill, and why I signed Newt Gingrich's petition, of which I encourage you to sign too if you haven't already.

However, the Lieberman-Warner bill should result in many educational debates to come. Yet one of the most important debates to result from this may be the one that has been put on hold since the 1970s, and that's the debate about nuclear power in the United States.

With nuclear power, every side gets something. The global warming crowd gets a replacement for one of the biggest polluters in coal, and the other side gets an option that might actually benefit the economy (Again, I'll go into more detail tomorrow).

That's why this humble blogger believes its not such a good idea to be all partisan and not consider the other side. It's important to negotiate and compromise and do something good for everyone, not just one partisan view.

Still, as my brilliant wife recently reminded me, what do we do with all the nuclear waste?

I suppose an even better question might be: what's the worse problem for mother earth, global warming or nuclear waste? That might be the next great question on the horizon, and the next great debate.


Righty64 said...

The hysteria is all on the left about globaloney warming. Yes, I am a proud denier! My overly cynical view is that this is the last gasp of the hard left to impose outright socialist economic and social policy on the United States. The window dressing is in the name of saving the planet. That is why the left, mostly, wants us to think this is impending right now. Hardly. We have a better chance of Osama bin-Laden walking into the White House with a suitcase nuke than the immediate effects of the possibility of globaloney warming. Also, I think Sen. "F--- You" McCain needs to not take political advice from his daughter, Megan. If those on the left would stop the hysterics and dialouge with those of us on the right about this issue, there maybe some common ground. But, till then, count me as a denier!

Nikki said...

Even if there is global warming...I am not going to lie, I don't care. I believe God is in charge and the arrogance of humans taking on the role of God offends me. That's my 2 pennies. :)N