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Talking the Talk…

From Voice of America news via ClimateArk, coverage of a conference this past week at Houston’s Rice University on energy issues. The consensus seems to be that there’s no “silver bullet,” according to president of the Pew Charitable Trust Eileen Claussen:

โ€œYou need everything,โ€ said Ms. Claussen. โ€œYou need natural gas. You need to see hybrid, electric and diesel vehicles in the short and medium term. You need to see hydrogen and fuel cell cars in the long term. You need nuclear power. We are not going to be able to do away with it and still get down to those levels. Because we are still going to be burning coal in 2035, we are going to have to deal with the carbon emissions and so you are going to need carbon capture and geological sequestration.โ€

This would seem to underscore Jonathan Adler’s point on the Commons blog the other day that “This just goes to show that all energy sources have environmental impacts, and there is no free lunch.” True, but their are also lesser and greater impacts. If we start arguing that both wind power and nuclear power have environmental impacts without denoting the kinds of impacts, both long and short-term, we head down a dangerous path…

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