Thomas Gallatin / March 4, 2019

Green New Dealers Reject Nuclear Energy

The goal isn’t “saving the planet.” It’s more power for government brokers.

The Left’s obsession with environmentalism and more specifically climate change has little to do with protecting the environment. Instead, as we have repeatedly noted, the real motive behind the Left’s “green” agenda is red socialism — increasing government control over the economy.

This reality was made patently clear with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal (GND). Using apocalyptic warnings of the world ending in 12 years should the country not embrace her radical and absurd agenda — which would effectively destroy America’s entire economic system as we know it — AOC and her fellow travelers claim their cause to be a just one because they are simply trying to save the planet. But, as National Review’s David French astutely points out, “When you read the [GND] you quickly realize that progressivism is the priority, not the environment. In other words, environmentalism and progressivism are wrongly treated as fundamentally inseparable.”

As for supposedly working to “save” the environment, the GND offers no practical real-world solutions. Where this may be most glaringly evident is in the GND’s rejection of nuclear energy. The resolution proposes that “100 percent of the power demand in the United States” would be met “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” But these energy sources “would not include creating new nuclear plants” and, in fact, “the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

Yet, as Time magazine “Hero of the Environment” Michael Shellenberger argues, the only truly “green energy” is nuclear power. “When it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike,” he says. “I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from an appeal-to-nature fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled ‘all natural.’ But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.”

So why the Left’s aversion to nuclear energy? Maybe because it’s a proven, reliable, and cost-effective source of green energy that doesn’t necessitate a socialist takeover of the American economy. The fact is, nuclear power offers a more realistic means of meeting the Left’s loudly proclaimed environmental goals, but it does so via capitalism — and there’s the rub.

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