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Solar and Wind Energy Aren’t About Cheap – They’re About Saving the Environment

It’s been obvious for decades that depending on conventional power must end. Nuclear generation is no exception. This article in Forbes Magazine – If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive? by Michael Shellenberger – leaves critically important information out in the cold. The most glaring omission is his failure to disclose his advocacy on behalf of nuclear power.His full Bio is here.


The True Costs of Energy


The author’s speculation about pricing in the conventional and fledgling alternative energy sectors amount to nothing more than distractions – red herrings. Context matters. Not long ago, the alternative route was prohibitively expensive. Only recently have costs dropped to a point where the investment can be seen to pay out in the long run. Cheaper today, yes – but still not cheap.

The new solar and wind technology must also first build it’s infrastructure. The initial costs can’t reasonably be compared to existing, mature systems.

All energy technologies were heavily subsidized in the beginning to offset high first-time expenditures. Typically, tax dollars shouldered the lion’s share. The consumer is dinged more directly than in the past to cover this latest start-up.

There are many bugs in the new system yet to be worked out. Inefficiencies, while they should be declared up front, are common when new technology rolls out.

As start-up costs are recovered and adaptation to the new kind of supply structure stabilizes, the price of the product will more reflect the actual generation and delivery costs.

The short-term pain is accepted in favor of the long term gain.


More Comparing of Nuclear and Conventional Apples to

Solar and Wind Oranges


Three heavy users of nuclear power are claimed to have the lowest energy costs. And a few areas where costs have increased are linked with closure of nuclear generating plants.

It’s obvious that areas not paying for new infrastructure will be laying out less money than those who’ve made the commitment to replace unsustainable technology.

Let’s not forget that decommissioning a power plant isn’t free or a close-it-and-forget-about-it deal.

Leaving these factors out skews the context enormously. There is mention of the fracking revolution, but it seems rather detached from the latest economic reports. But I digress. What is the main point?


The Real Costs of Nuclear Energy that

Solar and Wind Stop Cold


Safe, or economically attractive, ways to deal with nuclear leavings and their endless after-effects don’t exist. And we are all are inescapably stuck paying for the pursuit of managing it all.

The health-care and tax bills that result keep growing and will continue to do so.

Who had the right to paint humanity into this corner?

Unfortunately, even a total moratorium on nuclear-related activity is no more than a band-aid. And for the countless numbers of people and environments already impacted, it’s far too little done far too late.

There’s no escaping the burden of attempting to protect health and rights for ourselves, and all who come after us.


Money Does NOT Talk – or Think, Either


Just mull of over how different things would be had those responsible for allowing nuclear industry in the first place used their common sense instead of their calculators?

How would it be if they’d put the health of the planet we all depend on, first – even if critical thinking wasn’t their forte? How would it be now if the effort went into solar and wind power forty years ago?

At the very least, we’d be free of the ongoing human and economic costs of disasters already created. And we’d also be free of the constant effort required to ensure there are no more.


Nuclear Power Has Always Been the Wrong Way
Down a One Way Street


The mental and financial energy wastefully and misguidedly poured into nuclear development would have been available to create sensible power – and medical – solutions long ago.

People have lived on Earth without electricity for all but the equivalent of a mere blink in our history. We can easily adapt to doing with far less than we currently use.

This action would make solar and wind even more effective. And we’d have a far easier time of eliminating any more poisonous additions to our environment.


There Sure is More Than One Side to The
Nuclear Story


Among the many citations on Mr Shellenberger’s Bio Page is a TED talk called How Fear of Nuclear Hurts the Environment.

Those who understand the reality of radiation pollution are not reacting out of fear and ignorance. They are actively working to protect human health and that of the planet. Anyone claiming otherwise is making a gross misrepresentation.

I whole-heartedly agree with the reasoning that obligation to report fairly and accurately must be upheld on all issues.

The surviving victims of the nuclear industry are equally and legally entitled to be heard without pre-judgment. And this counts for those affected – but don’t know it, yet.

The people who labor and research to help them – and us all by default – also have the same right to be fairly represented.


Our Descendants Have Been Robbed of Their Rightful Say on the Nuclear Legacy


Pandora should never have been let out of the box. But we can – we must – decide to do far, far better from here on in. There are many alternatives already. There are sure to be many more discovered.

Some may think it too expensive, but this is relative to whether they just consider at- the-tap dollars and cents or the true, never-ending price. The bottom-line is environmental safety, not money.



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3 thoughts to “Solar and Wind Energy Aren’t About Cheap – They’re About Saving the Environment”

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