What If… Nuclear Power Hadn’t Become a Pariah

March 7, 2008

Well, consider this analogy: In 1954, at the dawn of nuclear power, Lewis Strauss, head of the Atomic Energy Commission, promised that we were entering an age when electricity would be “too cheap to meter.” Needless to say, that didn’t happen, mostly because the risks of nuclear energy hugely increased its costs. But what if he’d been right? What if electricity had in fact become virtually free?The answer is that everything electricity touched ā€” which is to say just about everything ā€” would have been transformed. Rather than balance electricity against other energy sources, we’d use electricity for as many things as we could ā€” we’d waste it, in fact, because it would be too cheap to worry about.

All buildings would be electrically heated, never mind the thermal conversion rate. We’d all be driving electric cars (free electricity would be incentive enough to develop the efficient battery technology to store it). Massive desalination plants would turn seawater into all the freshwater anyone could want, irrigating vast inland swaths and turning deserts into fertile acres, many of them making biofuels as a cheaper store of energy than batteries. Relative to free electrons, fossil fuels would be seen as ludicrously expensive and dirty, and so carbon emissions would plummet. The phrase “global warming” would have never entered the language.

– From Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business by Chris Anderson

Not at all what the main thrust of this (great) article is about. But still, it makes you wonder what kind of world we might live in had the ‘liberals’ (in this case, I’m referring to fundamentalist, irrational folks that happen to also hang out with leftists) not sounded the death knell of nuclear energy.

I guess it’s never too late to start over. Especially when the other option is going back to the stone age…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: