How NOT to be an environmentalist

May 31, 2011 at 11:57 am (Politics, Price theory)


Germany plans to completely abolish nuclear power in a decade. As always, the Greens have managed to do the single thing that will most contribute to global warming and pollute the environment at the same time. When the German industry can no longer rely on electricity generated by nuclear fission, they will turn to the second best option: coal. Note that nuclear power has not killed a single person for over two decades. Coal, on the other hand, claims the lives of tens of thousands of people in China every year, through mining incidents and lung disease. The problem, of course, is that Western countries only care about Third World livelihood when the unions tell them to.

As a few case studies have shown us, the problem with nuclear power is mostly an illusory one. When the leaders of a country have the sufficient courage and commitment to develop nuclear energy, its citizens eventually see that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Hence why the French (who have relied almost exclusively on nuclear power for three decades) are still highly favorable towards nuclear energy, despite years of incessant propaganda from competitors in the energy sector. Let me end with one of my favorite quotes from Professor Steven Landsburg:

“…I am frankly a lot more worried about my daughter’s becoming an environmentalist than about her becoming a Christian…we face no current threat of having Christianity imposed on us by petty tyrants; the same can not be said of environmentalism. My county government never tried to send me a New Testament, but it did send me a recycling bin…”

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