The climate crisis is the defining issue of our time. It poses an existential threat to life on Earth in a manner civilization never before has faced. Immediate action is necessary to slash climate-changing emissions in all sectors of society. On September 21, 2014, WISE organised a 'Floating Climate March' against 'False Solutions': Don't Nuke the Climate! With a fleet of 8 boats and 135 people we 'marched' through the Amsterdam Canals, at the end joining the big Amsterdam event.
The solutions to the climate crisis are not difficult to identify. A nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system is a necessity. It is an energy system that relies not on antiquated energy models of the 20th century and their polluting nuclear power and fossil fuel technologies, but on the safe, clean, affordable and sustainable renewable energy, energy efficiency, and modern grid technologies of the 21st century. Nuclear power in particular cannot solve the climate crisis. Indeed, its continued use exacerbates the problem by preventing the deployment of clean energy systems. Among a myriad of other problems, nuclear power is:
*Too dangerous: expanded use of nuclear power would inevitably lead to more Fukushimas and Chernobyls. New reactor designs exist only on paper, have their own safety problems, and cannot be brought to the commercial marketplace in time to have a meaningful impact on climate change. The technology and materials needed to generate nuclear energy can be diverted to nuclear weapons programs.
*Too dirty: nuclear reactors and the nuclear fuel chain produce vast amounts of lethal radioactive waste, which grow whenever nuclear power is used. The nuclear fuel chain is responsible for far more carbon emissions than renewable energy generation and improved energy efficiency. All reactors routinely emit toxic radiation--the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that there is no “safe” level of radiation exposure.
*Too expensive: nuclear power is the costliest means possible of reducing carbon and methane emissions; its use crowds out investment in clean energy sources.
*Too slow: use of nuclear power to reduce fossil fuel emissions would require an unprecedented nuclear construction program, beyond the capability of the world’s manufacturers within an acceptable time frame.
Clean energy, including solar, wind, appropriately-sited geothermal, increased energy efficiency, distributed generation, electricity storage and other advanced technologies can meet the world’s electricity needs without radiation releases, carbon and methane emissions and other pollutants. All that is lacking is the political will to rapidly deploy these clean technologies. On September 21, we march to break the gridlock and demonstrate to the world that this will exists. Contact NIRS to endorse the call, spread the word.