Quick question: I’m looking for the political party that says “Let’s build nuclear power plants to replace our oil, coal, and natural gas plants.” Better yet, the party that says “It’s okay for you to ship nuclear waste to Utah. Burying things in a geologically inactive desert is safe and cheap.” How about the party that says “Solar, hydro, and wind technology are harder on the environment than oil or coal, thanks to the massive areas of land they require and the highly toxic substances they must employ to store energy (PCBs, anyone?).”
I don’t want to vote for the “let’s stop Global Warming” camp, because they’re as badly tainted by partisan politics as the “Oil is great” camp. Also, they don’t seem to be pro-nuke… it’s as if they think there is some magical “new way” to get more energy out of the environment than our local star puts into it. That’s all it comes down to, really: depend on the energy the Sun sends us (and the most efficient ways to collect it still seem to involve Vast Tracts Of Land, whether you’re farming photosynthetic step-down, water-cycle energy states, or air-pressure gradients), or make energy the same way the Sun does. Leave the Solar Energy for folks who can’t get their energy any other way: plants and the animals who eat plants.
Even TPD (Thermal Depolymerization), which is being billed as the best renewable energy source around (summary: hydrocarbon wastes from agriculture and industry can be reduced very efficiently into fuel oils, leaving existing carbon sinks like natural gas and oil reserves intact. Link.), is just a slightly better method of photosynthetic step-down than Exxon uses.
Okay, true geothermal systems are a little different: the temperature gradient introduced by Earth’s active tectonic processes is more “leftovers from the planet’s formation,” with a mix of heat induced by Lunar tides, but those systems still require Vast Tracts of Land, and are subject to disruption by the very processes they seek to tap. We could also tap the magnetosphere for power, and though this WOULD slow the Earth’s spin over time, it would take a Very Long Time.
Gimme nukes. Who do I vote FOR (not AGAINST. FOR.)