It is not surprising that we should be bombarded with messages that the climate crisis is bigger than the biggest thing ever and so simple to fix. It’s a matter of intersectionality; the intersection of a tendency to panic with an inclination to believe life is not about tradeoffs but about getting all good things simultaneously… or none. Hence a new video from Vox about how the US can waltz away from fossil fuels “in one chart” winds up with a classic line about “a huge undertaking“, a mobilization on the scale of World War II is needed and then whispers soothingly “We have the technology to do it. We have the resources. The only question is whether we want to do it.” Gosh. All you need is love.
Why then the thundering about huge undertakings? Easy (like everything else in their world): that way you get to be heroic without any blood, toil, tears or sweat. Though ironically it is very hard to have sensible discussions with people who don’t believe life is hard.
The Vox video thus makes it appear that alternative energy is working just fine. Although to be fair they do include nuclear in the mix. They make it seem as though remaking the grid would be a piece of cake. They… well, you can imagine. But here’s the problem.
If they win the debate, a lot of people are going to be very disappointed when their plans fall flat, at enormous expense not just in money but also in dependable energy. Oh wait. We already had it happen, in Ontario, in California, in Britain and in Germany. At least, so say those of us who, apparently, just don’t want the planet saved.
So, the way forward is Small Modular Reactors, built in factories, preferably using molten Uranium or Thorium salts, as this technology does not require pressurized water, which has fed almost all nuclear accidents, and uses 98% of the stored energy (versus the 2% of PWRs), and can also 'burn' Plutonium. No 'reprocessing' of old fuel rods are required, as the fuel is a liquid, and no Zirconium is present, which reacts explosively with Hydrogen. They are much cheaper to produce and run than conventional PWRs.
Some day when warming stops or the earth even starts cooling they will say "We did it , We stopped climate change!" Just like when Teresa May said she had cured the hole in the ozone to start her political career. Ya can't win with these people.