I hate to agree with John McCain, he's one of the worst possible candidates that the Republican thugs could have nominated, but I totally agree with his proposal to ramp up the production of nuclear power plants with the goal of 45 new ones by 2030. My only beef with his plan is that it is too conservative. If we have any hope whatsoever of keeping the lights on over the course of the next few decades, we are going to have to rely on the only source of energy that can meet that need and that energy source is nuclear. Yes, nukes are very expensive to build, the waste will last hundreds of thousands of years and we have no plan to store it but the fact is, we are in a world of shit and face a from a massive power down, a global depression that never ends and the loss of billions of people.
Nuclear power, while not the long term answer, is the bridge to a sustainable energy future and is in my opinion, the only way to meet our needs without resorting to the overuse of coal which will only serve to cook our planet. We are 30 years post Natural Gas Peak, are currently at Peak Oil and our coal reserves, while vast, are greatly overstated. Transitioning to a non-fossil fuel world will take a lot of time, time that we don't have. Had we started 30 years ago we might just have made it but we didn't and now the shit is hitting the fan. There are a lot of promising new technologies which might one day create a sustainable energy world but right now, it just isn't so. Thus the need for a bridge to the future. That bridge is made of uranium and the time to build it is now.
In addition, several other steps can be taken to help ease the transition from oil, natural gas and coal. We need a massive ramp up of wind, solar, tidal and geothermal to supplement any new nuclear power. We need to cut our reliance on personal transportation and focus instead on mass transit, building a rail network that we can be proud of and development that makes sense, not the suburban hell we've come accustomed to. Times running out and I'm not sure that we can pull this off but we have to have hope and so I think we need to rethink our fear of nuclear power. It's either that or learn to read in the dark. Personally, I live having the lights on and if they need someplace to build a nuclear plant, put the damn thing in my backyard, as long as the lights stay on.