Thursday, April 05, 2007

TCS Daily - Supreme Court Goes Nuclear

TCS Daily - Supreme Court Goes Nuclear:
"Who are the big winners and losers in Monday's monumental Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA? A sharply divided 5-4 decision found that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles -- most notably carbon dioxide -- despite the fact Congress has considered and rejected such proposals in the past. ..."

"...The irony is that the beneficiary of Monday's ruling won't be wind power, solar power, or any of the other renewable technologies favored by the Green establishment. Their economic and technological limitations are too severe for them ever to occupy more than a small niche in the American energy economy. Instead, one of the winners from Massachusetts v. EPA just may be something that many of the environmentalists who brought the suit have long abhorred: nuclear power. Like with renewables, nuclear power generates electricity with no pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. But unlike renewables, nuclear is capable of generating reliable power on a massive scale, which is what our country's future energy demands will require. ..."

This is a pretty interesting article that points out the major problems in how we deal with the internal combustion engine.

If I recall my chemistry courses correctly, a single molecule of octane (C8H18) yields 8 molecules of carbon dioxide in addition to water, when fully oxidized. The alternative is not fully oxidizing the gasoline and putting up with carbon particulates and carbon monoxide.

Of course, a more desirable alternative might be better fuel efficiency, less driving, more walking, and so forth. It does no good, however, to try and adjudicate the laws of chemistry and thermodynamics to fit political needs.

It would certainly be a delicious irony if environmental ideologues had to suck it up and accept nuclear power in the interests of protecting the environment and possibly slowing global warming.

I wonder how all this will play out?

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