We believe that our home, our "pale blue dot" in the immortal words of Carl Sagan - planet Earth - is an amazing and wonderful natural creation that it must be our top priority to look after for future generations.
Humanity has in recent decades become aware that its extraction and burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) to provide energy is, through the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing a "greenhouse effect" contributing to the heating of the planet. The concern is that the rise in temperature may generate feed-back loops that eventually reach a tipping point, leading to runaway warming and a "hothouse Earth". Belatedly - though not yet too late - it has begun to make the switch away from such dirty sources of energy to new clean ones.
At Clean Energy Revolution, we campaign for an effective energy transition from fossil fuels to a mix of renewables and nuclear power.
Wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, biomass and nuclear are among the leading alternative sources of energy capable of replacing fossil fuels in powering our societies. Which to select? We argue that the precise energy mix for a country will, to a large extent, be a matter of choice dependent upon natural endowments and local circumstances. What matters is that, given the huge scale and urgency of the challenge of rapidly decarbonising entire economies to keep the rise in global air temperature to within a safe 1.5 degrees Celsius on pre-industrial times this century, no option is left unused on the table. Humankind needs to deploy every tool at its disposal if it is going to win this fight. So we advocate an "all-of-the-above" strategy - and that includes nuclear power.
Uniquely among the major clean energy sources, nuclear, as a reliable source not dependent upon the vagaries of the elements, has the potential to provide the carbon-free base of "firm" power that will be required to keep the lights on as coal, oil and gas-fired power stations are withdrawn from service. With the demand for electricity forecast to grow strongly in the years ahead, as the key sectors of transport and heating electrify in order to decarbonise, it can assist in both meeting environmental objectives and ensuring security of supply.
'We succeeded in taking that picture [from the Voyager 1 spacecraft looking back at Earth from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives ... there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. ... Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity - in all this vastness - there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. ... To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.'
Carl Sagan, cosmologist and broadcaster, 1994
'I want to add my voice to those who demand immediate action on the key challenges for our global community. I hope that going forward, even when I am no longer here, people with power can show creativity, courage and leadership. Let them rise to the challenge ... and act, not out of self-interest, but out of common interest. I am very aware of the preciousness of time. Seize the moment. Act now.'
Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist and author, 2018
'A remarkably wide range of thinkers, scientists, and engineers now see the ship of our energy use on a collision course that will seriously harm our future, unless a correction is begun soon. The change is still possible - we are not the Titanic, doomed to hit and sink - but the longer we wait, the harder the change will be, and the more damage we will do ... "Prepare to come about".'
Richard Alley, geologist, broadcaster and author, 2011
'We cannot hope to keep future climate within tolerable limits unless the future energy mix has nuclear as a large component.'
James Hansen, NASA scientist and environmental campaigner, 2013
'As an environmentalist I had come of age within a movement that regarded anything "nuclear" as irredeemably dangerous and evil, yet its potential to help tackle climate change was undeniable. ... Maintaining an anti-nuclear ideology is both ill-conceived and fundamentally incompatible with resolving the climate change crisis. ... With an Apollo Program scale-up of nuclear and other low-carbon power sources we still - just about - have time to avoid the worst of global warming. ... My conclusion is that only an "all-of-the-above" strategy can meet these goals.'
Mark Lynas, environmental campaigner and author, 2013
'The fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - helped many countries achieve a leap in their living standards. However, right now when many developing countries want to take the same leap we discover that the world must drastically reduce its burning of fossil fuels and emissions of carbon dioxide. Solar power, wind, geothermal, biomass are welcome. Their cost is reducing and they will be of much greater use if and when batteries and other means of storing electricity on a large scale become economically realistic. Nuclear power is established and here to stay. A mature provider of base-load for an energy hungry world. The fuel - uranium - has practically no other use and with modern techniques and many more nuclear power reactors it can sustain a vastly expanded generation of carbon dioxide-free energy far into the future.'
Hans Blix, former IAEA director general, 2018
'Nuclear power, whatever its detractors might claim, is a low-carbon energy source, roughly comparable to renewables in terms of total emissions. To shut down viable nuclear capacity in the midst of a climate change emergency (now, in other words), as Germany and Japan have done, is a refined form of madness, especially when at least some of that capacity is likely to be replaced by gas or coal, whose carbon emissions are much higher. Replacing fossil fuels with renewables, on the timescale in which we need to act, is hard enough, without setting yourself the additional, unnecessary challenge of also replacing nuclear power.'
George Monbiot, journalist, environmental campaigner and author, 2016
'To summarise, the recipe is to use as much wind as you can, sprinkle some sun, some batteries, some gas around it, and put on a base of nuclear and put it in the oven.'
Simone Rossi, chief executive of EDF Energy, 2018
Information on climate change:
NASA Global Climate Change here.
NOAA National Centres for Environmental Information here.
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory here.
Global Carbon Project here.
Information on the clean energy revolution:
Our World in Data here.
Information on renewables:
International Renewable Energy Agency here.
Renewable Energy World here.
Information on nuclear power:
World Nuclear News here.
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