Clash of the Greens

At a time when the urgency of tackling climate change is greater than ever, some environmentalists are thinking what was unthinkable – that we should now rely on nuclear power.

Mark Lynas has a new feature film coming out, Pandora’s Promise, that aims to make the case with the public that our ideas about nuclear energy are all wrong. He put his case to Peter Armstrong, arguing that the renewable energy sources beloved of the greens are just not scalable in the time we’ve got before runaway climate change.

But Nick Dunlop, Secretary-General of the Climate Parliament, disagrees. arguing passionately that clean, renewable energy is both practical and our best option. We’ve been thinking too small, he says; we need to start building a global energy system, for example bringing the solar energy from the deserts of North Africa to power homes throughout Europe. And by the way, the nuclear option still has far too many downsides to be a realistic alternative.

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