John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona, just took a position on Climate Change that has surprised and confused both sides of the aisle.
Historically, the GOP has been full of climate change deniers. They’ll talk about how they won’t believe something because they haven’t seen enough evidence but then scoff at any evidence that’s given.
For example, let’s look at Trump’s recent pick for running NASA, as observed by Liberal Examiner’s Maya Lora:
“Trump has nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine to lead the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Never heard of him? Neither has the science community. And the real catch? He wants America to go back to the moon, but, more importantly, he’s a climate change denier.
Trump’s pick to head NASA wants Americans to return to the moon, but doesn’t think humans cause climate change. https://t.co/n2NabHf3Tx
— NPR (@NPR) September 4, 2017
You would think running NASA, the home base for our efforts in science and to understand a world beyond ourselves, would require a formal science-based education, but not for Trump. I’m pretty sure taking AP Biology makes me more qualified to run NASA than Bridenstine at this point, who has done nothing but be an executive director for the local Tulsa Air and Space Museum.”
But, things may start looking up for those who understand what’s going on in the world, since some of those in the GOP finally seem to be waking up.
What’s Happening Now:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was a guest on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” segment on CNN where he challenged Trump on quite a few topics such as the budget, immigrants, and climate change.
“There is things happening with the climate in the world that is unprecedented,” McCain stated after being asked why Republicans were climate change deniers.
McCain then went on to say that nuclear power needs to be looked at more seriously for the future of our planet.
“It’s the cleanest, cheapest, in many ways, source of power,” he said. “We have to understand that the climate may be changing and we can take commonsense measures which will not harm the American people.”
And on this point, he’s absolutely right. Nuclear has gotten a terrible reputation that is honestly underserved.
When people talk about “nuclear power” images about crazy mutants with extra arms, glowing fish with three 3, or terribly deformed humans dance in people’s heads. Unfortunately, that’s due to a huge mess of ridiculous horror films from the Soviet era.
Let’s take a look at a list from Greening Foward, a youth-driven, youth-led, and youth-imagined environmental organization, as to why we should be giving nuclear power another chance:
- 1 in 5 households and businesses in the U.S. receive their electricity from nuclear energy.
- Nuclear power facilities can produce energy at a 91% efficiency rate 24/7, with virtually zero carbon emissions.
- 13% of the world’s electricity comes from nuclear power plants that emit little to no greenhouse gases.
- Nuclear power plants run on uranium; an element so energy-rich that a single fuel pellet the size of a fingertip contains as much energy as 17,000 cubic feetof natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil.
- The U.S. saves $12 billion dollars each year for energy costs because of nuclear power.
- Nuclear power plants actually emit fewer radioactive materials into the environment than a traditional coal-burning plant.
- It is estimated that nuclear facilities have saved 1.84 million lives since their inception by preventing the release of countless amounts of harmful pollutants/emissions.
- Modern nuclear plants can produce electricity for just four cents per kilowatt hour (including capital construction costs!), a good competitor compared to solar energy’s 16 cents per kilowatt hour and coal’s 9 cents/kWh.
McCain, you’re finally starting to talk sense.
H/T: Greening Forward