In face of ‘peak everything,’ governments shrug at environmental cost of energy
Less than a year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the U.S. government has begun issuing new permits for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Pundits think that despite a pause in the "nuclear renaissance," the same thing could happen to nuclear power plants in the wake of Fukushima, at least outside the U.S.
The culprit? Dwindling supplies of cheap energy — and everything else. Peak Everything, the title of peak oil pundit Richard Heinberg's 2007 book, is about many of our favorite subjects: shortages of clean water, livable climate, some minerals, wild-caught fish, and of course cheap fossil fuels, principally oil.
In the face of these shortages, governments that lack the imagination to push for a portfolio of renewables are falling back on the devil they know: ever more challenging sources of oil, including the Arctic, ultra-deep reservoirs, and Alberta's tar sands, as well as nuclear power and natural gas.
Nuclear as Usual: Why Fukushima Will Change Less Than You Think,