Efficiency much cheaper than nuke power as way to curb carbon emissions

The market economics of nuclear power don’t add up to a climate-change solution, particularly when compared to simple, proven energy-efficiency techniques, argues Mark Hertsgaard in the San Francisco Chronicle. But you wouldn’t know it from listening to the current public debate. Collapse author Jared Diamond is the latest prominent eco-advocate to join the fission pushers in promoting nuclear power for its alleged ability to curb carbon emissions. But when you factor in the $2 billion-plus cost of building each plant, nuclear electricity turns out to be a lot more expensive than juice from fossil fuels, wind, or simple conservation. Studies from the Rocky Mountain Institute suggest that investing those billions in easy, cheap, available conservation methods would be seven times more economically effective at curbing carbon emissions. Sadly for taxpayers and the warming planet (but happily for the nuclear industry), the energy bill that President Bush is signing today devotes billions in subsidies, tax breaks, and loan guarantees to the nuclear-power industry.