Famed Ecologist Argues Nuclear Power Needed to Fight Global Warming

A prominent ecologist is raising a ruckus in environmental circles by arguing that the world needs to immediately embrace nuclear energy if it’s to have any chance of combating climate change. James Lovelock, the U.K. scientist whose Gaia Hypothesis — that the earth itself is a self-regulating organism — made him famous (well, in some circles), argued in a recent op-ed in The Independent that humanity needs to stop burning fossil fuels straight away and “there is no chance that the renewables, wind, tide, and water power can provide enough energy and in time,” so nuclear is our only option for the next few decades. He entreated environmentalists “to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy.” Many enviros were not convinced. As Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth U.K. put it, “Climate change and radioactive waste both pose deadly long-term threats, and we have a moral duty to minimize the effect of both, not to choose between them.”