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Articles by Steven Cohen

Steven Cohen is the director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute, and executive director of Columbia University's Earth Institute.

Featured Article

If the media and the New York Times editorial page are any guide, nuclear power is the new green-energy option being embraced by environmentalists. This is not a new idea. The first mainstream statement of the “nuclear option” came from a 2003 report by MIT professors John Deutch and Ernest Moniz, “The Future of Nuclear Power.”

As the duo’s press release put it: “The nuclear option should be retained precisely because it is an important carbon-free source of power … Taking nuclear power off the table as a viable alternative will prevent the global community from achieving long-term gains in the control of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Image: clipart.com

While I share their alarm at our failure to address the problem of overabundant greenhouse-gas emissions, I am equally alarmed by their willingness to accept this dangerous, complicated, and politically controversial technology as a fix for our looming climate crisis.

Let’s begin with dangerous, setting aside the obvious problems raised by Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. In the past few years, we have seen the horror that sui... Read more