Nuclear plant

Reducing global warming is a huge challenge. But Joshua Goldstein, Professor Emeritus at American University, says it’s not impossible.

Goldstein: “We can do things about it if we follow some successful examples, especially countries like Sweden and France who decarbonized their economy really quickly with a combination of renewables and nuclear power.”

Many people argue nuclear power is just too expensive. But in his new book, Bright Future, Goldstein and co-author Staffan Qvist argue that it’s possible to bring the cost way down – and that countries such as South Korea have already done so.

Other people have safety concerns. But Goldstein says what’s far more dangerous than nuclear is continuing to burn coal.

The world’s largest electricity source, coal is a huge source of the carbon pollution that causes global warming. It also creates harmful air pollution that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.

So Goldstein says replacing coal should be a top priority. And though solar and wind are important …

Goldstein: “… they don’t add up at the scale that we need.”

So when considering our energy future, he asks people to weigh their concerns about nuclear against the threat already caused by burning fossil fuels.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.