A recent article on customer attitudes toward climate change and what energy companies should do about it is really telling. To no one’s surprise, customers may want something to happen, but are less than willing to pay to make it happen:
“To combat climate change, 57 percent of Americans are willing to pay a $1 monthly fee; 23 percent are willing to pay a monthly fee of $40. Party identification and acceptance of climate change are the main determining factors of whether or not people are willing to pay, with Democrats being consistently more inclined to pay a fee.”
But, the obvious missing data is whether even $40 per person will make much of a dent in the climate change forecast. I was watching the news this morning where an astrophysicist was talking about how some things might change over the next 100,000 years. No offense, but I simply do not care nor should anyone else for that matter …
I have enough to worry about that is in the here and now.
I have to admit, I never expected to read this in the Washington Post news-feed. I started my career designing nuclear power plants for military submarines under Admiral Rickover in his Nuclear Navy. I lived through the period where nuclear promised power “too cheap to meter,” and then watched the Three Mile Island incident virtually eliminate that concept from consideration.
As you read the article you will see that this is not going to be a slam dunk. But, then again, Bill Gates already tackles things on this scale. Because I live here in
Georgia, we are living through the only new nuclear power plant on the horizon … we will see. It remains far from a slam dunk.
Yet, few of us would dismiss the intrinsic beauty of nuclear in the fuel portfolio as an energy source. Unfortunately, today we need rapidly ramping capacity, not energy … we have plenty of low cost energy.