Forcing reality into a dualism is not always rational. Mr. Deick, in his piece, “Stop using fossil fuels” maintains that nuclear is the rational alternative to fossil fuels.
Au contraire. Consider these facts about wind and solar:
By the end of this decade, putting solar and backup batteries on a house in Germany will be cheaper than tying oneself to the grid (see thinkprogress.org ).
The world has installed 142 GW of solar power and 318 GW of wind power. China is now the world leader of wind energy — 150 percent the capacity of the United States. Germany has almost triple the solar capacity of North America. Germany has eliminated the intermittency issue by updating its grid. Texas has proposed a $2 billion line to export wind power to the coal-guzzling southern states.
Elon Musk is building a multibillion dollar battery plant to power his Teslas and provide backup for renewably gained energy — 50 GW annual capacity and no fossil fuel or nuclear consumption! Renewable energy is growing rapidly in the U.S. despite the hostility of politicians and energy companies. It is time to lay this nuclear-fossil fuel dualism to rest. Rationally.