Warm Feelings for Dirty Energy

At the Australian coal industry's annual conference, Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane chastised attendees "for allowing the debate over the nation's future energy supply to be hijacked by a 'green media machine.'" Macfarlane suggested the industry "start telling consumers about the work being done on low-emissions technology" and warning about renewable energy costs. In other news, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote, "Nuclear energy is green," producing "no greenhouse gases," although "radioactive wastes are a challenge." But environmentalist Dr. Helen Caldicott stated, "According to data from the U.S. Energy Department, the production of nuclear power significantly contributes both to global warming and ozone depletion." While "uranium enrichment is a particularly energy intensive process," uranium mining and milling, nuclear reactor construction and decommissioning, and nuclear waste transport and storage all require ozone-depleting chemicals or fossil fuel use.