Stewart has an article in the current issue of Technology Review in which he claims to be presenting "Environmental Heresies":
Over the next ten years, I predict, the mainstream of the environmental movement will reverse its opinion and activism in four major areas: population growth, urbanization, genetically engineered organisms, and nuclear power.
Dave Roberts at Gristmill has the best take on the article, and I more or less agree with his reaction. But I would add: Stewart seems to be railing against the version of the environmental movement with which he was familiar decades past.
Recognition of the environmental advantages to urbanization isn't a new phenomenon, and the Erlich-style hysteria over population was generally discarded long ago. Even the still-widespread resistance to GMOs and nuclear power usually has more to do with an educated opposition to how these technologies have been deployed (and the lack of oversight and out-and-out deception often involved) than some kind of knee-jerk "science bad" mantra. I'm not saying that the 1970s hippy treehugger caricatures with which Stewart may be most familiar no longer exist, but they certainly no longer represent the bulk of environmentalist thinking.
There seems to be a rather coordinated effort to relegitimize nuclear power. Nicholas Kristof just endorsed nuclear power as "green", and we've already seen Friedman do it, too.
The same specious reasoning persists about it, but now most everyone who pushes it says, "It helps with climate change".
Now that wind power specifically is more costs effective than most modalities, the mainstream still poo-poos it, saying something so trite as "the wind doesn't blow all the time".
True, but it's always blowing somewhere, and it blows quite a bit when it does. That's why we rely on giant power grids, which nukes feed into as well.
I'm a bit exasperated with so-called "progressives" who are trying to sell the most insane solution out there.
Per EPA and NRC records...During the month of March, this year of 2005, two Nuclear Reactors - Artifical Island and Hope Creek were in need of a shutdown. Both had been leaking gallons per hour of radioactive reactor fluid for weeks in the drain systems containment tanks.
My first real job out of college (early 1970's) was doing siting studies for three best in class nucs in the Midwest. All three are now approaching the end of their licensing period, at least one of the three has been put up for sale and then taken off the market, and two have had ua history of "maintenence problems". Every single spent rod from these are still on site(s). In less than 5 years these and many other nucs of the same era will either have to have MAJOR overhauls at significant expense, causing bigtime NIMBY furor (who left their reactor rods out for the terrorists last nite?), or they will be decomissioned (repeat upset scenario). The strategy is obvious. Those ever-consolidating utilities that hold the liability bag don't want either scenario draggin their stock down before the truth is publicly known. Its now or never to get the public gung ho about nuclear power and Climate Change is just the boogey man for that job. Problem is, what goes around boomerangs. Get the fundies outraged about climate change and a whole lot of unanticipated stuff gets unleased. This is way more complex than the pundits realize.