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Trump would be wise to embrace nuclear option

07 Feb 2017

Dear Editor,
I am delighted that you draw attention to the editorial in Thorax (doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2017-209978) regarding President Donald Trump’s policy on climate and air pollution, and the analogy with the choices facing Thatcher and Reagan is appropriate (Lead on climate change can ‘make America great again’, IMT, January 27).

I have to say I am worried by the early signs regarding his future policy direction. His appointee Rick Perry to the Department of Energy is a former board member of the Dakota Access Pipeline, so it will be interesting to see how he will decide to proceed.

A wise policy would be for the US to follow the lead of China, Russia and South Korea when it comes to nuclear development as well as pursuing renewables.

Nuclear energy is the best hope to replace fossil fuels due to its energy density cost, safety and reliability. It has over the past 50 years prevented literally billions of tonnes of CO2 emissions that would have otherwise spewed into our atmosphere.

Apart from the amelioration of the warming effects of the CO2, it is calculated that 1.8 million lives have been saved in a study done by Kharecha and Hansen (published in Environmental Science and Technology, 2013, doi: 10.1021/es3051197).

Those who are anti-nuclear are often unwilling to look at this side of the story. Would they accuse me of uttering ‘alternative facts’?

Dr Pat Morrissey,
Adare Medical Centre and member of An Taisce Climate Change Committee.

The post Trump would be wise to embrace nuclear option appeared first on Irish Medical Times.

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