Xmas at Ground Zero?
No Cukes, Give Peas a Chance.

As bad as air pollution is, I really prefer acid rain to radiation.
Burning fossil fuels pours tons of unpleasant chemicals into the air. Sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide-this stuff can kill you. The lesson we learned from the industrial revolution is that even when industrial development is limited to a relatively small percentage of the Earth's land(the industrial revolution was a European/American phenomena; we see a second wave now hitting Asia and Africa) the ecosystem isn't capable of absorbing the amount of pollutants created. Trees can absorb some of the chemicals released into the air by burning gas or coal, but we quickly pass the threshold.
Ecofriendly folk suggest solar, hydro, and wind power to replace traditional methods of making electricity. Unfortunately, both wind and solar power are very expensive and produce very little electricity. Hydropower has great potential, but is only plausible in with certain geographic factors.
Additionally, the dams used to run water through the turbines can destroy the environment in their own way. The Aswan dam is a good example of how a hydroelectric power station has destroyed the natural ecosystem, in this instance the Nile Valley.
If we pollute our atmosphere with dangerous chemicals, we will be breathing those chemicals for many years before they are filtered out. Even then, they will still show up in our water and on the plants we(and our cattle) eat.
The 'high tech' solution is nuclear power. For all the bad press, nuclear power plants very rarely experience emergencies allowing radioactive steam into the air. Meltdowns aren't common. It's clean, safe, and fun.
The downside of nuclear power is the waste. Nuclear waste, created during the fission process, can remain radioactive for 5,000 to 10,000 years. What do we do with that?
Some people think that we can build massive underground storage facilities in regions that are not 'prone' to earthquakes or volcanic activity. That would be great if the waste material only needed to be stored for 5, 10, maybe even 50 years. 10,000?
One hundred years ago, the European powers(Britain and France) still retained enough of their colonial empires to be considered 'super powers'. Today? Africa and Asia have been decolonized. France and Britain exist in vague commonwealths with some of their former colonies, for example :Britain, Australia, Canada. They also exist in open hostility with others.
50 or 100 years from now, it's really unlikely that we will still be the most powerful country in the world. That's not a real pleasant thought to many Americans, but it's reality. No one stays on top forever. The importance of the western powers(NATO oriented) will decrease and new world powers will come to the forefront(personally, I think we'll see a Eurasian alliance of the PRC and Russia).
If we can't afford the maintenance of a giant underground storage facility, if an 'unexpected' earthquake occurs, if we just make a mistake, we could release tons of radioactive material into the ground water.
The question of a nuclear disaster isn't if, it's when. The consequences of such a disaster are so terrible that it is literally beyond our imagination. The reality is that we are not capable of predicting earthquakes for the next 10,000 years.
Of course, I don't know that humanity will still be around 10,000 years from. If you believe in some sort of Biblical Armageddon that is quickly approaching, you probably don't care about 10,000 years from now. I believe that humanity will be extinct 10,000 years from now, from a secular cause. However, I'd like to hold on to this little rock for as long as we can; we should work to make alternative power sources practical not play roulette with atomic marbles.

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