MoJo Nukes Convo: Stewart Brand’s Take

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


brand-headshot.pngStewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, is a futurist with Global Business Network and works half-time as president of The Long Now Foundation. Brand looks toward the future on nuclear power, musing that we’ll likely increase nuclear power to become more like France (which gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear) or phase it out in favor of better methods. Of course, Stewart writes, the whole nukes debate “could seem irrelevant in the face of drastic climate events forcing huge-scale geo-engineering.”

Below are a few of Brand’s choice comments from the MoJo online nukes conversation:
“The problem is not that nuclear is expensive. The problem is that coal is cheap.”

“The surviving companies are sharper, the regs are becoming more workable, and the tech keeps improving. Meanwhile the demand environment, thanks to climate, is changing drastically in favor of nuclear.”

And below are a few comments that addressed Brand’s views directly:
“With regard to the potential income from opposing nuclear power – just imagine how much less valuable natural gas and coal would be today if we had continued building nuclear plants at the rate achieved in the 1980s.”—Rod Adams

“I feel that it is important for our universities to begin educating more nuclear scientist and engineers in order to better harness these new technologies. Let us hope that soon they might find the answers that will make the future of nuclear energy more safe and reliable.”—MordVain

“Stewart, as for your wondering about how many people are following this conversation, I think we both know the answer is not nearly enough. Reading all of your comments has absolutely hardened my sense that nuclear power is an utterly valid consideration.”—Jonathon Severdia

“Why are people compelled to say that nuclear energy is clean? It burns clean, but the waste is one of the worst on the planet. This negates the “clean” in every way.”—Brandi Adamski

Read the full conversation here.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest