"In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots... Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change...
The 600-plus coal-fired plants emit nearly two billion tons of CO2 annually—the equivalent of the exhaust from about 300-million automobiles. In addition, the Clean Air Council reports that coal plants are responsible for 64 percent of sulfur-dioxide emissions, 26 percent of nitrous oxides and 33 percent of mercury emissions.
These pollutants are eroding the health of our environment, producing acid rain, smog, respiratory illness and mercury contamination.
Meanwhile, the 103 nuclear plants operating in the United States effectively avoid the release of 700 million tons of CO2 emissions annually—the equivalent of the exhaust from more than 100-million automobiles. Imagine if the ratio of coal to nuclear were reversed so that only 20 percent of our electricity were generated from coal and 60 percent from nuclear.
This would go a long way toward cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Every responsible environmentalist should support a move in that direction."
~Patrick Moore, Ph.D., co-founder of Greenpeace