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Political miscalculations on the part of global warming alarmists have opened the way for a renewed commitment to nuclear power that will find expression within the next few years, Joe Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute observed just as his organization’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change concluded.
The growing “climategate” scandal that involves emails leaked to the Internet from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain has confirmed the skeptical view of man-made global warming theories and “put in a stake in the heart” of the pseudoscience that fuels alarmism, Bast said in an interview on the final day of the conference in Chicago, Illinois.
As an added benefit, he expects U.S. policymakers to divorce themselves from “cap and trade” schemes and to move more forcefully in the direction of sensible energy polices, especially after the November elections.
“I think one unintended consequence of this whole debate has been the re-examination and re-legitimization of nuclear energy,” Bast suggested. “I’m sure the left must be kicking itself for allowing this to happen. They should have thought ahead and asked themselves what would happen if they lost on global warming. As it turns out, they have helped to endorse and validate nuclear power. You are going to see a lot more nuke plants built over the next 20 to 30 years.”
Some of the key developments that occurred in the climate debate since last Heartland Conference in Washington D.C. are as follows:
Despite a growing body of scientific evidence that points to natural as opposed to man-made factors that fuel warming and cooling cycles, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a repacked version of “cap and trade” bill earlier this month that would impose carbon reductions on industry. However, Bast does not expect the legislation to gain any traction in the U.S. Senate.
“Cap and trade is dead,” he said. “We are finally on the downhill here, we are victorious. Now is great time to be a skeptic, now is a great time to be a libertarian. The vibe at this conference was fantastic.”