In a recent piece by the Christian Science Monitor, “Global Warming Heats up a Nuclear Energy Renaissance,” the article examined the American context energy and why nuclear power is an attractive option.
One key point mentioned is that the majority of the general American public views nuclear energy positively, now more than ever.
“Public and political acceptance of nuclear power as a logical large-scale alternative to fossil fuel is higher than it has been in a generation. Once mainly associated with mishaps like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl – not to mention bumbling nuclear plant worker Homer Simpson – the energy source now has support from 62 percent of Americans, a Gallup Poll found in March. That’s the highest since Gallup began asking about the topic in 1994.
Even former foes like Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and an alternative-energy crusader, and Mark Udall, a member of the Udall family Democratic political dynasty that has stewarded natural resources, are rethinking the nuclear energy option. They’re influenced more by the immediately tangible environmental consequences of greenhouse gases than by possible radiation disasters.”
A recent survey on the public view of nuclear energy, “Perspective on Public Opinion,” June 2010, shows that Americans are more supportive of nuclear energy than they have been in decades. The survey results note that “Three out of four Americans say they favor nuclear energy. The long-term transformation in public opinion on nuclear energy is striking: Those in favor moved from 49 percent in 1983, when the question was first asked, to 74 percent today. Those who “strongly favor” nuclear energy now outnumber those who are “strongly opposed” by more than three to one—33 percent strongly favor compared with 10 percent who are strongly opposed.”
There are many variable that have contributed to these growing acceptance rates including baseload energy generation without carbon emissions, ability to create jobs and economic growth, and provide a domestic source for greater energy independence.
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