I’m half-way though [Fred] Pearce’s “With Speed and Violence“, and he just talked about the effect of aerosols on climate. There’s a growing concern among climatologists that the role of aerosols in mitigating temperature rise has been underestimated.What that means is that if fine particulate matter (like soot) was removed from the air, the true warming potential of the existing CO2 would be revealed.
This means that one of the unintended consequences of a complete replacement of coal with nuclear power, as its advocates insist upon, would be to eliminate the particulates that are currently shielding us from the consequences of our foolishness, and expose us to the full warming fury of the CO2 that is already in the atmosphere and will be there for another century. We’d get a global temperature rise of a couple of degrees as a consequence.
How’s that for being caught on the horns of a dilemma? Oh, by the way, the same principle applies to wind turbines and solar panels, but nuclear power is more dangerous in this regard because it might actually succeed in displacing some coal consumption.
Hmm, except isn’t coal responsible for much of the c02 being there in the first place?