I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want: a ban on any website
citing scientific research without linking to it. In Business Week’s Debate
Room this week, we are presented with the entirely unedifying spectacle
of two men hurling papers at each other and not giving anybody the opportunity
to judge for themselves.
The subject is the amount of carbon emissions associated with nuclear energy.
Jim Riccio, of Greenpeace USA, says that "Last month,
the Oxford Research Group found that contrary to industry claims, nuclear power
does not qualify as a carbon-free technology," and links to an older Business
saying that "while coal, the primary source of electric power in the U.S.,
produces 755 grams of carbon per kilowatt hour, the range for nuclear is between
10 and 150 grams per kilowatt hour. Wind power is 11 to 37 grams."
In the other corner, Scott Peterson, of the Nuclear Energy
Institute, says that "Research from the University of Wisconsin shows life-cycle
emissions from nuclear energy are lower than those from renewables such as solar
and hydropower and dramatically lower than those for power plants fueled by
coal or natural gas."
So which is it to be? If these individuals would link to the Oxford Research
Group and University of Wisconsin papers, we’d be able to read them and make
our own minds up. But maybe then the demand for experts and pundits might drop.