Today we talked about if we should pursue nuclear energy as an answer to global warming. First we watched the following clips: TED debate http://www.ted.com/talks/debate_does_the_world_need_nuclear_energy.html Pandora's promise (pro nuclear film trailor) http://pandoraspromise.com/ terra power explained, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIfMmqKYC6w fukishima http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=820sIi_-dY8 At the start of class we broke into groups of two to discuss the pros and cons of nuclear energy and get an idea of how our partner felt about nuclear energy. Then we gathered as one large group to present our partners view as a listening and paraphrasing skills practice. Some of the pros and cons of nuclear energy presented were: Main arguments for nuclear energy: cheap once built much safer than use to be uses little space clean burning many countries using it have not nor plan to make nuclear weapons risks of overheating planet outweighs risk of nuclear incident solar & wind energy are not constant, not reliable, not enough to power energy for world Need to get off fossil fuels Main arguments against nuclear/for renewable energy: technology could be used to make nuclear weapons takes too long to build, wind and solar are available now plenty of solar and wind (statistics show we have enough) nuclear accidents very dangerous (waste on trucks and trains could have accident terrorist target research being conducted to put renewable energy in middle of ocean so space won’t be a problem Too expensive, wind and solar energy are free once installed Technology is too new, don't know if really works Most of us were on fence about nuclear energy. The past disasters scare everyone. Nuclear energy may be more reliable than sun and wind but it’s a lot more dangerous. There is a definite worry about the technology being used for weapons development or terrorist targets. We discussed it might be better to put money into wind and solar energy because the technology could greatly advance in the next few years and solve some of the current problems, getting rid of the need for nuclear energy. We all agreed nuclear power is better than coal and we need to get away from fossil fuels. Green options are expensive and the government needs to give more breaks and incentives for going green. Isabella and Kyle came up with the government installing solar panels on everyone’s roof for free and letting the homes use a percentage of the power generated. Jack thinks plastics are a more pressing problem than fossil fuels. No one trusts governments to handle the issues of global warming or tell the complete truth. Japan thought it’s nuclear power plant was completely safe. Josh brought up the fact the current US government can’t even decide on an action for healthcare, with the current government shutdown, so how can we trust them to work efficiently on a plan for global warming? Many governments are too tied to oil companies to take action. Grassroots individuals need to take action. Everyone in our group is hopeful. We think it’s up to us to educate others and take action. Jack and Walden inspired us with the films they have made to stop the production of plastics and styrofoam. They’d like to think they had something to do with getting the ban on plastic bags and styrofoam in Alameda county. Nuclear energy may not be the answer to global warming but people thinking about options and weighing the risks and benefits and taking action are.