By Jeffrey St. Clair
In the latest bad news about global warming, the threat of climate change is being used to help resurrect the moribund nuclear power industry - and people close to Al Gore are leading the charge. John B. Ritch, U.S.
Ambassador to U.N. programs in Vienna, recently claimed that only nuclear energy was capable of providing enough power to meet the world's burgeoning energy needs without contributing to global climate change. "Nuclear energy is a technology whose time has come," Ritch said, repeating a refrain that has been heard off-and-on since Dwight Eisenhower's "atoms for peace" program of the '50s.
Ritch made this bracing comment during his keynote address at the International Conference on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management held in March in Cordoba, Spain. Since 1994, Ritch, a close friend of Gore and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, has served as the U.S. representative to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which sponsored the Cordoba conference. Ritch also is one of three names being circulated to head the Department of Energy in a Gore administration.
Jeffrey St. Clair is a contributing editor of In These Times.