Rebuttal—Dupreeh

Nuclear Energy and Renewable Power

Currently in the world we live in we are experiencing a massive problem with global warming. The biggest contributor of global warming is the power industry releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. More specific burning fossil fuels to generate power is releasing large amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere fueling global warming. To stop this society must move to sources of power that are considered “carbon-free.” But to create the most efficient power grid, instead of just using renewable energy sources or nuclear energy, we must rely on renewable sources paired with nuclear power. Even though to create a complete carbon-free power grid society must utilize both nuclear power and renewable sources, some of society has argued we can complete this power grid with just renewables. Society has also argued that this carbon-free way of power is too expensive to prove to be reasonable.

Some of society believe that we can create a completely carbon-free power grid with only using renewable sources and making nuclear power obsolete. While renewable sources of energy are a great way to produce clean energy, they come with a large majority of problems. From “Perspectives on The Environment” in their article “Renewable Energy: Why Don’t We Use It More If It’s So Great?” the author explains, “Renewable energy is also not completely reliable even though it is sustainable. We cannot control when we receive it and how much we receive. It often relies on weather like the sun or water.” Every day our energy consumption increases, and if we don’t have completely reliable sources of power that would become a huge problem. The fact that the wind doesn’t blow as strong every day or some days it is not that sunny renewable sources will struggle to produce optimal power for society. But if we combine these renewable sources with nuclear power, we can obtain optimal power production for societies growing need for power. When renewable sources are not able to produce at a maximum capacity due to weather issues nuclear power can always produce energy. Unlike renewables, nuclear can always produce energy, making nuclear power a great partner along side renewables.

Another major argument is the issue with price. Many argue that renewables and nuclear are too expensive and are not worth it because of the high prices. The low price of burning fossil fuels are attractive because of the low price. But what many people do not realize with renewables and nuclear energy is the only expensive part of them is the upfront cost. While it is expensive to build a nuclear power plant, solar field, or wind farm they are sustainable for a long period of time. The energy nuclear power plants and renewable plants produce will eventually pay for themselves. They are all able to produce energy with no raw material added, unlike popular coal plants.

Continuing the argument with the concern of high price, when we think of the high price of these nuclear power plants or renewable plants, many forget we are also paying a higher cost to save lives. From the article “Every Day 10,000 People Die Due To Air Pollution From Fossil Fuels” the author Roger Pielke explains, “A study published last week in the journal Cardiovascular Research estimated that in 2015, the deaths of more than 3.6 million people worldwide could have been avoided if air pollution from fossil fuels were reduced to zero.” 3.6 million seems like of people dying from climate change at first but when you put that number into perspective it seems like an even larger amount of deaths, every year around 3.6 million people die because of climate change. While some people may say nuclear is just as dangerous or more dangerous then burning fossil fuels, the deaths from nuclear do not even come close to the deaths from climate change or burning fossil fuels. To put this in perspective the we can look at the largest user of nuclear power, France. They generate almost all their power from nuclear power plants. From the article “France: A Study of French Nuclear Policy After Fukushima” the author makes the claim, “France has the largest percent of nuclear in total domestic electricity generation according to the International Energy Association and exports about 44.91 billion kWh of electrical energy per year. With 58 nuclear reactors, France has now depended on nuclear energy for many years without ever having a serious accident.” With having very few incidents France has only had one death from nuclear since they started utilizing nuclear power in 1964. If society could stop using carbon-based energy production and switch over to a power gird that utilizes nuclear and renewables, we can save 3.6 million lives every year. Even if the upfront price is higher than burning fossil fuels.

A power gird that utilizes both nuclear power and renewable sources is essential to create a fully carbon-free power system. This is necessary to reduce greenhouse gasses in our environment to eventually stop global warming. If we do not do this the death rate from global warming and releasing carbon dioxide will continue to rise. The argument of the high cost of renewable sources will pay themselves off in time. The high price should also be justified to save millions of peoples lives every year. Even though some of society wants to solely use renewable sources. Nuclear is necessary to produce optimal power and create a complete carbon-free power grid.

Reference

Renewable Energy: Why Don’t We Use It More If It’s So Great? (2015, February 13). Retrieved from https://sites.psu.edu/perspectivesontheenvironment/2015/02/13/renewable-energy-why-dont-we-use-it-more-if-its-so-great/

Pielke, R. (2020, March 10). Every Day 10,000 People Die Due To Air Pollution From Fossil Fuels. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2020/03/10/every-day-10000-people-die-due-to-air-pollution-from-fossil-fuels/#484855782b6a

France: A Study of French Nuclear Policy After Fukushima. (2012, July 17). Retrieved from https://k1project.columbia.edu/news/french-nuclear-policy-after-fukushima

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7 Responses to Rebuttal—Dupreeh

  1. davidbdale says:

    Introduction.

    Flip this script, Dupreeh.
    Identify the counterargument first, then offer your rebuttal.
    You spend a paragraph getting to the point of your essay, and then use almost the same language again to begin your second paragraph. That’s strong evidence that you meant to start (and should have started) with the “opposition” point of view.

    NAME THE OPPOSITION.
    Currently you’re referring to the wrong-headed people who need to see reason as “some of society,” and as “Society.” That will never do. You are not at odds with society. You are at odds with “Climate Deniers” on one end of the spectrum, and with “Renewable or Nothing” fanatics who believe we can supply all our needs with wind and solar alone. Once you clearly identify the OTHER points of view, your own will come into sharper focus.

  2. davidbdale says:

    2nd Paragraph.
    NAME THE PROBLEMS.
    You say renewables “come with a large majority of problems.” Then you start the slow process of teasing out the details. That’s too vague to be a promise. What you mean is:
    Renewables

    • Aren’t completely reliable
    • Can’t keep up with demand

    That would be enough for one paragraph if you fully develop those two points. You spend the rest of your paragraph positively promoting the ability of nuclear power to be completely reliable and scalable, which would also be enough for a single paragraph if you fully developed it.

  3. davidbdale says:

    3rd paragraph
    Your organizational pattern is inconsistent. In P2, you offer two objections and support for your position. Here you offer a third one and support for your own position.
    Readers would find it much easier to follow a stronger pattern. For example, your P2 could be just your claims about the limitations of sustainables.
    Renewables

    • Aren’t completely reliable
    • Can’t keep up with demand
    • Are not as cheap as they seem

    Then you could spend a paragraph of support for each of your main points.
    But by far the best approach would be to say, “These are the claims of the Renewable-or-Nothing” adherents:
    Renewables

    • Can provide a steady and reliable source of power
    • Can keep up with ever-increasing demand
    • Are much more affordable than lavishly expensive nuclear power

    Stating the “opposition” position positively and spelling out what it would take to make those claims true is much more respectful to your “opponents.” It also gives you a chance to “describe them into a corner” where the logic you say they use can be exposed to be untrue.

  4. davidbdale says:

    Paragraph 4

    If you systematically dismantle the three supposed positive claims in support of a Green-Only power strategy so that the position has little credibility left, then you can level your most devastating argument:

    The longer we wait to make the transition to a blend of EVERY green alternative, the more people will die from the consequences of our continuing reliance on fossil fuels. We should be proceeding with vigor anything that can stop us from burning fuels that overheat the planet.

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