debate: do we need nuclear energy?

This clip is a TED debate between Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson about the pros and cons of nuclear power: the energy crisis. Each they get 6 minutes and then there 1 minute for the audience to give a strong argument to make the discussion very interesting. The main purpose of this debate is to make you think and even change your thoughts about nuclear energy.

The discussion starts with Stewart Brand at 1:24. He is pro nuclear energy and has some very strong arguments. He compares nuclear energy with coal and wind, solar energy. The negative points here are the overwhelming numbers of produced CO2 for coal and the needed hectares of ground for installments for wind and solar energy to produce al large amount of energy. He ends the discussion with the following statement:” Homer Simpson, the hero of our planet”.

Mark takes over the discussion to counter the arguments of Stewart at 7:41. This was eye-opening; this man had surprisingly very good arguments why we shouldn’t use nuclear energy. This part of the discussion you really should listen too.

At time 14:20 it is time for the audience to give their opinion. The time is ticking and we really need another source of energy to produce electricity. We can’t live in a world anymore polluted by CO2. Nuclear energy is the fastest solution for this problem to produce constant energy 24/7. But there is a certain fear living amongst the people for a nuclear attack. If there are nuclear plants all over the world there’s still a change that countries will secretly produce nuclear weapons instead of recycling the existing weapons for nuclear energy.

They end the discussion by summarizing their opinions and asking the audience who changed their opinion about nuclear energy. Eventually we see that it is very difficult to convince the people otherwise. But I think that the majority of the people don’t even stand still by the fact that the future is in grave danger, we are the generation that need to come up with a solution, not the next generation because it will be too late for them.

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2 Responses to debate: do we need nuclear energy?

  1. Tristan,

    Really good discussion, the con-nuclear energy spokesman was a lot more concrete in his approach, already choosing which sources he would like to use.

    However all the nay sayers say that the green energy sources are environment friendly, I did some research and found some possible flaws in this statement.

    Wind turbines: Causes Turbine Syndrome (some say it exists and others say it doesn’t). Symptoms: dizziness, headaches, depression, epileptic seizures.
    Can also cause a hazard for migratory birds.
    In the sea they can create different sedimentation patterns causing local extinction of ocean life.

    In the following article you can read about wind energy projects that were cancelled due to negative comments by citizens.

    So all this green energy might not have a better reputation than nuclear power…

  2. tristanbruggeman says:


    In my neighborhood they have build 2 wind turbines and already you notice the people who live very close have a negative effect from it. For instance, when the sun is shining at specific hours it causes a large shadow from the wind turbine that alternates over the landscape, including backyards and homes.

    The focus of the alternative energy’s lies in diminishing the CO2 expulsion, but we see it has its downsides also!

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