Nuclear power emits much lower greenhouse gas emissions than electricity from coal but there is risk of a reactor accident, unresolved issues with radioactive waste disposal, and weapons.
No scientist disputes that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that it is increasing in the atmosphere. And careful detective work shows that the increase has chemical fingerprints Ã¢Â€Â” from us.
Coal generates carbon dioxide when combusted, which is causing the world to warm. In Georgia, a state that gets over 60 percent of its electricity from coal, some coastal residents are connecting the dots between coal and changes in the local ecology and economy attributed to global warming. Recognizing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, engineers are exploring "clean coal" technology. What is this technology? Will it work?
Congress helped bolster the corn ethanol business in Iowa by mandating the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005. But scientists are concerned about the unexpected consequences of putting more of Iowa's land into corn production Ã¢Â€Â” consequences that may make corn ethanol a bigger source of climate-warming gases than regular gasoline.
The flow of water in Montana's rivers is lifeblood for its economy, both through tourism and agriculture. Montana's recreational fishing and agricultural industries depend on cool waters flowing from melting snow high in the mountains throughout the summer. But across Montana, rising temperatures are causing a series of changes.