At 90, an Environmentalist From the ’70s Still Has Hope via The New York Times

Q. What do you think of the debate over the extent to which humans are primarily responsible for global warming?

A. No one in his right mind would deny that we’re getting warmer. The question is, is this due to things that people have chosen? And I think the answer is that all of the things we have chosen to do include the release of materials like carbon dioxide, which affect the retention of heat by the planet.

You could argue that maybe this is a high point in a heating/cooling cycle. Well, we’re adding to the high point. There’s no question about it. So it seems to me the argument that there are natural ways in which the temperature fluctuates is a spurious one. If we accept that we’re in a cycle, it’s idiocy to increase the high point.

Q. There’s been some second-guessing about using nuclear power instead of fossil fuels. Do you agree?

A. No. This is a good example of shortsighted environmentalism. It superficially makes sense to say, “Here’s a way of producing energy without carbon dioxide.” But every activity that increases the amount of radioactivity to which we are exposed is idiotic. There has to be a life-and-death reason to do it. I mean, we haven’t solved the problem of waste yet. We still have used fuel sitting all over the place. I think the fact that some people who have established a reputation as environmentalists have adopted this is appalling.

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◇See also NYT obituary.

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