The point is that balance, in general, is a good idea. It’s good for reducing risk through diversification. It’s good for productive evolution through competition.
That’s why I’m a big supporter of (in alphabetical order!): bioenergy, coal, geothermal, hydro, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, and yes oil as energy sources for the future. I don’t root for the underdog or the champion. I root for everyone equally.
The growing concern of a nuclear catastrophe in Japan has brought the debate about the safety of nuclear power to the public. For the most part this debate has suffered from a lack of rational weighing of risk and benefit. People should be scared of radiation poisoning, but they should also be scared of a million other more likely sources of health concerns. Every energy source has it pros and cons. What’s important however is that the list of pros and cons is constantly evolving due to technological innovation. We need to promote this innovation in as many areas as possible.
A balanced diet of energy expands the field of innovation and competition. How do we achieve such a balanced diet? This is a tough question. But I believe subsidizing the underdog is the way to go. I think of it as a long distance Olympic running event where the leader of the pack at every lap gets punched in the face to slow him down. It seems unfair that you get punched in the face for doing well, but it’s for his own good 😉 Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Here’s a good Charlie Rose debate on the future of Nuclear Power: