Bet 590

Duration 5 years (02010-02015)

“Friends of the Earth (US) will no longer be fighting against nuclear power by December 2015.”

Stewart Brand


Brand's Argument

FOE has been fighting against nuclear power since its beginning in 1969. With the advent of climate change as the overwhelming threat to the environment, Friends of the Earth, along with other environmental organizations, has been focusing on reducing greenhouse gases through energy efficiency and conservation and increasing use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Every year the realization is growing that just efficiency and renewables cannot begin to solve the total greenhouse gas situation. Nuclear has to be part of the mix, or there is no chance to build the requisite terawatts of new clean energy capacity (13 terawatts, says Saul Griffith) to head off severe climate change.

Organizations are not allowed to change their policies quickly. FOE leaders and members will gradually catch on that nuclear is necessary, and fighting against nuclear will gradually move down FOE’s priority list. By late 2015, I predict, the resistance will be effectively zero. That is likely to be in a context where by then some Green organizations are actively promoting some forms of nuclear power.

I’m hoping that Erich Pica, president of FOE, will take this bet (I propose $1,000). If I win, I would like my winnings ($2,000 plus interest) to go to Friends of the Earth.

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