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Short answer: wrong scale. A few of anything will not suffice, including nuclear plants.

"A few" in the context I used it is admittedly a little snarky. But compared to the number of wind turbines and solar panels that are needed to really make a difference, we have only put up a small number.

The Energy Information Administration just yesterday published its Electric Power Annual data report for 2011. That year, wind plus solar generated 121,995,000 MWh of electricity, which was 3% of total US generation.

The real issue, of course, is the coal China continues to burn to fuel its ever-expanding industries. I don't have any good answers for that, but I do know that bullet trains in California or solar panels in Germany (of all places) aren't going to make a dent. If this global warming stuff is to be taken seriously, then people need to start doing the math. A little bit of education regarding how electric power grids are operated would be useful, too.

- Pete
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