Arjun Makhijani on Carbon-free, Nuclear-free energy

Talk at University of Maine November 8, 2007

Arjun Makhijani, Founder and President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Tacoma Park, Maryland spoke on “Achieving a Carbon-Free Society Without Nuclear Energy” on November 8, 2007.

Makhijani, received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was the principal author of the first study (1971) ever done on energy conservation potential for the U.S. economy. This study was even more remarkable as it was published two years before the 1973 oil embargo which was pivotal in our understanding of our dependence on fossil fuels. He has also written or edited four books on energy and the environment.

An edited 26-minute version of this talk broadcast on WERU on January 1, 2008. The full version is approximately 72 minutes.


From the executive summary of Dr. Makhijani’s study of the U.S. energy future:

Central Finding

The overarching finding of this study is that a zero-CO2 U.S. economy can be achieved within the next thirty to fifty years without the use of nuclear power and without acquiring carbon credits from other countries. In other words, actual physical emissions of CO2 from the energy sector can be eliminated with technologies that are now available or foreseeable. This can be done at reasonable cost while creating a much more secure energy supply than at present. Net U.S. oil imports can be eliminated in about 25 years. All three insecurities–severe climate disruption, oil supply and price insecurity, and nuclear proliferation via commercial nuclear energy–will thereby be addressed. In addition, there will be large ancillary health benefits from the elimination of most regional and local air pollution, such as high ozone and particulate levels in cities, which is due to fossil fuel combustion.

For more information, please visit Dr. Makhijani’s organization, the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research at ieer.org.