The New York Times

Nuclear Option


“A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow”

By Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist

288 pages. PublicAffairs. $26.

Some years ago, while studying how societies transitioned from one energy source to another over the past 200 years, the Italian physicist Cesare Marchetti and his colleagues discovered a hard truth: It takes almost a century for a new source of primary energy — coal, petroleum, natural gas, nuclear power — to command half the world market. Just to grow to 10 percent from 1 percent takes almost 50 years.

You would expect suppliers to switch quickly to a better (more abundant, cheaper, cleaner) source. But infrastructure

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