An early environmentalist is embracing heresy in climate-change battle

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Brand, a member with writer Ken Kesey in the radical Merry Pranksters in San Francisco during the 1960s and later publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog, says he feels guilty that he and fellow environmentalists created so much fear of nuclear power.

In an interview with the New York Times , Brand, who now lives on a tugboat in Sausalito, said alternative energy and conservation are fine ways to reduce emissions, but nuclear power is proven and “working on a scale to make a serious difference.”

“There were legitimate reasons to worry about nuclear power, but now that we know about the threat of climate change, we have to put the risks in perspective,” Brand said. “Sure, nuclear waste is a problem, but the great thing about it is you know where it is and you can guard it. The bad thing about coal waste is that you don’t know where it is and you don’t know what it’s doing. The carbon dioxide is in everybody’s atmosphere.”

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