TOKYO — October 4, 2023 — Anthropocene Institute President and Co-Founder Carl Page addressed conference participants in Tokyo on the topic of fusion at the 10th Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF), an annual event supported by Japanese government agencies. Page stressed the importance of accelerating governance and technology to keep atmospheric conditions comfortable on Earth. “We don’t have a choice about whether geoengineering happens,” he said. “We only get to choose whether people with good intentions do it.”
With moderation from Sally Benson and Nobuo Tanaka, Page joined panelists Scott Hsu, Takaya Taguchi, and Yutaka Kamada on stage. Page favors climate restoration, accelerating innovation, protecting biodiversity, and making industrial-quality, clean energy ten times cheaper. “If we buy 20 times more energy and it’s ten times cheaper, humanity will benefit,” he said.
He added that we would improve our security and health and end poverty. Industry would see supply chain costs go down substantially. Additional benefits include increased biodiversity as farmland use becomes efficient, and truly circular supply chains are adopted.
He then advocated for nuclear power. “Nuclear,” he said, “is dangerous, but only to the fossil fuel industry…Never apologize for the safety of nuclear power. You have a one in 12 chance of being killed by fossil fuel pollution. You have a 0.00% chance of being killed by nuclear waste.”
Page talked about the lives saved by the current nuclear power fleet in the U.S. and the lives lost when Germany and Japan closed nuclear plants and became more reliant on coal for electricity. Page estimated that nuclear energy in Japan in the course of its history may have prevented 300,000 premature deaths due to air pollution averted. Following the Fukushima accident, Japan has only restarted one fifth of its nuclear reactors as of August 2023. Page told the audience in Japan that global industrial power costs could be reduced through adoption of nuclear energy.
In closing, he advocated for accelerated innovation akin to what happens in Silicon Valley, where a process much like nuclear fission occurs. “When a company exits, it sends out high-energy people with big wads of cash, and they can start the next company without asking for permission or seeking financing from banks,” he said. “That can transform the economy fast.”