While the near infinite energy potential of thorium is largely ignored, we fret about the amount of CO2 that burning of coal releases. I am far more concerned about the health effects of fly ash and the trace radioactivity that we are spreading along with it than I am about CO2, and that is for one simple question:
What is the optimum temperature? Taken over the last several glacial cycles, on average most of Northern Europe and North America would be under hundreds if not thousands of feet of ice. For short periods it has thawed enough to grow food crops.
We also now find, thanks to a very recent project to research Antarctic ice cores that it was warmer 800,000 years ago. Yet, nobody seems very interested in why it was warmer then than now.
Are we warmer than the optimum or cooler? Who gets to decide? I am not interested in much of the frantic climate news until those simple questions are addressed.