Not long ago, no billionaire worth his cufflinks would be caught dead without hurling bales of money at our nation’s educational system. They bankrolled charter schools, high-stakes testing, and the splintering of big high schools into smaller academies. Their failure to make American kids learn more scuffed the luster on this enduring philanthropic fad.
Billionaires have landed, therefore, on a new mission. As Donald Trump might say, they want to make nuclear energy great again.
“If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels, we are going to need nuclear power,” PayPal co-founder and Facebook mega-investor Peter Thiel crowed in a New York Times op-ed shortly before negotiators from 195 nations gathered in Paris to seal an international climate pact.
Thiel, who personally invests in nuclear energy, made the self-serving demand that the U.S. government forge a “plan to fund and prototype the new reactors that we badly need.”