If our civilization had started out with "alternative energy" and then discovered a lot of easily accessible petroleum for the first time, petroleum's initially high eroei
would make it look like a science fictional energy source and cause us to abandon the "alternatives." Our familiarity with petroleum obscures just how much it has transformed our lives.
As for nuclear power, the advantages claimed for it seem inversely related to how long our civilization has used it. The most nonsensical utopian propaganda for nuclear power came out in the 1950's when we still had little experience with it. Paul Milo provides some risible examples of nucleotopia in my current read, Your Flying Car Awaits