The footprint issue becomes an absurdity argument with sensible renewable energy laydowns. Look at how little land is required if one plays the theoretical "100% of US energy with solar energy systems solely".
Yes, wind turbines do have a disruption footprint. Compare the ridgetop photos of wind turbines, as a reasonable example, with mountaintop removal impacts.
"Mis of renewables generally means large environment footprint" really falls by the wayside if one puts aside dedicated land for low-efficiency biofuels. And, when it comes to that arena, we are a lot closer to viable very high-density algae fuels than we are to fusion energy.
And, just to be clear, I am not "anti-nuclear faction". At a very high level, back when coal was roughly 50% of US electricity, here is a thought-piece laydown of eliminating coal from US electricity w/in 20 years: http://getenergysmartnow.com/2008/02/28/eliminating-coal-from-the-electricity-equation/ That 2008 thoughtpiece has 30% excess over what required to eliminate coal even with including electric vehicle penetration. And. looking at that projection today, I would suggest that -- without massive heavy lifting -- we will likely see far more solar/wind than what that thought piece included. When it comes to nuclear, the 'nuclear renaissance' certainly seems stalled in introducing numerous large-scale plants. The 'hope', it seems to me, is that SMRs get certification and providing a viable market alternative.