An academic observer of Britain's nuclear consultation has said thatGiven this is the spawn of the government that lied its way into the Iraq war, made spin a household word and failed, spectacularly, to deliver on its 1997 manifesto pledge to "clean up politics ... and put the funding of political parties on a proper and accountable basis" (4) I would be disingenuous if I said I was surprised.
information given to the public was biased and incomplete, casting fresh doubt
on whether the the government has followed a court ruling to present both sides
of the argument.
Paul Dorfman, senior research fellow at the National Centre for
Involvement at the University of Warwick, said the exercise 12 days ago in nine
cities around Britain was designed to come up with a popular mandate to proceed
with nuclear power. (3)
I don't like nuclear power, but I'm willing to accept its necessity. Places like China and India are cramming a century's worth of development into a generation. It pains me to admit that the power required to achieve this can't be supplied by wind farms and solar panels. Providing it through burning fossil fuels is not an option, for there won't be much left of the planet once the Chinese and Indians complete dirty industrial revolutions.
Nuclear power has a role to play, but it can't be imposed by stealth and trickery. Nor, incidentally, should developed countries be shipping their radioactive waste off to third world countries. Your mess, you clean it up. And your children, and your children's children, who may have extra fingers and toes, or superhero powers. Peopel shoudl be consulted fairly, and their wishes should be heeded.
Nuclear power can't be considered a panacea, however, and I'm scared this will happen. It is one option that may have some utility, but it should not be allowed to crowd out other means of generating power. This is what I fear will happen as big business latches on to the money making opportunities in climate change, as we are seeing biofuels stymie development of other technologies. And we shouldn't fool ourselves by thinking that biofuels, nuclear power and whatever else we may come up with relieves us of the responsibility of looking at the way we live and making the changes necessary to preserve the planet as a fairly pleasant place for life.
1 - as described previosuly on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2007/09/climate-change-trojan-horse-for-gm.html
2 - "Public fed biased information on nuclear power, says academic" by John Vidal in the Guardian, 20th of September, 2007. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/nuclear/article/0,,2173017,00.html)
3 - ibid.
4- Pledge 9 of the 1997 manifesto of the Labour Party. (http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab97.htm)