Category Archives: Energy

Nuclear: George versus Jonathon with Germany in the middle


I’ve been getting a bit behind when it comes to the nuclear energy debate started by George Monbiot in his 27th May blog. So I put a little time aside this evening to read both Jonathon Porritt’s answer’s to George’s four original questions and the subsequent reply made by George’s to Jonathon’s article.

If you haven’t read either then sit down in a comfy seat, with a nice drink and two computers (unless you like your screen full of windows). The second PC is to allow you with more ease to go and look at the various sources each quotes in defence of their own positions and/or attacks regarding the others alleged lack of vigorous research or alleged willingness to accept their ‘preferred’ industries data.

Oh and if you aren’t already familiar with developments in Germany you will be after this, as the decisions by Angela Merkel’s government this summer on nuclear energy and the wider development of renewable in Germany form a significant battle ground for our two combatants.

Four things that struck me when reading these pieces were:

1) George’s complaint “I regret the highly personal and vicious tone of his (Jonathan’s) response. This is now the third time in recent months that I have asked Jonathon to tone down his vitriolic personal remarks. I struggle to understand why they are necessary or how they help us to resolve the dilemmas in which we are all enmeshed.” Personally I think he’s got a point. If Jonathan is right he doesn’t need to cloud the debate by seeking to distract attention away from the arguments or being dismissive.

2) So long as you accept climate change is real (and man-made in respect of the current situation) then this debate is about how we deal with this as quickly and effectively as possible, which therefore means dealing with the energy gap. George is for new nuclear plants as part of a mixed strategy. Jonathan is for renewables only and no (new) nuclear power plants. The questions I as a reader need to decide is how much are either of them (and others) cherry picking figures to justify their (preselected selected or not?) cost effective solutions.

3) A lot of the debate between the two is a rational assessment of practicalities and choices. Some is simply green ideological debate (which is fair enough). The rest is the ‘politics’ of who you can and can’t trust and how much can be risked, win or lose. The danger with the latter is that we’re back to politic and ideology (which again is fine) but you should either argue openly for your agenda or support consistent and rational arguments for protecting the environment.

4) Personally, I’ve enjoyed reading and being challenged by George’s arguments. I’ve never liked nuclear power but I’m being challenged to defend my point of view or change it. I’ve long favoured (effective) renewable energy alternatives and would do so even if climate change was suddenly resolved tomorrow. In short I would expect to find myself fully behind Jonathan’s arguments but I’m left wondering is that it?

So here are the links:

The moral case for nuclear power

Why George Monbiot is completely wrong on nuclear power

Interestingly Jonathan did a blog this week Germany gets it wrong on nuclear which is also worth having a look at once you
finished the other pieces.

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy, Green

Nuclear & Low Carbon debates – UK, Austria, EU


A few of the articles I’ve found of interest recently:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/07/04/corporate-power-no-thanks/

http://austrianindependent.com/news/Business/2011-07-06/8324/%D6VP_aims_at_early_nuclear_energy_import_stop

http://www.libdemvoice.org/independent-view-nuclear-subsidies-no-thanks-24657.html

http://www.libdemvoice.org/lib-dem-mps-set-to-rebel-over-backdoor-nuclear-power-subsidy-24625.html

http://www.libdemvoice.org/chris-davies-mep-writes-conservatives-and-climate-change-tuesdays-revealing-vote-in-strasbourg-24634.html

http://www.libdems.org.uk/news_detail.aspx?title=Transport_boost_of_over_%C2%A3150M_to_create_growth_and_cut_carbon&pPK=9130d3c3-79ab-4af5-9aeb-f637cfdbafee

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Filed under Austrian Politics, Climate Change, Energy, Green, Liberal Politics, Politics, Transport, UK Politics

Winds of change?


Did you know its Global Wind Day on the 15th June? Personally, not sure about this move towards designating very day of the year but if ‘good causes’ gets publicity and raise awareness who am I to argue:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/how-to-celebrate-global-wind-day-on-june-15-2293785.html

The Economist has a report on an interesting new wind turbine development coming from Japan, which is said to increase the amount of energy you can get from mountain winds:

http://www.economist.com/node/18750586?story_id=18750586&fsrc=scn/tw/te/rss/pe

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‘The public reaction to new power lines could kill renewable energy: they must be buried’ writes George Monbiot


I’ve been catching up on some of my favourite blogs. If you haven’t seen it already, this article by George Monbiot is well worth a read:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/05/30/underground-movement/

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Nuclear Power No Thanks? – Have you talked to George Monbiot?


Austria is a country with strongly anti-nuclear sentiments. There are no nuclear power stations in the country. A referendum in 1978 came out narrowly against plans to build the country’s first Nuclear Plant in Zwentendorf, Lower Austria and I’m reasonable convinced that a similar popular vote today would be overwhelmingly opposed. In Austria it’s not just the Greens
who have anti-nuclear stickers, even the far right put their party label on the on the anti-nuclear logo.

Austrians have long had concerns, and campaigned about, the nuclear power plant across the border in the Czech Republic. This week sees reports of 204,000 people signing a petition organised by the Viennese Social Democrat Environment Councillor, Ulli Sima, against the expansion of a nuclear power plant in neighbouring Slovakia:

http://austrianindependent.com/news/Green_Austria/2009-12-08/120/Nuclear_plant_expansion_protest_backed_by_204%2C000_Viennese

On the European stage the Austrian Chancellor (for British readers – Prime Minister) Werner Faymann has called for a Europe with no nuclear power stations:

http://www.austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2011-05-10/33036/SP%D6_adamant_about_anti-nuclear_energy_course

Over recent months, I’ve been following with interest the energy debate in the UK and in particular the arguments aroused by George Monbiot, who has been taking a pro-nuclear stance from a green movement perspective. If you haven’t seen his articles on the subject I would definitely recommend you to take a look. I start from an anti-nuclear stance but an open mind. If you do read the article I’ve attached also read some of the comments posted below it and have a look at his previous contributions – not everyone pro or anti is exactly open minded, rational, or even just coherent when it comes to this debate.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/may/27/why-choose-nuclear-renewable-energy

George Monbiot is also well worth following on twitter -@GeorgeMonbiot

http://www.monbiot.com/

 

 

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Filed under Austrian Politics, Energy, Green, Politics, UK Politics

The environmental movement’s dilemmas?


Okay time to sit down with your coffee or other lubrication of preference and read these two pieces by George Monbiot. Afterwards you’ll need some time to go make another drink and then think seriously about what he’s saying:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/05/02/the-lost-world/

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/05/05/our-crushing-dilemmas/

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy, Environment & science, Green

Green movement & the anti-nuclear argument


Some articles should be read, thought about and then you should look further …..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

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