Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Done Deals

The government says:
You have to think hard about the energy gap. The reality is, if we do nothing, the amount of energy we get from nuclear will decline from 20% to 6%.

"What you will see in the energy review is that there will be a big increase in renewable energy. There will be a big increase in energy efficiency moves and that will deliver more electricity, but that in itself will not be enough to make up the shortfall and therefore you do need nuclear.
George Monbiot says:
But perhaps the strongest argument against nuclear power is that we do not need it, even to reach the extraordinarily ambitious target that the science demands. With similar levels of investment in energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage, and the exploitation of the vast new offshore wind resources the government has now identified, we could cut our carbon emissions as swiftly and as effectively as any atomic power programme could.
That is the essence of the current argument. The government says we can't do without nuclear; George, along with many others, disagrees. Both positions can't be right and I'm obviously disinclined to take anything this government says on trust. They habitually claim that there is no alternative to the policies they advocate and it is almost always utter nonsense designed to stifle legitimate debate based on the facts.

So, can anyone direct me to the evidence, preferably from impartial sources rather than the nuclear lobby, which shows that the energy gap cannot be plugged unless we build a new generation of nuclear power stations? I've done some research and I'm not convinced. George appears to have done a lot more and he isn't either.

Will the government themselves be presenting credible evidence to support their assertion? I won't be holding my breath. It seems that they expect us to put aside their previous record and take them at their word. Are there enough people in the country still naive enough for such a strategy to work? It seems hugely unlikely. Perhaps democracy in the UK deteriorated to the point that the government just doesn't give a toss whether we believe them or not.

Clearly, the government's position is a reflection of Tony's "sincerely held belief" but is that really a legitimate basis for making a(nother) decision which will affect the UK for generations to come? It's not as if he's got a sterling record when it comes to his sincerely held beliefs.

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Tim Neale said...

It is one of the characteristics of New Labour that being correct has been replaced by "sincerely held belief".

No need for evidence or arguments or demonstration of reasoning. God tells Tony and Tony tells us. It is as simple as that.

Bag said...

Have you noticed how many of Tony's decisions are intended to last for generations? Why do these decision have to be made so quickly they can't be discussed? Or is that the reason for speed so they can't be examined closely until it is too late.

Friendly Fire said...

Anyone who lives in the Bristol Channel can testify that the tidal surge there is awesome, where are the tidal power plants powered by the moon?

The US Oligarchs want to make money until oil runs out.

Seeker said...

If you want to know why we must go down the nuclear route for future power generation read James Lovelock's latest book The Revenge of Gaia, or down load the item on this book from last thursday's Radio 4 Today programme on the BBC website.