A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Sending the Greens nuclear.....

James ('Gaia') Lovelock is always an independent and thoughtful contributor to the environmental debate. He is also a most delightful person - one of the nicest with whom I have had the pleasure to debate on TV.

Although I personally disagree with him on the threat of 'global warming' and on our ability to 'manage' climate change predictably, I still entirely accept his internal logic that, if you are someone who really believes in dramatic 'global warming', the only mid-term energy option is nuclear power [to which I would add, coupled possibly with the long-term geological storage of carbon and with the development of 'clean' coal]. The rest is so much hot air and puritanical wishful thinking.

Thus, in many ways, I am pleased that James has re-iterated his position today in The Independent (May 24): 'Only nuclear power can now halt global warming' - Leading environmentalist urges radical rethink on climate change: "[Lovelock's] call will cause huge disquiet for the environmental movement. It has long considered the 84-year-old radical thinker among its greatest heroes, and sees climate change as the most important issue facing the world, but it has always regarded opposition to nuclear power as an article of faith. Last night the leaders of both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth rejected his call."

I bet they did - for, inevitably, green theology can't take sound, practical logic. Lovelock's position neatly exposes the utopian dreams (e.g. wind power) that pass for Green energy policy. Unfortunately, these could damage us all (not to mention put billions out-of-work and into poverty as well as damaging landscapes like our last remaining moorlands and estuaries), whereas, at the very least, James would energise the world.

I do hope I can remain as independent and vigorous as James if I make 84.

Philip, hat-tipping a former debater. Tea?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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