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, November 21, 2005

'Global warming' = civil nuclear power.....

I do feel a tad sorry for the naiver 'Green' bunnies - they just didn't see it coming from their narrow burrows. They thought that their nice ecohype about 'global warming' would mean that we would all have to go back to living in thatched cottages built of straw bales with little wind farms on the roof and an organic patch by the side. Instead, they are witnessing the death of Kyoto and the rise of nuclear power.

They had forgotten, of course, that the historic roots of the 'Great Global Warming Myth' do not lie in the concerns of the soppy 'Green' Left, but rather in the hard-minded political Right, with its desire to present nuclear power as a clean, effective alternative source of energy, especially to coal. We are back in the days of Billy Elliot. In the 1980s, when the Right was fighting the miners and 'dirty' coal, they, and Mrs T. (for it is She), were pleased to be able to employ 'global warming' to promote nuclear power and to offset the earlier climate fears of plunging into an Ice Age, exacerbated by a nuclear winter. Yet, by 1992 and the Rio Conference, the Right had largely dropped the myth like a hot brick, grasping quickly that it held hidden dangers when adopted by the Left, who eagerly embraced the myth as a legitimising 'science' for their agenda of 'limits to growth', 'small is beautiful', anti-car, anti-development, and, above all, anti-Americanism.

But, as is so often the case, we have come full circle, and Tony Blair has cleverly used the threat of 'global warming' to support the inevitable - a return to civil nuclear power to plug the threatening UK energy gap. The stations will be built on existing sites to circumvent planning issues and final decisions will be taken as early as 2006. Mr. Blair has, at last, turned his mighty 'Eye of Sauron' on to The Ring of nuclear power, so expect the chief orcs, like Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State for Energy, to start scurrying about spouting the nuclear mantra.

Moreover, the softening-up process has been loud and clear; witness, for example, The Daily Telegraph, the BBC, and even The Daily Mail, among many others.

A stark reality now confronts the poor 'Green' bunnies - in the UK, 'global warming' = nuclear power. It's like the proverbial 'horse-and-carriage' - you can't have one without the other.

And watch out for snow you 'Green' bunnies - you had better dig deep in your burrows this winter: 'Snow by Thursday as the big chill hits early' (The Daily Mail, November 21):
"Much of Britain could be buried under a blanket of snow before we even reach December.

The freezing conditions are expected to sweep across the country this week, bringing icy winds and snowstorms.

With temperatures already below zero in many areas, the cold snap signals the start of what is predicted to be the coldest winter for a decade.

It comes as concern intensifies over the soaring cost of power bills and the threat of a gas shortage which could cripple industry and cause thousands of workers to be laid off..."

So much for warming. Brrr! Let's get those nuclear plants built, asap, lads!

Philip, enjoying watching the 'Green' bunnies starting to scratch and squabble. It will be warren against warren on Watership Down. And I bet a Fiver that nuclear will win. Coffee in the chilly sun? Off to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire... Just wizard.

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

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