Tom Curtin Cartoon Nuclear 19 June

Did the Greens cause the climate crisis?

June 19th, 2023

I was actually afraid to write this headline as it is bound to draw the wrath of God, not to mention the whole of the environmental movement now known as sustainability.

But thankfully the idea has been given credence by Oliver Stone the Hollywood movie director. Here’s his hypothesis in brief.

The Greens concentrated their considerable firepower in the 1970s and the 1980s against nuclear power. Of course, they had incidents such as Three Mile Island (which had a leak that was broadly contained) and Chernobyl, which used a Soviet technology that has been widely discredited.

Only the French continued with their programmes, at one stage reaching 80 per cent of the national need and even exporting electricity to other countries. Sure there had been problems but the reactors seemed to bumble away contentedly.

Naturally, facing this onslaught and an energy-hungry world, governments looked to other sources such as coal, oil and gas. Which have health effects such as lung diseases.

And then Whoops. Then we discovered Global Warming or Climate Change and the whole human race is going to be wiped out.

But now we are running out of options. In 2010, the then Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, Nick Clegg, said that nuclear power wouldn’t be any use as it took up to ten years to come on-stream. What a strategist. Dear, oh dear, if only we had started back then.

(At the moment, Mr Clegg has other problems at the Vice-President of Meta which many sceptics say will take forever – or never – to come on-stream. I’m certainly not going to go round with a goggle-box on my head.)

So, the West has to play catch-up. In the UK, the fad is for heat pumps. These are brilliant devices which use ambient energy from the atmosphere or the earth to heat a home. They work brilliantly in Scandinavian countries where all homes have traditionally been built with high insulation; quadruple-insulation on windows is not unknown.

But in the rest of the Western world where we have a more moderate climate and, up to now, cheap energy, we haven’t been as careful, and most homes are riddled with draughts. The pumps are also expensive and are facing opposition from a skeptical public.

So how about nuclear power? Is it me, or do I no longer hear howls of protest from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the other Greens?

In 1997, Oliver Stone directed a movie called U-Turn. Maybe he should revisit it.

Have a good week.


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