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Re: [sharechat] Nuclear Power (I know, not again...)

From: "Hans Van der Voorn" <>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 23:46:23 +1200

I read in an article recently, if I can find it I'll post it, that nuclear
fuel is in short supply and the price of uranium is going through the roof.
This apparently caused by a worldwide increase in nuclear power production.

Not that I think this is particularly relevant to NZ but I can see the logic
in the article. An added factor is the tightening global supply of oil.
Hydrogen or electric cars might be an alternative but still require energy,
which means even more electricity production would be required. (Do we blame
the US motorist, or the Chinese for trying to catch up)


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gavin Treadgold" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 11:19 PM
Subject: [sharechat] Nuclear Power (I know, not again...)

> Well, I wasn't intending on getting this thread started again, but I've
> come across an interesting article, especially when you consider who is
> saying it and what he says...
> It's not often you hear a Green, and someone who is admired by other
> Green's, saying that nuclear energy now appears to be the only option
> the supposedly dramatic rate that the global climate is changing.
> Cheers Gav
> ---
> 'Only nuclear power can now halt global warming'
> Leading environmentalist urges radical rethink on climate change
> By Michael McCarthy Environment Editor
> 24 May 2004
> Global warming is now advancing so swiftly that only a massive expansion
> nuclear power as the world's main energy source can prevent it
> civilisation, the scientist and celebrated Green guru, James Lovelock,
> His 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
> has always regarded opposition to nuclear power as an article of faith.
> night the leaders of both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth rejected his
> call.
> Professor Lovelock, who achieved international fame as the author of the
> Gaia hypothesis, the theory that the Earth keeps itself fit for life by
> actions of living things themselves, was among the first researchers to
> sound the alarm about the threat from the greenhouse effect.
> He was in a select group of scientists who gave an initial briefing on
> climate change to Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Cabinet at 10 Downing
> Street in April 1989.
> He now believes recent climatic events have shown the warming of the
> atmosphere is proceeding even more rapidly than the scientists of the UN's
> Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) thought it would, in
> last report in 2001.
> On that basis, he says, there is simply not enough time for renewable
> energy, such as wind, wave and solar power - the favoured solution of the
> Green movement - to take the place of the coal, gas and oil-fired power
> stations whose waste gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), is causing the atmosphere
> warm.
> He believes only a massive expansion of nuclear power, which produces
> no CO2, can now check a runaway warming which would raise sea levels
> disastrously around the world, cause climatic turbulence and make
> agriculture unviable over large areas. He says fears about the safety of
> nuclear energy are irrational and exaggerated, and urges the Green
> to drop its opposition.
> In today's Independent, Professor Lovelock says he is concerned by two
> climatic events in particular: the melting of the Greenland ice sheet,
> will raise global sea levels significantly, and the episode of extreme
> in western central Europe last August, accepted by many scientists as
> unprecedented and a direct result of global warming.
> These are ominous warning signs, he says, that climate change is speeding,
> but many people are still in ignorance of this. Important among the
> is "the denial of climate change in the US, where governments have failed
> give their climate scientists the support they needed".
> He compares the situation to that in Europe in 1938, with the Second World
> War looming, and nobody knowing what to do. The attachment of the Greens
> renewables is "well-intentioned but misguided", he says, like the Left's
> 1938 attachment to disarmament when he too was a left-winger.
> He writes today: "I am a Green, and I entreat my friends in the movement
> drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy."
> His appeal, which in effect is asking the Greens to make a bargain with
> devil, is likely to fall on deaf ears, at least at present.
> "Lovelock is right to demand a drastic response to climate change,"
> Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said last night. "He's right
> to question previous assumptions.
> "But he's wrong to think nuclear power is any part of the answer. Nuclear
> creates enormous problems, waste we don't know what to do with;
> emissions; unavoidable risk of accident and terrorist attack."
> Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said: "Climate change and
> radioactive waste both pose deadly long-term threats, and we have a moral
> duty to minimise the effects of both, not to choose between them."
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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