Monday, 16 September 2013

Greens now only anti-nuclear party as Lib Dems go radioactive

So now the only anti-nuclear British political party is the Green Party, or two to be precise since the Scottish Green Party and the Green Party of England and Wales are separate. The Lib Dems leadership, in making an issue of this topic is clearly placing what it sees as a priority of looking like a 'centre party' ahead of appealing to radical interest groups, including the anti-nuclear movement. It is ironic that the Lib Dems are doing this at a time when the chances of any new nuclear power stations have receded into near oblivion. The only possibility for them being built is for the Government to put the interests of nuclear power before all other energy interests (including renewable energy and energy efficiency) and re-nationalise the building of new nuclear power stations (why not nationalise funding of offshore windfarms and solar farms instead?). Even the Tories don't seem keen on this, so why does the Lib Dem leadership seem so keen on advertising its backwardness on this issue?

The Guardian editorial made some good points on this:

 But this is good news for the Green Party(ies). They can now campaign on the basis that they are the only party with a future-looking sustainable energy strategy. As Caroline Lucas said after planning consent was given for Hinkley C:

 "Nuclear is a dangerous distraction from the truly ambitious energy policy we need – one which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and which would deliver more jobs, faster carbon reductions and a fundamentally more democratic energy system fit for the future."


 What continues to be odd is how the mainstream press continue to describe nuclear power as a 'green' option in the context of nuclear power being opposed by the policies of the main green NGOs (FOE, Greenpeace, RSPB etc) and the Green Party itself. I think that green activists ought to be shouting that nuclear is the very ungreen 'dirty-expensive-industry-as-usual' option that is supported by the ungreen political establishment. The Conference decision by the Lib Dems to back nuclear only emphasises this cleavage between the green movement and the establishment parties on this issue and makes the continued efforts by the political and industrial establishment to call nuclear a 'green' option banal.

So let us write in and object when newspapers call nuclear power green. How can nuclear power be called 'green' since they are not 'green' in a political sense since they are completely at odds with what the representatives of green movement organisations are actually saying?

 The Green Party clearly has the only green policy which embraces clean energy sources and opposes dirty energy such as nuclear power, and of course the Government’s promotion of fracking for methane. It certainly gets my vote. Why not yours?


  1. Hi Dave,
    Just discovered your blog through REScoops. I have been doing research on Jeremy Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) which EU endorsed in 2007 as the basis for future European energy. Rifkin emphasises the importance of '5 pillars' being rolled out together: distributed renewable energy production, used on every building, hydrogen storage facilities, a smart grid, and electric plug in transport. Unfortunately not many in the UK are aware of this policy, though Germany is forging ahead, and several European cities have invited the TIR team to plan the transition to a post carbon economy, eg Rome, Utrecht, Nord-pas de Calais,

    I live in Calderdale, Yorkshire, and hope to bring this policy to local attention. Would be good to have your views on this. Good video 26min

    Anna blog:

    1. These are all good things, separately as well as together of course. Hydrogen has a lot of potential as an energy carrier for renewable energy. It needs to be developed in niche uses and then applied systematically in the way you suggest. I can certainly see the day when we have solar pv used, if not on 'every' building, at least a very large proportion of them. Then of course they are likely to be used to supply power directly to the buildings and to the grid. This also means that we shall have to develop grid management techniques.