Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The problem with Monbiots proposition is the false dilemma: its only nuclear or coal. Plus, he implies that only total solutions are acceptable - so he mentions renewables asif only for politeness.

There are other alternatives, often complimentary. One clear unspoken alternative is to start consuming energy more prudently. It is a little dirty secret that energy supply is peaking now: peak oil is basically acknowledged; nuclear energy would not be growing much even without Fukushima (otherwise they would not be running old horses unduly long); renewables would not compensate enough. And this is in the world accustomed to continuous growth of energy supplies. If the world economy cannot live without that much energy - too bad for the economy. Trying to preserve the energy status quo is becoming a serious gamble for this civilization. If radiation is healthy in some doses, so must be a naked pressure to waste less energy. Otherwise this pressure comes out in awful political ways.

For example, today's political economy stands on the implicit promise of "sustained" some 3.5% economic growth in near future again. That's 100% in 20 years. In other words, we are supposed to buy twice as many TVs and go to a dentist twice as often in 20 years - or compensate with other "consumption" somewhere 4-8 times or more. In the latest growth decade the most consistently growing industry was financial, right? So now we have indebted nations and populations, and a few sort of revolutions around the Mediterranean. What will we have in 20 years?

by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:14:50 AM EST
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