Italy Joins the No-Nuke Club

by Greg Pollowitz

Mark Lynas (a true believer in anthropogenic global warming) writes in the Guardian on how Germany, Switzerland, and now Italy are dooming the world to increased carbon emissions with their new anti-nuclear posture:

Ask a stupid question and you’ll get a stupid answer. That’s what happened in the Italian referendum on nuclear power on Monday, where voters overwhelmingly backed anti-nuclear campaigners’ demands to block any new atomic power in Italy. Referendums are not a good way to set energy policy, nor many other aspects of national policy either – if a referendum were held on capital punishment in Britain, a hefty majority would support bringing back hanging.

The Italian result needs to be seen in the context of a wider European political debate where anti-nuclear campaigners – led by the greens – have been successful in discrediting nuclear power. No doubt a referendum in Austria would have the same result, while the governments of Switzerland and Germany have already decided to phase out their nuclear plants altogether in response to the Fukushima accident in Japan.

As a lifelong environmentalist, and author of a 2009 book which laid out the terrifying prospects of uncontrolled global warming, I cannot help but feel that the decisions of the German and Swiss governments rank among the worst climate-related policies of recent years. Carbon emissions cannot do anything other than rise as a result of phasing out the continent’s largest source of zero-carbon power – and doing this just a week after the International Energy Agency reported that 2010 carbon emissions rose to the highest levels ever is little short of criminal.

There is perhaps a certain discomfort about the fact that one of the best options for tackling global warming just so happens to be a technology that greens had spent decades opposing before climate change even hit the agenda. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard green groups insisting that climate change is the “greatest challenge ever to face humanity”. Yet their refusal to reassess their inherited positions against nuclear power suggest that none of them actually believe what they are saying – or that most environmentalists are prepared to take refuge in ideologically motivated wishful thinking even when the future of the planet is at stake.

The rest here.

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