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Editors Comment: Stop press: Blair and Braithwaite agree shock!

I had a press release in the other day about how Green Party is launching a major energy campaign and calling on people to subscribe in their millions to green energy tariffs.
Editors Comment: Stop press: Blair and Braithwaite agree shock!

The release goes on to extol the virtues of councils which are striving for the generation of more green energy.

It also tells of the government of Denmark where more than 20% of electricity is already generated by green technology and how the country is aiming for nearly 30% by 2010.

What it doesn't say is that Denmark's record within the EU on many environmental issues is well below what it should be.

The release then hits at the government and especially Tony Blair 'who has already made up his mind to push for the expansion of nuclear power'.

Now, I am no great lover of nuclear power. I feel that the radio-active waste which we have been burying in deep caves or dumping in the sea encased in concrete is holding future generations to ransom.

However, the UK (and Europe) has a problem.

Last year, I understand, the UK became a net importer of gas.

Now because we have had gas coming out of our ears (or should that be sea) for about 20 years, we have become complacent.

Indeed, we have wasted it, using it to generate much of our electricity or selling it to fund our push into technology during the Thatcher years.

Now what do we have?

Our gas - and oil - comes via pipelines from the most unstable areas of the world.

It can be turned off at the whim of a Russian prime minister or bombed out of existence by a terriorist.

We have wind turbines but I gather that even if we covered the UK in them, they still would not come anywhere near generating the energy we need.

Coal is to make a comeback.

(I never did understand why we closed mines and put miners who were contributing to the economy out of work and then imported Australian coal which contributed only to the Australian economy but then Mrs Thatcher must have had a good reason).

It seems that we are now able to filter out the emissions which cause greenhouse gases.

But that still leaves a big hole in our energy need.

I am afraid I am coming down on the side of nuclear fuel.

I don't like it and I certainly don't like the idea of Tony Blair and Paul Braithwaite as bed-fellows (I shudder at the thought) but I cannot see another option.

Paul Braithwaite, Editor
1 February 2006

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