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Nuclear power plant building plans revealed

The Observer claims to have seen a document that says the government is to press ahead with plans to build several new nuclear power stations:

In a 46-paragraph briefing note for incoming ministers, Joan MacNaughton, the director-general of energy policy at the new Department of Productivity, Energy and Industry, warns that key policy targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and boost green energy are likely to fail, and that decisions on new nuclear power stations must be taken urgently. It advises that ‘it is generally easier to push ahead on controversial issues early in a new parliament’.

I don’t understand the reasoning here: We apparently live in an age where the terrorist threat is so great that civil liberties must be curtailed in order to deal with the problem. And yet this government is actively seeking to increase the amount of radioactive substances being shipped around the country, as well as (presumably) increasing the total amount in the country. This seems like a strange decision to make, unless we are to assume that Tony Blair thinks the terrorist threat is a passing phase, whilst nuclear energy will have long-lasting benefits.

If this is the case, then when does Mr Blair conceive that terrorists, who have been targeting more progressive nations for centuries, are ever going to stop doing so? There is simply never going to be a time when terrorists aren’t active in the world, which is precisely why the curtailment of civil liberties is wrong – it will necessarily become a permanent measure.

It all seems like a wildly haphazard, unconsidered plan to deal with climate change to me. But, having said all that, I have no better suggestions of a path to take.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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