||Issue No. 308||26 May 2006|
If the Answer is Nuclear ….
Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Politics: Labor Pains
Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Corporate: House of Horrors
History: Clash Of Cultures
International: Childs Play
Culture: Folk You Mate!
Review: Last Holeproof Hero
The Locker Room
Riders on the Strom
No Gerry Can
Insight Fires Up
If the Answer is Nuclear ….
But here in Australia we are again whistling to his Dixie. The lame duck leader of the free world gives John Howard an energy tip on his victory lap - go nukes. And we all fall under the spell.
The re-emergence of the uranium debate is particularly confronting for someone politicised by the nuclear disarmament movement in the early 1980s.
The issue was the Cold War and the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction - the spectre of the apocalyptic power of enriched uranium to end life on this earth.
The treat hung over us as we picketed the USS Missouri, voted for Pete Garret and challenged a doctrine where two men's fingers dictated our collective survival.
Today's world is less simple - our enemies don't wave flags, they are the indoctrinated and dispossessed, not armies but individuals, who will invoke the spirit of MAD and apply it to their personal lives.
Today there and more nuclear powers - a growing club of established nuclear states as well as the shadowy networks of interests shipping around the substantial and still unsubstantiated assets of our vanquished Cold War competitor.
Today we are consumed by that other threat - global warming - or the more feel good 'climate change' as the oil industry has termed our addiction to their wares.
And now, bizarrely, as weather patterns break down - despite the industry-sponsored research telling us it was all just peacenik scaremongering - we have come the full circle. The answer is nuclear.
No, we have not found safe new ways to dispose of uranium; no, nuclear incidents from poorly maintained facilities have not ceased to occur; and no, young Ukranian kids have not stopped dying from the blow back of Chernobyl.
But this is industry's answer to the crisis bought on by our use of a dangerous earth-threatening power source - to turn to another dangerous earth-threatening power source.
If nuclear is the answer we are asking the wrong question.
If the question is: how can big business profit from the global environmental crisis that it has sponsored, then the answer might be nuclear.
If the question is: how can a government feeling exposed by its attack on workers rights, divert attention by attempting to wedge its political opponents, the answer may be nuclear.
But if the question is: how can a nation secure a safe energy supply for its kids future, the answer can not be nuclear,
There is no nuclear debate to be had in this country. It is a con job. We should not be sucked in.
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