Saturday, August 09, 2008




Coal isn't the climate enemy, Mr Monbiot. It's the solution






We must draw on existing resources as part of an integrated energy policy, not flirt with nuclear, the most dangerous
Coal power is far safer, says former National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill in reply to a pro-nuclear article by green campaigner George Monbiot

Has George Monbiot sold out on his environmental credentials or is he suffering from amnesia? In his article on these pages last Tuesday he states that he has now reached the point where he no longer cares whether or not the answer to climate change is nuclear - let it happen, he says.

Has he not read the evidence presented by environmentalists such as Tony Benn and me at the Windscale, Sizewell and Hinckley Point public inquiries? Is he unaware that nuclear-power generated electricity is the most expensive form of energy - 400% more expensive than coal - or that it received £6bn in subsidies, with £70bn to be paid by taxpayers in decommissioning costs? Is he unaware that there is no known way of disposing of nuclear waste, which will contaminate the planet for thousands of years? Has he forgotten the nuclear disasters at Windscale, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl?

We are facing an economic and political crisis on a scale similar to the Wall Street crash in 1929, the mass unemployment which affected the UK and Europe in the 1930s and the energy crisis in the early 70s.

We are facing a monumental energy crisis, yet we live on an island with more than 1,000 years of coal reserves from which we can provide all the electricity, oil, gas and petrochemicals that people need, without causing harm to the environment. Britain - despite its massive indigenous deep-mine coal reserves - has never had an integrated energy policy based on coal and renewables, and as a consequence we are now facing the worst energy crisis in our history.

Since the end of the second world war, both Labour and Tory governments have sought to replace Britain's vast coal reserves with a false promise of "cheap" imported oil, "cheap, safe" nuclear energy and "cheap" natural gas - policies that have not only cost the British people billions of pounds, but resulted in the near-extinction of Britain's deep-mine coal industry, the virtual exhaustion of North Sea gas and oil, and massive economic costs and environmental problems associated with nuclear power.

After the closure of 192 pits since 1980, the loss of 170,000 jobs and the closure or non-operation of nearly 70% of coal-fired power stations on the false premise that they were uneconomic and the worst polluter of carbon dioxide, it is reasonable to expect that there would have been a dramatic fall in CO2 emissions. But in fact CO2 emissions have actually increased - not that surprising, since more than 80% of CO2 emissions are produced by oil and gas from power stations, road transport, industry, shipping and domestic use. That fact alone should cause Monbiot to rethink.

Britain needs an integrated energy policy that will produce 250m tonnes of indigenous deep-mine clean coal per year - from which could be extracted all the electricity, oil, gas and petrochemicals that our people need.

All existing and new coal-fired power stations should be fitted with clean coal technology - including carbon capture that would remove all CO2 - and at the same time we should be developing a massive renewable energy policy based on wind, wave, tide, barrage, hydro, geothermal, solar power, together with insulation, conservation and reforestation.

We must end the import of coal, (currently 43m tonnes a year) which is produced by subsidies, "slave labour" and child labour, and end the import of shale oil, tar sands and other so-called unconventional oils, which are the dirtiest fuels on the planet but are being used to produce electricity.

We still do not know - because of the security and secrecy laws - the full extent of the disaster at Windscale (Sellafield) in 1957 or Three Mile Island in the US in 1979, but we do know that the incidence of cancer and leukaemia - particularly among children - is 10% higher in or around nuclear power stations, and we know from experts such as Robert Gale - who treated the victims at Chernobyl in 1986 - that more than 100,000 will die over a 30-year period.

We need an end to all nuclear-powered electricity generation, the most dangerous and uneconomic method of producing electricity. We need an end to deforestation, which is the cause of 20% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and an end to biofuel development - which not only produces substantial CO2 emissions but is causing mass starvation and higher food prices throughout the world.

Only by the introduction of a real integrated energy policy based on clean coal technology and renewable energies, can we begin to meet the needs of people in the UK and throughout the world.

I challenge George Monbiot to test out which is the most dangerous fuel - coal or nuclear power. I am prepared to go into a room full of CO2 for two minutes, if he is prepared to go into a room full of radiation for two minutes.

· Arthur Scargill is the leader of the Socialist Labour party. He was president of the National Union of Mineworkers 1982-2002






NWN: We are not for capitalism nor for communism. We are for the British people ! The expected rises in fuel prices are beyond what many can afford. Only Government nationalisation ,can ensure a fair share for all British people in the utilities sector.

11 comments:

NorthWestNationalists said...

Personally I would give nuclear a chance.

Anonymous said...

The economy of China, the place where we buy so many goods these days, is expanding at an alarming rate. Whilst our Government is more worried about our carbon footprint, and intend cutting it down even further, manufacturing has gone down the tubes and jobs along with it. China is commissioning at least two new coal fired power stations a week in their quest for cheap energy. We, or should I say they the Government, are not reducing our, so called, carbon footprint they have just shifted it to the other side of the World.

NorthWestNationalists said...

Absolutely spot on Anon.

That is why the athletes are having trouble breathing.

It doesnt matter what we do, the chinese are a population of more than a BILLION !

Anonymous said...

NorthWestNationalists said...
Personally I would give nuclear a chance.

09 August 2008 01:28

....

There isn't the time. It takes, I believe, ten years to build and get on stream a nuclear power station. It more than likely takes that long because of all the grubby fingers in the pie.

Anonymous said...

The reds will be fuming about this thread.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really want to work down a coalmine anymore? I don't think they do, and unless it can be removed by robots, we're stuffed. I suppose we could always import labour from foreign countries to do it, and so the vicious circle turns...

Anonymous said...

Chinas atmospheric problems are caused by vehical emissions and unscupulous manufacturing methods carried out by a million and one small businesses. The power stations use, I believe, a form of chemical filters and scrubbers to clean up the emissions. This, if I remember, was a British design.
The closing of the coal mines in Great Britain was down to uneconomic methods of extraction and a way to beat the unions. (I think I'm going to get challenged on that) Other countries use coal fired generators, it's time to rethink things.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The reds will be fuming about this thread.

09 August 2008 01:56



Fuck 'em

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
The reds will be fuming about this thread.

09 August 2008 01:56



Fuck 'em

09 August 2008 02:17"

The reds go on about the BNP members being dumb, but they are so stupid they can't see they are being used to further the agenda of the chosen ones.

Fuck em

Salvation said...

In terms of the provision of sustainable power then nuclear is without doubt the way forward. Aspects of safety of production and disposal of spent fuel rods etc are not part of the issue.
I say this as an ex-miner. It is also difficult for some people to accept that we import coal when we have huge reserves of high quality coal beneath our feet. But as a nation are we prepared to pay the price that energy would cost us were we to revitalise our mining industry?
North Sea oil and gas is going to run out in the not too distant future and we will become more dependant on other countries dwindling resources. We are already seeing the effects of this with todays high oil costs. Mostly these will be Islamic countries and we will have to go cap in hand begging for their 'black gold'. What price multi cult then and sending home the immigrants. Would you rather your grand children go cold, or suffer a Muslim neighbor. All things have their price.
But the most important question to be answered is 'does man have any affect on global warming'? Once again my own opinion is no. That is not to say that local effects are not being produced. If you look at the heat output of the North American Eastern Seaboard and its effect on the upper winds, particularly in terms of the heat they are transporting across the North Atlantic, then you can see why, particularly in Scotland, we no longer have the wonderful cold, dry , winters we used to have. And this is escalating at an astronomical rate but the Americans and Canadians will do nothing to curb this excessive heat output. This contributes in large part to the ice melt of the Arctic regions. The same thing will happen over Asia and the Far East as India and China increase their heat output. Affluence is mans own downfall not global warming. For several years groups of scientist have been looking at ways to avert the expected collision of an asteroid with the Earth due in 800 years time. My own view is that we will probably have killed ourselves off long before then.

Gottfried Feder said...

Thatcher was the capitalist frontman .

The marxist left do themelves no justice by backing the zionist jews.

It's not only in Germany that ex-left radicals are now supporting radical right parties.

Former soldier to stand trial on attempted murder charge Dennis Hutchings ...