A highly respected
Australian scientist said recently of global warming: “It’s like Pascal’s
wager. The consequences if we worry and take action about global warming will
be minor if we are wrong. If we do not take action and we are wrong, the
consequences will be devastating.”
McGuinness addresses the uranium and global warming issues in the latest Quadrant
editorial, and he suggests that nuclear power generation and oil price rationing
may be an effective start:
There is a strong
case to be made for precautionary measures in case the doomsayers should prove
to be at least partially correct. And nuclear power generation has to be
conceded in any honest appraisal of alternatives to fossil fuels to be the most
practical source of non-greenhouse gas generating high grade energy. Several of
the leaders of the environmentalist movement have already conceded
However, it is
true that nuclear power is not in itself a solution to the worries about global
warming or climate change, and pollution generally. There are many other sources
of greenhouse gases, in particular oil-powered motor vehicles, aircraft and so
on. A partial solution to the growth of usage here will result from the rising
price of oil; painful as it is for people to change their habits of usage of
transport, price rationing provides a very effective beginning.
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A Morgan Poll taken late last year shows that 56% of Australians consider global
warming (and related issues) to be the most important environmental issue in the
world today. Also, a Morgan Poll presented at the 2006 Future
Summit shows that 71% of Australians think that “if we don’t act now, it will be too late“.
mining for peaceful nuclear power generation is also supported by the majority
of Australians. 58% of
Australians agree with Australia
exporting uranium to China under the recently signed
nuclear safeguard agreement. Furthermore, another Morgan Poll shows that, in answer to the question “What
do you think is the most important environmental issues facing
Australia today?“, only 2%
said the disposal of nuclear waste.
clearly want action on global warming, and aren’t afraid of nuclear power
generation as a form of that action.
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