Industry and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane said, “… the mood towards nuclear energy in Australia was likely to change when the community understood its ability to supply affordable electricity while cutting greenhouse gas emissions”.

“Around the world, uranium is coming in from the cold,” he said. “This shift isn’t driven primarily by the need for energy – we have hundreds of years in coal and gas reserves. It’s a demand propelled by communities seeking to balance their economic development and the challenge of curbing greenhouse emissions.”

Like the debate on global warming itself, this debate has shifted at extraordinary speed.

Eighteen months ago, we asked noted climate change sceptic, Louis Hissink, to say what was needed if he was wrong, i.e. if the climate changers were right:

… by converting to nuclear power stations in all cases and restricting recreational use of vehicles, Australia will be able to meet its greenhouse emission goals without adversely affecting its standard of living and at the same time meeting its social obligations demanded of government. As industry needs to continue to function, banning engines fuelled by hydrocarbon in these sectors for the short term is not possible. An added benefit of reducing recreational use of vehicles will be the reduction of the human impact on wilderness areas and other sensitive areas. This would be a win-win situation for all concerned.

We invited the green-shaded folk to respond but, sadly, there was little or no response except for the fellow who said “nuclear power is worse than coal-fired electricity”.

But now the Australian government has reached one half of the appropriate solution.

Dear oil will lead the rest of us to voluntarily limit the recreational use of motor vehicles. At the same time, we shall buy more fuel efficient cars, including the reasonably efficient “hybrids” that are beginning to be marketed.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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