Thursday, 5 July 2007

Same ol' spiel

While attending a recent social 'function' - one of those painfully dreadful events one must endure, more for professional than personal reasons - I was introduced to, and got to chatting with, a fairly high ranking member of Australia's diplomatic corps. The conversation went almost immediately to the [possible] future of nuclear power in Australia where he stated what I consider to be the 'politically obvious'. I'm not going to quote - but most readers of this blog could guess what my conversational counterpart had to say. 'Depends on the outcome of the election... etc'. As if it were a political issue - only.

But I contend - and for the sake of us all I really hope there are others who agree - that this is also a technical issue [to nuke or not to nuke]; and that in fact the technical aspects of the problem will - in due time - dominate the debate over the political, emotional and/or 'fundamental'. For the technophiles out there, see my previous entry on the numbers.

I also had to endure the painful explanation of Australia's minuscule contribution to emissions [1.5% of the global total??] while our per-capita emissions are so obscenely high. To me the nation-to-nation comparisons are so ridiculously irrelevant it is almost pathetic. This is not a sustainable argument. Why not simply extend this logic further? For example, as an individual Australian I am responsible for about 1 20-millionth of 1.5% of global emissions [that's 0.000000075%] . What I do will obviously have no noticeable impact on global climate regardless of which 'scenario' you consider. Why then should I do anything? Ditto for individual industrial facilities, or industries in general. [Never mind this is about 10 times what the average Chinaman emits...] Do you understand how ridiculous this is????

This 'logic' is moving people away from the very perspective necessary for serious reductions in emissions - that being that we must all work to achieve whatever reductions are within our reasonable abilities.

Will we marginalise ourselves to oblivion?

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