There’s a fantastic opinion piece in today’s Irish Times by Simon Jenkins, entitled “World in the grip of nuclear paranoia”.  It discusses two new books.

The first book, Radiation and Reason , is by an Oxford professor of physics, Wade Allison. It narrates the history and nature of nuclear radiation, culminating in an attack on the obsessive safety levels governing nuclear energy. These overstate the true risk, in Allison’s view, by up to 500 times, thus rendering nuclear prohibitively expensive and endangering the combat of global warming.

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I see in an article in today’s Irish Times that, according to the Archbishop of Cashel Most Rev Dermot Clifford, Ireland’s Catholic bishops are “totally opposed” to the redevelopment of the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, west England,

… and would also oppose any plans to build a nuclear reactor in Ireland.    He was speaking in the context of this week’s announcement by the British government that it had identified 10 sites for the next generation of nuclear power plants in the UK, including at Sellafield.    The archbishop said that while the matter had not yet been discussed by the Irish Bishops Conference, “95 per cent of the bishops are against nuclear reactors”……. He spoke of the threat of Sellafield to people in west England and on the east coast of Ireland, as evidenced in 1957 when fallout from the then-named Windscale covered substantial areas in both countries.

Rather than nuclear power the emphasis should be on developing alternative energies such as wind, wave and solar power, he said.   …… Referring to the UN Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen next month, he said it was to be hoped “despite the economic recession that the representatives of 170 governments of the world will agree to meaningful targets to cut carbon emissions over the next 10 years”. The ecological crisis was “becoming more urgent by the day” with “not nearly enough” being done about it “at world, national or at local level”.   The Irish bishops were “seeking to raise awareness of the importance and the urgency of taking steps to reverse global warming”, he said.

Fantastic!  This is beyond parody.  I hardly know where to begin. 

Since when is the Government’s policy on nuclear power (or lack of same) an appropriate matter for the clergy to pontificate on?

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