Professor Tariq Muneer, an expert on renewable energy based at Napier University in Edinburgh has rejected calls by the veteran environmentalist Prof James Lovelock to step up Nuclear Power Electricity Generation and soon, Mr Lovelock argues that global warming is happening at a much faster rate than originally feared by the experts (which Green ISP finds alarming).

In a piece he wrote for the Independent, Professor Lovelock, the author of the Gaia hypothesis, the theory that the Earth keeps itself fit for life by the actions of living things, now 84, said that there is not enough time for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power to take over from fossil fuels like coal and gas, which have been blamed for climate change, and that nuclear power should be expanded.

He said: "By all means let us use the small input from renewable's sensibly, but only one immediately available source does not cause global warming and that is nuclear energy."

He has also claimed that most opposition to nuclear power was "based on irrational fear fed by Hollywood fiction, the green lobbies and the media", and added "We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources. Civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear - the one safe, available, energy source - now or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet."

But Prof Muneer has now argued that the dangers posed by increasing production of Nuclear Power Generation far outweighed the benefits, and rejected suggestions that nuclear power was safe and that it did not contribute to global warming.

He said: "I refute what Professor Lovelock has to say about nuclear power because it is not renewable and at some point it will run out. There is also the dangers associated with storing nuclear waste, such as the risk of ground-water contamination. He continued to say that

"If you use heat to produce energy, such as with nuclear power or fossil fuels, you will end up dumping heat in the oceans or in rivers or lakes. And if you raise the water temperature from its natural level, you will pump out carbon dioxide and that goes up into the atmosphere."

Prof Muneer also said that global warming was "only partly responsible" for overall climate change because the Earth’s current orbit means it is traveling closer to the sun.

 


 
 

These issues raised by Prof Lovelock have prompted an angry response from environmental campaigners, such as Friends of the Earth.

The chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland Duncan McLaren , said: "We consider climate change and radioactive waste to be posing long-term threats to the environment and human health. We’ve got a moral duty to tackle both these problems, not have to choose between them. He went on to say that "There is a window of opportunity to tackle climate change in other ways than choosing to go back down the failed policy of nuclear power.

"The real challenge is to choose a different, safer, more sustainable energy route for Scotland and the rest of the world."

Prof Lovelock has receive some support from Brian Wilson, MP, a former energy minister, when Mr Wilson said: "I hope that many others will follow him in questioning the basis of their hostility to nuclear power in the age of global warming." and added that it is "a self-evident nonsense" for the UK to run down its nuclear capacity at the same time that there was an unprecedented emphasis on the need to reduce carbon emissions.

"Nuclear power is our only significant source of non-carbon electricity. It is the bird in the hand, yet the green lobby wants to shoot it," he said. "It is a completely false analysis to pit nuclear against renewable's. I am strongly in favour of both, and that is the logical place to be for anyone who takes the global warming threat seriously."

Green ISP and others including GreenPeace and Friends of the Earth have known that the issue of environmental impact from industry and the Energy generation systems we use will eventually come back to haunt us.

We are of the opinion that it will be a very sad day if we have to resort to the Nuclear Industry to get us out of Jail when it comes to our energy requirements.

If nothing else, Mr Lovelock has opened up a massive bag of worms here, and if the truth be told, then we have no-one to blame but successive Governments who have not taken Glabal warming and the threat humans have on our Planet seriously enough.

We should have put our Planet at the top of our priority list when we actually knew we had to many years ago, but instead we have put profit and politics.

We need more renewable's NOW, we have the resources and the technology and could make this exiting protectional view of our Planet, "The New Technological Revolution"

June 2004