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