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2017 in climate and nuclear news

fortune-teller

Here are my predictions for 2017 . They are not all that cheerful. But I am comforted by that fact that I usually predict most unreliably. I pronounced that Hillary Clinton would win the US presidency by a landslide.

But – here goes, anyway :

CLIMATE news. The anthropocene is here with a vengeance, and will be evidenced by continued weather extremes – droughts in Africa, India and other places, floods elsewhere, the continued creeping sea level rise, affecting island nations, and low-lying ones, like Bangladesh.  Most worrying of all, the continuance of extraordinary changes in temperature in the Arctic, with effects on ocean currents.

With climate-denying politicians in power, at the national level, action on climate change will be stalled, to some degree. However, at the level of states, local councils, and cities, increased adoption of renewable energy will mean that meaningful climate action goes on with renewed vigour.  At the grassroots level, more homes and businesses will adopt solar and wind technologies, as well as smart energy conservation – a trend already apparent in Australia, and parts of Europe and USA, as well as in developing countries, where off-grid energy becomes  a boon to millions. Public disillusion with climate denying leaders will rise.

NUCLEAR news. The world will limp on, avoiding nuclear war by a whisker, especially in relation to India and Pakistan.   However, there will be encouraging developments in the international nuclear disarmament movement, with an impressive conference in March.

In America, more nuclear power stations will close, due to their diseconomics. Nuclear power development in China will continue to slow down, for reasons of cost, water shortage, and even public opposition.  India’s growing solar energy success will threaten its nuclear development. Britain, however,  will be  a focus, as France, China, South Korea, even Russia will push desperately for Hinkley, Moorside, Bradwell nuclear projects, which will have to be subsidised by taxpayers.

Fukushima will continue to be a running sore with no cure in sight, while Japan and the world happily look forward to the 2020 Olympics.

The nuclear waste problem will continue to dog USA, and efforts to even trial new solutions like deep bore drilling will meet public opposition, even without any radioactive trash. Some countries, e.g. France, with existing nuclear power stations will look to closing them down. At the same time, there’ll be  a continuing frenzy to try to market nuclear power to non nuclear countries.

The proponents of “New Nuclear”, particularly of Thorium and of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors will continue to pretend that they help Big Nuclear by supposedly dealing with the waste problem. But in reality, they’ll be rejoicing at the plight of Big Nuclear, and toting their still non existent new gimmicks to governments. In particular, they’ll want America to weaken its safety regulations.

Above all, the nuclear lobbyists and publicists will hammer their lie that nuclear power can stop climate change. Not only is that not true, but also, that claim becomes increasingly irrelevant as climate change races ahead. – simply no time for that “solution” anyway.

But that won’t stop the “New Nuclear”  lobby. They’ll bring out a film – THE NEW FIRE glossy, expensively made, sophisticated – to push the new gee whiz nuclear kids on the block. Their various front groups, e.g Weinberg Next Nuclear , “Breakthrough Energy Coalition”  and  Australia’s “Bright New World” will continue to pose as charities, and gain tax exempt status.

I’d love to think that journalists and academics will see through the spin. But I am not optimistic, following a year when spin brought Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise.  (Even if Trump gets bored, and chucks the job in to run a personal media circus, the USA will still be run by climate denying Republicans. )

Journalists and academics will continue to spout the nuclear lies – about low dose ionising radiation being OK , and above all, keep hammering the message of nuclear being “clean” and “low carbon” . They know where the money is. The public at large will believe them, despite the efforts of the anti nuclear movement, and of a few brave, outspoken journalists and academics.

December 31, 2016 - Posted by | Christina's notes

4 Comments »

  1. Christina, thank you for all that you do to expose this dangerous element of the world’s corporate-controlled energy system. Keep on with your great work. Garry

    Comment by GarryRogers | December 31, 2016 | Reply

    • And vice versa – you provide great information on climate, environment, renewable energy!

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 31, 2016 | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    It remains important to keep our eyes on the ball. We were sold on entralized power and the economies of scale. We have a chance to develope individual, distributed geothermal, wind, and solar systems. Let’s do everything we can to win this one.

    Comment by GarryRogers | December 31, 2016 | Reply

  3. The glimmer of hope: “Public disillusion with climate denying leaders will rise.” The fear is though that the public will swallow vested interests’ propaganda. As always, money talks.

    Comment by Animalista Untamed | January 1, 2017 | Reply


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