Allan Takes Aim Blog

There’s none so blind

Posted on: 13 March 2010

Due to shortage of space only a shortened version of this article was published in “The Chronicle,” Tuesday March, 2010.

The proverb “Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee,/ that wilfully will nother here nor see” (John Heywood Dialogue of Proverbs II, ix. K4 1546 and grandfather of John Donne, the famous English poet and preacher.) Sadly Canberra and Australia has many people to whom the proverb applies.

With this proverb in mind you might wonder if I’ve become a convert to the IPCC’s global warming/climate change theory. You need wonder no more: I am still a sceptic. If anything my sceptic’s view has become stronger. Indeed in a number of articles, some published nationally, I have suggested that many of the alarmists about global warming and climate change have tunnel vision and will never accept or consider arguments that solutions other than theirs, exist. And there are other solutions, one of which is nuclear power.

While most of the alarmists know that nuclear power will reduce CO2, and thus pollution, they put forward another alarmist argument that nuclear power is so dangerous that using it is an invitation to disaster. In my opinion this argument is without credibility.

Nevertheless I think most alarmists are sincere in their belief that the best way to save the world from global warming and climate change disaster is to accept the IPCC view which is why they often react strongly to the pejorative Greens title given to them by coal, oil, renewable energy companies and certain unions.

Unfortunately not all Greens are what they seem. Indeed I suspect the Green movement harbours employees of the latter companies. These Greens of convenience have infiltrated the movement to try and persuade it to support their employers’ agendas. And although they may not be known to each other, they have a common agenda, to urge the Green movement, politicians and Unions, that the best way forward is to support programs for clean coal, hybridised oil and renewable energy industries. Every little success makes each of their employers and unions happy. The former because they keep on doing what they’re doing, the latter because jobs are retained.

It is equally unfortunate that when any suggestion of the use of nuclear power is made nuclear horror stories of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island appear in the media. However, because of my part in providing accommodation in Canberra to Ukrainian children from the Chernobyl blast site area as part of their rehabilitation program I am aware of Chernobyl and would not encourage the use of nuclear energy unless I felt it was safe.

Well there is a safe nuclear energy: Fusion energy. Sadly in Australia, vested interests and politicians with big ambitions but limited vision and ability are doing little to help this program develop more quickly, a program that will provide the world with a limitless supply of clean energy. That said it seems strange that trillions of dollars are not being spent in hastening the development of clean fusion energy to help replace fossil fuels, thus curbing CO2 emissions. Even stranger however, is the fact trillions of dollars were spent developing fission to build bombs that would save the world from being destroyed by its warring excesses. Have they? They haven’t! This, for me, puts the IPCC’s alarmist warnings in the same category

This is not to say that money is not being spent. It is: but too little. Currently a US $20 billion program, ITER, at Cadarache in France, is being funded by the European Union (represented by EURATOM), Japan, The People’s Republic of China, India, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and USA. US $20 billion sounds a lot but it pales into insignificance when compared with what has been spent on nuclear weapons.

Australia could be a partner in ITER for an investment of around $2 billion. Apparently Australia cannot afford it. You might wonder why when in 1932 Sir Mark Oliphant, one of Australia’s most distinguished scientists discovered the process that underpins fusion energy and in the 1950s founded the fusion plasma research facility at the Australian National University, which I visited last week, and which is still the hub of Australia’s fusion research and funded by a paltry $6 million a year for ten years.

As the proverb says: “there’s none so blind….”

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