Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Controversy About Nuclear Energy

DEVALsussman1 This is amusing:

In expressing conditional support for nuclear energy, [Gov. Deval] Patrick joined Republican Charles Baker and Independent Tim Cahill in backing the controversial energy source.

"I agree with President Obama on this one,"

Cahill said. Similarly, Baker said, "I'm glad to see the president decide that this is part of the agenda."

“Controversial energy source?” Says who? Not any of the candidates for Massachusetts governor, evidently.

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Yesterday, I mentioned some of the consequences of not passing a climate change bill, but forgot one: people get annoyed.

Tens of thousands of protesters - and a few skeptics - have taken to the streets across Australia to urge the major political parties to take action on climate change.

There’s an election coming up this weekend, so one could call this a last minute push. Interestingly, none of Australia’s parties seem to have gained much support for energy policy.

Both Labor and the coalition have failed to take decisive action to cut Australia's pollution levels in the run-up to the federal election, Walk Against Warming rallies in Australia's capital cities heard on Sunday.

The coalition is the Liberal Party and the National Party, which always run together nationally though not always on the state level. Despite the name, the Liberals are the conservatives.

In any event, the goal is to entice both ends of the political spectrum to pay better attention to the issue.

"Poll after poll shows that Australians want action on climate change yet just one week from the federal election, both major parties are still failing to produce plans that will reduce pollution," Environment Victoria's campaign director, Mark Wakeham, said.

Nuclear energy plays a small part here – Australia has opened a breach in its long held antipathy towards it as a hedge against climate change. In any event, We hope whichever party gains a majority this Saturday pays heed. Read the rest of the story for more details – this protest seems to have been a well organized action.

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If Aussies are annoyed enough at the two major parties, that might mean:

Australia's Greens party is poised for a breakthrough in this weekend's elections, cashing in on the incoherence of the major parties on an issue that has claimed more than one political scalp.

The Greens could win up to 14% of the vote, according to opinion polls, nearly double what it achieved last time. It is likely to give them the balance of power in the senate (elected by proportional representation), and a seat in the lower house.

I’m not sure what balance of power means in this case – I assume it means the Greens can form a governing alliance with whichever larger party offers them the most in terms of executive and administrative heft – England has something like this going on now.

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The story about the protests included this bit:

In Sydney, Al Gore's Climate Project presenter, Nell Schofield, attracted huge cheers when she said Australia's lack of political action on climate change was "not only embarrassing, it is morally reprehensible".

"As Al Gore says, politicians are also a renewable resource," she said.

Which made us wonder how Gore felt about the Australia action. It turns out he quoted some of this story, too, and commented:

It is my hope we see activism like this here in the United States. A special thanks goes out to those I trained in Australia to give my slide show. They played a major role in the events.

Hmmm. Seems like action he could spur if he chose to.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

2 comments:

Isaac said...

The Australian Greens, if they get the balance of power in the Senate, will basically just get a very strong bargaining position in any piece of legislation the Government wants to push through and which doesn't have the support of the opposition.

Government is formed by the party with the most seats in the House of Reps, and the Greens will probably only pick up one seat there, so there is very little chance they'll be part of any government.

The Greens are *very* anti-nuclear, so none of this is positive for nuclear energy development in Australia.

Kaj said...

I you want actions against climate change, then you might wote for the Greens.

But woting for the Greens is woting for fossil fuels. That's a big paradox.

Just look at Germany and you see what I mean.