Quote of the day

George Monbiot, writer and journalist, pointed out on the BT Politics show today that Coal-fired power stations do more damage to the environment in the ordinary course of operations than nuclear powered ones do when they go wrong.

Quite apart from the large-scale release of carbon into the atmosphere, coal fired stations also give rise to more radioactivity: there are trace radioactive elements in coal which are released into the atmosphere by a standard coal-burning power plant.

If the recent terrible disaster in Japan results in a scaling back of new nuclear generation and more coal plants instead, this will do immense harm to the environment.


Jim said…
I think quote of the week should go to ed balls for this little gem

Mr Balls said: "At a time when world oil prices are going up, the Tory VAT rise is making things worse.

It is putting an extra £1.35 on the cost of filling up a 50-litre tank and adding to the growing cost of living for families on low and middle incomes. George Osborne needs to stop dithering and take immediate action to help hard-pressed motorists."

now please let me check my tiny little and mind and wonder, didnt labour raise fuel duty above inflation 12 times, this was after they opposed several times when the previous tory government did the same thing.

so what is the point in trying to score political points here, both parties are as bad as each other on this, and bringing vat on fuel down to 17.5% wont help much (and europe wont let us anyway). How about removing VAT on duty, so VAT is only charged on the fuel itself (theres 12p a litre off the price no problem), next a stabiliser to lower the duty when oil prices are high.

some may argue this will cost too much to the treasury, i think differently, it will allow many haulage firms to stay in business, paying coporate taxes, nat insurance, fuel duty, road tax, employing people paying income tax, fuel duty to get to work, nat insurance.

Also other people will be able to continue working paying the above, because the cost of getting to work is not taking all they earn for doing so, people will buy more goods (VAT) and buy more luxury food items (more VAT)

also the amount saved on welfare as people are working not claiming speaks for itself
Tim said…
Potassium, which is an element vital to life and well being is slightly radioactive - it is thought to be one of the main agents in genetic mutation. We have to consume it and metabolise it, but at a cost. If you cast your mind back to Chernobyl, the legacy of this is an exclusion zone around the plant still in force to day. I believe that in Cumbria there are still restrictions in place regarding the movement of livestock due to this disaster. No such legacy has ever been left in the aftermath of a coal fired power station. Nuclear fission is an unatural, man made process that leaves in its wake artificial, highly dangerous isotopes that otherwise do not occur in nature - it is time to leave this arrogance behind.
Chris Whiteside said…
The late Mr Bloxham would have had you in detention on Saturday morning for getting your facts that badly wrong, Tim!

As you yourself point out, Potassium occurs in nature is vital to life, and we would have to eat things containing it anyway - so how can you blame nuclear power for it?

There were livestock controls in many parts of the world after Chernobyl, but that isn't the main reason for the restrictions which have been in place in Cumbria in recent years. Those have mostly aimed at curbing Foot and Mouth disease. And although the Foot and Mouth outbreaks, which hit Cumbria harder than any other part of the UK, may have been partly down to very bad practice by certain government agencies and other people, they had nothing to do with the nuclear industry.

Coal fired power stations produce different harmful legacies, but still very damaging ones, including dumping radioactive trace elements from the burning of coal into the atmosphere - and the amount of coal they burn means that the cumulative impact in terms of radioactive pollution is worse than nuclear.

The net harm to human life from coal is far worse - the two centuries when Whitehaven was a mining towm produced a record of ghastly disasters which claimed many hundreds of lives - including at least two incidents, including one in my ward which is still in living memory, when more than a hundred men were killed at a time.

Coal mining in China claims several thousand lives a year now.
Tim said…
"As you yourself point out, Potassium occurs in nature is vital to life, and we would have to eat things containing it anyway - so how can you blame nuclear power for it?"

I didn't !
Anonymous said…
What were you saying about the facts Chris? I believe these are the restriction Tim was refering to - http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/chernobylrepuk07.pdf
Chris Whiteside said…
Tim, if you weren't meaning to blame the nuclear industry for the impact of potassium then I withdraw that comment.

So far as Copeland and most of the rest of Cumbria are concerned, I stand by the statement that the main livestock controls which have been in place in recent years wre there to curb foot and mouth.

95% of the 9,000 British farms which were originally covered by Emergency Orders restricting the movement and sale of sheep as a result of radioactivity from Chernobyl have now been removed from those restrictions.

I accept it is true that there are nine holdings in South Cumbria where those restrictions still apply.

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