The schism that environmentalism is facing in relation to nuclear power is now out in the open, with the UK leading the way.
So it has come to this.
There is an unshakable reality that nuclear power is an essential contributor to an effective climate change response. This has finally laid bare the schism that will afflict environmentalism for the next few years.
This week, four former directors of Friends of the Earth UK have written to the UK Prime Minister urging him to abandon plans for new nuclear build in the UK.
In response, five prominent environmental writers have also written to the Prime Minister, urging him to ignore this advice and pointing out the fallacy of the arguments put forward.
One of the writers, George Monbiot, has then provided more context in his weekly column.
So here we are. The depth of this fundamental disagreement can no more be disguised than can the reality of pro-nuclear environmentalism. Those wishing to identify themselves as environmentalists truly now must make a choice. In a great leap forward, environmentalists now have much more freedom to talk about it, raise the issue with peers, and question their beliefs than they have ever had before. We have people like these five writers to thank for that. The good news for pro-nuclear environmentalism is we are growing, getting to know each other, connecting, working together and making things happen. We are, in short, building the elements of a movement that will lead to success, rather than being merely of shared opinion.
These five writers have provided a very important example to us here in Australia. They have worked together to present an alternative discourse of environmentalism to their Government. We will need to do this. While they are fighting for new build, we will need to fight to repeal absurd legal barriers to the technology itself. Those who want those barriers to remain in place will be organised and work together. So must we.
2012 will be a year of action from Decarbonise SA. I hope you will join us.