While reading an amazing book, Radiation and Reason, I came across a passage that beautifully summed up the reality of the interface between the public and politics in trying to get a decent response to climate change using nuclear power.
I am in the middle of reading Radiation and Reason by Wade Allison.
I am getting what I expected, which is an improved understanding of the nature of radiation and how it may impact human health. What I was not expecting to find though was a very succinct description of the mission of DSA. But there it was, and here it is:
In some countries, politicians tentatively support a pro-nuclear power position. But in others, nuclear power is still excluded politically or even outlawed. Everywhere, leaders and investors need to know whether the public supports decisions in favour of nuclear power. They cannot instruct the court of public opinion- they need the backing of a significant number of people who have read the evidence, questioned it themselves and taken their own view.
Wow! Allison has captured so much truth in just one paragraph. It genuinely reflects the formal interactions I have had with the political class to date, namely that they simply will not jump first; they need to understand nuclear as an electoral positive. It also captures much of the raison d’etre of Decarbonise SA, namely to “build a significant number of people who have read the evidence, questioned it themselves and taken their own view”. We need to take that a little further though, through getting organised as a movement to accelerate this process.
You will be pleased to know that we are making real progress on that front; this issue is definitely there for the winning. I will be bringing you an update of The Action Plan and some good news quite soon, and in 2012 I’m looking forward to getting some of you busy. Keep reading!