AFTER hearing pretty much every angle on the nuclear issue over the last two decades, it seems the best argument for not pursuing this technology comes from the nuclear industry itself: “The atom bomb is a huge risk to public safety and is the only rational reason not to support nuclear energy”. The comment made by none-other than John Walmsley, staunch advocate of harnessing the powers of radiation and head of the National Energy Regulator, came at a public lecture hosted by the Wolpe Institute, in Cape Town this week.
Which probably marks the first time anybody from the pro-nuclear lobby has said anything vaguely intelligent. Gobsmacked by this type of candour, I then challenged some of the radiation mob to put their technology where their greedy mouths are, and swallow a spoonful or two of uranium 235. If the stuff is so good for you, as they claim, then why not put it on toast? In fact the strange arguments being used to support atomic power these days sound pretty absurd.
Remember asbestos, natures miracle substance? Why not put asbestos sheeting in your home, or on your roof? If that doesn’t work, try uranium siding, or plutonium pebbles, the next best thing to coal dust. Can anybody trust the government or Martinus “Be kind to animals” Van Sckalkwyk to make a rational decision on the joys of asbestosis and lung cancer or global thermonuclear warfare and genetic mutations wiping out half of humanity while he’s still befuddled about the greenhouse effect and bedonnerd about the impact of the oil-industry-ANC alliance on peace, love and stability in Iraq?
Which is why I’ve given-up trying to figure out what makes scientists and ministers of the environment tick. It all seems to come down to the fact that men like blowing things up, and if it weren’t for eco-wimps and enviro-nerds we would all blow more things up while forgetting that women also love frying things — nuking pork sausages with radiation burn from an eco-friendly concentrated solar array, or heating up kosher casseroles with focused rays of envirosafe energy from the sun. Next best thing to burning tires – drill a hole directly into the earth’s core and tap the molten lava that spews forth with enough volcanic energy to heat a city the size of Johannesburg. Failing that, harness hot-air from cabinet ministers and sheep-farts from the opposition.
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