Thursday, 27 September 2012

Senators oppose abolition of the Senate shock

The picture on the left  is not  of Enda Kenny.

Not convinced?

For proof please read on...

Group opposed to Seanad abolition seeks reform
RTE, Wednesday, 26th September, 2012

The Government plans to hold a referendum on the future of the Seanad.
A group of members of the upper house has published the report, saying its aim is to stimulate debate about the chamber's future.

The group includes Seanad members Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn, former senator Joe O'Toole, political commentator Noel Whelan and former justice minister Michael McDowell.
The report was prompted by Government plans to hold a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Senator Zappone said the Seanad had, for many years, not maximised the role envisaged for it in the Constitution.

She said it could play a "deeper role" in scrutinising laws from Europe and creating legislation at European level.

On the cost of running the Seanad, she said: "The kind of figures that are thrown out in relation to how much does the Seanad cost are exaggerated."

Ms Zappone said it costs around €10m a year.   She said that with the calibre of people in it and the changes they are promoting, it could be very good value in terms of the future.
The Seanad is to debate the document, perhaps as early as next week

Kenny wants to Enda the Senate shock
Gombeen Nation, Tuesday, 20th October, 2009

Enda Kenny may well have the personality and charisma of a newt, but he deserves credit for his proposal to abolish the inherently undemocratic body that is the Senate (or Seanad).

Kenny has shown an ability to surprise in the past, such as when he called for Gaelic to be made a non-compulsory school subject – attracting predictable howls of protest from Ireland's powerful Gaeliban (Irish Language lobby).

So let’s look at the Senate, the chief purpose of which – like the British House of Lords – is concerned with giving privileged, but otherwise insignificant, blusterers some kind of nominal function and Gormenghastian status.

Eleven of the sixty blusterers are appointed by the Taoiseach (prime minister) of the day. One example being Sunday Independent bore and waffler Eogan Harris, who was rewarded with a senatorship by Bertie Ahern for defending him and his dismal Government on the eve of the last election… just when some sections of the electorate where showing faint signs of getting wise.

A further six are “elected” by the graduates of TCD and NUI. Naturally, given the self-perpetuating nature of the entrenched class system and third level education in Ireland – populated as it is by the middle-class brats of the well-off (whose fees are paid by the taxpayer) – this too helps ensure an innate conservatism.

Finally, 43 blusterers are elected by “Vocational Panels”, which for the life of me, I cannot figure out. But let’s just say it involves sitting Dail members, selected council members and others, arranged by “vocational interest”. And some people here had the neck to give out about Lisbon and the EU??

Today’s Irish Times reports that the salary of a senator is €70,135, topped-up by a further €45,000 in “unvouched expenses”. They sat their privileged bottoms on the Senate benches for only 93 days in 2008, and the whole charade costs us a whopping €25 million a year to run.

Kenny is talking about calling a referendum to abolish this elitist talking shop. Bring it on.

Note the disparity between The Irish Times' €25 million to run the Seanad and the senators' group's €10 million estimation. "Only €10 milliion" we are supposed to think, I suppose. And what about the self-declared "calibre of people" boast?

Kenny has a history of backing down when faced with powerful lobbies. He renaged on his promise to make Gaeilge non-compulsory for the Leaving Cert when fronted by Conradh na Gaeilge, Irish Language teachers, Gael Linn, those who run Irish language colleges in the Gaeltacht, and those who run student accommodation there. Expect him to back down yet again on this one. 

Kenny is a spineless character who has failed to deliver on his many election promises. 

Apologies to newts in the earlier blog above.

They, at least, have backbones.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Another tale of casual cruelty and scummery in Ireland

Another day in Gombeen Nation and another tale of casual cruelty and scummery, as you will read soon.

You really have to wonder what kind of a generation is being foisted on us, with stories like the one below being so commonplace that they provoke little outrage or public debate on the nature of our society, and the units that make it up.

What kind of "teenagers" are these, and what kind of parents have they?   What kind of scumbags with what kind of values will they themselves reproduce?   

And reproduce they will, as that is the Irish way.  We are popping out more babies than anywhere else in Europe, and a sizeable proportion of them are rather wretched samples of humanity that the world, never mind Ireland, could well do without.

This might sound a bit right-wing, but how about some kind of compulsory sterilisation programme?  Call it neutering if you will.

 Or at least some kind of demonstration from prospective parents that they can bring their offspring up in a fashion that makes them fit for civil society?  

Thugs feed family cat to dogs in front of children

By Ralph Riegel
Irish Independent, Thursday September 20 2012

A MOTHER of five wept yesterday as she revealed how teenage thugs fed her beloved 17-year-old cat to their dogs.

Kathleen O'Brien sobbed as she said two of her children witnessed the horrific attack that left the family's pet cat Boots mangled and blood-soaked outside their front door.

Mrs O'Brien, who lives at Fairfield Meadows in Fairhill in Cork, said that the savaged cat died minutes after they rushed him to the local vet.

"We had Boots for 17 years -- he was just sitting outside our front door. The next thing, I was in the kitchen and I heard a load of banging on my front door and my windows," she said.

Kathleen emerged to find two of her children deeply distraught -- with Boots lying mangled in a pool of blood.

Kathleen was horrified to learn that Boots been spotted by a group of teens as they walked greyhounds and a large hunting dog.

One of the teens walked over, grabbed the cat and threw it to the dogs to be mauled.

The cat had been savaged before Kathleen's children could intervene. Immediately afterwards, the teens ran off laughing with their dogs.

Kathleen contacted both Gurranabraher gardai and the CSPCA about the incident, amid concerns it might be linked to similar attacks which saw a kitten and a rabbit torn apart by dogs.

Gardai are investigating.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Ireland as a dysfunctional family in denial?

Interesting op-ed article in today's Irish Times, by Brendan Logue, former Central Bank Registrar of Credit Unions and head of the IDA Financial Services Division.

It makes some good points about the delusional nature of Irish society and its doctrinaire - and largely manufactured - sacred cultural references.

On the other hand, it seems to fall into the popular Irish comfort-blanket trap of partly blaming a sinister "Frankfurt regime" for the mess we are in,  which to me is rather like the imagined "prolifigate parents" blaming the moneylender for their own greed and stupidity.   The real blame lies closer to home, I think.

Oh... and the Central Bank.  That fine regime had no say in regulating our financial institutions and controlling bank lending during The Bubble, did it?...

Leadership needed to mend our sorry state of delusion
Thu, Sep 20, 2012

OPINION: IMAGINE YOU belong to a dysfunctional family. The parents are profligate, incompetent and reckless. They tend to be corrupt, lazy, dishonest and self-serving.
The children (other than certain favourites) feel oppressed and neglected. Many of the favourites exhibit ruthless self-interest and greed.

The parents are under pressure from the moneylenders to whom they have had to turn as a result of their profligacy. So dysfunctional is this family that they have had to be taken under the care of outside agencies, which are struggling to bring them under control.

Many of the children abuse alcohol, drugs, religion, or alternatively delude themselves about their true situation, in order to ease their pain.  Others flee the family home at the earliest opportunity, or resort to suicide. They abuse and exploit each other and are in a perpetual state of inter-sibling rivalry.
The concept of family wellbeing is almost unknown among them.
Such a family mirrors the national situation.

Self-delusion is a characteristic of Irish society. In the old days we were told things about ourselves that in retrospect seem laughable. We were morally superior to other races, O’Connell Street was the widest street in Europe, the Shannon was going to be drained, the country reunited and the Irish language restored.

Such was the pathetic nature of the society that it tended to grasp at any idea, no matter how absurd, seen as positive to our warped sense of nationhood.

Those who were literary figures and who attempted to hold up a mirror to the Irish to reflect the weirdness of the society were generally derided, abused, saw their work suppressed and were forced to flee the country in despair. Abroad they often achieved due recognition.

That is not to say that individual Irish people aren’t as capable, creative and energetic as other peoples. But the damaged and deluded culture of our society often drags them down. Despite this, some groups and individuals have managed to overturn the deadening effects of Irish consciousness, but they are the exceptions to the norm.

The negative effect on Irish society of the Catholic Church is deep-rooted. Its doctrines have tended to produce a populace that is superstitious, apathetic and fatalistic. The progressive exposure of some of Catholicism’s true characteristics has left many of its loyal adherents confused and disillusioned.

The main institutions of the State – government, church, banks, the judiciary, the professions etc – are regarded by many Irish people with loathing, but many are also envious of those who belong to these interest groups. Most people feel powerless to attack these groups, who seem exempted from any corrective process that could limit their ruthless pursuit of self-interest.

In a normal democratic society a dissatisfied populace will overthrow an abusive regime, given time. However, in Ireland this has not happened.

The Republic of Ireland has never been truly independent. This could be because the best and the brightest were and are the most likely to emigrate, leaving behind the more deferential, insecure and apathetic people. British rule was overthrown in this part of the country in 1922 only to be replaced by an equally abusive system controlled from Rome.

This itself is in the process of being gradually overturned, but is being replaced by a regime controlled from Frankfurt, whose intentions are, as yet, unclear. Unless something fundamental changes in the public psyche, Ireland seems doomed to endlessly repeat its history of failure and to be a society that is deferential and provincial in outlook.

One possible benefit of the present financial, economic and social crisis may be that the Irish may begin to awake from the dreamlike state of delusion into which they had long ago fallen. To emerge from this nightmare will require leadership. Straight talking such as has never been heard before in this country needs to be the hallmark of a future leadership. This will be a painful process but could provide healing.
This State must never again allow itself to be humiliated and disgraced in the eyes of the world. The Ireland that has up to now been regarded internationally only in a semi-serious way as a country, must be reformed.

No more corruption, no more incompetence, no more alcohol abuse, no more self-delusion, no more abusive religion, no more secrecy, no more deferential forelock-tugging.
Unfortunately, leadership is absent just now in a way never before experienced. Neither politics nor religion, neither law nor commerce are fit for this purpose as they themselves are central to the country’s problems and act in a self-protective way to preserve the status quo.

What is left to undertake this gargantuan task? Maybe the media is up to it – who knows?
It is nearly time Robert Emmet’s epitaph is written – but not just yet.
Not until this society is fully cleansed of the rot that pervades it.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page

Monday, 17 September 2012

Maths and technical subjects lose out to Irish and religion in our schools

An interesting article appeared in last Wednesday's "Journal", see extract here:

Irish pupils taught over twice as much religion as OECD average

THE AVERAGE IRISH primary school pupil spends a tenth of their time in religious tuition – over twice the average of other developed countries, a new worldwide study has claimed.
The OECD’s ‘Education at a Glance’ report says the average 7 or 8 year old in Ireland spends 10 per cent of their time in primary tuition being taught religion, while the average among the countries surveyed is 4 per cent, and the average among EU countries is 5 per cent.
The report says Irish pupils – assuming they are taught the correct number of hours demanded by the Irish primary curriculum – spend only 12 per cent of their time learning maths.
The average among developed countries is 18 per cent – with the difference in maths tuition accounted exactly for the amount of time spent on religion.
The major report, surveying conditions in 30 of the world’s developed countries, shows that Irish students also spend less time studying technology and practical subjects than their worldwide peers – and less than half of what the average student in another country might spend on Physical Education.
This is reflected in the extra time spent on ‘modern foreign languages’ – which in Ireland’s case includes the teaching of the Irish language...

The Irish answer to the problem, however, is to distort results with bonus points for maths rather than addressing the poor standards of teaching - many maths teachers are not even properly qualified.

Then there the years of teaching time wasted on nonsense subjects such as religion and Gaeilge.  It is no wonder we are producing, yet again, a generation of half-wits whose educational attainments are largely irrelevant to to the needs of the modern world, and even the requirements of Ireland's main private sector employers, as the following report from the Indo (August 16th) contends. 

It seems the time spent teaching "modern foreign languages" firmly places the emphasis on Dev's First Official Language rather than modern, living ones..

Fears over skills shortages in key science and language subjects

By Katherine Donnelly
Thursday August 16 2012
STUDENTS may have scored record success in higher-level maths this year -- but now there are worries of possible skills shortgages because of a poor uptake in science subjects and languages at second-level schools.
And the situation is expected to get even worse from this year as teacher cuts force schools to consider dropping these key subjects.
As the boost to maths performance among this year's Leaving Certificate candidates was celebrated yesterday, the new concerns were highlighted.
The 56,000 school-leavers receiving results yesterday included almost 11,000 awarded 25 bonus points for achieving a minimum D grade in maths at higher level...

...Subjects such as physics and chemistry are also taking on a new importance, with growing demand from employers for graduates with such skills.
And languages are in unprecedented demand among multinational and domestic export companies operating in a global economy.
There has been an ongoing slide in the number of Leaving Certificate students taking physics.
Numbers fell a further 2pc this year to 6,373 -- less than one in eight candidates -- while almost a quarter of schools don't offer it at all...

Back to Gombeen Nation main page

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Water fluoridation in Ireland

A good reader and supporter of the blog emailed on the subject of water fluoridation. 

To be honest, I know nothing about the topic [though such circumstances do not stymie your ability to confabulate on other matters - you think] so I would be delighted to have your feedback on the issue.

I do, however, remember the rate at which my childish/teenage teeth were whisked heavenwards by the Tooth Fairy decreased considerably when I discovered the art of brushing them, not consuming too many Spangles, and not putting sugar in hot beverages. 

So, with all that, we present the fabled Gombeen Nation floor to _______ .  


Ireland Is the Most Fluoridated country on Earth - If 98% of EU Rejected it Why do we Persist?

Fluoride has been in Irish water since the 60’s for better teeth- but it causes fluorosis (yellowing, pitting and weakening of teeth) - and more money is spent here on treating that than any benefit gained. Although meant to prevent decay, in reality it only delays it showing. So Irish children have good rates of dental decay at age 5 in EU surveys- but just as high or even higher rates at age 12. Some dentists will say Irish teeth are better since the 60’s – that’s mostly due to better education, hygiene and more people paying for dentistry.

Fluoridation had a suspect start in 1940’s USA - introduced NOT due to agitation by dentists but by the nuclear power/ heavy metal production industries. Fluoride is a by-product and expensive to dispose of. Spotting a tenuous link with dental health these industries lobbied for it to be added, instead to water. But there’s already naturally occurring fluoride in water-a tiny amount is all that’s needed for dental health. Fluoride works topically, not systemically, i.e. if you want you can get all you need from toothpaste. Shockingly when San Francisco stopped fluoridation the thyroid cancer rate went down 400%. (See the major site for USA/worldwide info on this and more).

FEW countries were duped into following the USA - but Ireland wanted a cheap fix for dental health. The Dutch banned fluoridation in their constitution- and other EU countries quickly abandoned it. BUT Ireland hasn’t wakened up to the dangers: shockingly, ROI has 40% more cancers of many types (thyroid, prostrate, pancreatic etc.) Than NI which doesn’t fluoride.

Here's scientist Declan Waugh in an IT letter of June 2012.

“Re article (“Calcium pill raises heart attack risk in women”, IT, May 24th). It suggests calcium in supplement form elevates calcium in blood serum, causing hard deposits on arteries. The substance which most affects calcium levels is fluoride, consumed in fluoridated water, provided to all in Ireland, the only European country with this dangerous policy (though Spain and UK do to less than 10% of population, here it is 80%).

Also, further research, in the Nuclear Medicine Communication Journal (Jan 2012), found fluoride the main factor in calcification of major arteries, including coronary arteries.

There is greater calcification of human arteries and increased risk of coronary disease with increased exposure to fluoride and higher fluoride concentrations in your blood plasma.

Shockingly Ireland has one of the highest incidences of cardiovascular illness in the world And we are the most fluoridated society on the planet (80%).

In 1961, Dr Feltmann’s 14 years research into fluoride (Journal of Dental Medicine) found exposure to it caused increased incidence of gastrointestinal problems, neurological illness , skin disorders and hypothyroidism- all now Widely prevalent among the Irish.

Disturbing HSE statistics show that over 770,000 people in Ireland suffer from neurological illness, the Highest incidence in the World.


Partnership for Change, O’Dohertys Road, Bandon, Co Cork.

A radio interview with Declan Waugh is on the new website ''. Aisling  hopes to get a court case going next year against the Irish Government. She’s already been on radio - the interviews are well worth listening to - get on to her site and show some support as Fluoridation is poison! It’s time we learnt the facts and followed our partners in Europe in providing safe fluoride-free water.

Just A Girl… The Girl Against Fluoride

Fluoride Action Network


Back to Gombeen Nation main page.

Monday, 10 September 2012

German Shepherd put down after acid attack in Donaghmede, Dublin

One of the qualities that is said to separate we humans from the supposedly lower animal kingdom is the ability to empathise.  

Having said that, I had a dog way back when who could pick up on your feelings - and presumably the feelings of others - no problem, but have known humans who do not possess such a capacity.

Evolution is an ongoing process, I suppose.

The picture left, sent by a reader, features a German Shepherd with acid thrown in its face in Donaghmede, north Dublin. The dog was found in agony near a school and had to be put down.

As a fellow blogger sometimes remarks: 'nuff said.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The city that never sleeps. Nor leaves the car in the drive.

The Other Half is out of the country at the minute.   Among other things, this means I  have had to look for the quietest time to do my shopping, due to a natural dislike of large, medium and small gatherings of people.  

Do you know what I found?   No time is the quietest in Ireland... not around here anyway. 

The shops are always Christmas-eve packed and the roads are always thronged with vehicles, no matter when you do it. At least if you do so within drink licencing hours... admittedly, I haven't tried it at 1 or 6am. 

It's heading for 10pm as I write this, having come back from Tescos Maynooth, and the roads were congested with throngs of motorists.  At that time.  I naively thought I'd have  a nice relaxing spin to pick up some essentials in relative quiet at that hour, but it was not to be.  And no, they didn't all have the same idea as me - this is just "normal" west Dublin 'burban traffic. 

I've asked this before... how is it always so busy?   Always.  Petrol might hit the €2/litre mark soon, with diesel not far behind.  People are supposed to be up their hoxsters in debt,  the dole queues are swelling (though maybe not  as bad as late seventies/early eighties just yet), people are supposed to be feeding their famished - but still somehow overweight - kids cornflake packets, and goodness knows what else.   

If you ever get the time to listen to the gobshites who ring up Joe Duffy,  you'd swear everyone is going around without an arse to their trousers.  Or knickers, or whatever. 

To me, it still looks as though the bubble never really burst, in this part of the country at least.  Apart from slightly more realistic real estate valuations.

There is still something apparently inexplicable going on.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Nuclear power - yes please?

"Science is important, innit?". 

Ali G.

I've long been a fan of science for simpletons books such as Stephen Hawkings "A Brief History of Time", Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything".   Recently I bought Richard Dawkin's "The Magic of Reality" - a science book for kiddies I can just about grasp.

Science is the sum of what we know, or think we know.  It is not absolute.   

However, there are people out there - as discussed in an earlier blog - who think things they cannot see do not exist: viruses for example (though they believe in a god).   I assume they don't believe in atoms either, though the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki might disagree.

Our scientific knowledge can be beneficial however.  Without it we would still be living in caves or crannogs.  Or Cork.  

Have a read of the article below, written by David Robert Grimes, a doctor of medical physics at Oxford.   I know some of you might have a greenish tinge, but his argument seems pretty convincing to me.  

What do you think?

Irish Times, August 14th, 2012.

The ideological bias against nuclear power is hard to overcome but it is clean and cheap and has tiny emissions

NUCLEAR POWER has long been a contentious issue, and debate about it has intensified following the second worst nuclear accident in history, at Fukushima in Japan — an accident that has claimed no lives, and in all likelihood never will.

In Ireland, opposition to nuclear energy is nothing new; almost four decades ago, in the wake of the 1973 energy crisis, the ESB planned to build a nuclear plant at Carnsore Point. A public backlash resulted in the nuclear option being dropped and instead a coal plant was built at Moneypoint. This was and still is heralded as a victory by Green activists. But if this was a victory, it was a deeply pyrrhic one. Coal is undoubtedly the most hazardous and polluting fuel there is. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 1.3 million people a year die from respiratory problems caused by solid fuel.

Coal is also the most polluting. Since its inception, Moneypoint spewed millions of tons of CO2 into the air. Contrast that with nuclear, which kills approximately zero people a year, has negligible CO2 emissions and produces vastly more energy. One wonders what exactly these  
protests achieved.

Of course, the worst nuclear accident in history did claim lives and debates about nuclear seem to constantly return to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. So what exactly was the impact on health? The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear) dealing with Chernobyl is the product of 25 years of research by medical and scientific teams, including the WHO, and answers that question.

A total of 28 workers died from acute radiation syndrome; and there were 15 fatal thyroid cancers in children. Those who imbued radioiodine immediately after the disaster are at elevated risk of thyroid cancer, which is treatable with a 92 per cent 30-year survival rate. Zero increase has been observed in solid cancers or birth defects.

That this toll is considerably less than people might expect does not diminish the scale of the calamity or change the fact that the response by the Soviet authorities was lamentable. While Iodine 131 is dangerous, it has a half life of just eight days and had proper action been taken the death toll could have been reduced. Hundreds more could have been saved from exposure to potentially detrimental levels of radioiodine.

Moreover, the scale of disruption caused by the incident was enormous. Unscear estimates that 115,000 people were evacuated by the authorities from areas surrounding the reactor in 1986; and subsequently about 220,000 people from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine were relocated.

“The accident caused serious social and psychological disruption in the lives of those affected and vast economic losses over the entire region,” its report on Chernobyl states.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to compare the fallout from Chernobyl with that of the Banquio hydroelectric dam failure in China in 1975. This killed 26,000 directly and 145,000 from the resulting famine and epidemics, as well as destroying almost six million homes and buildings, affecting 11 million people.

Yet just as this failure doesn’t denigrate hydroelectric power, Chernobyl isn’t a trump card against nuclear energy. All forms of energy production have inherent risk and it is foolish to dismiss any out of hand.Intriguingly, Unscear concludes that the greatest threat to survivors is the risk to mental health from exaggerated fears about radiation.

“Designation of the affected population as ‘victims’ rather than ‘survivors’ has led them to perceive themselves as helpless, weak and lacking 
control over their future. This . . . has led either to overcautious behaviour and exaggerated health concerns, or to reckless conduct,” it states.

This raises the distinct possibility that the hyperbole of anti-nuclear activists about Chernobyl may cause far more harm than good to the survivors. Similarly, our fixation with Fukushima has blinded us to the fact that it was a natural disaster rather than a nuclear one that cost thousands of lives last year. The earthquake and tsunami that triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant killed 19,000.

Predictably, some take issue with the Chernobyl figures: a Russian non-peer reviewed report claimed 985,000 died as a result of the accident. Greenpeace claimed a figure of more than 200,000 deaths. Subsequent investigations by the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry exposed these figures as utterly baseless. Despite these claims being nonsense, there are some in the ostensibly Green movement who persist in shouting them loudly over the abundant evidence to the contrary. To cite one local example, these debunked figures are still quoted by Chernobyl Children International, despite their lack of veracity being indicated to them by numerous scientists.

The ideological bias against nuclear is hard to overcome. The cold war left the impression of imminent destruction on the psyche of the world. This is understandable but unfortunate, as the physics behind nuclear weapons is entirely different to nuclear energy and one can no more turn a nuclear plant into an atomic bomb than one can convert a paper airplane into an F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft.

While there are some in the Green movement who cling to anti-nuclear ideology without any consideration of the facts, there are a growing number of scientifically literate pro-nuclear environmentalists challenging this dogmatic approach. George Monbiot has written eloquently on why 

environmentalists need to embrace nuclear power. And scientist James Lovelock has said nuclear power is the only way to curb global warming. Societies like Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy and Better Environment With Nuclear Energy have seen a marked increase in support from Green activists.

The reason for this is simple: nuclear energy is clean, cheap and has tiny emissions.

The technology is also advancing rapidly; generation IV reactors will produce only about one per cent of the waste current reactors do, and 
thorium reactors are now available which can be fuelled by existing nuclear waste.

Renewable energy is a laudable goal, but not a panacea. Despite extraordinary claims about wind and wave power, the truth is they cannot supply the energy we need. A choice between nuclear and renewable is a false dichotomy; renewables as they stand cannot power the world.

While Japan protests under blackouts, France by contrast has since 1963 generated 78 per cent of its power from nuclear. Consequently, France has energy independence, the cleanest air in the industrialised world and among the lowest carbon emissions. Nuclear energy is complicated and has drawbacks, but it is clean, safe and hugely efficient.

Radioactivity is invisible and threats we cannot see frighten us, but a misplaced sense of ideological radiophobia cannot be the motivation in deciding how to power our world.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page