Does George Monbiot read the Adam Smith Institute blog? Today.
But he is also wrong. In his article last week demanding a return to coal and accusing me of selling out, Scargill suggested that radioactive discharges are more dangerous than carbon emissions. This, of course, is nonsense; but if he really believes it he should be campaigning against the burning of coal.
The odd and widely ignored truth is that routine radioactive discharges from coal-burning are greater than those produced by nuclear plants. Coal contains trace amounts of uranium and thorium. Though these are present at much lower levels than in nuclear fuel, a lot more coal is burned, which means that total emissions are greater.
And the ASI blog on Saturday.
A 1,000 MW coal-burning power plant could release as much as 5.2 tons/year of uranium (containing 74 pounds (34 kg) of uranium-235) and 12.8 tons/year of thorium. The radioactive emission from this coal power plant is 100 times greater than a comparable nuclear power plant with the same electrical output; including processing output, the coal power plant\’s radiation output is over 3 times greater.
Naah, sadly not….although I\’m sure he\’d learn a lot, I reckon both of us just looked up Wikipedia.
Although George has definitely been reading someone interesting.
My position is that environmentalists should stop trying to pick technologies for electricity generation. Instead we should demand a maximum level for the carbon dioxide produced per megawatt-hour, impose a number of other public safety measures, then allow the energy companies to find the cheapest means of delivering it.
He\’s a convert to markets for example. Set the technical parameters and let people get on with it. Yes, we might disagree on what those parameters are but this is a huge step forward in his thinking don\’t you think?