Nuclear Power: The Great Irish Hypocrisy Generator.
Imagine if one of your neighbours called around to your house to complain that you were getting too many pizza deliveries to your home. Imagine he complained about the noise of the pizza guy’s bike, the traffic he caused, the danger to pedestrians, and the high cholestrol caused by pizzas. Then he walks into your kitchen, pops open the box, helps himself to a few slices, and walks out your door, pizza slices in hand, lecturing you that you’d never see him ordering rubbish like this.
Welcome to the brazen hypocrisy of the Irish and nuclear power, as outlined by this story in the Irish Times. Before you even get into the pros and cons of nuclear power, and whether it is suitable for Ireland, try and stomach the political football brassneck of how Irish politicians deal with it. Niall Collins’s party was in power for the last 14 years, during which they did little of real note on Sellafield, and during which the opposition savaged them for it. Now the parties are flipped, and the saga continues, with Fianna Fail assuming the mantle of the indignant, and the newly empowered FG/Lab coalition doing the “there’s nothing we can do!” dance. But what really makes me wonder is who exactly are the voters stupid enough to constantly vote for candidates who claim that they will get Sellafield closed? Sellafield is a major industrial player in its region, employs people, and generates electricity and stores waste, both services of which are used directly and indirectly by Irish consumers. If it employed people in Ireland, and the Brits told us to close it, we’d tell them to get stuffed.
Of course, what really should grate with anyone interested in Ireland’s long-term future is the shallow depth of the energy debate in Ireland. It’s summed up basically as: “That nuclear thing is evil, make it go away, and everything will be OK. Windmills are nice as long as they’re not near my house, and oil will never run out because one of those proper countries will figure it out and we can jump on the back of them like a parsitic yet curiously sanctimonious leech.”
As far as a global energy crisis goes, pray that better people than us are thinking about it, because if it’s up to us and our elected representatives, thousands will die.