A Curate's Egg

29 January 2019

This week’s Politics Column (Whitehaven News, 12 December) by Tony Lywood - Labour’s PPC for Copeland - was very much a ‘curate’s egg’; though, overall, it was a very good one!
However, instead of trying to get government investment for the proposed new nuclear power station at Moorside, Labour should be embracing Toshiba’s pull-out as an opportunity to seek government funding for clean and sustainable renewable-energy projects in West Cumbria.
As a recent article by Keith Barnham in The Ecologist has pointed out, nuclear energy is NOT a low-carbon industry. Yet that is precisely what is needed if we are to avoid catastrophic and unstoppable climate breakdown.
Far from a new nuclear power station “safeguarding… the future of the families of West Cumbria”, the rising sea levels resulting from current levels of global warming, mean such a development would be a potential Cumbrian Fukushima.
If Labour are stuck for ideas about how to create large numbers of local and sustainable jobs, via renewable energy schemes and the retro-fitting of houses in the area, they should consult the TUC’s booklet, ‘One Million Climate Jobs’. Or they could ask Cumbria University’s Professor of Sustainability, Dr. Jem Bendell, for advice on what Cumbria, and the UK, really need.
I really hope they do so, in the very near future, as I want to see the back of this neoliberal ‘weak and wobbly’ Tory government as soon as possible.
Allan Todd
Published: Whitehaven News 26.12.18; Times & Star 27.12.18.
[“A Curate’s Egg” is something partly good and partly bad. Allan's letter has been abridged – Ian]

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