Comrade aviators.

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gangoffour.jpgA frank and open exchange of views is going on down south between real Greens, specifically former London mayoral candidate Siân Berry, and some people who get billed as lower-case-g greens, notably George Monbiot. 

To complicate things an actual upper-case-G Green candidate in Oxford also went nuclear, allowing the Independent to go to town on us. 

The absurdity of the piece is made obvious when you see that one of the greens they cite as having had a road-to-Sellafield conversion is a former Labour cabinet Minister with a 100% record of backing nuclear power.

The battle proper kicked off when Siân put this piece up on her blog, criticising Monbiot's sell-out on nuclear power, and more seriously, attacking their haircuts (Monbiot, Lynas, Tindale and Goodall, left). 

Her arguments on nuclear were sound, but it was the following section that appeared to get his goat in particular:

"Like the young women mentioned above, these chaps have a few physical and biographical characteristics in common, largely a tendency to be over 45 with the haircut of a WW2 fighter pilot and the experience to know better than play so crudely into the hands of an industry on the make."

It's hard to deny that the four of them would fit in, visually, in the cockpit of a Spitfire. Goodall, bottom on the left, looks more like he's been promoted and flying a desk by now, but it turns out that her charge was particularly apt for him. He commented on her blog as folllows:

"Unlike those conchies Monbiot and Lynas, I was actually trained to be a fighter pilot."

No such good humour was forthcoming from Monbiot, who instead decided to take his plane on a kamikazi assault on the Green Party, Guardian megaphone in hand. His shameful straw man job on her arguments was followed by a declaration that he's not going to vote Green again. 

It's obviously his right to take the huff about the haircut crack (see how easy those straw men are, George?), and if he wants to find a pro-nuclear party to vote for there are plenty of options. 

He'll find Labour, the Tories and the Liberals just as weak as they ever were on all the other climate issues, though. 

On one side there's a clear explanation of the reasons why nuclear is the wrong choice, not just as the only option, but as any of the options. To quote Siân again:

"..there are so many other, less technically challenging, more job-heavy, cheaper, easier, quicker, etc etc projects out that would balance energy needs with production and cut carbon at the same time."

On the other side, there are four people who should know better giving succour to the backers of the most unsafe and uneconomic form of power ever implemented, pretending it's a proper low-carbon, affordable and sustainable technology, and doing so in the pages of the red-tops

They're entitled to their opinions, but I just wish the media wouldn't keep calling them environmentalists. If a former SNP politician or independence activist came out for the Union, it'd be news, sure, but it wouldn't be a split in nationalism, it'd be someone leaving nationalism. 

I'm with the Wrens on this one, tempting as it is to side with the peacemakers. Also, is there something in the water in Oxford?

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This page was published on March 20, 2009 9:44 AM.

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