Intelligence² Debate – It’s Got To Be Nuclear – Initial Thoughts

I’ve just got back from the debate held by Intelligence² at the Royal Geographical Society in South Kensington.

The motion was simply – It’s got to be nuclear – although both sides agreed that the pro-nuclear camp were clear that they wanted both nuclear and renewables.

The pro arguments were pretty standard
* climate change is such a threat that we need all the tools available
* nuclear is not the threat it has been made out to be
* nuclear is the only power source that can make a dent in coal
* renewables (wind,wave,solar,tidal) can’t do base load

And the anti arguments boiled down to a few you may well have heard before

* nuclear is too expensive
* we can make do with efficiency and renewables
* nuclear vs renewables is a zero-zum game

I found both Mark Lynas and Malcolm Grimston to be entertaining and cogent. I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Grimston before and was very impressed with his performance. He comes across as being both in command of the facts and genuinely likeable.

The part of the debate the will doubtless gain the most attention is Tom Burke’s shouty, hissy fit at Mark Lynas. In my experience accusing your opponents of being mean to you is never a good tactic. The boos from the audience would suggest that I’m not the only one that felt that.

I am in need of both food and sleep so I’ll leave you with the final vote:
For : 165
Against : 63
Undecided : 15

I’ll write us something more substantive tomorrow when I’ve had time to reflect on the actual arguments that were made rather than the superficialities.

More information at:
http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/nuclear

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