Nuclear is no answer to climate change – WWF

Disclosure: I work for WWF-Australia. These views are my own and not those of my employer etc.

Well, it seems the sh*t has hit the fan:

Paul Gilding: Climate change causes backflips:

“WWF’s Greg Bourne has acknowledged uranium mining and nuclear power will inevitably play a role in the future global energy mix. Although this is merely stating the obvious, his statement will create division and debate in the environmental community.”

(emphasis mine)

End debate on N-power: Flannery:

“PROMINENT scientist Tim Flannery has called for an end to the uranium debate, saying all alternative energy sources to fossil fuels must be considered in the fight against climate change. The author of The Weather Makers and director of the South Australian Museum said yesterday he had softened his view on nuclear power”

…”federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane welcomed Mr Bourne’s comments as the third “notable backflip on the expansion of uranium mining in recent weeks – Kim Beazley, Peter Beattie and now the WWF”.”

Reality check – no backflip, no accepting – an acknowledgment that it’s happening as a political and economic reality i.e. it’s happening if we like it or not, so we should be demanding caution – doesn’t mean WWF (nor Greg) supports it.

Greens see red over WWF, yellow cake:

“Key green groups have turned on the Australian head of WWF over his reported softened stance on the mining and export of uranium.”

Note the “Reported” qualifier – not actual. But you know, don’t let that get in the way of a good story right?

WWF accepts nuclear reality:

“LEADING environment group WWF Australia says it accepts the Federal Government’s push to expand uranium mining and exports.”

One fallacious article, and look at the sh*t storm it kicks up. At least the articles today are a bit more balanced in their perspective.

Lets clarify this: WWF-Australia does not support nuclear energy as a sustainable energy source. That said, it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that the Australian Government and vested mining and business industries are not going to change their tune because of the $$ involved. So stating the obviousness of this situation is suddenly twisted to be “acceptance” of policy? Worse – in fact – acceptance of “nuclear reality” with all the misleading connotations such a headline entails. Geez…

Again, Paul Gilding says it well: “Former Greenpeace International executive director Paul Gilding, now an environmental consultant, defended WWF’s uranium position yesterday. “I think it’s rational to say: we oppose nuclear power, but given there is nuclear power let’s make sure we make it as safe as possible,” he said.

At least we have some prominent Australian voices (Tim Flannery, Bob Carr, Paul Gilding) coming out and talking about the issue in a slightly saner context than yesterday’s beat-up.

P.S. The headline of this post is just to reinforce the reality of WWF’s position, and the core issue, despite all the fuss. FTR, here’s a statement from WWF International on the issue.