Fossil fuel danger

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Clive B Scott’s contribution (Letters, 5 February) smacks just a little of blaming the victim for the crime.

Of course, a large part of the cost of nuclear energy arises from the stringent safety regime which we, rightly, impose.

The real question we should be asking is what was, is and will be the cost of not imposing the same stringency on fossil fuel burning.

In one week in 1952, 12,000 Londoners died as a direct result of burning coal. Thousands of ex-miners or their descendants are still seeking compensation for industrial diseases.

City pollution is now mainly due to vehicle exhaust and other oil burning and is still reckoned to cause thousands of early deaths per annum.

Add to this what most people believe is the now greatest threat of all, viz 
carbon dioxide emissions. Clean-burn fossil fuel indeed.

I am not of the completely 
anti-wind farm lobby, but 40 years’ acquaintance with this convinces me that it is simply not suitable as a main means of energy production.

If we really believe in the dangers of global warning, then let me make it clear: nuclear energy is not just an option, its widespread use is the only effective response.

Plenty of scientists will back me up on this.

(Dr) A McCormick

Kirkland Road


Reading Dr Crawford’s piece (Perspective, 5 February) in conjunction with a couple of the day’s letters, the mismatch between reasoned evidence-based debate and emotional assertions was quite clear.

Dr Crawford first rightly emphasised the essential need for evidence-based arguments about our future, yet immediately tripped himself up by 
referring to our “natural resources and other advantages” – just an unevidenced standard party line – as is his “job-creating powers of independence”.

One letter asserts that the renewable energy policy coupled with “clean-burn fossil fuels” is the way forward, but neglects to say that wave and tidal schemes are likely to stay woefully costly for very few watts of electricity, and that coal gas and oil power stations all produce carbon dioxide, in itself a nice, clean gas loved by green plants, but climate-change activists will want it sequestered by carbon capture and storage as yet unavailable at anywhere near affordability.

Another letter states that our leader turns Parliament’s Question Time into an evasive speech-making exercise; this seems to have a semblance of truth, but does not exactly contribute evidence for or against our two positions.

Perhaps we really should base our expectations on the Borgen actress’s portrayal of a national leader – entirely fictional but that is where now, it seems, a role model is sought.

Joe Darby