I don’t know if we should develop nuclear power plants here or not.
I think there are valid reasons why we should, and I think there are equally valid reasons why we shouldn’t. I don’t know. I think we need a debate on it, for certain, but right now, I just don’t know, and why would I when even the committed guys are beginning to have doubts?
We all admired James Lovelock, the founder of Gaia theory, but even he thinks now that we’ve fucked the Earth up so much we have no choice but to go nuclear, even if we don’t like it. He thinks we’ve left it too late to do anything else. Unlike him, I don’t have a deep knowledge of the subject, and so I still don’t know for sure.
But I’ll tell you who does know, in case you needed a bit of certainty in a hurry. Bertie Ahern knows, that’s who. This is what he told a conference on the issue:
“I’m opposed to nuclear. I’ve stressed that in the DÃƒ¡il as late as yesterday. I’ve never believed in the merits of it from an environmental point of view or from a sustainable energy point of view.
We must consider all the alternatives that are available to us, including the development of alternative technologies and promoting the uptake of more energy-efficient options.”
No room for doubt there.
Bertie is opposed to nuclear power, so that’s all right then. We won’t be building any nuclear power stations, and we won’t be importing any electricity from Britain either, if it was generated at a nuclear station.
Isn’t that right?
It is of course. We have incredibly high principles here in Ireland. We have such high principles that we can afford to be “neutral” in Ireland. No war here! Down with war! All right, so we’re protected as part of the EU by the military power of Britain and France, but still, Down with War!
The same incredibly high principles changed our constitution to include a ban on abortion – remember? And what a roaring sucess that was. Not a single Irish woman has had an abortion in twenty years thanks to SPUC and SPIC and SPOCK. Not one. So that’s all right too. No abortion here, and no nuclear power either.
If there’s even the hint that any of the electricity we buy from Britain was produced at one of those places, we’ll send it back. We’ll have inspectors to check samples of electricity as they come across the border. Take back your filthy nucular electric, ya Brit fuckers! Our forefathers died in the GPO to stop filthy Brit Nukes. Fuck it, we’ll have nuclear sniffer dogs. I know what we can do: let’s write a ban on nuclear power into the constitution, and that will solve the whole thing. It will just go away and we won’t have to worry about it at all at all at all.
You might be interested in what Sustainable Energy Ireland made of Bertie’s diktat. SEI was set up by the government as Ireland’s national energy agency to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy, so you’d imagine they might know something about the subject. But no. Their head of energy policy development, commenting on Bertie’s statement, said Ireland would have to look at nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels from 2020 on.
You see? Fucking experts – what do they know?
Now, as we’re on the subject of power, I’ve been thinking about the power of belief. To the best of my knowledge, Bertie has no formal training in anything whatsoever, not that this is in any way to demean him.
Many people have no training in anything whatsoever, and more luck to them, but they don’t all come out with absolute statements of belief on subjects they know fuck-all about, and they aren’t all Taoiseach either.
Sorry. Sorry, let me correct that statement.
Did I say Bertie had no training? My apologies. Doesn’t his CV claim that he attended the London School of Economics? Of course it does. It’s just that he didn’t enrol for any courses there or attend any lectures or sit any exams or receive any academic awards, but apart from that, he did go to the London School of Economics where, no doubt, they teach nuclear physics. So, armed with this formidable academic arsenal, Bertie has vetoed a national debate on nuclear power.
He hasn’t said “I’m not convinced about all this Nucular stuff”.
He has said “Fuck off. I’m Bertie and yiz are not talkin’ about Nucular, full bleedin stop!”
This is a deeply impressive level of conviction, and it seems there isn’t anything Bertie is unable to believe, once he puts his mind to it. For example, as we’re talking about energy, and resources, he has no problem believing it’s a good thing to give away all our natural gas to a private consortium, at no cost at all. Not a penny! There you go, lads, take it all, and if anyone tries to stop you, we’ll fuckin jail them. He also believes it’s good for us as a nation to buy back our own gas from Shell at full market price, once they’ve extracted it from beneath our coastal waters.
Here’s the very peculiar part: the Norwegian government has a substantial share in this consortium, and is bound by law to invest all the profits for the good of its citizens. Hence we have the surreal situation where Irish gas is extracted without payment to us, taken away, sold back to us, its original owners, and the profits invested for the Norwegian citizens. Bertie believes that this is the best deal achievable in the circumstances. He believes that nobody would be interested in bringing the gas ashore unless we give it to them free, even though energy is such a precious resource that all future wars will be fought for gas and oil as reserves dwindle.
I might just point out in passing that this deal with the Shell consortium was signed by Minister Ray Burke, as fine and upstanding a convicted crook as you could hope to meet.
You think all that was an impressive act of believing? That’s nothing. Bertie is also the man who believes Condoleezza Rice when she tells him that no “extraordinary rendition” flights passed through Shannon. I love that expression though. It reminds me of weddings. Did Uncle Phonsie recite Gunga Din? Yeah – it was an extraordinary rendition.”
Anyhow, this all leads me to my suggestion. Since Bertie is able to believe – without considering the arguments for and against – that nuclear power is unviable, why not get him to believe some more things? For instance, we could have him believe that global warming is not happening.
Go out there, Bertie, and just believe. Use the training you got at the London School of Atmospherics. It’ll go away. It will, I promise you.
Global warming will reverse itself and everything will be hunky dory again, thanks to Bertie’s belief.
Thanks very much for fixing me.
The Gulf Stream.
We can send him to Africa, where he can believe there’s no water shortage in Kenya, no AIDS epidemic and no corrupt leaders anywhere on the continent. Bertie’s belief will sort the whole thing out, and all the problems of Africa will go away, once Bertie chooses to believe they don’t exist. He can deploy the unique insights he gleaned at the London School of Africomics. There are no despots in Africa, none of its problems were caused by Europe, America or Russia, and it’s ok anyway: we’re on top of the problem.
Bertie could be a true global ambassador, out there among the suffering people of the earth, believing their problems away, just like he can with nuclear power.