The failure of world leaders to agree targets to cut climate pollution at the Copenhagen summit will lead to a global catastrophe and threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people, leading scientists are warning. As the fraught negotiations in the Danish capital ended in chaos, acrimony and recriminations yesterday, experts agreed there was now little hope of keeping the average rise in global temperatures below 2 C. They predicted instead that temperatures would increase by 3 C or more, bringing widespread flooding, major droughts and mass migrations, along with serious food and water shortages. “It really couldn’t be any more serious,” said James Curran, the director of science at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and one of the Scottish government’s top advisors on climate change. “It’s staggeringly frightening and deeply disappointing that Copenhagen has failed. This is extremely dangerous for Scotland and the world.” A temperature rise of 3 C could trigger runaway climate change that will be impossible to reverse, he argued.
Sunday Herald 20th Dec 2009 more >>
Joss Garman in Copenhagen.
Independent on Sunday 20th Dec 2009 more >>
The Council of Economic Advisers, led by Sir George Mathewson’s will consider building new nuclear power stations as part of Scotland’s future energy generation mix, despite the SNP government’s opposition to the energy source it has branded “dangerous” and “expensive”. Mathewson, a former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, insisted that nuclear power would be discussed in the council’s annual report next year. A report by consultants Wood Mackenzie, commissioned by the committee and published last week, failed to include nuclear power as a potential option for Scotland, sparking fury among opposition politicians. The SNP government has been long opposed to the creation of any new nuclear power stations. The existing stations at Torness and Huntington B will be decommissioned in 2023 and 2016 respectively.
Sunday Times 20th Dec 2009 more >>
In the UK, the consortium looking to build new nuclear reactors at Sellafield in the North West of England have said that ‘a final decision on whether to build a 3,200 megawatt nuclear plant in the U.K. won’t be taken before 2015’. 2015? If this is the nuclear industry moving with haste to help in the battle against catastrophic climate change we’d hate to see it moving slowly. Never fear, however. In (another) fit of wild optimism, Ignacio Galan, Chairman of Spanish energy group and consortium partner Iberdrola SA said ‘the new nuclear plant in the U.K. won’t be operational until 2018 to 2020’. That’s a decision made in 2015 and then two state-of-the-art nuclear reactors built and operational three-to-five years later?
Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 18th Dec 2009 more >>
The Obama administration’s classified review of nuclear weapons policy will for the first time make thwarting nuclear-armed terrorists a central aim of American strategic nuclear planning, according to senior Pentagon officials. When completed next year, the Nuclear Posture Review will order the entire government to focus on countering nuclear terrorists whether armed with rudimentary bombs, stolen warheads or devices surreptitiously supplied by a hostile state as a task equal to the traditional mission of deterring a strike by major powers or emerging nuclear adversaries.
New York Times 18th Dec 2009 more >>