Coinciding with the publication of arguably the most consequential legislation in the history of the state — the Climate Action Bill — the Green Party has descended into another bout of internecine fighting. Last year, no sooner were the Greens back in government than a bid was launched by deputy leader Catherine Martin to oust party leader Eamon Ryan. At the same time Saoirse McHugh, a rising star who had narrowly failed to win a seat in the European elections, quit the organisation and is now involved with An Rabharta Glas — Green Left — which aims to offer an “eco-socialist alternative to capitalism”. Now we have Hazel Chu, the Green Party lord mayor of Dublin, seeking to be elected to the Seanad as an independent because her party won’t back her as a candidate. Her decision to go it alone is causing ructions, since she is also the chairwoman of the Greens. By an 11-5 margin, the party’s TDs and senators have asked her to step aside as chairwoman for the duration of her candidacy, which Chu is refusing to do. Instead of engaging in civil war, the Greens should be doing a lap of honour because the Climate Action Bill is one of the most radical and far-reaching of its kind anywhere in the world. No other country has committed, in law, to cutting carbon emissions by 51 per cent by the end of 2030. Given the sheer lack of realism behind our climate change targets, we need to start thinking about something so unthinkable we literally have legislation prohibiting it: nuclear power. We won’t go nuclear because of accidents such as Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, but the technology has become far safer since then, as the science has developed. Nuclear power has a much lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels, produces cheaper electricity, is more efficient, and uses less land than wind farms or solar panels.
Times 4th April 2021 read more »