Mark Lynas has published a remarkable interview with Mike Childs, the head of policy, science and research for Friends of the Earth UK. The article includes a full transcript of the audio interview so that people cannot claim that Lynas has taken Mr. Childs’s views out of context.
The bottom line is that FOE UK – the organization that nurtured such famous antinuclear activists as Amory Lovins – is considering a change in its official policy toward the development of new nuclear power plants. The policy shift has not yet been made and the group is still continuing its current campaign against the development of new nuclear power plants, but it is also conducting what Mr. Childs promises will be a thorough academic review. That review will be conducted by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester.
Childs claims that FOE UK is an evidence based organization that whose highest priority is taking action to avert the potential damage that would come from continuing to emit our current quantities of greenhouse gases.
If that is a true statement, I am pretty sure that FOE UK will come out strongly in favor of new nuclear power plant construction as an important tool in the fight against climate change. Here is Mark Lynas’s concluding paragraph:
I do not want to suggest that a reversal of the anti-nuclear policy is more likely as an outcome of the policy review than a restatement of the existing policy – I have no insider information here, and Childs was at pains not to speculate. But the mere fact that such an open-minded exercise is being carried out at all is surely a great credit to Friends of the Earth’s current leadership given the dangers involved in any possible challenge to green orthodoxy on the nuclear issue. However, as Childs concluded, policies should always be re-examined, “because the world is changing and evidence is changing” – and Friends of the Earth is an “evidence-based organisation”.
Watch this space.