The war of words between the now pro-nuclear George Monbiot and decidedly anti nuclear green veteran Jonathan Porritt continues. Having claimed that Monbiot was part of the problem for uncritically swallowing nuclear industry research, and ignoring both the cost reductions of solar and the high insurance costs of nuclear, Porritt is now at the receiving end of similar accusations from Monbiot. Over at The Guardian again, Monbiot argues that environmentalists' obligation is to cut carbon emissions, not support renewables, and that nuclear must play a part in that equation. And, he argues, Porritt's figures show exactly the kind of cherry picking that he himself was accused of:
Porritt warns that "considerable scepticism is warranted in assessing the reliability of estimates from the industry". He's right, and this is why I avoid them in favour of figures from independent bodies. If only he did the same. He relies for his estimates of solar costs on a study (by Ernst & Young) commissioned by the UK Solar Trade Association. Worse still, the study's predictions for the reduction in solar costs come from "UK solar industry data". If ever there was a case for "considerable scepticism in assessing the reliability of estimates from the industry", here it is.
As John noted in his post on the difference between an environmentalist and a climate denier, we all have our cultural filters and belief systems. We should all spend some time assessing our own before weighing in on a debate as important as this one,