Saturday Ramble: Sand castles in the air, Nuclear depowerment, Guardian does religion
Some politicians, such as Nick Clegg, have developed a serious neurosis about carbon. Not a week goes by without a hand-wringing plea to “de-carbonise” the planet.
Now I distinctly remember our biology master at school explaining that living creatures can be based on one of two elements: silicon or carbon. The Earth has plenty of sand on its surface — the Sahara desert, Bournemouth beach, for example — so we could easily be based on silicon.
However, good old Mother Earth chose the carbon route from the beginning, so all living creatures, and the entire biosphere, are built around — shock, horror! — the “c” word.
In that context, the word “decarbonise” represents the height of scientific illiteracy — sand castles in the air.
The current kerfuffle about our future energy policy, is reaching ludicrous proportions. There is a history here.
The Labour Party can always be relied upon to pile disaster upon disaster in the pursuit of a ringing soundbite. Their recent unlamented three periods in office desecrated all policy areas, including energy.
Nuclear power, in which Britain excelled in the 1950s, was wound down to such an extent that we are now reduced to sending the Chancellor of the Exchequer halfway round the world to a country of mainly peasant farmers, which has only recently part-industrialised, to help build a range of nuclear powered electricity generators. The French will be the other partner, much to their glee.
Our new electricity industry will be constructed by the Chinese Communist party and a French Socialist Government. The Miliband brothers should never be forgiven for what they did in office, especially Ed at the Department for Climate Change and Other Oddball Ideas.
Labour left nothing to plug the looming energy shortages in the coming decade. A Conservative-led administration, which itself pursued “green” solutions to the point of insanity — remember David Cameron’s little wind turbine on his house and his “hug a husky” campaign? — must now face reality.
Wouldn’t it be better to throw some serious money at rebuilding our own nuclear industry and inviting a few Americans to give us a hand?
I’ve never been a natural reader of The Guardian newspaper, but I do rather like its online Belief pages.
True, some of the articles retain that unmistakable academic, leftish tone that runs through the rest of the paper. But we should be grateful for small mercies.
The ubiquitous Giles Fraser, as “The Loose Canon”, pops up once a week with varying contributions from laments on his depression to the usual Anglican doubts about whether anything in Christianity is actually true. I thought that was my parish.
Michael Mcghee, an academic at Liverpool University, is currently writing a rather good exposition of Buddhism under the title Is Buddhism a Religion?. It obviously is, though there are strong arguments against, and Gotama himself would certainly have denied it. A topic worthy of an airing.
My problem with these pages is that good, fresh copy is rather scarce. Dipping in two or three times a week is probably the optimal approach.
It would be worth a go for the Telegraph to prove it could do better. After all, there’s nothing like a decent bit of competition.
Coming up: Mystology: A different way of looking at the world. Also a website, mystology.com.