David Blackburn

Monbiot’s mission

Monbiot’s mission
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George Monbiot is undergoing an astounding and very public transformation. Last week he overcame the habit of a lifetime and fully endorsed nuclear power as a safe energy source. He went further this week, attacking the anti-nuclear movement for perpetuating lies and ignoring the consensus around scientific facts.

He levels special criticism at the allegedly lax scholarship of Dr Helen Caldicott, a decorated primate of the anti-nuclear communion.  He also debunks the myths surrounding the disaster at Chernobyl and laments that campaigners have abused that tragedy by exaggerating its consequences.

Monbiot’s tone is neither arch nor righteous. Rather, he’s disappointed and the piece has a dignified poignancy. He concludes:     

‘Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate-change deniers, against which the green movement has struggled valiantly, calling science to its aid. It is distressing to discover that when the facts don't suit them, members of this movement resort to the follies they have denounced.

We have a duty to base our judgments on the best available information. This is not only because we owe it to other people to represent the issues fairly, but also because we owe it to ourselves not to squander our lives on fairytales. A great wrong has been done by this movement. We must put it right.’