In the absence of a major vehicle pile up in Fishwick I, as usual, took consolation in the letter columns of the Berwickshire
Professor Robb's polemic is in the wake of the SNP victory in the Scottish elections-the party's platform included the doing away with of nuclear power generation in Scotland. SIR, - Now the die is cast and Scotland has voted overwhelmingly against the building of any new nuclear power stations.
The electorate may not have noticed, but that is what has happened. The terrible, incalculable, risks that nuclear power presents will be reduced and eventually eliminated. No more sleepless nights, waiting for the news of a disaster. No fear for future generations.
Thankfully too, our oil and gas will soon be used up and we shall be able to lead the world in evolving from a carbon based economy to one which will be virtually carbon free. Maybe our economy may shrink a little but, with our stoic approach to wealth and worldly comforts, that will matter not at all.
The wonderful future that awaits us without energy, except that from wind farms, will become an example to the world. No longer shall we indulge ourselves in centrally heated homes; instead we shall rely on the revival of the woollen industry to provide us with warm clothing. The porridge will become our staple diet providing roughage and calories and avoiding the energy wasteful process of feeding beasts for food. We may put on a bit of weight but think of the carbon we shall save by refraining from importing fruits and vegetables that we cannot grow ourselves.Our virtue may be rewarded - we may earn a special Scottish climate, with the gales tamed by the windmills and our bit of the atmosphere carbon free to the stratosphere. There could even be a real tectonic shift. As the windmills respond to the prevailing westerlies, we could at last sever the 410 million year union with England and drift away into the North Sea and attain true independence for ever.
Is this really what we voted for?
Few of those elected explicitly supported meeting the coming energy crisis by replacing our existing nuclear plant and building new plant to meet the needs of future generations. However, in private, I believe there is a growing appreciation, even among those supposedly anti-nuclear, that conventional energy prices will rise rapidly in the next decade, that supplies of oil and gas will be used not only as economic but also as political weapons.
As our conventional coal and nuclear plants reach the ends of their lives and the oil and gas run out, will it be woollies and cold gruel while we whistle for the wind, or, unworthily, health, wealth and comfort supported by our own independent nuclear energy supplies?
Much more important in our daily lives than a referendum on independence would be one on nuclear power.
PROFESSOR FENTON ROBB,
We in the Old Manse are prepared for a Scottish post nuclear era. The wood burning stove is poised to be multi tasked, an unlimited supply of blankets and fleeces, wind up torches, ditto radio,(and the clever Mr Bayliss is working on a similar mechanism for computers) food storage no problem it being colder outside the fridge than in. So that takes care of the summers.
And of course, we and Mr Salmond share one consolation. If the lights do start going out all over the Merse
WE can import the stuff