Sunday, April 30, 2006

Secrecy and lies vs transparency and democracy

The public relations campaign here in Australia is still heating up to make nuclear power more palatable to us. Now, Peter Costello has weighed in on the debate.

I found what Alex Steffen at Worldchanging blog said this about Chernobyl to mark its 20th anniversary the most insightful approach to this struggle for public opinion:
No technology is in itself trustworthy, and changing the world demands widespread understanding of and democratic control over science and its fruits. The Chernobyl disaster should have seared into our minds not only a disgust for radioactive pollution, but also a hatred of secrecy and elite control. [Via BoingBoing]
In Australia, there is nothing that can convince me that the Howard government is capable of being free of "secrecy and elite control". The litany of lies and misdirection would be too long to chronicle here (but I've made some attempt elsewhere), but are essential to consider when assessing whether we can trust this government, or any state it wishes to sell uranium to, to administer a regime of nuclear power generation. I say we cannot.

Importantly, the capacity for science (and scientific argument) to be co-opted and controlled by government is demonstrated in their manipulation of climate change science debates for their own fossil fuel ends.

As long as we are not guaranteed "democratic control over science and its fruits", we should deny this (or any) government the ability to introduce nuclear power in Australia. And refuse to guarantee its place in power.



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