Monthly Archives: April 2011

Going nuclear?

Nuclear power has become an increasingly hot topic over the last two years, with positions shifting all over the place. A number of dyed-in-the-wool Greens have recently become converts, including George Monbiot, Mark Lynas  and Stewart Brand.  Not surprisingly, longstanding critics of environmentalists The Breakthrough Institute have been in hot debate on the topic in the US. And of course events at Fukushima have prompted lots of furious exchanges, including this from Jeremy Leggett and this from John Vidal.

Political Climate dips its toe into these stormy waters with some trepidation (which may be surprising given that we have been accused recently of being smug!). So what I offer here is in the spirit of a thought experiment. Given that there is a lot of uncertainty around the future of the  nuclear “renaissance”, there may still be a bit of time for this kind of reflection. Continue reading


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Back to the Future of Multilateralism

Back in the day when the dominant global negotiation focussed on trade liberalisation rather than climate protection, the then US trade representative (and now World Bank President) Robert Zoellick ruffled European feathers by appearing ambivalent as to the future of the WTO process. Even in 2001, before the ill-fated Doha ‘development’ round of talks was launched, the US made it clear that bilateral or regional agreements would serve the US well in the absence of successful multilateralism.

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