Explosive decisions!!

Well, I’ve just heard the latest (I doubt it will be the last) word in public insanity. 

On the news today, accompanying updates on the Governments latest proposal to fill up the country with nuclear power plants, comes a small segment looking at the good people of Bradwell, Essex, home to an ex-nuclear power plant. The governments proposal has meant that the 2nd generation power plant which has been left to rot since it decommissioned in 2002 will now be replaced by a shiny new one and the good people of Bradwell are happy. Citing that the plant was always a good economic and community bedrock they have said they will welcome the plant back. Fare enough, you might say, it was a good provider before and though it might explode and take out the town… country… planet… it at least brought life to the small community. Now here my understanding fails on 2 counts. First there is proof that plant has leaked nuclear waste and secondly good people of Bradwell have forcefully opposed the construction of a wind farm on the near by site.  

Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps nuclear power is the future – certainly the government believes it is. Perhaps I should go with the commonly held belief that if it’s not on my door step it doesn’t matter – lord knows that would be an easier approach. But I could not stand in front of the cancer producing monster that is nuclear power, look in to the eyes of the slathering beast and welcome it with open arms. Not whilst fighting a natural non-polluting alternative vying for the same site. 

Yes, I concede that a nuclear plant will produce more power then a wind farm would and I agree that nuclear power is less polluting then the fossil fuel alternative… but lets not get carried away here! Sure nuclear power produce less CO2 but let’s keep an eye on the wider issue here people!! This is nuclear power we’re talking about here… n.u.c.l.e.a.r! The same energy as  produced by Chernobyl, the same energy that was harnessed to cause the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That has left pain and heart ache for generations in its wake. So let’s not get too hung up on CO2 emissions. We’re talking about building something that could kill millions if it went wrong – something that could end life on earth!  

So stuff CO2 emissions, the economy and the community spirit of a small Essex community – nuclear energy should be the last resort not the first!!  Read more about the UK politics of Nuclear power (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7179579.stm) 

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The Cats Confidence

Cats have supreme confidence, a cat knows when it walks in the room that it owns it and everything and everyone in it. And I envy them for that!! “Incompetent” is probably the best to describe how I normally feel especially when dealing with new subjects or a new job. There’s so much to learn, to understand – the history, the politics, the theorems – and usually no time to get any of it committed to memory. So, for most things, I’ve found you have to hit the ground running.  

Which means that I have spent a large portion of the last few months, and if I analyse it my life, feeling like an unprepared infantry man stationed on the front line. I have attempted to follow my orders but have found that what ever has been barked across a noisy, war-torn battlefield difficult to comprehend. I have my equipment, which I know the name of if not always how to use it. And I have my companions, who all seem to know their roles and who have sprinted off to their posts. Leaving me in the middle of nowhere, probably holding a hand grenade and wondering what this funny pin thing is and what may happen if I pulled it off. And that’s where I am at the moment. Holding a metaphorical hand grenade in one hand and it’s pin in the other, standing in the middle of a battle, feeling out of place, uncomfortable in my new fatigues and in all likelihood needing a pee.  

Of course I’m talking metaphorically here. I’m not really in literal combat. It just feels like it, like everything on a day to day basis is survival. And what I have spent a lot of time considering is, how did I get here? And more importantly why does no one else seem to spend their days wondering round in a confused haze, desperately running to catch up with everyone else? But the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve noticed that those I’ve seen as supremely confident slip up. Often they will react much as a cat does when it falls off the window ledge, banister or sofa cushion, they will readjust themselves and give you a look that says “I meant to do that! It was all part of my master plan.” But occasionally with some people you see the facade of complete competence slip and for a second I glimpse the person behind it. The person whose calm exterior is, like mine, deteriorating rapidly. That inner soul with scared eyes and a trembling lip. And as our eyes meet over the burnt cake, deleted file or flooded kitchen, I see a glint of fear in their eyes. Not a fear of the consequences of getting it  wrong or of how they’ll put it right. But simply knowing that I know their secret, that they are infact as confused, scared and incompetent as I am and a fear that I might tell!!  

So, my conclusion is this; no one really knows what they’re doing! Perhaps there are those who are bright enough to not get as deep in to the situations as I do – who make damn sure they never see the front line – or who catch enough key information to survive – to hear what the grenade pin does before they pull it off – or those who don’t give a rats arse about what they’ve been told and duck for cover regardless.  But I think, on the whole, most people simply do what everyone else does. The only real difference between them and me is that they pretend they know what they’re doing and when they do something, they do it, like a cat, with enough panache and confidence to make it look like that’s exactly what they were meant to do.