The Future, Powered by?

Feature story - 6 September, 2002
While government delegates returned home from the failed Earth Summit, some of the dirty industry lobbyists that ensured that no action was taken by the Summit hot footed it to the World Petroleum Congress taking place in Rio de Janeiro. Yes, the same place where 10 years ago the first Earth Summit brought hope that finally the world was waking up to see the damage we are causing to the world's environment.

Activists hung a banner across the arms of the Christ statue on Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro to protest against the world leaders' failure to secure the future of the planet.

Obviously they are very happy having prevented the summit from agreeing any targets for clean green renewable energy. The oil industry can continue to make billions of dollars of profit while ignoring the growing devastation caused by climate change.

While oil industry fat cats are busy patting themselves on the back, our activists were making clear that society will not allow this dinosaur of an industry to continue business as usual letting the planet burn.

Brazil suggested 10 percent of the world's energy should come fromclean renewable sources by 2010. This proposal was shot down in flames by the 'axis of oil' lead by the US government and its backers including ExxonMobil and other oil producing states.

To demonstrate the huge disappointment with the failure of the world's governments to save the planet, our activists hung a banner stating "Rio+10 = 2nd Chance?" across the arms of the famous Christ the Redeemer landmark in Rio. Ten years after the first Earth Summit in Rio we are still no closer to preventing the destruction of the planet.

A few of the nuclear industry lobbyists must have had the smiles wiped off their faces pretty quickly after returning to the news from the UK. The recently privatized British Energy is facing bankruptcy after losses of £500 million last year. Ironically the UK government split this supposedly 'profitable' part of the nuclear industry during privatization from the less economic sector of the industry. BE's huge debts pale when compared to the £2 billion in losses last year of government owned British Nuclear Fuels.

These new losses show that despite 50 years of huge government subsidies the UK nuclear industry is not only unprofitable, but requires massive cash injections of billions just to keep going.

Our activists, and other protestors, will be showing the widespread public opposition to this unsafe, polluting and uneconomic industry in the coming weeks with a protest flotilla in the Irish sea against a shipment of nuclear fuel. The shipment is being returned to Sellafield reprocessing plant from Japan after safety documents for the shipment were forged.

With nuclear power in crisis and the effects of our reliance on fossil fuels becoming undeniable, with more floods, storms and droughts, it is surely time for the winds of change to usher in a new clean green energy future for the world in the 21st century. Governments and industry do not want to change so we need to make it happen for the good of the planet.

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