Green campaigners have offered a £100 reward for the arrest of environmental activist and journalist George Monbiot for “crimes against the environment and humanity.”
His support of nuclear power has earned the wrath of an anti-nuclear campaign group in the Lake District which is trying to have him arrested for his “criminal irresponsibility.”
Oh dear. Where should our sympathies lie?
On the one hand it’s one of those Judaean People’s Front v People’s Front of Judaea factional squabbles that the environmental hard-left does so well and which really we should applaud and relish in a delicious, “if only they could both lose” Schadenfreude kind of way.
On the other, well, even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day – and here is poor George being somewhat unfairly targeted for having taken a position which is not only brave and principled but also, for once, puts him on the side of the angels.
Nuclear, after all, is the way to go – especially thorium – if we are to enjoy a secure, long-term energy future. Setting aside the CO2 implications (like anyone with any sense cares about that nonsense), thorium is so energy dense that just 5,000 tonnes would be sufficient to power the world’s entire energy needs for one year. Nuclear generally, is also a lot more environmentally friendly than many of the alternatives. For example, thanks to its post-Fukushima moratorium on nuclear, Germany has now become increasingly reliant on lignite – brown coal – one of the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.
The main argument in favour of an attempted citizen’s arrest on Monbiot would be the comedy value. Monbiot is not noted for his sense of humour – indeed, whenever I think of him, the image that comes to mind is that of the serried Puritan inquisitors in that painting And When Did You Last See Your Father? I think George is one of the ones in the black hat. Bob Ward is the bovine guard with his hand on the shoulder of the crying little girl. So if a camera crew would be there to capture the moment for YouTube I expect the whole thing would quickly go viral.
Problem is, despite everything – he once wrote “debating Delingpole is like shooting rats in a bucket” – I have a soft spot for Monbiot, a bit like Milton did when he created the character of Satan in Paradise Lost. If the Monbiots of this world ever gained real power – which thankfully they never will – I’ve little doubt that the purges they would conduct against “climate deniers” and their ilk would be merciless and thorough. Personally, however, I have always believed in magnanimity in victory and it seems to me that harrying George Monbiot is a cruel sport not unakin to setting terriers onto a manky, dribbling and possibly insane old bear chained to a ragged staff.
I think this another of those few areas on which George Monbiot and I would agree: tormenting the already badly afflicted is quite, quite wrong.