The Heart of the Matter

George Monbiot, The Guardian 9 October 2012.

This is by far the most interesting and challenging debate about nuclear power I have had to date.


By George Monbiot and Theo Simon, over the course of eight months.

George’s note: This debate began with an email I sent to Theo, which I did not intend to publish. Theo wrote a powerful response and posted the correspondence on his site. I then replied, and Theo has now answered my second letter. Here is the whole debate.

I have had many discussions about nuclear power since changing my mind about the technology: by correspondence, online, in person and in the broadcast media. But this has been, by a long way, the best. Unlike so many others, Theo Simon has directly addressed the points I have made, rather than attacking me for things I have not said (see this for a prize example of the latter tendency). He has engaged seriously with the dilemmas we confront. In other words, he has listened before responding: I wish more people would. Just as tellingly, he has remained courteous and friendly throughout: a rare enough quality in online debates. I hope I have responded in the same spirit…

(Editor’s note: This is a really excellent article, whether you are pro- or anti-nuclear power. It is quite long, but well-written and logically argued by both sides.)