Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Climate benefits claimed for Sizewell “C” are fake

My submission to the Planning Inspectorate public consultation on Sizewell “C” is below: The so called “Sustainability appraisal key findings” on nuclear benefits generally and Sizewell C specifically to combatting climate change, as presented on page one of the Sustainability Statement are fake. The Applicant asserts that Sizewell C ‘s CO2 equivalent emissions would be “similar to wind and lower than solar ”. This is untrue. Nuclear power will not provide any useful dent in curbing harmful emissions, as when the carbon footprint of its full uranium ‘fuel chain’ is considered- from uranium mining, milling, enrichment ( which is highly energy intensive), fuel fabrication, irradiation, radioactive waste conditioning, storage, packaging to final disposal – nuclear power's CO2 emissions are between 10 to 18 times greater than those from renewable energy technologies, according to a recent study by Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, California. (https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf) If the applicant is either so incompetent that it has not checked the figures it presents on carbon emission benefits , or has checked them, but has dishonestly presented them, either case disqualifies the applicant to be trust to build or operate a nuclear power plant. In addition, the building and operating nuclear power plants is one of the least effective technology-based ways to address the climate change crisis, due to its costs, complexity and construction times. Its opportunity cost is severely negative. I would recommend the Applicants be required to read and absorb the arguments made by Amory Lovins (Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Rocky Mountain Institute, Snowmass, Colorado, U.S.) in his 4,000 word chapter “Climate Change and Nuclear Power “ , found in the 2019 version of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, which comprehensively demolishes any evidence-based arguments on the utility of nuclear to help address climate change. (see: https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2019-HTML.html#ccanp) I also find that the supplementary “Sustainability Performance of Associated Development “totally ignores the in-situ environmental impact on communities where uranium is mined and milled. The out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach is immoral. I find this an unconscionable omission in a so called sustainability assessment, and disqualifies the document as inadequate, as it is incomplete and utterly fails in its addressing the significantly globally much wider deleterious environmental impact of the uranium fuel supply chain. A full sustainability assessment including these aspects is needed, and the applicant should be required to produce a comprehensive statement on the front end of the nuclear fuel chain. I recommend that the applicant starts with the recently published Uranium Atlas, especially the Chapter headed “A RESPONSIBILITY ABANDONED” available in English at: https://beyondnuclearinternational.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/uraniumatlas_2020.pdf Offsite local development means much more than local roads or regional amenities. It is shameful that the applicant is not aware of this. I have also been unable to find any document addressing security in the voluminous material presented by the Applicant. No operating license could ever be granted unless the security dimension of the project were fully examined in detail.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Chinese Nuclear Junk

Letter sent to The Morning Star newspaper: Most of Carlos Martinez's article "We must work to prevent a potentially disastrous new cold war," 24 September) made much sense. But I take issue with his assertion that the rise of China poses "no threat whatsoever to ordinary people of the West." It does, in a particular way. China General Nuclear Corporation, owned by the Chinese-State, wants to build a giant 25 billion pound nuclear power plant at Bradwell, on the Blackwater Estuary, in Essex, around 70 miles for central London as the crow flies. Beijing wants to go into a perverse political partnership with this terrible Tory Government, against popular wishes. Already, local councils have voted against the project. Tony Benn, who was in charge of nuclear power in the UK in the mid 1970s as Labour Energy Secretary - and who was initially a big atomic enthusiast, until he recognized just how many lies the industry told him about safety and discovered UK "civilian" plutonium being diverted to military misuse, after being exported to the US - had a family home near to Bradwell. Had he been alive today, I am sure Tony would have led the local fight against this nuclear monstrosity being foisted onto a rural community, bringing avoidable dangers into its midst. A local campaign, Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) has been set up, and has exposed how if this massive atomic white elephant were ever built at the tipoff the estuary, it would end up being submerged as the North Sea level rises during the next century, submerging the reactor and all the radioactive waste stored on the vast site. The Morning Star should not n be giving support to this reckless, regressive project

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Educators should not promote fake news on climate benefits of nuclear power

Letter submitted to East Anglian Daily Times newspaper: I was very interested to read your article on “Suffolk business and education leaders write to PM urging Sizewell C go-ahead,” (EADT, 22 September 2020; https://www.eadt.co.uk/business/business-and-education-leaders-supporting-sizewell-c-1-6848825) reporting that 30 Suffolk business and education leaders have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the government to recognise the “urgency” of approving the Sizewell C project. Their letter reportedly states, inter alia, that the 30 said they wanted to highlight their “support for Sizewell C and the opportunity it offers to tackle the climate emergency and progress to ‘Net Zero.’” The signatories include Nikos Savvas, principal, West Suffolk College; Viv Gillespie, principal, Suffolk New College; Professor Helen Langton, vice-chancellor, University of Suffolk; Stuart Rimmer, principal and CEO, East Coast College; Daniel Mayhew, headteacher, Alde Valley Academy; Philip Hurst, headteacher, Thomas Mills, Framlingham;and Roger Fern, chair of governors, Suffolk New College. I was very surprised to read senior educators putting their name publicly to demonstrably inaccurate information. It should be very concerning to parents that local students will be influenced by such false arguments. Nuclear power will not provide any useful dent in curbing harmful emissions, as when the carbon footprint of its full uranium ‘fuel chain’ is considered- from uranium mining, milling, enrichment ( which is highly energy intensive), fuel fabrication, irradiation, radioactive waste conditioning, storage, packaging to final disposal – nuclear power's CO2 emissions are between 10 to 18 times greater than those from renewable energy technologies, according to a recent study by Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, California. (https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf) In an international webinar held on September 11th by the global nuclear lobbying group, the World Nuclear Association, one nuclear industry leader, Jay Wileman, President and CEO of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy - the US arm of the Japanese corporation - no less than five times falsely described nuclear power as “carbon-free”, a mantra he clearly believes if repeated often enough will convince politicians and the public. It will not, and seems no longer even convinces the Board and chief finance officer of his parent company in Tokyo, as Hitachi has recently cancelled its involvement in new nuclear plants in North Wales (Wylfa) and Gloucestershire (Oldbury). An important new report collectively issued by six UK Parliamentary committees on 10 September, titled “The path to net zero”, prepared by a group of scientifically selected representative British citizens named the ‘Climate Assembly’ (https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2020/september/climate-assembly-uk-new/) concluded after over six months detailed collaborative work that 46% of participants strongly disagreed nuclear could play a part towards reaching a net zero carbon economy by 2050, with a further 18% undecided. Amongst the reasons for the scepticism were “cost, safety, and issues around waste storage and decommissioning.” Local Suffolk educators should pay g heed to these arguments.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

UK Government disowns its own nuclear policy…

Below I reveal how BEIS has just disowned a chapter promoting nuclear in the UK by one of its own nuclear scientists. Read on… You wait for a major energy policy speech, and three come along at once! This week has been designated “Climate Week” by the United Nations, to co-incide with the Annual General Assembly meeting, usually held in New York, but this year due to the global Coronacrisis, ministers have made their contributions live via video-link. COP26 President and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma, used his slot to announce a series of new climate commitments (“UK kicks off Climate Week NYC with a series of ambitious climate commitments,” 21 September 2020; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-kicks-off-climate-week-nyc-with-a-series-of-ambitious-climate-commitments) Alok Sharma Meanwhile, at a related side event, another BEIS energy minister, the peer Lord Callanan, made another speech on behalf of the COP26 President Designate, Alok Sharma, to mark the launch of the COP26 Energy Transition Council, at a forum titled 'Passing the Tipping Point: the next decade of clean energy cooperation '- at a so-called Clean Energy Ministerial side event. ((“COP26 Energy Transition Council launched at Clean Energy Ministerial side event, 21 September 2020; www.gov.uk/government/speeches/cop26-energy-transition-council-launched-at-clean-energy-ministerial-side-event) Lord Callanan Lord Callanan described this event as a “ a significant milestone on the road to COP26 and particularly for the Energy Transition and Mission Innovation 2.0 campaigns,” in stressing “History shows that governments, business and civil society can all play a role in accelerating technology transitions.” The transition from horses to cars was sped forward by innovative manufacturers, road-building governments, and campaigns for safety that led to the creation of highway codes. He emphasised that “ Already we are crossing a tipping point in the power sector. Solar and wind are now cheaper than coal or gas power in two thirds of countries around the world. And it is market forces that are increasingly driving this transition. In the UK, the growth of renewables and a strong carbon price have cut coal’s share of electricity generation from 40% in 2012 to only 2% last year.” He added that he was I announcing “ a new partnership to speed progress on the way to COP26, “ named the COP26 Energy Transition Council, which will bring together leaders of the global power sector, to accelerate the transition from coal to clean power. Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy, will join COP President Alok Sharma as co-chair of the Council. Lord Callanan announced a £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility, to “help developing countries accelerate the commercialisation of clean energy technologies, supporting clean growth and a resilient recovery from COVID-19.” He went on to announce that In the UK’s Presidency of COP26, the UK Government will “bring countries together to grow the global markets for clean technologies and sustainable products in three of the sectors that contribute the most to global emissions, adding “ as we enter a new decade, we must abandon the idea that reducing global emissions is a challenge of burden sharing. The challenge, instead, is one of opportunity sharing: working together to accelerate the transition to zero emission technologies that give us cheaper energy, cleaner air, and more jobs and growth” Nadhim Zahawi, the UK's minister for business and energy, spoke at a related event, the week before, to launch a new 154-page report by the Flexible Nuclear Campaign for Nuclear-Renewables Integration (FNC) (https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy20osti/77088.pdf) from the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative. The report, ‘The Flexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems,’ was co-led by the governments of the UK Canada, Japan and the USA - with contributions from a range of companies, NGOs, and other organisations.another of the FNC report's leaders. Zahawi asserted: “Nuclear power has helped the UK to decarbonise its power generation and, in tandem with renewables, the country has cut its CO2 emissions by around 45%, adding "which is why I am so proud that the United Kingdom is one of the nine countries participating in the Flexible Nuclear Campaign, looking at how advanced nuclear can play an important role, alongside renewable energy of course, in a clean energy system" Chapter 10 of the report is co-authored by BEIS scientist, Dr Daisy Day, covers UK policy, with the following contents: U.K. Nuclear Innovation and Research Office: Experience of Flexible Nuclear and the Road to Net Zero ............................................................................................................................................... 59 10.1 Flexible Nuclear in the United Kingdom .................................................................................... 61 10.1.1 Major Energy User Local to Nuclear Plant .................................................................... 62 10.1.2 Energy Storage Systems ................................................................................................. 62 10.1.3 District Heating .............................................................................................................. 63 10.2 Historical Lessons ....................................................................................................................... 63 10.3 Modeling our Future Net Zero Energy System ........................................................................... 63 10.3.1 The CCC Report ............................................................................................................. 64 10.3.2 Energy Systems Catapult ............................................................................................... 64 10.4 The Future of Nuclear in the United Kingdom ........................................................................... 66 The conclusions under the heading ‘The Future of Nuclear in the United Kingdom’ read: “Work in the United Kingdom on achieving net zero has shown the importance of system thinking and the optionality provided by flexible supply and management of energy. Delivering flexibility has synergies with a future hydrogen economy through cogeneration and larger energy storage systems. These systems could be driven by civil nuclear reactors alongside a range of other low-carbon energy sources with the role of nuclear as part of a flexible hydrogen economy becoming much more widely explored. This has been the subject of recent modeling efforts on the U.K. energy system, and the U.K. National Nuclear Laboratory is currently leading a broad scope of work to develop the United Kingdom’s knowledge base on the techno-economics of hydrogen from nuclear energy. In particular, electricity and in the future high-temperature heat from nuclear power stations could be suitable for partnering with a range of hydrogen production technologies. There are similarities with the pumped storage systems deployed in the United Kingdom, historically, as hydrogen is proposed as a chemical energy storage medium to support interseasonal and intraday balancing of electricity supply and demand. In planning the future energy system there is learning to be taken from approaches taken in the past. Cooperation between energy supply technologies and local and national energy demands require collaboration between technology providers and regional groups, operating under market frameworks set at a government level. This not only drives the need for cost-competitive solutions, but also highlights the importance of flexibility of plant output to maximize revenues through several product lines, for example electricity, hydrogen, and heat markets. The picture for flexibility and its role in energy supply, storage, and hydrogen production in the United Kingdom is currently emerging and the precise technologies and deployment models that will comprise a future decarbonized energy system is uncertain. Commercial drivers will determine, for example, whether reactors will be deployed to deliver a single product from a dedicated system, or many; however, flexibility of energy supply from the project and the versatility of reactor technologies and the associated energy conversion systems will be crucial.” It ends with the following extraordinary Disclaimer The views expressed in Chapter 10 do not necessarily represent the views of the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and none of the information in this chapter shall constitute or form part of, or be interpreted as being or giving rise to any approved BEIS policy or policy proposal So, incredibly, we have a report, co-authored by a departmental scientist, that is both endorsed by a BEIS energy minister and disowned by the department in which he works! Nadhim Zahawi also made the UK presentation to the annual ministerial conference of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency - by video –on Monday this week, in which he said: “As we look toward COP26 in Glasgow next year, we must put climate at the heart of the recovery from COVID-19. That is why the UK has legislated for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, recognising the key role of nuclear in achieving this ambitious goal. We have committed £100 million to the development of small and advanced modular nuclear reactors and technologies, unlocking thousands of green jobs.” (UK Statement to the 64th International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference; 21 September 2020https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/uk-statement-to-the-64th-international-atomic-energy-agency-general-conference) Nadhim Zahawi At an on line forum on “Decarboniosing the UK electricity supply,” hosted by the Institute for Public Policy research (IPPR - a think tank linked the Labour Party - held on 22 September, Italian businessman, and the CEO of EDF Energy since November 2017, said that “COP26 should be a moment when the UK can shine an energy beacon…and he wondered whether the UK Government would “have the courage to launch it Small Modular Reactor (SMR) programme” there in Glasgow in November next year. Who knows just what is happening with UK nuclear policy? Endnote: Written Question on: Foreign Investment in UK: Nuclear Power Sam Terry, Labour MP for Ilford, South, asked the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if BEIS would publish the findings of the 2016 security review into overseas nuclear investment. No, came the reply from energy minister Nadhim Zahawi on 21 September 2020, who said: “For reasons of national security, I am unable to publish the security assessments produced to support the 2016 review. However, all investment involving critical infrastructure is subject to thorough scrutiny and needs to satisfy our robust legal, regulatory, and national security requirements. The Government conducted a comprehensive review of the Hinkley Point C project in 2016. The conclusions of the review were set out in a statement made by the then Secretary of State on 15th September 2016, Official Report, Column 1066.” Annex1 UK Business & Energy secretary Alok Sharma’s New York Climate Week announcements, as set out in a BEIS backgrounder. He will confirm that major new companies have joined the Race to Zero campaign to accelerate net zero commitments from businesses, cities, regions and investors, including Ford, the first US automotive company to join; LafargeHolcim, the world’s largest cement company; and global social media company Facebook. Their decision demonstrates the clear momentum behind the shift towards a decarbonised economy. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Callanan, will also be speaking at a special event on Monday, about the next decade of clean energy cooperation. Lord Callanan will announce the launch of the COP26 Energy Transition Council to bring together leaders in the power sector across politics, finance and technology to speed up the transition from coal to renewables in developing countries. The UK will chair the Council alongside the co-chair Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Together, members will drive the shift to green energy ahead of COP26. The launch of the Council comes as the UK Government announces a £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) under the UK’s International Climate Finance. This funding will help developing countries more easily access innovative clean energy technologies to foster clean growth, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage. Alok Sharma, COP26 President and UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: Climate change affects every single one of us and we all have a part to play to champion climate action ahead of COP26. Through the Energy Transition Council and the UK’s ambitious climate finance commitments, I hope to drive the transition to cleaner energies, and I urge all businesses, cities and regions to join the Race to Zero coalition. Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), said: We cannot achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement or Sustainable Development Goal 7 - access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all - without a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind. Today, just under 800 million people globally lack access to electricity and we must close these gaps with renewable, efficient and affordable solutions. The COP26 Energy Transition Council will play a leading role in supporting countries to move away from fossil fuels and unleash a prosperous, equitable and clean energy transition as they recover better from the pandemic. Ahead of COP26, the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy will support this vision, including through Energy Compacts and multi-stakeholder partnerships that aim to accelerate universal energy transition and access. Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said: Those involved in the Race to Zero have made a commitment to build that future and to achieve specific goals and will be held to those promises. The world cannot afford to be let down. Nor can this campaign become something that allows nations to defer action until a later date. It’s about needing more climate ambition and climate action now—in 2020. • Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th Mayor of New York City • Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change The event will be convened by Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, UN High Level Climate Champions and leaders of the Race to Zero campaign, in a collaboration with the Climate Group, to showcase how the economic net zero transformation is accelerating and highlight the scale of the opportunity to create good jobs, protect public health and level up society. • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can now join the SME climate hub, a toolkit which makes it easier for them to join the Race to Zero. The hub is run by the International Chamber of Commerce, Exponential Roadmap, and We Mean Business with the support of the UNFCCC. • Lord Callanan will announce the Energy Transitions Council in an event from the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI), on clean energy cooperation, where he will be joined by other Council members: International Energy Agency Executive Director, Fatih Birol, International Renewable Energy Agency Director General, Francesco La Camera, and Damilola Ogunbiyi, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All Full list of members of the Energy Transitions Council • Chair: COP26 President, Alok Sharma. Minister Kwarteng as Deputy Chair. • Co-Chair: CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All, Co-Chair of UN-Energy, Damilola Ogunbiyi • International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director, Fatih Birol • International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General, Francesco La Camera • World Bank (WB) Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, Mari Pangestu • African Development Bank (AfDB) Vice President Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Kevin Kariuki • Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President for Sustainable Development, Bambang Susantono • International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director of Enterprise, Victor Van Vuuren Funding for the Clean Energy Innovation Facility forms part of the UK Government’s International Climate Finance spend, which refers to UK aid support given to developing countries to deal with the causes of climate change and to prepare for its effects. The UK has committed at least £11.6 billion from 2021/22 to 2025/26. About Race to Zero Race to Zero is the international campaign for a healthy, resilient zero carbon recovery. Led by the UNFCCC Champions for Climate Action, it aims to bring together net zero commitments from cities, businesses and investors across the climate action community in the run up to COP26. Race to Zero collaborates with the following international networks and initiatives, which have independently been mobilising net zero commitments. All of them require their participants to meet the Race to Zero’s minimum criteria: • The Argentinian Network of Municipalities • B Corporations • The B Team • Business Ambition for 1.5 C - Our Only Future • C40’s Deadline 2020 • Chambers Climate Coalition • Fashion Charter for Climate Action • Global Universities and Colleges for the Climate • ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability • Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance • United States Climate Alliance • Under2Coalition • We Mean Business • The Climate Pledge • TED Countdown Annex 2 Flexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems Executive Summary The Flexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems report provides a collection of technical analyses that, in the aggregate, demonstrate the current and potential future roles for nuclear energy in providing flexibility in meeting energy demands. For the purposes of this report, flexibility is defined as: The ability of nuclear energy generation to economically provide energy services at the time and location they are needed by end-users. These energy services can include both electric and nonelectric applications utilizing both traditional and advanced nuclear power plants and integrated systems. Power systems around the world are undergoing rapid and significant transformations. Driven by new cost-effective, low-emissions technologies and growing consensus on the need for economy-wide clean energy, the past decade has seen accelerated change and innovation in the ways that humans produce, transmit, and consume energy. These changes are only the beginning. The next decade will almost assuredly bring more innovation and change to advance the use of clean energy across all sectors in order to address multiple global challenges (e.g., universal energy access, energy security, economic recovery, environmental stewardship, climate resilience, and global health). As part of their individual energy transitions, countries are increasingly seeking ways to procure the flexibility needed to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy for their economies. Leveraging flexibility and diversity in energy system location, types of energy generation used, timing and scale of production, diverse energy applications, and multiple energy carriers and storage will be essential to achieving economy-wide clean energy transitions. All energy assets can provide flexibility in some way. For example, aggregating and automating the operation of distributed resources, such as distributed solar photovoltaics (PV) or household appliances, using technology that did not exist a decade ago, is leading to entirely new business models and greater energy system flexibility. Nuclear energy is no different. Nuclear energy is experiencing rapid innovation, especially within the last decade. Nuclear energy is quickly increasing visibility for its existing and potential flexible properties alongside its traditional base load roles. While nuclear energy has constraints regarding how rapidly power can be maneuvered up or down, or how low of a power it can be operated at for an extended period of time, nuclear systems offer unique value to key types of system flexibility. Today, nuclear energy already provides certain types of electric system flexibility on the megawatt (MW) to gigawatt (GW) scale in some countries. This flexibility is a valuable resource of clean energy but, to this point, nuclear energy has mostly been used for electricity production. Looking to the future, new innovations will provide ever-increasing types of flexibility from nuclear energy. Both existing and future nuclear plants are being re-imagined as novel sources of not only dispatchable electricity, but also thermal energy and chemical production, through novel integration with energy storage, conversion technologies, and hydrogen production. Several pilot projects are underway around the globe that will revolutionize and diversify the output of currently operating GW-scale systems. Annex 3 Nuclear's flexibility is the 'magic' to create a clean energy future,” https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclears-flexibility-is-the-magic-to-create-a-clea 17 September 2020 Share The nuclear industry has merely scratched the surface of the flexible benefits of nuclear power, according to panellists in a conference held this week ahead of the 11th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM11). The CEM11 side-event, Flexibility in Clean Energy Systems: The Enabling Roles of Nuclear Energy, included high-level speakers from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as government officials from Canada, the UK and the USA. Hosted by Saudi Arabia, CEM11 will take place on 22 September. (Image: CEM11) The panellists all agreed that, in tandem with renewable energy, the flexibility of nuclear - from existing large-scale plants to advanced designs for small and medium-sized reactors of the future - will enable the transition to a cleaner world and a stronger global economy. Chairing the panel discussion, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: "Flexibility is the magic word if we want to have a secure but at the same time clean energy future. Nuclear power can both provide clean electricity and also help to have the flexibility that we need in our energy systems, regardless of whether the wind is blowing or we have sunshine." As a resident of Paris, where the IEA is based, Birol pointed to the value of reliable electricity supply in France, where nuclear power plants account for more than 70% of generation. The lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic had reminded the whole world of the importance of electricity, he said, and the uninterrupted supply of low-carbon power from nuclear plants had been a reminder of the value of nuclear energy. "In order to make the markets work, governments need to value, remunerate, this service that nuclear or any clean technology can bring," he said. The premature closure or the decision not to extend the operating lives of nuclear plants in some countries "may well be a major mistake when we look at the scale of the climate challenge we are facing today", he added. The IEA is "closely following and encouraging" innovation in nuclear technologies and small modular reactors as "a very important option", he said, since their size can more easily attract investment. Despite the health crisis and economic shock of COVID in 2020, Birol said he was optimistic about a clean energy future and for three main reasons. Firstly, the costs of solar and wind energy are falling. Secondly, some countries and investment banks are putting monetary policies in place that employ "ultra-low" interest rates, which can help to mobilise investment in those clean energy technologies. And thirdly, many governments are committing to a clean energy future, driven by climate change or air pollution concerns, and also many companies are pushing clean energy technologies for a variety of reasons - pressure from governments, citizens and stakeholders; "or because they want to be in a good position" in the electricity system. "There are enough reasons then, and more, for me and the IEA to be optimistic about our clean energy future," he said. Game changers William Magwood, director general of the NEA, which is also based in Paris, agreed that nuclear power had performed "extraordinarily well" during the pandemic crisis. "We have been able to keep nuclear plants safely operating, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and in some cases longer than they were supposed to work in terms of their fuel cycles," he said. "The exciting thing about advanced nuclear technologies is not that they are smaller and more flexible, which they are, but that they have performance and safety parameters that change the game entirely. We may, for example, with these technologies, no longer require on-site emergency preparedness. This changes the whole conversation around nuclear in many places," he said. "Some of these technologies provide not just electricity, but also heat. It's often forgotten that industrial processes that use heat today from natural gas or coal are actually a tremendous contributor to CO2 emissions. We can address that problem using high-temperature reactors that can replace fossil fuel in providing industrial heat and also residential heat as well." The need for low-emission energy alongside economic growth is not just a matter for developed countries, he stressed. "There's the OECD countries, most of which are part of our membership, which have their electricity and want to keep it, but also there's the many countries around the world, in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia, that aspire to bring more and more of their people into the middle class," he said. "We cannot delay their aspirations because of our environmental concerns. To have a clean environment and have economic expansion, we believe that nuclear, along with other technologies such as wind and solar, provide the pathway to get to that." Team players "The IEA has a bird's eye view; I'm just a nuclear guy, but we try to be team players and contribute to the efforts towards a decarbonised economy from our perspective that nuclear has to have a place at the table," said Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the IAEA. "2019 was the second-highest year ever for nuclear electricity production. This year, during the first few months of lockdown, we were able to see how nuclear energy worldwide continued without a single interruption; we even had a case of an earthquake in one of our Member States where a nuclear power plant was operating and there was no glitch." Grossi reminded the audience that currently there are as many as 31 countries operating nuclear power plants, which provide 10% of global electricity supply and one-third of low-carbon power. "So, contrary to perceptions in some quarters, especially here in Western Europe, the use of nuclear power continues to grow," he said. "Some 30 countries on top of the 31 are actively preparing for nuclear power programmes. Fifty-three nuclear reactors are under construction in 19 countries, of which nine are in nuclear newcomer countries." Innovation in nuclear is very important for the sustainability of the industry and its ability to continue making a clean energy contribution, he said, because the benefits of small and medium sized reactors to emerging economies and developing countries are clear. The IAEA, which is an agency of the United Nations, based in Vienna, holds data on the designs of advanced reactors, which include, Grossi said, 72 different SMRs, three of which are at the construction stage - in Argentina, China and Russia. The IAEA is holding its Scientific Forum next week. This is held in parallel with the agency’s annual General Conference. This year, Grossi said, the forum will study the role of nuclear in the clean energy transition. He said he shared Birol's optimism. The nuclear industry faces many challenges, including finding sources of finance, "but the elements for a decarbonised, sustainable energy future are there", he said. “Events like this are proof of that and they contain lots of support for which I'm very grateful." Flexible Nuclear Campaign The event was held the day before the launch of a new report by the Flexible Nuclear Campaign for Nuclear-Renewables Integration (FNC) from the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative. The report, The Flexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems, was co-led by the governments of Canada, Japan, the UK and the USA, with contributions from a range of companies, NGOs, and other organisations. Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan, who helped launch the FNC last year, at CEM10 in Vancouver, said integrating nuclear with solar and wind energies "brings together the best of nuclear with the advantages of renewable energy to deliver a low-cost, resilient, clean energy system". "We need to invest in all kinds of clean energy technologies if we’re going to meet our climate goals. That's what we're doing in Canada and nuclear energy is front and centre. In fact, we've crunched the numbers and there's simply no credible scenario for Canada to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 without it. And Canada is in a position to lead. We are a Tier 1 nuclear nation. We have world-class safety and regulatory systems and our Candu technology is being used around the globe," he said. "Canada is also a pioneer of SMRs, essentially small, flexible, safe and affordable reactors that can be transported where they're needed, when they’re needed. This will help us bring nuclear into new parts of the economy, allowing us to decarbonise resource extraction industries and remote communities. Soon we'll be unveiling our SMR action plan, developed in lock-step with our domestic partners, provinces and territories, power utilities, industry, investors, laboratories, media, civil society and indigenous people." The NICE Future Initiative, he noted, is an international partnership launched at CEM9 in Copenhagen with the goal to place nuclear energy at the heart of all multilateral clean energy discussions. "It's great that nuclear is front and centre of the CEM gathering but it should also be part of the conversation at so many other international gatherings," he said, including for example Globe 2020, the sustainable business summit and innovation showcase in North America, and the World Energy Congress, the global flagship event of the World Energy Council. "Quite simply, we should all be ambassadors for nuclear energy," he said, "raising its profile, touting its benefits and, most importantly, underscoring again and again and again the fact that nuclear is safe, because it is." Time for action Rita Baranwal, assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the US Department of Energy (DOE), said the FNC report reflected the need for CEM11 to be about "action and not words" and readers of the report will learn how nuclear power and renewables can be "mutually enabling" in clean energy systems. Over the past few years, the DOE has provided over USD205 million to 35 public-private projects for advanced nuclear reactor technologies. Most recently, Baranwal's office has provided USD230 million to establish an Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program to support the completion and demonstration of new advanced nuclear reactors in the next five to seven years. "I'm proud of the FNC efforts, led by the governments of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan, and the support of the environmental NGOs. This report highlights the work of many scientists, researchers, engineers, operators and policymakers around the world on the subject of flexibility," she said. "In the case of nuclear energy, these flexible services mean having the operational flexibility to produce non-emitting, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, electricity as well as load-follow to meet needed demand. It means being able to produce a variety of products, like direct heating of households, driving industrial processes, producing hydrogen for transportation and for storage, and desalinating and purifying water. And it can be deployed in a variety of locations and applications. As an example, here in the United States, the DOE is currently working with four utilities to support the design and implementation of hydrogen demonstration projects using current nuclear power plants that could open up new regional markets for the industry." Two of these demonstration projects will operate at an Exelon nuclear plant and at the Davis-Besse power plant within one to two years. "One of the key takeaways of the report is that nuclear energy is already more flexible than many of us thought. There are many years of experience in flexibly operating nuclear plants. Its full potential can be realised by integrating with variable electrical grid infrastructure to create new hybrid energy systems, producing new products, new services and value, ultimately leading to new jobs, driving economies and lowering emissions," she said. The urgency of action over words was underlined by Nadhim Zahawi, the UK's minister for business and energy, another of the FNC report's leaders. Nuclear power has helped the UK to decarbonise its power generation and, "in tandem with renewables", the country has cut its CO2 emissions by around 45%, he said, "which is why I am so proud that the United Kingdom is one of the nine countries participating in the Flexible Nuclear Campaign, looking at how advanced nuclear can play an important role, alongside renewable energy of course, in a clean energy system". "The UK's Energy Systems Catapult has modeled hundreds of ways of achieving net zero and they show that advanced nuclear could contribute significantly to a low-cost decarbonised energy system. A recurring feature in these models is the value of flexibility to balance the energy system and compensate for the intermittency of renewable energy. This is of course one of the great benefits of nuclear but it is also one that is often overlooked, so I’m very pleased to see that flexibility is the focus of the technical report," he said. "Looking beyond the immediate benefits, there is also the exciting potential to use high-temperature nuclear technologies to produce cost-competitive clean hydrogen. A massive opportunity meaning we could use nuclear to decarbonise long-distance transport, industry, heating as well as the power sector," he added. At CEM10, the UK government published a brochure for policymakers, reflecting its "enabling framework" for advanced nuclear technologies, for which it will have provided investments of almost GBP500 million (USD645 million) between 2016 and 2021. This year, it has invested GBP40 million in projects focused on designing advanced modular reactors and up-skilling the country's regulators. Up to GBP30 million of this has been awarded to Tokamak Energy, Westinghouse Electric Company and Urenco under Phase 2 of the advanced modular reactor feasibility and development programme. "But I know that we do not make these decisions in a void, nor is government investment the only factor in success. One of our greatest sources of success in this field is international collaboration which is why signing our nuclear cooperation action plan with Canada, our R&D action plan with the United States, and our clean energy memorandum cooperation with Japan, were such positive steps," Zahawi said. As the host of COP26, the United Nations' next round of climate talks, to be held in Glasgow in November next year, the UK's "major focus", he said, will be "decarbonisation and getting more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions from every country, so that as a global community we can make further cuts in carbon emissions by 2030". He added: "I have no doubt this will take a lot of effort on the part of every participant, but I wholeheartedly believe that this COP will be a chance to achieve some truly remarkable things. Until then, I hope that we can continue to share our experiences and expertise in nuclear to help drive the global decarbonisation agenda forward, and I'm pleased to think that under the Clean Energy Ministerial, and within the Flexible Nuclear Campaign, we will keep building a better, cleaner future together." The full panel discussion can be watched here. Related content • United Nations General Assembly 2020

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Why nuclear power does not help combat climate change

Letter submitted to the Guardian: Justin Bowen, national officer of the GMB trades union, is totally wrong to assert that ‘new nuclear is vital to achieving decarbonisation.” ( ”Hitachi to pull plug on north Wales nuclear power station,” business, 16 September 2020). Nuclear power will not provide any useful dent in curbing harmful emissions, as when the carbon footprint of its full uranium ‘fuel chain’ is considered- from uranium mining, milling, enrichment ( which is highly energy intensive), fuel fabrication, irradiation, radioactive waste conditioning, storage, packaging to final disposal – nuclear power's CO2 emissions are between 10 to 18 times greater than those from renewable energy technologies, according to a recent study by Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, California. (https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf) In an international webinar held last Friday ( 11 September 2020) by the global nuclear lobbying group, the World Nuclear Association, one nuclear industry leader, Jay Wileman, President and CEO of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy - the US arm of the Japanese corporation - no less than five times falsely described nuclear power as “carbon-free”, a mantra he clearly believes if repeated often enough will convince politicians and the public. It will not, and seems no longer even convinces the Board and chief finance officer of his parent company in Tokyo. An important new report collectively issued by six UK Parliamentary committees on 10 September, titled “The path to net zero”, prepared by a group of scientifically selected representative British citizens named the ‘Climate Assembly’ (https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2020/september/climate-assembly-uk-new/) concluded after over six months detailed collaborative work that 46% of participants strongly disagreed nuclear could play a part towards reaching a net zero carbon economy by 2050, with a further 18% undecided. Amongst the reasons for the scepticism were “cost, safety, and issues around waste storage and decommissioning.”

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Next step to fascism: when governments deliberately plot to break international law

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill 14 September 2020 Second Reading https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-09-14/debates/83A18A5B-75DE-4843-9C64-FAD20602C884/UnitedKingdomInternalMarketBill Edward Miliband (Doncaster North) (Lab) I want to address three questions at the heart of the matter. Is it right to threaten to break the law in the way the Government propose? Is it necessary to do so? Will it help our country? The answer to each question is no. Let us remember the context and the principle. If there is one thing that we are known for around the world, it is the rule of law. This is the country of Magna Carta; the country that is known for being the mother of all Parliaments; and the country that, out of the darkness of the second world war, helped found the United Nations. Our global reputation for rule making, not rule breaking, is one of the reasons that we are so respected around the world. When people think of Britain, they think of the rule of law. Despite what the Prime Minister said in his speech, let us be clear that this is not an argument about remain versus leave. It is an argument about right versus wrong. The Brexiteer and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lamont, says that the Bill is impossible to defend. The Brexiteer and former Attorney General who helped to negotiate and sign off this deal as Attorney General says that the Bill is “unconscionable”. And the Brexiteer Lord Howard—the Prime Minister’s former boss—said this: “I never thought it was a thing I’d hear a British minister, far less a Conservative minister, say, which is that the government was going to invite parliament to act in breach of international law…We have a reputation for probity, for upholding the rule of law, and it’s a reputation that is very precious and ought to be safeguarded, and I am afraid it was severely damaged…by the bill”. Sir Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) (Con) Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the EU has been negotiating in good faith? Edward Miliband It is very interesting that the hon. Gentleman should say that because a report came out today from the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which is chaired by a Conservative Member. This is what the report says and this is my answer to him: “These talks began in March and continued throughout the summer in a spirit of good faith and mutual respect for the delicate arrangements in Northern Ireland.” That is what the Conservative-controlled Select Committee says about this issue. The Prime Minister has said many times that he wants to bring unity to the country during his premiership. I therefore congratulate him on having, in just one short year, united his five predecessors. Unfortunately, their point of agreement is that he is trashing the reputation of this country and trashing the reputation of his office. Why are these five former Prime Ministers so united on this point? It is because they know that our moral authority in the world comes from our commitment to the rule of law and keeping our word. We rightly condemn China when it rides roughshod over the treaties dictating the future of Hong Kong. We say it signed them in good faith, that it is going back on its word and that it cannot be trusted. And his defence? “Don’t worry; I can’t be trusted either.” What will China say to us from now on? What will it throw back at us—that we, too, do not keep to international law? We respect the fact that the Conservative party, under this Prime Minister, won the election. He got his mandate to deliver his Brexit deal: the thing that he said was—I am sure she recalls this because it was probably on her leaflets—“oven ready”. It is not me who is coming along and saying it is half-baked; it is him. He is saying, “The deal that I signed and agreed is actually—what’s the word? Ambiguous. Problematic.” I will get to this later in my speech, but I wonder whether he actually read the deal in the first place. Share The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned: This content has already been edited and is awaiting review. Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) (Lab) Share My right hon. Friend is making an extremely good speech. Would he perhaps tell the House who on earth might have signed this terrible deal with so many ambiguities less than nine months ago? Share The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned: This content has already been edited and is awaiting review. Edward Miliband Share My hon. Friend makes an important point; I do believe it was the Prime Minister who signed the deal. In fairness to the Prime Minister, I want to deal with each of the arguments that the Government have made in the last few days for this action. It is quite hard to keep count of the different arguments—you know you are losing the argument when you keep making lots of different arguments—but I want to give the House the top five. First, let us deal with the argument about blockades, which made its first outing in The Telegraph on Saturday through the Prime Minister, and obviously it made a big appearance today. I have to say, I did not like the ramping up of the rhetoric from the European Union on Thursday, following the Prime Minister’s publication of this Bill, but even by the standards of the Prime Minister, this is as ridiculous an argument as I have ever heard. Let me let me explain to him why—the point was very well made by the former Attorney General this morning. This is what article 16 of the protocol says: “If the application of this Protocol leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade, the Union or the United Kingdom may unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures.” In other words, let us just say that this threat somehow materialised—and by the way, I believe that Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs officials would have to implement it, making it even more absurd that it would happen. If the threat materialised, it is not overturning the protocol that is the right thing to do; it is upholding the protocol, as article 16 says. But do not take my word for it, Madam Deputy Speaker; take the word of the former Attorney General—who definitely read the protocol—who wrote this morning: “There are clear and lawful responses available to Her Majesty’s government”. As if that was not enough, there is also an irony here—the Prime Minister tried to slip this in; I do not know whether the House noticed—which is that this Bill does precisely nothing to address the issue of the transport of food from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It is about two issues where the Government are going to override international law: exit declarations, Northern Ireland to GB, and the definition of state aid relating to Northern Ireland. If the Prime Minister wants to tell us that there is another part of the Bill that I have not noticed that will deal with this supposed threat of blockade, I will very happily give way to him. I am sure he has read it; I am sure he knows it in detail, because he is a details man. Come on, tell us: what clause protects against the threat, which he says he is worried about, to GB-to-Northern Ireland exports? There you have it: he didn’t read the protocol, he hasn’t read the Bill, he doesn’t know his stuff. Let us deal with the second bogus argument. The Prime Minister claimed on Wednesday that it was necessary to protect the Good Friday agreement. The first outing for that argument was on Wednesday, at Prime Minister’s questions. I have to say to him, I would rather trust the authors of the Good Friday agreement than the Prime Minister, who has prominent members of the Government who opposed the agreement at the time. However, this is what John Major and Tony Blair wrote—[Interruption.] They don’t like John Major. They said that the Bill “puts the Good Friday agreement at risk”— [Interruption]—this is very serious— “because it negates the predictability, political stability and legal clarity that are integral to the delicate balance between the north and south of Ireland that is at the core of the peace process.” These are very important words from two former Prime Ministers, both of whom helped to win us peace in Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister may not want to believe them, but he will, I hope, believe himself—[Laughter]—maybe not—because this is what he said about the Northern Ireland protocol: “there are particular circumstances in Northern Ireland at the border that deserve particular respect and sensitivity, and that is what they have received in the deal.” It is “a great deal for Northern Ireland.”—[Official Report, 19 October 2019; Vol. 666, c. 578-579.] I do not understand this. He signed the deal. It is his deal. It is the deal that he said would protect the people of Northern Ireland. I have to say to him, this is not just legislative hooliganism on any issue; it is on one of the most sensitive issues of all. I think we should take the word of two former Prime Ministers of this country who helped to secure peace in Northern Ireland. I believe it was necessary to make special arrangements for Northern Ireland, or for the UK to be in the EU customs union to avoid a hard border in Ireland. That is why the Prime Minister came along and said the protocol was the right thing to do. Let me deal with the third excuse we heard. This is the “It was all a bit of a rush” excuse. As the Prime Minister said in his article, times were “torrid” and there were “serious misunderstandings”. He tries to pretend that this is some new issue, but they have been warned for months about the way the protocol would work. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is sitting in his place, was warned at the Select Committee in March and was asked about these issues. The Business Secretary was written to by the House of Lords Committee in April. Let us just get this straight for a minute, because I think it is important to take a step back. The Prime Minister is coming to the House to tell us today that his flagship achievement—the deal he told us was a triumph, the deal he said was oven-ready, the deal on which he fought and won the general election—is now contradictory and ambiguous. What incompetence. What failure of governance. How dare he try to blame everyone else? I say to the Prime Minister that this time he cannot blame the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), he cannot blame John Major, he cannot blame the judges, he cannot blame the civil servants, he cannot sack the Cabinet Secretary again. There is only one person responsible for it and that is him. This is his deal. It is his mess. It is his failure. For the first time in his life, it is time to take responsibility. It is time to ’fess up: either he was not straight with the country about the deal in the first place, or he did not understand it. A competent Government would never have entered into a binding agreement with provisions they could not live with. If such a Government somehow missed the point but woke up later, they would do what any competent business would do after it realised it could not live with the terms of a contract: they would negotiate a way out in good faith. That is why this is all so unnecessary. There is a mechanism designed for exactly this purpose in the agreement: the Joint Committee on the Northern Ireland protocol. What did the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster say on 11 March at the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union? He will recall that he was asked about state aid. He said: “the effective working of the protocol is a matter for the Joint Committee to resolve.” The remaining issues to which the Bill speaks are not insignificant, but nor are they insurmountable, and that is the right way to pursue them, not an attempt at illegality. Let me come back to the excuses. Fourthly, on Sunday, there was the Justice Secretary’s “the fire alarm” defence: “We don’t want to have to do this, but we might have to.” I want to be clear with the House about something very, very important about a decision to pass the Bill. I have great respect for the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Sir Robert Neill), but I want to make this point. The very act of passing the Bill is itself a breach of international law. It would be wrong for hon. and right hon. Members on either side of the House to be under any illusions about that as they decide which Lobby to go into tonight. If we pass the Bill, even if there is a nod and a wink from the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst, we equip the Government with the power to break the law. That in itself is a breach of the Northern Ireland protocol and therefore a breach of international law. Sir Robert Neill I have listened carefully to the right hon. Member’s formulation and I understand much of what he says. However, an Act passed by this House only becomes law when it comes into force. He will be right, I submit, to say that as soon as any of these provisions came into force we would potentially breach international law. That is not quite the same thing, as I think he would fairly concede. Edward Miliband That is not a risk we are going to take. So the fire alarm defence simply does not work. The last defence was floated as a trial balloon, one might say, by the Northern Ireland Secretary last Tuesday, I believe. He said it was a breach of the law in a “specific and limited way.” That really is a new way of thinking about legal questions. It now turns out that breaking the law specifically and in a limited way is a reasonable defence for this Government. We have all heard of self-defence, the alibi defence, the innocence defence; now we have the Johnson defence: you can break the law, but in a specific and limited way. Think about the grave context we face. The Home Secretary is in today’s newspapers warning everyone, “You must abide by the law.” On this, she is absolutely right. She says, “I know that, as part of our national effort, the law-abiding majority will stick to these new rules. But there will be a small minority who do not”. You couldn’t make it up. What she does not say in the article, but what we now know about this Government, is that the Johnson defence means something very specific: there is one rule for the British public and another rule for this Government. Pioneered by Cummings, implemented by Johnson—that is the Johnson rule. This is the wrong thing to do. It is not necessary and it is deeply damaging to this country. Let us think about the impact on our country in the negotiations. The Government’s hope is that it will make a deal more likely, but that relies on the notion that reneging on a deal we made less than a year ago with the party we are negotiating with now will make that party more likely to trust us, not less. Think about our everyday lives: suppose we made an agreement with someone a year ago and we were seeking to have another negotiation with them; if we had unilaterally reneged on the first deal we made, would it make them more likely to trust us, or less likely? Obviously, it would make them less likely to trust us. We know the risks. I very much hope the Prime Minister gets a deal. As a country, we absolutely need a deal. We know the risks of no deal if this strategy goes wrong. The Prime Minister said last week that no deal is somehow “a good outcome”. He is wrong. I hear all the time from businesses—I am sure the Business Secretary, who is in his place, does too—that are deeply worried about the danger of no deal. I know what the Prime Minister thinks about the views of business, thanks to his four-letter rant, but this is what businesses have to say. Nissan says there could be no guarantee about its Sunderland plant if there were tariffs on UK to EU trade. Ford says that no deal would be disastrous. The NFU says it would be catastrophic for British farming—indeed, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, when he was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said the same thing. We are in the biggest economic crisis for 300 years, the biggest public health crisis for 100 years. No deal is not some game; it is about the livelihoods of millions of people across our country. What about the prized trade deal with the United States? I know the Prime Minister thinks he has a friend in President Trump, but even he must recognise the necessity of being able to deal with both sides. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said: “The UK must respect the Northern Ireland Protocol as signed with the EU… If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress.” This is the signal that we—the country known for the rule of law, the country that abides by the law, the country that founded international law—are sending to our friends and allies around the world. That is why we cannot support the Bill. The Government must go back, remove the provisions breaking international law and ensure that the Bill works in a way that respects the devolution settlements. That is what a responsible, competent and law-abiding Government would do. This is a pivotal moment to determine the future of our country—who we are and how we operate. In shaping that future, we have to stand up for the traditions that matter: our commitment to the rule of law. The Bill speaks of a Government and a Prime Minister who are casual, not to say cavalier and reckless, about the gravity of the issues confronting them. The Prime Minister should be focusing on securing a Brexit deal, not breaking international law and risking no deal. He is cavalier on international law and cavalier on our traditions. This is not the serious leadership we need, and it is why we will oppose the Bill tonight. 5.56 pm Sir Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con) I will endeavour to prove that the best advocacy can be the most concise. There is a great deal in the Bill that I support and that is necessary, sensible and desirable. However, there is one important part of the Bill that creates very real difficulty for me and many others, and I want to go straight to the rub of that point. Part 5 of the Bill, as it stands, gives me real concern as to its leading the United Kingdom into a breach of our international obligations and the law that stems from them. That is, as many others have observed, not something that any country should do, save in the most extreme and pressing circumstances. The difficulty arises in relation particularly to clauses 42, 43 and 45. They are different from the rest of the Bill, because they give very wide-ranging powers indeed to Ministers to disapply elements of the withdrawal agreement and the protocol, which have the force of international law, by regulation. These are measures of a very sweeping kind, involving any kind of legislation and any part of the agreement, not just those related to the protocol, and appearing to oust the jurisdiction of the courts in any respect. I question whether their being so wide can be justified. My other concern is that the way the clauses are phrased at the moment runs the risk of bringing us into breach of our legal obligations before it is necessary. I heard what the Prime Minister said about an insurance policy, and I heard what the Lord Chancellor has said about a “break the glass in emergency” provision. That is fine, but it seems clear from the protocol that there are steps that must be gone through first and exhausted before that can properly be done. The most important part to bear in mind is that if article 45 is brought into force immediately after Royal Assent, we would at that point have disapplied the concept of the direct effect of European law, which is part of the agreement we signed up to and which this House passed less than a year ago. So bringing it into force on Royal Assent is needlessly provocative to our negotiations and needlessly undermines our reputation for sticking to the rule of law. There are also provisions that bind us to act to resolve disputes only through the arbitration process, which is set out in the withdrawal agreement. Article 168, which we have signed up to, states that “the Union and the United Kingdom shall only have recourse to the procedures provided for in this Agreement.” There are detailed procedures and timelines for that. It seems to me that we should be very careful about moving forward with bringing these clauses into force until every opportunity to resolve any dispute has been carried out through the arbitral mechanisms. Only then, and if it is necessary because the EU has not responded to a result of the arbitral mechanism— Jeremy Wright Does my hon. Friend agree that one thing that should give us some optimism about the use of the mechanisms that he is describing is the specific references to the defence of the Good Friday agreement and of Northern Ireland’s status as part of the United Kingdom in the protocol and the withdrawal agreement themselves? . Sir Robert Neill My right hon. and learned Friend is absolutely right. That is, I think, the best approach for us to take. We should stick to the letter of those provisions, as that gives proper defence of our strategic interests. For example, there is the safeguard provision in article 16, which would enable us to act if, in extremis, the stability of the situation in Northern Ireland and the Union was threatened, but we could do that while maintaining the moral high ground and our intellectual reputation. I see that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is listening. I hope that he will be able to go further than the Prime Minister, either tonight or in the course of debates on the Bill, and assure us that those provisions will not be brought into effect unless and until every one of the legal mechanisms open to us has been exhausted and unless and until there has been a specific vote of this House—not by a statutory instrument, which does not give enough scrutiny for such a constitutionally significant issue, but by a specific resolution. That is why my amendment seeks to give the Government an opportunity to have that “break the glass in emergency” provision, but without our triggering a breach of the international legal obligations before it is absolutely necessary. Steve Brine Further to that, does my hon. Friend not agree that, while there will be some who are still on the, shall we say, Blair end of the argument, notwithstanding what he says, that position would be seen by the majority of people as being a reasonable one for us to take in this Act before we enact the nuclear button that is so often talked about? Would that not be reasonable? Sir Robert Neill I agree entirely with my hon. Friend, and I do hope that the Government will listen carefully to that. I want to be able to support the Bill. I cannot support it with these clauses in it as they are at the moment. I hope that we will take the opportunity to change and improve these clauses and the way in which they might operate so that we do not fall into a means of damaging our reputation. That is why I cannot support the Bill tonight. I hope that we will see amendments to change what I believe are the egregious, needless and potentially damaging elements of part 5 of the Bill. Unless there are those changes, I will have further difficulty in supporting the Bill. None the less, having listened to what the Prime Minister has said, I want to give the Government that chance in a constructive spirit, and I know that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is listening carefully to that. I do hope that the Government recognise that to act in a way that unilaterally breaches our international obligations is wholly against the spirit of what this country stands for. It is against the spirit, I think, of the party that he and I have always adhered to as a party of the rule of law, and we need to find a constructive means of making sure that we meet our obligations to the Union, but without undermining our obligations to the rule of law. I do not believe that is impossible with good will. 6.54 pm Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) (Lab) I never thought I would ever see a piece of legislation this objectionable put before the House. It is a gigantic act of self-harm masquerading as a negotiating strategy in the EU-UK trade talks, as the flounder and the end of the transition period looms. It unilaterally repudiates the devyolution settlements and centralises power to the UK Government. As currently drafted, this Bill will give Ministers the powers to disapply or unilaterally reinterpret parts of the Northern Ireland protocol and ignore their legal obligations in both domestic and international law to enact the protocol as it was negotiated. It asserts that these powers will be legally effective even though they break international law, thereby unilaterally repudiating the foundations of the withdrawal agreement, which was only enacted by the House earlier this year. The Bill orders the domestic courts to prioritise this new law over any existing international law we have signed up to and it attempts to preclude any prospect of judicial review. It has already been admitted on the Floor of the House by a Cabinet Minister that the Bill breaks international law in a very “specific and limited way”. The reality is that this is a shocking repudiation of everything the UK holds dear. It threatens to destroy our hard-won reputation as an upholder of international law and as a country that can be trusted to keep its word. Once lost, that reputation will not be easy to regain. This is not only morally wrong—it is self-defeating and undermines the prospect of reaching a deal at all. It is a sign of just how dangerous the Government’s actions now are that all five living ex-Prime Ministers, both Labour and Conservative, have made public their opposition to this reckless course of action, as have the Brexiteer ex-leaders of the Conservative party, Lords Hague and Howard. This morning, the Prime Minister’s first Lord Chancellor called the Bill “unconscionable” and revealed that he will not vote for it. Many legal experts argue that both the current Lord Chancellor and the Attorney General are in breach of their oaths of office and should resign. Last week, the head of the Government legal service did resign over the Bill because it breaks international law. Given that we have an unwritten constitution which relies on ministerial restraint and responsibility, the Bill is even more dangerous than it first appears. It unilaterally tears up treaty obligations made just months ago and makes it less likely that any of our future undertakings will be believed or trusted, just as we must renegotiate all our existing trading agreements with the rest of the world. What are we to make of a Prime Minister who presides over this moral vacuum and this reckless gamble with our international reputation; the man who resigned over his predecessor’s deal, which had no Irish border, pronouncing it a betrayal and using it as his path to power in the Conservative party; the man who, nine short months ago, negotiated and signed the withdrawal agreement, declaring it “fantastic”, and expelled from the Conservative party and Parliament all his own MPs who did not back it; the man who went to the country with this “oven-ready” Brexit deal and won a huge majority; the man who now believes it was rushed and flawed, and must be unilaterally written by him and him alone, the world king acting like a two-year-old having a tantrum because he did not get all he wanted; a Prime Minister who is completely careless of the consequences of his own actions; and the leader of a Government who think they can do what they want, purge who they want and act how they want, a Government who think there is one law for them and another for everyone else, repudiating treaties they have just signed and ignoring the lockdown rules they impose on everyone else? This will not end well. The Government must step back from the brink, withdraw the lawbreaking clauses in the Bill, and think again. 7.52 pm Mr Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) (Con) This is of course an essential Bill for the good order of the internal market. It is essential for our economic success, wellbeing, jobs and employment, and I support it. I am very surprised at the EU’s negotiating strategy and purpose, particularly in offering my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), in effect, the Canada deal, and then declining, to date, to offer the same terms to the Prime Minister. I therefore have no hesitation in supporting the Bill’s Second Reading, and I give the Government my strong support for reaching a deal. But I am not going to vote to breach international law, and I want to explain why. As International Development Secretary in the coalition Government, I consistently spoke up for the rule of law. Britain has been a beacon, in some very difficult places in the world, for support for the rule of law. Our support is relied on in that respect, and it matters, whether we are dealing with the rights of gay people in Uganda or ensuring the last vestiges of law in Zimbabwe, never quite snuffed out by dint of Britain’s strong support for the rule of law. Many in this House have rightly spoken up for the rights of Hong Kong citizens when China has sought to resile from international agreements it had signed. We are one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. We have a duty to uphold international law. The rule of law is incredibly important for our basic liberties and human rights, and failing to do so will do incalculable damage to our reputation all around the world. I have two further points to make. The first is that Members of the House should read with the greatest care what John Major and Tony Blair have said about the dangers of all this for the Good Friday agreement and peace across Northern Ireland. I have been here long enough to remember the awful statements about violence in Northern Ireland, with innocent civilians maimed and worse. Secondly, we have one of the largest national debts of any country in the world, and confidence in our debt depends on an absolute understanding that Britain will always stand by its word. In the past, I have voted in this House in ways that I have regretted. I voted for section 28, I voted for the poll tax and I voted with the then Prime Minister on Iraq. But I do not believe I have ever gone into a Lobby to vote in a way that I knew was wrong, and I will not be doing it on this occasion either. 7.22 pm Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam) (Con) The majority of the Bill is sensible and necessary for an effective United Kingdom single market when we are no longer subject to EU rules. My issue, as for others, is clauses 42, 43 and 45, which take what was agreed less than a year ago about the primacy of the withdrawal agreement over domestic law and reverse it. They are not a clarification but a contradiction of that agreement, and the Government are very clear about this: doing that would be breaking international law. I agree that it is possible to break international law without automatically breaking domestic law. It is also true that Parliament is sovereign, and it can choose to break international law if it wants to, but the fact that an international law breach is not a domestic law breach and is not unconstitutional does not make it a good idea. The blatant and unilateral breach of a treaty commitment could be justified only in the most extreme and persuasive circumstances. The Government say that such circumstances are those in which no ongoing trade arrangement is made with the EU and where the Joint Committee established under the withdrawal agreement to resolve problems of interpretation is unable to do so, leaving the UK in an impossible position. Sir John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) (Con) That is the nub of the argument, is it not? These are exceptional circumstances. We are about to negotiate by far the most important agreement that this country has reached for the last 40 years. In those highly dynamic circumstances it is right that this Parliament should give the Government sufficient flexibility to get the best possible deal for Britain. That is what this is about, and that is why we should support the Bill. Jeremy Wright If my right hon. Friend will allow me, I will address exactly that point and what the Government could be doing instead of what they are proposing to do. Let me say first that the possibility of reaching no trade agreement and of deadlock in the Joint Committee was foreseeable yet when the withdrawal agreement was signed, and again when it was legislated for, the Government did not say that the risk of the outcomes they rely upon now undermined the deal on offer; they said then and they say now that this was a good deal. So what has changed? That leads to the argument to which my right hon. Friend refers: that, unexpectedly, the European Union is now adopting an interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol so outrageous and so far from a rational reading of that protocol that we could not have seen it coming and we could not possibly accept it, leaving no option but to abrogate ourselves the relevant parts of the protocol. But the withdrawal agreement sets out a mechanism for resolving disputes about interpretation, involving binding independent arbitration and penalties including the suspension of obligations under the agreement. If the EU’s new approach is so far from what the agreement intended, why would the Government not succeed in using that mechanism? Sir Bernard Jenkin The answer is that any question in European law, under article 174 of the withdrawal agreement, has to be referred to the European Court of Justice, and the Court is acting not on behalf of the 28 as before, but on behalf of the 27. We know it is a political court. Jeremy Wright My right hon. Friend might be right to be sceptical about the Court of Justice of the European Union, but the issue likely to arise here is not a question of European Union law; it is a question whether there is compliance with the withdrawal agreement signed by both sides. That does not necessarily raise a question of European law; nor, in my view, is it likely to. It raises a question of treaty law and whether or not this is being abided by in good faith. I accept that the Government have a problem, but I cannot accept that the proposed solution is either necessary or right. International law matters. The rules that bind nations underpin what the United Kingdom says on the world stage on a variety of subjects, from the Skripal poisonings to the treatment of the Uyghur people to the detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. We speak often, and rightly so, of the rules-based international order as the foundation of freedom and justice in the world and of our security. The rules referred to are, of course, rules of international law. If we break them ourselves, we weaken our authority to make the arguments that the world’s most vulnerable need us to make. Nor is it in our long-term diplomatic or commercial interests to erode the reputation we have earned for the strength of our word and our respect for the rule of law—a reputation that, ironically, we will rely on more than ever when the Brexit process is complete. I do not believe that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister or his Ministers wish to undermine that reputation, but I do believe that if Parliament were to give Ministers the powers they are asking for, and if they were to be exercised, we would all come to regret it. That is why I cannot vote for the clauses as they stand, or for a Bill that contains them. Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam) (Con) I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for giving way, and I want to ask him, if I may, about the ministerial code. When I was the Attorney General in the previous Government, I was happy to confirm that the ministerial code obliged Ministers to comply with international as well as domestic law. This Bill will give Ministers overt authority to break international law. Has the position on the ministerial code changed? The Prime Minister No, not in the least. My right hon. and learned Friend can consult the Attorney General’s position on that. After all, what this Bill is simply seeking to do is insure and protect this country against the EU’s proven willingness—that is the crucial point—to use this delicately balanced protocol in ways for which it was never intended.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Shining lights on nuclear's carbon contribution

Letter submitted to The Daily Telegraph: Your curiously named columnist Zion Lights (“Why I left Extinction Rebellion to campaign for nuclear power,” Daily Telegraph, 10 September 2020) displays all the zeal of a recent convert to a new cause in her article extolling why she now backs nuclear power She claims she saw her own light when tough TV interviewer Andrew Neil (who has bamboozled many an experience politician) put her on the spot when as a spokeswoman for climate campaigners Extinction Rebellion (XR), she was confronted with some inconvenient scientific facts. She also claims to have been a student at Reading University, but while there clearly did not learn the tools to help her how to interpret and comprehend complex issues. Nuclear power will not provide any useful dent in curbing harmful emissions, as when the carbon footprint of its full uranium ‘fuel chain’ is considered- from uranium mining, milling, enrichment ( which is highly energy intensive), fuel fabrication, irradiation, radioactive waste conditioning, storage, packaging to final disposal – nuclear CO2 emissions are between 10 to 18 times greater than those from renewable energy technologies , according to a recent study by Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, California. (https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf) New nuclear is also too expensive for private investors (as Dr Paul Dorfman explained in the recent article in Daily Telegraph business on 3 September) too environmentally risky for communities and too unpopular with the public for politicians to back it I recommend Ms Lights reads an important new report collectively issued by six Parliamentary committees on 10 September, titled “The path to net zero”, prepared by a group of scientifically selected representative British citizens named the ‘Climate Assembly’ (https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2020/september/climate-assembly-uk-new/) There she will discover that this Assembly concluded after over six months detailed collaborative work that 46% of participants strongly disagreed nuclear could play a part towards reaching a net zero carbon economy by 2050, with a further 18% undecided. Amongst the reasons for the scepticism were “cost, safety, and issues around waste storage and decommissioning.” Ms Lights will discover there is a significant range of empirical evidence supporting these concerns.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Professor, Mike Cooley, Architect as bee, academic genius dies

Professor Mike Cooley has just died. His unique work on socially usfeul production, the Lucas plan, converting military production to societally needed manufacturing and so on, has been inspirational for a whole generation of alternative technologists. We have lost a true giant. https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/when-the-workers-nearly-took-control-five-lessons-from-the-lucas-plan/2018/05/14 When the workers nearly took control: five lessons from the Lucas Plan | P2P Foundation Lesson 1: Find common ground. A first condition for this group of fairly conventional, mainly middle-aged, male trade unionists to create what became a beacon of an alternative economics was building the organisation that eventually provided the means by which many individual intelligences became what Eurig Scandrett refers to as ‘collective’. blog.p2pfoundation.net When the workers nearly took control: five lessons from the Lucas Plan May 14, 2018 Technology networks for socially useful production http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53574/2/ Technology Networks for Socially Useful Production Adrian Smith Mike Cooley (born 1934) was an Irish-born engineer, writer and former trade union leader who is best known for his work on the social effects of technology, "Socially Useful Production" and "Human Centred Systems". He was involved in workplace activism at the British company Lucas Aerospace in the late 1970s.[1] In 1981, he was a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for "designing and promoting the theory and practice of human-centred, socially useful production."[2] Cooley was born in Tuam, Ireland, attended the Christian Brothers School and was classmates with Tom Murphy (playwright) and the trade unionist Mick Brennan. He was an apprentice at Tuam Sugar Factory and later studied engineering in Germany, Switzerland and England[3] gaining a PhD in "Computer Aided Design". Cooley has held several leadership positions in the field of computer-aided design (CAD) and was an advisor on numerous public and private sector projects. He was the founding president of the International Research Institute in Human Centred Systems (IRIHCS)[4] and the international Journal AI & Society, and founding director of the Greater London Enterprise Board. He has published over 100 scientific papers and fifteen books, and has been a guest lecturer at universities in Europe, Australia, the US and Japan.[5] His book "Architect or Bee?" has been translated into six languages. Contents •1 Work life ◦1.1 The Lucas Plan ◦1.2 Greater London Enterprise Board (GLEB): 1982 ◦1.3 AI & Society (Founding Chairman): 1987 •2 Publications ◦2.1 Architect or Bee: 1980 ◦2.2 Delinquent Genius: The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology : 1992 (Published 2018) ◦2.3 The Search for Alternatives | Liberating Human Imagination | A Mike Cooley Reader: 1972 to 2007 (Published 2020) ◦2.4 List of books •3 Film, radio and television •4 Awards •5 The Mike Cooley Archive •6 References •7 External links Work life[edit] The Lucas Plan[edit] In the late 1970s, Mike Cooley was a designer at Lucas Aerospace and chaired the local branch of the technical trade union Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section (TASS). He was one of the militant activists behind The Lucas Plan,[6][7] a radical strategy to avoid workforce layoffs by converting production at Lucas from armaments to civilian products.[8] The plan's aim was to replace weapons manufacture with the development of socially useful goods, like solar heating equipment, artificial kidneys, and systems for intermodal transportation.[1] The goal was to not simply retain jobs, but to design the work so that the workers would be motivated by the social value of their activities. As Cooley put it "the workers are the experts”.[9] The proposals of the alternative plan were not accepted by Lucas management and Cooley was dismissed in 1981,[10] allegedly for spending excessive time upon union business[11] and "concerns of society as a whole".[12] Following his sacking by Lucas he was appointed Technology Director of the GLC and later founded[13] the Greater London Enterprise Board (GLEB).[10] Greater London Enterprise Board (GLEB): 1982[edit] Ken Livingstone and Mike Cooley[13] founded the Greater London Enterprise Board (GLEB) in 1982, which was an industrial development and job creation agency set up by the GLC to create employment by investing in the industrial regeneration of London, with the funds provided by the council, its workers' pension fund and the financial markets. During the first two years of the enterprise board's existence the Greater London council provided a total annual budget of around £30 million, made up of some £20 million section 137 funds and £10 million section 3 mortgage loan facilities. Frank Dobson in Hansard wrote in 1985 when GLEB was under threat of closure, "The Government are not worried because the GLEB has been a failure; they are worried because it has been a success".[14] The GLEB became independent in 1986 when the GLC was abolished; it changed its name to Greater London Enterprise (GLE) and funded its activities from its income.[15] AI & Society (Founding Chairman): 1987[edit] Mike Cooley was the founding chairman of AI & Society, an international forum for socially responsible technology founded in 1987 that focuses on ‘societal issues".(Springer, 2018). Publications[edit] Architect or Bee: 1980[edit] In 1980, Cooley published Architect or Bee? a critique of the automation and computerisation of engineering work. The book alludes to a comparison made by Karl Marx on the creative achievements of human imagination.[16] According to Orlando Hill, "Mike Cooley’s Architect or Bee? put the case that a new organisation of technology could provide social good rather than profit".[17] He goes on to say: "Cooley argues that if we are going to move from merrily producing commodities to producing goods that people need and want, we must change our attitude towards technology. The technology used today evolved from the concept of the division of labour. In a capitalist system in which the maximization of profit is the sole objective and people are regarded as units of labour-power, the division of labour and fragmentation of skills is absolutely rational and scientific. However, the consequence is the deskilling of workers and alienation from reality. A division between theory and practice is created with a bias towards theoretical knowledge. The skill and practical knowledge of the worker is despised."[17] Cooley's work on human-centered systems and socially useful production was compiled and first published by Shirley Cooley, Mike's wife, in 1980 (Hand & Brain publications); the second edition was published in the US in 1982 by South End Press with an introduction from MIT Professor David Noble and was followed by a new edition published by Hogarth Press in 1987 with an introduction by Anthony Barnett. The current edition was published by Spokesman Books in 2016 and has an introduction by Frances O’Grady the General Secretary of the TUC.[18] The book has been translated into over 20 languages[3] including Finnish, Irish and Chinese. In Architect or Bee?, Cooley coined the term "human-centred systems" in the context of the transition in his profession from traditional drafting at a drawing board to computer-aided design.[19] Human-centred systems,[20] as used in economics, computing and design, aim to preserve or enhance human skills, in both manual and office work, in environments in which technology tends to undermine the skills that people use in their work.[21][22] Delinquent Genius: The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology : 1992 (Published 2018)[edit] Mike Cooley's book "Delinquent Genius: The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology" (1992; published 2018) explores the relationship between mankind and technology development.[23] The book analyses the social impact of technology[24] and the dangers of accepting the "one best" scientific idea of progress.[25] According to Adrian Smith, Professor of Technology & Society at the University of Sussex, Cooley looks at "vantage points for realising neglected human purposes – such as creative work and environmental sustainability – through technology." Smith said its chapters "look upon a period of intense restructuring in the industrial manufacturing landscape, whose effects are still felt today".[26] The Search for Alternatives | Liberating Human Imagination | A Mike Cooley Reader: 1972 to 2007 (Published 2020)[edit] The Search for Alternatives | Liberating Human Imagination | A Mike Cooley Reader By Mike Cooley, ISBN 978 085124 8851, Foreword by John Palmer and Introduction by Karamjit S Gill; published by Spokesman books (Jan 2020). The Search for Alternatives By Mike Cooley is a collection of previously published essays which charts the development of his work from 1972 to 2007. The book compliments his previously published work by showing the breath of his essays and theories. "we have become far too smart scientifically to survive much longer without wisdom" Mike Cooley, The Myth of the Moral Neutrality of Technology List of books[edit] •Cooley, Mike (1982). Architect or Bee? The human/technology relationship. Boston: South End Press. ISBN 978-0-89608-131-4. •Cooley, Mike (1988). Produkte für das Leben statt Waffen für den Tod. Germany: Rowohlt Verlag. ISBN 9783499148309. •Cooley, Mike (2016). Architect or Bee? The Human Price of Technology. UK: Spokesman Books. ISBN 978-0-85124-8493. •Cooley, Mike (2018). Delinquent Genius: The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology. UK: Spokesman Books. ISBN 978-085124-878-3. •Cooley, Mike (2020). The Search for Alternatives, Liberating Human Imagination: A Mike Cooley Reader. UK: Spokesman Books. ISBN 978-085124-8851. Film, radio and television[edit] In 1983 Mike Cooley appeared in “Farewell to Work?” produced for Channel Four by Udi Eichler of Brook Productions. On-screen participants included André Gorz, Patrick Minford, Claus Offe and Mike Cooley, and the discussion was chaired by Robert Hutchison. According to the film, technology would "virtually eliminate the manual working class by the end of the century" and displace jobs permanently. Gorz proposes working towards a future in which free time is sustained by a guaranteed minimum income and that production should be confined to essential goods and that people should pursue satisfying and autonomous activities.[27] Mike also features prominently in German filmmaker Harun Farocki's film Wie Man Sieht (As You See, 1983), which examines the emergence of computerization and its effects on military and managerial uses of innovative technology.[failed verification][28] Mike's work was the subject of the TV documentary “Look, No Hands!” in 1988 made for the Equinox Channel Four documentary series. Directed by Christopher Rawlence and produced by Debra Hauer.[29] The film was shown as part of season 1988, Episode 12, on Oct 9, 1988[30] and also produced as a VHS video. In 1997, Cooley appeared is "My Education" by John Quinn, an RTE radio series[31] and book published by Town House.[32] The book is a set of interviews with educationalists discussing their own education and features Mike Cooley,[33] Noam Chomsky, Seamus Heaney and Charles Handy among others.[34][35] Cooley and Quinn also collaborated on “Education for the 1990s”: Three Lectures Given at a Symposium in Radio Telefís Éireann, October 1989 (RTÉ 1989).[36] Cooley appeared in the 2003 Alan Gilsenan documentary "Sing on Forever" about the Irish playwright Tom Murphy (playwright), recalling his friendship with Murphy in Tuam.[37] Awards[edit] Mike Cooley was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1981 for "designing and promoting the theory and practice of human-centred, socially useful production".[38] In his acceptance speech, Cooley said, "Science and technology is not given. It was made by people like us. If it's not doing for us what we want, we have a right and a responsibility to change it."[39] The Mike Cooley Archive[edit] The Waterford Institute of Technology Luke Wadding Library acquired Mike Cooley's archive by donation from the Cooley family.[40] The archive includes over 1,400 items including photographs, correspondences, journals, books, drawings, videos, cassette tapes, and slides[3][41] A large part of the archive is related to the Lucas Plan. References[edit] 1.^ Jump up to: a b https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/oct/14/lucas-aerospace-1970s-plan-documentary-eco-pioneers | Eco-pioneers in the 1970s: how aerospace workers tried to save their jobs – and the planet 2.^ Smith, Adrian; Fressoli, Mariano; Abrol, Dinesh; Arond, Elisa; Ely, Adrian (25 August 2016). Grassroots Innovation Movements. ISBN 9781317451198. 3.^ Jump up to: a b c Stapleton, Larry; o'Neill, Brenda; Cronin, Kieran; Kendrick, Matthew (2019). "Announcing the Professor Cooley archive at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland: A celebration of the legacy of Mike Cooley". AI & Society. 34 (2): 377–379. doi:10.1007/s00146-019-00878-y. 4.^ Schmid, Felix; Evans, Stephen; Ainger, Andrew W.S; Grieve, Robert J. (6 December 2012). Computer Integrated Production Systems and Organizations. ISBN 9783642578953. 5.^ https://dblp.org/pers/hd/c/Cooley:Mike | DBLP Computer Science Bibliography 6.^ The Lucas Plan by Hilary Wainwright Schocken Books (1981) ISBN 978-0-8052-8098-2 7.^ "1976: The fight for useful work at Lucas Aerospace". libcom.org. 13 September 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 8.^ https://www.techworld.com/tech-innovation/plan-when-engineers-proposed-socially-useful-goods-over-weapons-3685280/ | The Plan: when engineers proposed socially useful goods over weapons 9.^ https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/hilary-wainwright/new-economics-of-labour | The new economics of Labour by John McDonnell and Hilary Wainwright 25 February 2018 10.^ Jump up to: a b Smith, Adrian (2014). "Socially Useful Production" (PDF). STEPS Working Papers. 58. Brighton: STEPS Centre: 17. Retrieved 15 October 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) 11.^ Information, Reed Business (21 September 1978). "New Scientist". 12.^ "The Right Livelihood Award website". Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 13.^ Jump up to: a b Staff, Guardian (6 April 2000). "The good old days". The Guardian. 14.^ "Greater London Enterprise Board (Hansard, 26 July 1985)". 15.^ "Outside bodies - Greater London Enterprise". February 2019. 16.^ cf Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I 17.^ Jump up to: a b "Architect or Bee? The Human Price of Technology". 18.^ http://www.spokesmanbooks.com/Spokesman/PDF/131OGrady.pdf | Architect or Bee? The human price of technology 19.^ Architect or Bee?, Mike Cooley, South End Press, 1982 20.^ Cooley, Mike (1989). "Human-centred Systems". Designing Human-centred Technology. The Springer Series on Artificial Intelligence and Society. pp. 133–143. doi:10.1007/978-1-4471-1717-9_10. ISBN 978-3-540-19567-2. 21.^ Labor and Monoply Capital. The Degradation of Work in the 20th Century, John Bellamy Foster and Harry Braverman, Monthly Review Press, 1998 22.^ Programmers and Managers: The Routinization of Computer Programmers in the United States, Philip Kraft, 1977 23.^ http://greenleftblog.blogspot.com/2019/02/comments-on-delinquent-genius-by-mike.html 24.^ Gill, Karamjit S. (2019). "DELINQUENT GENIUS: The strange affair of man and his technology". AI & Society. 34 (2): 387–389. doi:10.1007/s00146-018-0875-z. 25.^ https://newrenewextra.blogspot.com/2018/12/technology-and-future-automation.html | Technology and the future: automation by Dave Elliott 26.^ https://steps-centre.org/blog/answers-on-a-postcard-how-would-you-do-technology-differently/ | Answers on a postcard: how would you do technology differently? by Prof Adrian Smith 27.^ "Farewell to Work? (1983)". 28.^ "Harun Farocki: As You See". 29.^ "Look, No Hands! (1988)". 30.^ "Equinox: Look, No Hands! | TVmaze". 31.^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ_qIhrWw3s 32.^ ISBN 9781860590726 33.^ "Education matters, but not all learning takes place in school". 34.^ Quinn, John (October 1997). My education. ISBN 9781860590726. 35.^ "Working on his retirement". 36.^ "John Quinn". 37.^ "A restless imagination, dogged by depression". 38.^ "Mike Cooley". 39.^ "Acceptance speech - Mike Cooley". 40.^ "Incredible engineering collection donated to Waterford IT". 41.^ "International experts on artificial intelligence to talk at Prof Mike Cooley Collection announcement | News | Waterford Institute of Technology". External links[edit] From judgment to calculation Mike Cooley Received: 15 December 2006 / Accepted: 19 February 2007  Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007 Abstract We only regard a system or a process as being ‘‘scientific’’ if it displays the three predominant characteristics of the natural sciences: predictability, repeatability and quantifiability. This by definition precludes intuition, subjective judgement, tacit knowledge, heuristics, dreams, etc. in other words, those attributes which are peculiarly human. Furthermore, this is resulting in a shift from judgment to calculation giving rise, in some cases, to an abject dependency on the machine and an inability to disagree with the outcome or even question it. To tolerate such a situation could be seen as an abdication of professional responsibility. In complex technological and scientific environments, it is sometimes said that those who make best use of computers already know what the answer is (in ball park terms) before the calculation. Keywords Judgment to calculation  Human-centred systems  Symbiosis  Tacit knowledge  Lushai Hills Effect  Phylum  Rule-following IT systems frequently come between the professional and the primary task as the real world of touch, shape, size, form (and smell) is replaced by an image on a screen or a stream of data or calculation outputs. This can lead to high levels of abstraction where the ability to judge is diminished. I have described elsewhere the case of a designer using an advanced CAD system who input the decimal point one place to the right and downloaded the resultant output to the production department on a computer-to-computer basis (Cooley 1991). The seriousness of this error was further exacerbated when the designer, shown the resulting component which had been produced, did not even recognise that its dimensions were ten times too large. M. Cooley (&) Technology Innovation Associates, 99 Sussex Place, Slough, UK e-mail: m.cooley@btconnect.com 123 AI & Soc DOI 10.1007/s00146-007-0106-5 Scientific knowledge and mathematical analysis enter into engineering in an indispensable way and their role will continue. However, engineering contains elements of experience and judgment, regard for social considerations and the most effective way of using human labour. These partly embody knowledge which has not been reduced to exact and mathematical form. ‘‘They also embody value judgments which are not amenable to the scientific method.’’ (Rosenbrock 1977). These will be significant issues as IT is increasingly deployed in societal areas such as that of healthcare. Cases already abound and many have become high profile public issues, e.g. the paediatricians who administered a fatal dose of 15 mg of morphine instead of the correct 0.15 mg for the baby (Rogers 1999; Joseph 1999). They did this in spite of being warned by a staff nurse that the dose was obviously incorrect. Those introducing the avalanche of new technologies frequently limit their considerations to first order outcomes. These usually declare the positive and beneficial features, whilst only fleeting attention is given to the downside, if at all. It is as if the laws of thermodynamics no longer apply and that you can get something for nothing. We are now beginning to learn, to our cost, that there are ‘‘no free dinners’’ with technology. For too long we have ignored the double edged nature of science and technology (S&T). Viewed in this light, it has produced the beauty of the Taj Mahal and the hideousness of Chernobyl, the caring therapy of Ro¨ntgen’s Xrays and the destruction of Hiroshima, the musical delights of Mozart and the stench of Bergen Belsen. Most technologies display positive and negative aspects. There is now an urgent need for a new category of competence—an ability to discern the positive and negative aspects of a given technology and to build upon the positive whilst mitigating the negative features. It is not a question of being for, or against technology but rather discerning the positive and beneficial uses of it. One negative aspect of IT technology is the under-valorisation and frequently the squandering of our society’s most precious asset which is the creativity, skill and commitment of its people. Over the past 21 years AI and Society has facilitated a debate on positive alternatives to the existing developments and has placed particular emphasis on the potential for human centred systems. Its articles, reports and the conferences it has facilitated have provided practical examples and case studies of systems design which celebrate human talents. It requires courage, tenacity and profound insights to develop these alternatives in our obsessively technocratic and machine centred culture. The wow factor Technology in its multi-various forms is rapidly becoming all pervasive. It permeates just about every aspect of what we do and who we are. It ranges from the gigantic, such as the diversion of rivers and the repositioning of mountains to the microscopic level of genetic engineering. Science fiction becomes reality as faces are transplanted and head transplants are confidently predicted. AI & Soc 123 The ‘‘wow!’’ factor is mind-blowing. Even simple internet procedures have a God-like quality. With Google Globe you can look down on our planet and travel over continents and countries, quickly homing in on an aerial view of your beloved ‘‘homestead’’ showing your own car in the drive. We now appear as masters of the universe, able to see everything and confident in the belief that any problem we create we can also solve. It is just a question of a plentiful flow of research grants and resources. Meantime, we plan to bury our nuclear waste. Awesome capability We are the only species ever to have it within its power to destroy itself along with our beautiful and frail planet. This is an awesome capability and one for which our culture, education and politics ill prepares us to cope creatively. Change is frequently and thoughtlessly portrayed as progress and progress so unidimensionally defined is evident on all sides. In spite of this, at no time in history have so many people been fearful of the developments surrounding them and are becoming alienated from the society producing them. Doubts are jolted into concerns by global warming events or the looming spectre of an Avian Flu pandemic. Yet it tends to be a fear that dare not speak its name. Who after all, can be against progress, even if it is defined in its own self serving terms? Paths not taken In order to analyse where we are now with IT systems it is important to look back historically to identify turning points at which technology might have and could have developed differently. This is akin to Rosenbrock’s notion of the ‘‘Lushai Hills Effect’’ (Rosenbrock 1988, 1990). He suggests that with technology, we sometimes take a particular route of development and once we have done so we begin to believe that it is the only one. We then develop cultural forms, educational systems and a philosophical outlook which supports that contention. It therefore seems useful at this juncture to explore different interpretations of human and technological progress which may throw light on our present dilemma and indicate alternatives worthy of exploration. Ego smashing events We are indebted to Mazlish (1967) for the notion of technological and scientific development as dismantling discontinuities in historical ego smashing events. The first arises from Copernicus and Galileo which resulted in a re-organisation of the universe with our earth no longer at its centre. The second is based on Darwin who robbed human beings of the particular privilege of having been specially created. AI & Soc 123 The third, based on Freudian insights, suggests that we are not the masters of our own consciousness in the way we had assumed ourselves to be. Our society is now apparently demolishing the fourth discontinuity—the one between humans and their machines. Self elimination ‘‘To put it bluntly, we are now coming to realise that man and the machines he has created are continuous and that the same conceptual systems that help to explain the workings of the human brain also explain the workings of a thinking machine. Man’s pride and his refusal to acknowledge this continuity is the sub-stratum upon which the distrust of technology and industrial society has been reared’’ (Mazlish 1967). However, as we shall suggest later, this sub-stratum of distrust may be overcome if we view human beings and their machines as constituting a symbiosis rather than a convergence. Otherwise, as Karl Pearson (cited in Weizenbaum 1976) puts it: ‘‘The scientific man has above all things, to strive at self elimination in his judgments’’ (Pearson 1976). Walking, feeding, thinking Another conceptual framework which yields interesting insights is to consider technological change as a series of phyla. Rapoport (1963) identifies four. The first phylum consists of tools. Tools appear functionally as extensions of our limbs. While some mechanical advantage may be gained from such a device, it in no way functions ‘‘independently of us.’’ The second phylum is mechanical ‘‘clockworks.’’ Here the human effort in winding up the mechanism is stored as potential energy which may be released. Over a long period of time the clockwork gives the impression of autonomous activity. Furthermore, it is not a prosthetic device to extend our human capabilities but rather one that produces time: hours, minutes ...to pico-seconds. Thus in his seminal work, Lewis Mumford asserts that it is the clock and not the steam engine that is ‘‘the key machine of the modern age’’ as it ‘‘dissociated time from human events and helped create the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences: the special world of science’’ (Mumford 1963). Weizenbaum points out that clocks ‘‘are the first autonomous machines built by man and until the advent of the computer they remained the only truly important ones.’’ He also asserts ‘‘This rejection of direct experience was to become one of the principal characteristics of modern science’’ (Weizenbaum 1976). The third phylum is heat engines. These gradually emerged as devices that were neither pushed nor pulled but ‘‘fed.’’ The fourth phylum covers devices capable of collecting, storing, transmitting, manipulating, initiating information and determining actions based on these. It will be seen that in each phylum, the device moves toward autonomous capabilities but there is also a form of narcissism—technological narcissism—as AI & Soc 123 clockworks ‘‘walk’’, heat engines ‘‘feed’’ and computers ‘‘think.’’ We design devices with some human attributes and then in a strange dialectical way we begin to perceive ourselves as partial mirror images of the machines. During the early stages of clockworks, drawings showed human sinews and muscles in machine-like manner and De´scartes refers to the human being as a machine. In the era of heat engines there is a growing concern about what and how humans are fed. This is sometimes reflected in concerns about dietary intake and some even suggest could lead to anorexia. The fourth phylum leads to a situation where someone could say disparagingly ‘‘The human mind is the only computer made by amateurs’’ and a high priest of technology was presumably half joking when he said ‘‘Human beings will have to accept their true place in the evolutionary hierarchy: animals, human beings and intelligent machines.’’ Fault in reality The foregoing provides an interesting context in which to view the potential for human centred systems. However, the discussion of such systems has suffered from its questioning of the given orthodoxy in contemporary science. To do so is to elicit the disapproval of many of one’s colleagues. Sympathetic colleagues may imply that you have not grasped the greatness of all that is going on. Less sympathetic colleagues hint that you are questioning rationality itself and are therefore guilty of irrationality. Although Stalinistic psychiatric wards are not threatened, grants may dry up and you can forget that tenured post. Perhaps the students in the sixties had a point with their posters: ‘‘Don’t adjust your mind. There’s a fault in reality.’’ Our culture conveys the sense that a calculation is precise, analytical and scientific. It is regarded as apolitical and objective. Indeed in the sixties, when social scientists were struggling to gain acceptance of their science, many of their papers were awash with calculations and diagrams. However, when I worked in the aerospace industry I found that those who could make best use of computers and calculations already knew in a ‘‘ball park’’ sense what the answer should be and they used computer based calculation as a fine tuning device. They were able to rely on their judgment, so if a discrepancy arose the problem would be re-visited. In spite of this, judgment tends to be regarded as something much less significant. An informed guess—or worse a shot in the dark—is often dismissed as mere speculation. At the level of proficiency, Dreyfus refers to it as ‘‘holistic similarity recognition’’ and points out that ‘‘intuition is the product of deep situational involvement and recognition of similarity.’’ This becomes expertise when ‘‘not only situations but also associated decisions are intuitively understood’’ (Dreyfus and Dreyfus 1986). Using still more intuitive skills the expert can cope with uncertainties and unforeseen or critical situations and has the ability to override or disagree with calculated solutions. Decision making is probably at its best when there is a creative interaction between judgement and calculation. Both have their place in the symbiosis. AI & Soc 123 Intimidation Pivotal to all of this must be whether the output of a calculation is correct and how we can verify its status. Calculations, at least in the temporary sense, can be quite intimidating even if they are completely wrong. Archbishop Ussher, in calculating the age of the world as understood in the Middle Ages, declared it was created in 4004 BC on October 22nd at about 6.00 P.M. (USSHER cited in Rosenbrock 2002 ). Although his calculation was wrong by some billions of years it must have seemed quite impressive at the time. Recently, in a widely publicised trial, the expert witness Sir Roy Meadows declared the probability of two natural unexplained cot deaths occurring in a family was 73 million to 1. The court was impressed. Only later, when the odds were shown to be closer to two hundred to one was the enormity of the error exposed. I have described elsewhere the shift from judgment to calculation with some of the consequences. Initially, these were in the engineering field but are increasingly occurring elsewhere, e.g. in the medical field. I have represented this graphically as a shift from judgment to calculation; from the subjective to the objective and from signal to noise (Cooley 2002). The question may arise as to whether this matters significantly. Perhaps the problems identified are merely transitional ones which occur as the systems are being bedded down. It will be argued by many that this is in the nature of the human progress project. After all, we extended the capacity of our hands through a variety of tools. With spectacles, telescopes, microscopes and scanners we extend our vision. IT technology is merely a further development in which we now extend the capacity of our minds. This is a part of human progress—a speeded up version of the strongest of the tribe climbing to the top of the hill to see what is on the other side. If it could be done then do it! Can we, should we? I hold that it is no longer adequate to ask ‘‘Can we do it?’’ Rather we need to enquire ‘‘Should we do it?’’ The fourth phyla is of a different order to the previous three. The new technologies under consideration have been developed by appropriating human intelligence and objectivising it into computer based programmes and technological procedures. However, this is becoming qualitatively different from previous technological developments in that more and more humans—even at the highest professional levels are becoming increasingly dependent on calculations and systems output. The deep problem arises when human abilities and judgments so atrophy that we are incapable of disagreeing with, questioning or modifying a systems output. A simple example of this is the increasing number of people unable to add a column of figures, even to get an approximate total. AI & Soc 123 Loss of nerve I do believe that we are now at a historical turning point where decisions we make in respect of new technology will have a profound effect upon the manner in which our species develops. As matters now stand we are becoming increasingly dependent— some would say abjectly so—upon machines. Rosenbrock has cautioned against this approach. In the field of computer aided design, the computer is increasingly becoming a sort of automated design manual leaving only minor choices to the design engineer. This he suggests ‘‘seems to me to represent a loss of nerve, a loss of belief in human ability and a further unthinking application of the doctrine of the division of labour.’’ He further points out that the designer is thus reduced to making a series of routine choices between fixed alternatives in which case ‘‘his skill as a designer is not used and decays’’ (Rosenbrock 1977). The same underlying systems design philosophy is now evident across most areas of intellectual activity. The outcome could be an abject dependence on systems and an inability to ‘‘think for ourselves.’’ However, we still have a historical window which may well be closing but which might still allow for the design of systems in a symbiotic manner to make the best use of human attributes together with those of the system. Half a century ago the Turing Test was devised to distinguish between human beings and machines. All around the world today we see examples of humans behaving more like machines and machines more like human beings. The development is in the form of a convergence whereas what is required is one based on symbiosis. Parody becomes reality In the BBC comedy series Little Britain, the character Carol is a bored and indifferent bank employee. When a customer asks for a £2,000 loan she types in a few figures and declares smugly: ‘‘Computer says no.’’ Becoming increasingly anxious the customer makes a number of suggestions including a smaller loan and meeting the Manager. Getting the same response the customer makes a final attempt saying ‘‘Is there anything I can do?’’ Carol whispers to the computer and repeats ‘‘computer says no.’’ All of this is so resonates with the public’s experience that there is a now brisk market for badges, fridge magnets, key-rings and cartoons bearing the slogan ‘‘computer says no.’’ You can even get a ring tone for your mobile declaring it. In the parody Carol at least speaks to the customer but the reality can be much more alarming. When a Rochdale resident had no response whatsoever to three urgent e-mail messages to the Council’s Planning Department objecting to the erection of a structure, he eventually established that the messages had been screened out by Rochdale’s anti-porn software due to his inclusion of the dreaded word ‘‘erection’’ (Press report 2006). The computer had said ‘‘no’’ and the plans were passed before AI & Soc 123 the protest could be considered as the system was devoid of the contextual understanding that a human being would have applied. Such experiences are now becoming common place even as IT equipment manufacturers proudly proclaim in adverts that their products help you ‘‘Take back control.’’ On your bike The nature of technological change in its current form is that propositional knowledge becomes more significant than tacit knowledge. This results in ‘‘know that’’ being more important that ‘‘know how.’’ Tacit knowledge comes from ‘‘learning by doing’’ and results in the ability to judge situations based on experience. Propositional knowledge is based more on analysis and calculation. Within the human centred tradition, a symbiosis of the two and a creative interaction of them is essential. This is particularly true in the case of skilled activities. The nature of tacit knowledge is that (to quote Polanyi): ‘‘There are things we know but cannot tell.’’ In his seminal paper he continues: ‘‘I can say I know how to ride a bicycle or how to swim but it does not mean that I can tell how I managed to keep my balance on a bike or keep afloat when swimming. I may not have the slightest idea of how I do this or even an entirely wrong or grossly imperfect idea of it and yet can go on cycling and swimming merrily.’’ He points out that there are two kinds of knowledge which invariably enter jointly into any act of knowing a complex entity. There is firstly knowing a thing by attending to it. In that way that we attend to the entity as a whole. And secondly there is knowing a thing by relying on our awareness of its purpose of attending to an entity to which it contributes. A detailed explanation of this is given by Polanyi himself (Polanyi 1962). Use–abuse One of the key strands of the debate about human centred systems in the UK arose not so much in academic circles as in the industrial context of Lucas Aerospace. The company employed some 18,000 skilled craftsmen, prototype fitters, engineers, metallurgists, control systems engineers, scientists and laboratory staff. In the early seventies the company was one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerospace actuators, generators, systems and auxiliary items. It was clear that the company was embarking on a rationalisation strategy and it eventually emerged that some 4,000 of these world class technologists were facing unemployment. Several leading members of trade unions were engaged in debates in the continuing discussion from the sixties on the role S&T in society. These discussions went far beyond the use/abuse model and questioned the nature of S&T itself. AI & Soc 123 There was a vigorous discussion about the gap between the potential of (S&T) and its reality. Furthermore, there was a questioning of the assumption that science—in its own terms at least—had come to monopolise the notion of the rational and could therefore be counter-posed with irrationality and suspicion. Indeed it came to be seen as a means by which irrationality could be exercised. In discussions and exchanges of correspondence with organisations such as the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science through to academics in the USA, it gradually began to be realised that far from being neutral, S&T actually reflected sets of values causing us to speak in terms of the control of nature, the exploitation of natural resources and the manipulation of data. One best way? It was clear that within S&T there is the notion of the ‘‘one best way.’’ However, viewing them as part of culture which produced different music, different literature and different artefacts, why should there not be differing forms of S&T? Furthermore there was an increasing realisation that S&T had embodied within it many of the assumptions of the society giving rise to it. Space will not permit a detailed exploration of these extraordinary developments. Suffice it to say that the workforce produced a plan for what they called ‘‘Socially Useful, Environmentally Desirable Production.’’ They produced and demonstrated a road/rail vehicle, prototypes of city cars and they designed and produced a range of medical products all as an alternative to structural unemployment. There were also a variety of products proposed for third world countries. In discussions dealing with how these products would be produced, it was suggested that producing these in the usual Tayloristic, alienating fashion would be unacceptable and so there arose in parallel a searching and probing discussion about the notion of human centred systems which would celebrate human skill and ingenuity rather than subordinate the human being to the machine or system. In the discussions which led to the widely acclaimed Lucas Workers’ Plan (Cooley 1991), there needed to be practical examples so that the polarised options of development could be recognised. That is, whether the process should be total automation and machine based systems or those which would build on human skill and ingenuity. The EEC sponsored major research programme with research institutes and private companies in Denmark, German and the UK to produce a human centred system and the positive results of this are reported elsewhere (Cooley 1993). Telechirics—high tech, high touch Another practical example arose from the design need to produce a submersible vehicle capable of carrying out repairs in hazardous offshore environments. Initial considerations of a highly automated device indicated the huge computing and feedback capabilities necessary if humans were to be excluded from the process. AI & Soc 123 It was recognised that a telechiric device could work in a remote and hazardous environment but provide feedback—audio, tactile and visual to skilled operators in a safe environment. Such devices were already in use in other hazardous environments such as nuclear power. Thus telechiric devices became one of the product proposals in the Lucas Plan and emphasis was laid upon the wider application of such environments, not least in the medical field. In all cases the systems were designed such as to celebrate and enhance the skill and ability to judge of the human beings involved. Look and feel In the case of surgery, some of the sensationalist press headlines refer to ‘‘robotic surgeons.’’ In fact the reality is that some of these systems would enhance the skill of the surgeon rather than diminish it. An example is in the field of minimal invasive surgery. These systems provide enhanced dexterity precision and control which may be applied to many surgical procedures currently performed using standard laparoscopic techniques In fact the systems now reported, succeed in providing the surgeons with all the clinical and technical capabilities of open surgery whilst enabling them to operate through tiny incisions. As one of the companies producing such systems point out, it succeeds in maintaining the same ‘‘look and feel’’ as that of open surgery. The surgeon is provided with a ‘‘tool’’ to enhance and extend his or her skill whilst the patient may experience a whole range of improved outcomes, e.g. reduced trauma to the body, shorter hospital stay, less scarring and improved cosmesis. It is the judgment of the skilled surgeon that drives the system, not the technology. Cavalier disregard As AI & Society celebrates its 21st birthday, it is gratifying to see the emergence of some systems displaying many of the symbiotic attributes the journal has been espousing. Alas, the dominant tendency is still to confer life on systems whilst diminishing human involvement. Designers do so with cavalier disregard for potential human competence. Quantitative comparisons of human and systems capabilities are questionable and they do not compare like with like. However it is sobering on occasion to reflect upon the ball park comparison. Thus Cherniak (Cherniak 1988) suggests that the massive battle management software of the Strategic Defence Initiative is ‘‘at least a 100 times smaller than the estimated size of the mind’s programme.’’ Networks Human and technology networks can encourage and stimulate people to be innovative and creative. To encourage people to think in these terms, we need a form AI & Soc 123 of enterprise culture. However, universities and conventional secondary schools disregard such attributes because many are not predictable, repeatable or quantifiable. From a democratic standpoint, we need to redirect S&T because more and more of our citizens are opposed to its present form and to those who own and control it. A recent survey of EU citizens shows that if you ask them whom they can believe when informed about issues such as bio-engineering and genetic modification, only about 21% believe that you can accept what the multinationals tell you which suggests to me that there are still a lot of trusting people out there. Then if you ask them what about universities, only 28% say that you can believe what the universities say because they are frequently apologists for the big companies. However, if you ask them ‘‘Can you believe what Greenpeace tells you?’’ 54% will say ‘‘Yes.’’ Now this survey is a very important warning for us. If we have lost the trust of our citizens its no use pleading that they cannot or have not understood, for it is our fault for failing to communicate adequately. There are ways of communicating if we really want without making a virtue out of complexity. Kindred Spirits Challenging the given orthodoxy is a precarious and lonely affair. It is therefore important to build up and participate in a supportive network of kindred spirits. This may take many forms, one example is the Institute Without Walls set up by AI & Society colleagues. The exchange of ideas and the development of collaborative projects are all important. The support of funding bodies was likewise important with the Greater London Enterprise Board gaining EU research funding for Esprit 1217—to design and build and demonstrate a human centred manufacturing system. Funding was also made available by the EU FAST project—to set up a team of experts from EU member states which would produce a report. The ensuing report was entitled ‘‘European Competitiveness in the twenty-fitst century: the integration of Work, Culture and Technology.’’ It was part of the FAST proposal for an R&D programme on ‘‘Human Work in Advanced Technological Environments.’’ The report provided practical examples of human enhancing systems and called for an industrial and cultural renaissance. It advocated that new forms of education should facilitate the transmission of a culture valuing proactive, sensitive and creative human beings. In 1990, the EU commissioned and published 26 reports in its Anthropocentric Production Systems (APS) research papers series. Several of these were based on an analysis of the potential of APS for individual member states. Cherish skill and judgment During the formulation of the original ideas, the International Metalworkers’ Federation held a conference in 1984 and hosted a presentation by the author AI & Soc 123 entitled ‘‘Technology, Unions and Human Needs.’’ The presentation, subsequently published as a 58 page report in 11 languages including Finnish and Japanese, was circulated to the Federation’s members worldwide. Publicity for these ideas at the more popular level was also important as it is spurious to talk about a democratic society if the public can not influence the manner in which technology is developing. In this context, the 1-h television programme in the Channel 4 (London) Equinox series which was presented by the author, caused considerable interest as did a number of interviews and articles in the more popular press. TV Choice London produced an educational video ‘‘Factory of the Future’’ explaining the application of human centred systems which valorise human skill and judgment. The wriggling worm Education—like democracy—can only be partially given and for the remainder, it must be taken. Indeed, taking it is part of the process itself. Some of those designing IT systems for education behave as though a body of knowledge can be downloaded on to a human brain. It is true that some of these systems are impressive and used as a tool to aid human learning they are, and will continue to be of great significance. The range of options, images and supporting films and graphic animation can indeed be overwhelming. However, it should be noted that in many cases they come between us and the real world. They provide us with forms of second and third order reality and information. This may be explained by a simple example. Any child can get an impressive range of support from the internet and learning systems but this form of knowledge is very different from that acquired by one who goes into their local wood, lifts up a stone, picks up a worm and feels it wriggling in the palm of his hand. To this tactile input may then be added contextual information—summer or winter? Farms in the background? Was there the scent and feel of damp soil or decaying leaves? So I suggest that in education in coming years, we are going to acquire learning in developing situations where there will be the form of explicit knowledge, you acquire in a university, but of equal importance will be the implicit knowledge and the informal situations that really advise our lives. It is essential to understand that if we just proceed on this mechanistic basis, the mistakes we make will be truly profound and creative opportunities will be missed. Natural science? We are frequently told that the best way we can proceed is within a rule-based system. This is absolutely extraordinary! As any active trade unionist knows, the way to stop anything in its tracks is to work to rule. It is all the things that we do outside the rule-based system that keeps everything going. As matters now stand, the given scientific methodology can only accept that a procedure is scientific if it displays the three predominant characteristics of the AI & Soc 123 natural sciences: predictability, repeatability and mathematical quantifiability. These by definition preclude intuition, subjective judgment, tacit knowledge, dreams, imagination, heuristics, motivation and so I could go on. So instead of calling these the natural sciences, perhaps they should be re-named the unnatural sciences. There are other ways of knowing the world than by the scientific methodology. Furthermore, when we talk of informating people rather than automating them we need to be clear that we are talking about information and not data. Transforming data into information requires situational understanding which the human can bring to bear. This information can then be so applied as to become knowledge which in turn is absorbed into a culture and thereby becomes wisdom (Cooley 2002). The mistress experience Reductionists have much to answer for. They have intimidated those who proceed on the basis of tacit knowledge. Even the giants of our civilisation were derided by them. Thus we have Leonardo’s spirited riposte: ‘‘They say that not having learning, I will not speak properly of that which I wish to elucidate. But do they not know that my subjects are to be better illustrated from experience than by yet more words? Experience, which has been the mistress of all those who wrote well and thus, as mistress, I will cite her in all cases (Cooley 1991). The academic reductionists had even enacted a law to prevent master builders calling themselves a ‘‘master’’ because it may have been confused with the academic title ‘‘magister.’’ Perfect flower of good manners As early as the thirteenth century, Doctors of Law were moved to protest formally at these academic titles being used by practical people whose structures and designs demonstrated competence of the highest order. Thus the separation between intellectual and manual work; between theory and practice, was being further consolidated at that stage and the title Dr Lathomorum was gradually eliminated. The world was already beginning to change at the time when the following epitaph could be written for the architect who constructed the nave and transepts of Saint Denis: ‘‘Here lies Pierre de Montreuil, a perfect flower of good manners, in this life a Doctor of Stones.’’ Significantly, following this period and in most the European languages there emerged the word DESIGN or its equivalent, coincident with the need to describe the occupational activity of designing. This is not to suggest that designing was a new activity, rather it indicated that designing was to be separated from doing and tacit knowledge separated from propositional knowledge (Cooley 1991). AI & Soc 123 Liberating human imagination Within the human centred tradition, liberating human imagination is pivotal. This is true in the hardest of the sciences as it is in music or literature. Einstein said on one occasion ‘‘imagination is more important than knowledge.’’ Furthermore, when pressed to reveal how he arrived at the theory of relativity, he is said to have responded ‘‘When I was a child of 14 I asked myself what it might be like to ride on a beam of light and look back at the world.’’ In a wider sense, we need to emphasise all the splendid things that humans can do. This is in contrast to the defect model which emphasises what they cannot do. The destructiveness of viewing humans in this manner is dramatically highlighted in the extraordinary passage in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake when he describes the purveyors of this negative approach as: ‘‘Sniffer of carrion, premature gravedigger, seeker of the nest of evil in the bosom of a good word, you, who sleep at our vigil and fast for our feast, you with your dislocated reason...’’ (Cooley 2005). Confucius This article has been wide ranging and will have raised a number of controversial issues. The references provide a framework in which to explore the ideas further. Some parts of it deal with cutting edge new technologies, yet it is gratifying to think that we can revert to Confucius to encapsulate these ideas so succinctly. ‘‘I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand’’ Now on this 21st birthday the journal can be proud of the impressive body of work it has nurtured. This augers well for the future development of systems which will be more caring of humanity and our precious planet. References Cherniak C (1988) Undebuggability and cognitive science. Commun Assoc Comput Mach 31(4):402–412 Cooley M (1991) Architect or bee?: the human price of technology. Chatto & Windus/The Hogarth Press, London. 2nd Impression 1991 Cooley M (1993) Skill and competence for the 21st century. PROC: IITD conference, Galway, April 1993 Cooley M (2002) Stimulus points: making effective use of IT in health. Workshop. Post Grad Department. 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