Ecological transition, nuclear fission and false ideology

Organizzazione giovanile comunista Cambiare Rotta

We reorder our statements and positions regarding the installation of nuclear fission power plants in Italy which, in recent weeks, have reignited and then fuelled the controversy.

Cingolani, Minister of Ecological Transition in the Draghi government, said at an event of Italia Viva that radical chic environmentalists are worse than the climate catastrophe because they do not understand that today there are new technologies to produce clean energy through nuclear fission and without who knows what radioactive waste.

The first reactions came from the parties: while the PD simply calls it a wrong controversy and the M5S timidly expresses its opposition by asking for a meeting with Cingolani (on the other hand, after the abandonment of many causes such as No Tav, is very little credible on the front of the environmental fight), the League for its part supports the project and even proposes the construction of a power plant in Lombardy.

As an organization that considers anti-capitalist environmentalism a strategic plan of struggle and investigation, we couldn’t help but place these openings within a certainly broader framework that we have long since begun to analyze and that concerns the entire maneuver of ecological transition sponsored by the European Union and carried by the government on a national scale.

Of the criticisms of the re-proposal of nuclear power that we have published and represented in the streets in recent weeks, we would like to underline the criticism of the attitude of a minister who, placed (as he says) in front of a catastrophe towards which “we are shooting”, cannot propose a credible plan of action and therefore feeds his rhetoric with visions that still have nothing concrete.

By his own admission (following the criticism) he specified in fact that “Today we could not do anything nuclear, because we have a referendum that says no to the old technologies and the new ones at the moment there are not yet”. So what is the point of raising this issue? We simply note that these are not spurious statements, but that they precede a series of events in preparation for the PreCop26 climate conference, two of which are devoted entirely to publicizing nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels.

The fact is that these clarifications do not settle the matter since:

the greenwashing propaganda of many transition actors (governmental and non-governmental) within the scientific community and among young people does not stop;

We have not yet come to terms with our nuclear past: the waste produced 30 years ago is still waiting to be permanently disposed of (and this is not just our problem)

In short, this is an area in which we have every interest in maintaining a high level of attention, not with a view to cultivating the tradition of the “Left of No”, but rather because it is a subject that forces us to ask ourselves political questions, which include but go beyond the calculation on cutting emissions and instead directly concern the model of development that we intend to support if we want humanity not to succumb.

For us, looking at science as communists means first of all asking ourselves what are the priorities that guide progress, who benefits from it and at what price. It means recognizing that science is not neutral: that is, that while its results are universally valid, the direction of research is indicated by interests established by the relations of force within society (which, at this moment, are all against us). This is why moments of in-depth analysis of the scientific reasons for rejecting nuclear fission would be meaningless without a broader critique of the “ecological scam” that is the re-proposition in green sauce of the capitalist mode of production, which has proven to be incompatible with the physical limits of this planet; and it is for this reason that, however much scientific curiosity the progress in nuclear fusion may arouse in us, we must recognize that (despite the clickbait headlines about ENI’s new magnet) it is a prospect far from materializing and the course must be reversed now, not in 20 or 30 years.

The squares in which we will and have participated (from the FFF on 24/09 to the protest at PreCop26 on 2/10) together with the initiative we organized in Bologna and the next debate that will be held at the Politecnico di Milano will be moments in which to build a counter-narrative and concrete practices of struggle against the transition proposed by the government, made on the one hand of vague proposals and on the other of very concrete actions aimed at repressing historical environmental struggles (such as NoTav and NoTap) in order to pursue the strengthening of the European pole and pander to the interests of energy multinationals.

Published in: International Bulletin October 2021

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