Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Europe Is Considering A Nuclear-Free Future – A Welcome Thought

Will the recent tragedy in Japan, that has made the country face a possible nuclear disaster, eventually push European Union (EU) to go for a nuclear-free future?

Well, there seems to be a possibility, if a recent observation by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger is anything to go by.

Shocked with what is happening in Japan, EU has decided to test the resistance level of its nuclear power stations, to judge whether there is any possibility of a nuclear disaster in case those power plants face a situation like what is now happening in Japan. It is in this context that Mr. Oettinger has said that EU should check whether it can stop depending on nuclear power, in the near future, to address its power needs.

It is a welcome thought, Mr. Oettinger. It will be really great if EU can go ahead with this plan. It is something that should be given serious considerations by every country in the world. And I suppose it is OK to part with nuclear energy even if we find that will create deficiencies in addressing power needs, and other requirements. It is OK to pay the moderate price that we are supposed to pay if we stop depending on nuclear power. But it is disastrous to pay the price that we will pay if the nuclear power develops problems. Let us not fail to learn a very crucial lesson that lies beneath the disaster that our Japanese friends are facing today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nobel For Liu Xiaobo – Europe Has Shown Where It Is Ahead Of The USA

China’s ruthlessly oppressive Communist government suffered a huge humiliation when its detained Human Rights activist Liu Xiaobo was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for 2010. While the award was a recognition for the gutsy fight put up by the respectable activist, it also came as a recognition for the cause that he is fighting for, i.e. a democratic life for the hapless Chinese people who find almost every aspect of their life being controlled by the ruling Communist Party.

Quite understandably the Chinese government had tried its best to ensure that the award ultimately did not come to Liu. It had even gone to the level of blackmailing Norway (it is a committee of Norwegian parliamentarians which selects the Nobel Peace Awardee) by implying that in case Liu is awarded the Prize, then it would adversely affect the trade relations between the two countries.

But by displaying a genuine Nordic fortitude, the Scandinavian Kingdom of Norway simply stuck to its guns, and ultimately ended up by handing over to Liu Xiaobo the award that he truly deserved. China’s nasty endeavour to advance its political cause through dirty blackmailing simply fell flat.

While apparently this incident reflects the strong sense of ethics and self-respect that underlines the national character of Norway, in reality it reflects the regional characteristic of the European continent as a whole (especially Western Europe).

No matter how many flaws they may have, a key quality of the West European nations is that they maintain a basic level of ethics and morality in their statecraft, in a stark contrast with the USA for which national interests come above all. If it were the USA in the place of Norway, and if it found that its commercial interests in China would be threatened if it gave the Nobel Peace Award to Liu, then it would have surely backed out. But as a Western European nation, Norway did not find its commercial interests to be more valuable than its national ethics, and went ahead with presenting the award to the person it thought to be the most suitable one for the same. It gave a damn to this fact that by presenting this ward to Liu it was getting in a conflict mode with an emerging economic as well as military superpower.

Europeans have many flaws that are not present in the USA. One glaring example of the same is the racist mindset, which is still so common among the Europeans while not being that common among the US people. But it is the presence of a basic ethics and righteousness in their politics that keeps the Western European nations ahead of the USA, at least in terms of political morality.