Friday, January 12, 2018

Anti-Nuclear and a Deliberative Democracy

When different groups in society can agree to work together for the common good we have something   all can celebrate and encourage. Articles in the Catholic Weeklies have reported on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Seoul City and the Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul.

According to the understanding the Seoul Archdiocese will increase generating solar power via the roofs of its parish buildings and on church-owned land including parking lots. It will also encourage parishioners to install solar generators in their homes.

The Mayor of Seoul wants to produce enough energy to replace one of the nuclear power plants by 2022.  Waste that follows the operation of our nuclear power plants is a positive talking point. Mayor's aim is to decrease the use of fossil fuels and reliance on nuclear energy with the increase of solar power in the city.

What would happen if all the roofs of the Seoul Buildings had solar panels? If 45 % of the roof space of our buildings were used there would be a 25% increase of energy produced. Seoul City has
inaugurated this plan for the new year and will be asking other organization to participate which the Cardinal did for the Seoul Archdiocese.

Seoul City has worked in the past to reduce the consumption of energy which it did achieve and now  they have turned to the production of energy. They will invest a great deal of money on this project and mobilize the public to participate.

The Catholic Church has been been a leader in the anti-nuclear movement in South Korea. Fukushima  in 2011 was a reminder of the risks that come with nuclear energy. The earthquakes we had last year in Korea helped the anti-nuclear movement but the citizens are still concerned with the price of electricity  and the abandonment of nuclear power which is  a money maker for the country. The majority are ambiguously for the continuation of nuclear energy.

Korea is the fifth largest user of nuclear power with over 20 nuclear reactors scattered throughout  the country. The new government and the the desire of the President to follow the will of the people gave the president little room but to go ahead with the construction of the the nuclear plants that were under construction. His desire clearly is to abandon nuclear energy in the future and hopes the people will come to embrace this position.

Decreasing fossil fuels and increasing renewable energy is the movement spearheaded by the Seoul City. Seoul Archdiocese is not only opposed to nuclear energy but wants to do something concretely to show its willingness to work to together with Seoul City to produce renewable energy and our dependency on nuclear energy.

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