‘We urge the government of the United Kingdom not to invest in a replacement for the Trident system and to begin the process of decommissioning these weapons with the intention of diverting the sums spent on nuclear weaponry to programs of aid and development.’

Church leaders here have been signing this petition – and I don’t think I would refuse to sign it.  But are we really saying that we cannot imagine a situation in which the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons might be necessary?  I was never a great fan of MAD but it played its part in preserving several generations from having to go to war.  Is this unilateralism?  It’s a dangerous world out there.  Who knows what threats may not emerge over a 30 year time span from terrorists, rogue states, emerging world powers, etc.  But then one might reasonably ask whether enormous nuclear weapons carried around in submarines are at all relevant to our defence needs.

I watch the growing debate about nuclear power with great interest.  Global warming gathers pace.  Something needs to be done.  But is the something nuclear power?  Our lifestyle produces ever more CO2 – endless miles in the Passat; constant Easyjet flights.  We seem powerless to change it.  But there must be another way.

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