/ We can count hard cash, but what is the value of beauty?
I think the source of the problem lies within the individual, (who is in a position of power, (MP, Cabinet Minister, CEO of some firm who can pay lots of money into Party coffers)) who has the choice of decision, either to recognise in the first instance the difference between an Area of Natural Beauty and its preservation, and the money made from exploiting it.
Someone somewhere will turn they're backs on morality and gladly receive money or some other form of payment in exchange for abusing our countryside.
Someone/people in Cumbria believe that the nuclear waste heading that way should not end up buried in the impermeable rock of the lakes (who knows what could happen to that waste in a 1000 years time), and Someone/people in Copeland believe otherwise.
The question is: what dividend or profit is rewarded for the exploitation of AONB, and who will receive it. When it comes to money, people change.
The HS2 project is a lot like this, where it will up route miles upon miles of green belt, but the contracts are highly lucrative, there are those who don't care for the green belt, the Wonga is much more important, but if there was no Wonga then the Green belt would probably be they’re first choice of preservation and not they’re bank account.
I might not be accurate in my theory, but I think its on the right lines
so economics.. social.. environmental.. we could then work out a cost benefit analysis and decide what was appropriate cost..
Unfortunately the native flora and fauna was valued at something like 40 times the GDP of the country.. which sounds great, but it rendered the whole process useless..
Suppose you took the waste and diluted it (e.g. by mixing it into glass) sufficiently so it was less radioactive per unit volume than uranium ore. Then you took the glassified waste and dumped it in an old uranium mine.
You have actually improved the situation from that which existed before the uranium was mined. Any disposal solution which is provably better than the situation before the uranium was mined should be environmentally acceptable.
People are fixated on reducing risk from nuclear waste to zero and ignoring the fact that there are naturally radioactive rocks all over the place and the uranium was not risk free when it was sitting in the ground.
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