Cartesian Vilnius

  • 2006-02-15
  • By Ron Federer
As you wrote in your editorial on nuclear energy (TBT #491), there is a strong argument for allowing Lithuania to remain a nuclear energy-producing nation. If prices for hydrocarbons stay at current levels 's and there is reason to believe they will increase 's alternative energy sources become increasingly attractive. For all its strengths, wind power only goes so far, and solar energy is a long way off from becoming economically feasible. That leaves the peaceful atom, and Lithuania has proven that it can manage the complex operations of a nuclear power plant.

The problem 's or one of the problems 's is, as always, politics. The current government is utterly incapable of accomplishing anything, and the longer they continue bickering over taxes and EU funds, the slimmer Lithuania's chances are to win Brussels' blessing for a new nuclear power plant. (It even appears that Lithuania's chances for adopting the euro next year are slipping away.) It often seems that Lithuanian politicians cannot live without a scandal, that they must dream up scandals lest their names vanish from the headlines.

It has gotten to the point that I propose a new motto for Lithuanians: "I scandalize, therefore I am."

If the view from Vilnius is bad, you can imagine what they think in Brussels. And yet the government wants to build a new nuclear power plant.


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