Critical Response Essay

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Critical Response Essay

The real debate - the pipe-dream or nuclear?

Mark Kenny 'The Nation'

Mark Kenny's article on the coal power versus nuclear power debate was published in the Advertiser on the 31st of October 2009. The Advertiser is South Australia's only daily tabloid newspaper, and is widely distributed around South Australia allowing for a large dispersion of readers from diverse cultural backgrounds and an assortment of age groups. The article has Mark Kenny's photograph situated next to a quote from the conclusion of his article stating “It's time for a real debate which admits clean coal is a pipe-dream and safe nuclear is a global reality”. It also has a cartoon of Peter Garrett being portrayed as lead singer of Midnight Oil protesting against uranium mining and next to it Peter Garrett as the Environment and Arts Minister opening up a uranium mine.

Kenny begins his article by stating that “clean coal is an oxymoron” therefore immediately setting the tone for the article: a hard hitting analysis on Australia's reliance on coal. Kenny even goes further by saying the term clean coal “is used to suggest it actually exists. It does not”. He also uses informal language throughout his argument to appeal to emotion of the reader and creates a conversational tone through using terms such as “jack up the price” and even in his opening sentence “Like it or not”.

Kenny acknowledges that the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute has admitted that clean coal is a long way off however Kenny goes as far to say that “no commercially viable example of it exists anywhere in the world” and strongly criticises the government for investing, or as Kenny describes “ploughing” money into coal energy. This however seems necessary as recently the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong stated “If you look at the International Energy Agency's projections out to 2050, coal is still going to be a significant part of the world's energy profile, that's a fact.”...
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