George Monbiot is a writer, speaker and activist who concerns himself with environmental and political, especially social justice, issues.
Whilst Monbiot's political position is generally social-democratic he advocates for common ownership rather than either state or private ownership for some natural resources, as he discusses for example in this interview.
Since 2019 he has been increasingly involved with Extinction Rebellion. In March he was guest speaker at XR Oxford's "Heading for Extinction" talk, and in October he was arrested taking Non-Violent Direct Action as part of XR's "International Rebellion".
Views on Nuclear Energy
Notably in an article published shortly after the Fukushima accident Monbiot wrote: "Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power."
However more recently, during an Extinction Rebellion talk in Oxford in March 2019, Monbiot replied to a question about nuclear energy:
Q: Isn't the elephant in the room that even if the world's governments turned around tomorrow and decided to do what the IPCC's report said we needed to do to stay under 1.5 degrees, most of us would oppose it because the experts agree we can't do it without loads more nuclear?
A: Well, that's possibly true. Now as it happens I think that if we have a choice of fossil fuels or nuclear power, controversially perhaps, I come down on the side of nuclear power. And the reason for this is that, while nuclear has its dangers, the dangers of fossil fuels are literally orders of magnitude greater. Coal kills more people when it goes right than nuclear kills when it goes wrong. Now there are other schools of thought which say you can do it entirely with a renewable economy, but it is more difficult. Nuclear and renewables potentially can complement each other with nuclear providing the baseload which can overcome some of the intermittency issues with renewables. It means that you can potentially can do it quicker, but not, I think, with the current generation of nuclear power stations like Hinkley C which are a total disaster: they are massively expensive, they have huge legacy issues. But there's some very exciting potential in small modular reactors which actually are powered by the waste left over from the previous, really crap, designs of nuclear reactors, and I would like to see a lot more research and development going into that because what is currently a massive problem - the waste pile - could potentially be turned into a solution, and that could supply, according to the late, great, David MacKay, 500 years of zero-carbon British energy, if we wanted that.