quinta-feira, maio 18, 2006

Nuclear Power Controversy

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Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarSaturday, May 20, 2006

If anyone is thinking about this issue I would sure like to know where they are? I thought the Spiegel article was thought provoking, silly me; there appears to be no issue, no controversy, no interest - whatsoever. Their "Technorati: Blogs discussing this story" link goes exactly nowhere. Jig's up, the NIMBY nit-wit Muggles won. George Bush wants more Nuclear - he also wants the Cape Wind project on Cape Cod to go ahead so the news is not all bad there; Tony Blair wants more Nuclear and it looks like he will have it; and Canada scuttles Kyoto - I admit it was a lot less than perfect, but it was something at least, a starting place, that and the Maundy Thursday cuts make me want to sell up and get out of this fat and complacent country for good, can't do it, not enough cash, no job.

This blogging business has gotten to be a bit of a hopeful habit or I would give it up, probably will anyway, even Michael K could not survive on this drivvle; go back to single malt whisky, MacAllan's, yeah, soon, something to look forward to.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I should have known! It's not about debate at all!

Gwynne Dyer: Chernobyl - The Numbers Game.

While I'm at it, here's Lovelock's EFN site: Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy (trademarked mind you).

It's all bullshit, go back to Ibsen and his Peer Gynt and learn, "Troll, to thyself be ... enough."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarSpiegel this morning tells me that Nuclear Power Will Drive the Future. (Archive) They have Christine Todd Whitman (Wikipedia)), the former governor of New Jersey, and Patrick Moore (Wikipedia)), a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, and now chairman and chief scientist at Greenspirit Strategies trotting out the treacle whitewash.

'Chief scientist' eh? I didn't know he was a scientist ... too many 'former's in there for my liking. I added Wikipedia links above for these folks, you can judge for yourselves. For being a 'chief scientist' I didn't find any actual scientific publications. I remember him now - this is Greenpeace's Quisling doppelganger.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarTheir argument goes something like this: we need it, and the DOE says we will need twice again in the next 25 years; there is nowhere else for it to come from; anyway it is clean, safe, and cheaper. Then they throw in a public opinion poll saying that people think it's 'important'. Then they cripple their own argument by saying "Americans don't pay much attention to energy issues beyond the cost." I guess they figgure the intervening paragraph is enough time for their audience to forget. A few good mumbles about 'component of a comprehensive plan', 'advance the national dialogue', 'diverse energy portfolio', 'raise awareness', and 'educate the public'; then tell us that they have formed a 'coalition', the flags are ready, and it is a crisis eh? So don't be trying to go off and think about this, just get on with it. We have the Silver Bullet!

So, point by point rebuttal:

1. We don't need Nuclear. Most of the energy we currently 'use' is simply squandered. It is no accident that George Bush calls what we do with energy an 'addiction'. The solution is not to buy more drugs - the solution is to kick the habit.

2. There are other sources. Enough energy falls onto the planet every day (from a conveniently located fusion reactor) to supply all of our needs indefinitely. The technology exists to capture and use it. This energy really is clean and safe - not to mention inexhaustible.

I think the reason renewable technologies have not been taken up as much as they should have been is that these energy conversion systems, be they solar-electric, geo-thermal, wind, biomass (this may be the exception to what I am about to say) tend to be distributed rather than centralized, hence there are few opportunities for mega-projects, less chance of central 'command and control' sensibilities taking over, less appeal for the big-business / big-government (which have become one and the same) mind-set.

3. Nuclear is not clean. There has never been a feasible plan for what to do with nuclear waste, period. It's just that the time when you really have to deal with the issue is far enough in the future to allow for vague and fuzzy promises.

4. Nuclear is not safe. Chernobyl? Three Mile Island?

5. Nuclear is not cheaper. The models these people use to come up with such nonsense do not take into account the de-commissioning costs. What will it cost to take down a nuclear power plant when it's usefulness is done? Nobody knows because it has never been done. They no more know how to dispose of the plants than they know how to dispose of the waste. Just to contain Chernobyl for the next hundred years is estimated to be two billion dollars - and that is an estimate with no basis in experience, even the engineers who cooked it up would admit to a contingency factor of 2 or 4 - it is a guess.


Environmental consciousness is just recovering from the last Greenpeace snow job and finally coming to accept that global warming really is happening, and really is linked to CO2 emissions. It took almost 50 years to get straight on it because the phony hippie-science of these nit-wits is so transparently false, they are so patently the epitome of Chicken Little. They happened to be right of course (that time) but who could believe them?

Their arguments remind me of T.S. Eliots proposition in Murder in the Cathedral, that "It is the greatest treason, to do the right deed for the wrong reason"; and of two stories: Ibsen's Peer Gynt at the point when he discovers that the troll princess is really a pig and his prospective father-in-law is explaining that everything will be OK - they are going to fix his eyes; and The Snow Queen in which bits of ice wind up embedded in people's hearts so they cannot any longer tell what is true.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarThe Energy Minister of Ontario, Donna Cansfield, has got it right. Tim Flannery (Wikipedia) in his book The Weather Makers has got it right. Go! Read and listen and learn! Kick your bad habits and change your ways! It will make you feel good. Then tell your politicians that you don't want another generation of corrupt oil barons this time peddling Nuclear.

Yes, we have to do something, but Nuclear is not it.

Leonard Cohen said in one of his songs "When they said Repent! Repent! I wonder what they meant." I know he was just slamming Christians at the time, but, well Lennie, maybe this is what they meant.

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