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This sounds to me, alas, like a "lie back and like it" argument:  implicitly we're being told that conservation and sustainable practise are impossible, and therefore our only two choices are coal or nuclear -- since no other choices can accommodate the "growth cult" economic model (which is already faltering due to drawdown of resources other than energy, so why keep it on life support?), and it is tacitly assumed that we cannot possibly reduce demand except by catastrophe (which no reasonable person wants).  Jerome seems to be telling us that if we don't want nuclear, we'll get coal -- there is no third, or fourth, or fifth or sixth way -- so we'd better hold our noses and learn to love those warm and friendly isotopes.

I decry this as (a) defeatist and (b) rhetorical blackmail  :-)  I think there are plenty of practical reasons why nuke plants cannot possibly meet the imminent energy shortfall, and plenty of practical reasons why coal is a huge mistake.  Either one, to me, is a disastrous choice -- like being forced to choose Bush or Blair for World President.  But we'll have to do some more reading and reasoning together to present, and wrangle over, these points.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sun May 7th, 2006 at 10:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as someone who does all he can to promote wind and conservation, I obviously agree that we shouldn't accept that dichotomy - but it IS the state of the debate for people who actually make the investment decisions, sadly, so we have to find a way to reach them or anti-nuke arguments will - as they do now - lead us to more coal.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 8th, 2006 at 03:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a fair point, but I note that the coal industry is the dirtiest and most lethal in the same places where governments don't bother about nuclear protesters either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 8th, 2006 at 04:13:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of energy options, from a physics perspective, it's hard to see any fundamental reason why solar photovoltaic arrays should cost more than leaves of grass. On a global-warming time scale, it seems that we should be able to move technology a bit closer to the levels that physics allows, especially with biology sitting there, taunting us with the possibilities.

I've heard that Migeru may be looking into this :)

BTW, I ordered Fallen Dragon today, per your recommendation.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Mon May 8th, 2006 at 04:25:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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