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I'm on the anti-nuke side. Here's why.

If you live anywhere in the U.S., the front page story on your newspaper yesterday was the story about a tragic airplane crash, where 49 people were killed. Note, however, that there was NO MENTION of the 100 or so (40,000 annual) automobile deaths that same day.

There is a fundamental issue at play here that has to do with people's perceptions of danger and control. Travel by car, the most dangerous thing you can do outside of sleeping with a revolver under your pillow, is something that practically everybody does on a daily basis. What they get excited about is airplane crashes and nuclear power plants: Less dangerous, but more dramatic when something goes wrong.

Arguments about average death rates of coal burning versus nuclear reacting are meaningless because one is considered a routine hazard of life while the other is a special case. If you want to change this, you're going to have to do some DNA modification. Just look at what we do to ourselves in the air travel business as a result of a couple of thousand lousy deaths by terrorism--the equivalent of a few weeks of car travel.

You ask what my plan is for saving us from global warming? Answer: None. It isn't going to happen.

Global climate change means that the climate will change and lots of people will have to move away from the coast. But it will take quite a while before people believe it. For example, why is New Orleans being rebuilt in its same location? Why are all political parties supporters of the automobile economy? Why are all western countries (with one huge exception) decommissioning their nuclear plants instead of building new ones? Why did the original Green party start in Tasmania as an anti-hydroelectric power organization?

What we (globally) will do is burn coal for the next 100 years. That is a pretty obvious and easy conclusion to draw. "Save the earth from global warming" is utopian dreaming. Unfortunately.

by asdf on Thu Aug 31st, 2006 at 10:25:46 AM EST
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