Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Attitude Towards Nuclear Energy Has Not Changed

I have come to understand that conservation of energy plus use of alternative sources such as wind,water,and solar may not be enough to counter the loss of oil in the not-so-distant future due to the rising usage and need for energy. Sorry, but I do not care. We have created this mess and continue to create it and it is we who must pay for it, one way or another. Changing light bulbs, reducing driving, recycling everything possible, buying alternative vehicles, reducing consumption of everything, not supporting the corporations, etc, etc, all helps. But, it will not be enough for maintaining our current lifestyles in our current world. But, building nuclear plants in the numbers needed to offset the oil and maintain things as they are is not the answer. For one thing, they are the worst source of pollution on the planet, and one of the worst man-made sources of danger on earth.

Read Accidents Dim Hopes for Green Nuclear Option by Brad Knickerbocker and the even better article The Earthquake That Screamed "NO NUKES!!!" by Harvey Wasserman (lower on the same page)which is a very good piece on the current state of the nuclear energy industry and power plants, what has been revealed by the recent volcanic activities to nuke plants located near or on the volcanic lines, and why we should not build more .

Snippet from Wasserman article:
Atomic reactors contribute to global warming rather than abating it. In construction, in the mining, milling and enriching of the fuel, in on-going "normal" releases of heat and radioactivity, in dismantling and decommissioning, in managing radioactive wastes, in future terror attacks, in proliferation of nuke weapons, and much much more, atomic energy is an unmitigated eco-disaster.

To this list we must now add additional tangible evidence that reactors allegedly built to withstand "worst case" earthquakes in fact cannot. And when they go down, the investment is lost, and power shortages arise (as is now happening in Japan) that are filled by the burning of fossil fuels.

It costs up to ten times as much to produce energy from a nuke as to save it with efficiency. Advances in wind, solar and other green "Solartopian" technologies mean atomic energy simply cannot compete without massive subsidies, loan guarantees and government insurance to protect it from catastrophes to come.

Time for change. What I think we must all come to accept really soon is that the change of which I am speaking is a massive loss of life-as-we-know-it, massive conservation efforts, an alteration in viewpoint as to what we really need in order to be happy. We need to live life far more simply, folks, without the appliances, commutes, jet-travel, large homes, multiple vehicles, and endless self-gratifications. We need to put the Earth First and explore life on a personal basis. We need to learn and accept that "stuff" is not where it is at.

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