Occupy Wall Street: Nuclear; No Thanks

Occupy Wall Street: Nuclear; No Thanks

This post added a new tag: Environment.

Some environmentalists are suggesting that the last sustainable civilization was during the Stone Age and that we will never "voluntarily" give up the luxuries we've become accustomed to. It is not inconceivable that we might end up back in the stone age in a matter of no time. Civilization has developed in parallel with our ability to control and cultivate energy. We have learned how to control small fires, trained working animals, used sails to power ships, and built machines that use fossil fuels to perform a myriad of tasks. Energy is required for every aspect of modern life. It's no surprise that all modern wars and social conflicts are in fact, strategic wars and conflicts over diminishing energy resources. It would not be inappropriate to say: "Everything is a matter of energy... these days".

Most of the energy resources that we use are non-renewable. There are limits to how many trees we can cut, how much coal we can mine, how much oil we can wrest out, how many dams we can build, and how much uranium we can wrest out. And we are rapidly reaching those limits. The transition to renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy, has not begun. Somehow, we are confident as a species, that, we will magically solve our "energy problem" using our "infinite" ability to innovate. But in the meantime, we are destroying our environment using fossil-fuels, hunting fish and other species to extinction, and altering our land base through agriculture and constructing of dams. So the question is, by the time we transition to renewable energy, are we going to cross the sustainability threshold? Or, have we done so already?

The answers to those questions depend on who you ask. The energy industry, which has great influence over governments, media and even some scientists, would lead us to believe that we have very little to be concerned about. The emergency bells rung by the majority of scientists and environmentalists have fell on deaf ears. So who is right? Shouldn't we be erring on the side of caution?

Which brings me to nuclear energy. Nuclear fission is a non-renewable energy source. Although dangerous and toxic, it is not as bad for the environment as most fossil fuels. There have been relatively few nuclear accidents. But the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011 has provided a unique insight into the Energy Industry. The company that ran the power plants, TEPCO, has a history of, falsifying safety records, ignoring studies, opposing regulation, and regulatory capture. If that is reflective of the corruption and tactics of the Energy Industry as a whole, and there is mounting evidence that it is, then "No Thanks"; We have to err on the side of caution, before we cross the sustainability threshold.

You can see picture of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant from an earlier post and view the gallery of Occupy photos.

Song of the Day: Let The Franklin Flow - Goanna (1983)
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