I (foolishly) got into a blog debate with Mike Stasse over at the oh-so dramatically titled, Damn the Matrix. In a typical doomer exchange, I was told that ‘nature bats last’, and that growth cannot continue infinitely on a finite planet. Typical. As if the climate and energy situation were not serious enough! Any activists trying to promote solutions are automatically imagining that the laws of physics can be suspended to accommodate our whims, and that we all want infinite growth here on this already crowded planet.
I was told off for magical thinking, and told to read articles debunking Star Trek technology! the problem with that is most of the technical solutions I promote are actually really old, like breeder reactor technologies we’ve been perfecting over the last half century, and a really ancient ‘technology’ called walkable cities! But for some reason Mike started censoring my posts? Even my reply to Don was deleted.
(Edit: I’ve now summarised that long and irrelevant comment).
All I did was recommend New Urbanism and GenIV nuclear power that burns nuclear waste. I clarified that I was not arguing for infinite growth on a finite planet (d’uh!) and was merely arguing that by careful use of the right New Urban, nuclear, and rail technologies, we can supply everybody with everything they truly need for a dignified, meaningful life. This in turn will (paradoxically) stop population growth in its tracks, because first world lifestyles create the Demographic Transition.
I linked to the following short videos
“Built to last” on New Urbanism, which is more like a music video than lecture. (4 minutes)
GenIV nuclear promotional video (very short)
And I left a few notes on nuclear safety.
“Argonne’s advanced fast reactor (AFR) has demonstrated its passive safety conclusively on a working prototype. “Back in 1986, we actually gave a small prototype advanced fast reactor a couple of chances to melt down,” says Argonne nuclear engineer Pete Planchon, who led the 1986 tests. “It politely refused both times.” ”
Not only this, but nuclear power has the *best* safety record of *any* major power provider. Hydro dams have burst and wiped out villages, coal kills about a *million* people a year through lung and throat cancers and disorders (let alone all the mining accidents around the world — especially in China!) and service men can even fall off the top of wind turbines. People can even die falling off the roof when installing Solar PV. The take home message is *all* power sources contain risks, and yet nuclear power simply has the *best* safety record on a death per terrawatt basis. They can also be built underground for additional safety.
Once again: coal kills more people EACH WEEK than nuclear has in its entire history!
Once again: let’s pretend that there IS no passive safety regime that will reduce ‘accidents’ to once every ice age. Let’s pretend that we’ll still see ‘Hindenberg’ nuclear events every generation, even though NO HINDENBURG old-style reactors are being built today. Let’s pretend that we’ll have a Fukushima event every generation. What is preferable? To burn all the fossil fuels on the planet and have an uninhabitable PLANET, or use nuclear power and have a new nature reserve every generation? (The Chernobyl exclusion zone is also called the Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary, because nature’s making a comeback there. Nature would prefer radiation to US!)
My question is, what about all this is so threatening to his belief system that Mike has to censor it? My comment is still waiting approval. He’s approving a bunch of snide replies to my comments, but not any of my answers. Mike Stasse, what’s your problem? I think I know. And I’m willing to talk about it, if you want to. Email me.