It’s all moot anyway. The time for big capital-intensive projects is over. Our cheap fossil fuel subsidy has already slipped from our grasp and left us with poor, dirty, expensive substitutes. And the engine is sputtering. Growth is coming to an end forever, and we aren’t going to be making any more big investments in nuclear or any other kind of energy.
Ten billion people living middle class lifestyles? The energy equivalent of a new Brazil every year? Oh, but wait, I forgot, growth is an exponential function. So in a few years that would be the equivalent of a new South America every year. Then a new Western Hemisphere every year.
This is all absurd isn’t it? Listen close for the undercurrent of frantic desperation.
So why bother pointing out a near-universal, destructive social pathology?
That’s what our growth fetish is.
Is there any use in pointing out that hope doesn’t lie in that direction? Even if we could actually realize those fantasies for a little while longer? Even in a less carbon-intensive way? And this last proposition is questionable by the way when you take into account all the infrastructure and systems involved in the life cycle of nuclear energy generation. No, I’m just idling away the time.
Do you think there is any real point to an American public debate on the merits of nuclear power? Even if China and India and Brazil do in fact continue to grow for a while, I suppose they will make their own choices in the matter. And their actions which are beyond our authority, and increasingly even beyond our influence, will largely determine the consequences for all of us.
Comments are closed.