Saturday, August 24, 2013

Is Nuclear Green Progressive?

I have to credit Meredith Angwin for including Nuclear Green Revolution with other progressive pro nuclear bogs. My impression, at one point, a few years ago was that most pro nuclear bloggers were progressives. Even Kirk Sorensen who has identified himself as being conservative has many ideas that are strictly progressive in their nature. Among current bloggers, I have fewer opinions because my reading handicapped prevents me from reading extensively. My reading handicapped is due to damage to my vision caused by glaucoma.

My actual views are complex and I do share a few attitudes and beliefs in common with conservatives and libertarians while rejecting ideas and viewpoints common among progressives.  I am for example a Zionist and support Israel in its conflict with it's Palestinian neighbors. Although I wish the Palestinians well, I believe that they need to change some of their expectations and attitudes. This has nothing to do with nuclear power and I do not write about it on Nuclear Green. In fact I have not written about it at all for a number of years. There are some progressives who do share my views on this subject.

Supporting nuclear power is itself a heresy among progressives but one that is becoming increasingly common. Witness the progressive views of many if not most pro nuclear bloggers. Most progressives believe that renewable energy resources can replace fossil fuels and indeed nuclear power plants. This is nonsense and suggests that most progressives do not believe in examining their own beliefs. In this respect they resemble conservatives who reject the possibility that using fossil fuel will cause expensive and highly undesirable consequences for the people of this planet.

So, what do I believe in? I believe that the material resources present on earth hold the potential for increasing the affluence of most of the people on this planet. They should not increase the affluence of a few wealthy individuals who's fortunes run into the billions of dollars; at least not until the poorest person in the poorest village in Africa has air conditioning and running water along with a sewer system and a refrigerator. Now there are a lot of people who would describe themselves as progressive who would reject this sort of future. As a future it would not be possible at all if material transformation is dependent on renewable resources. In order to increase the wealth of the people of this planet, we need abundant and reliable energy. The only way to produce abundant and reliable energy is through nuclear power. The perils of anthropogenic climate change are upon us. We are beginning to suffer the consequences of the ever increasing global emissions of CO2.  We must rapidly change from fossil fuel based energy to an energy system that utilizes nuclear power to generate electricity. Nuclear power generating systems should be implemented all over the world to provide abundant electricity to everyone who lives on earth.

There are so called progressives who do not share my vision; who would place the whole of humanity into a situation of permanent poverty. They somehow believe that poverty is better than wealth and the less that people have, the happier they will be. Were this idea to be advanced by people who call themselves conservatives, progressives would rush to the ideological front to defend the human race against the evils which they would see conservatives intending to inflect on it, but as Pogo says: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

I do not believe that it is progressive to dis-empower people, I believe that putting more power rather than less energy into the hands of people is what progressives should be about. As far as developing nuclear technology is concerned, the only technology which I believe can achieve what I regard as the progressive goal is the molten salt nuclear technology. For this reason, advocating for Molten Salt Reactors including LFTRs, is advocating to accomplish liberal goals.


CaseyC said...

Yes Charles I am all with you.
Go N.Z.Go!
and scroll down to
Climate Change. KC.

Anonymous said...

Do let us know when your LFTR dreams come true and then we can judge if the amazing claims for them are anywhere near the reality.

But even if the LFTR fantasy becomes reality it would be many decades before one could come online. By the time it does distributed renewables will dominate the world's energy production. Massive centralized thermal plant like a nuke will be redundant.

"Nuclear Power Is Being Abandoned Worldwide. As a proportion of all electricity generated, nuclear peaked in 1993 at 17% and has now fallen to 10%. The number of reactors peaked in 2002 at 444, compared with 427 today. The share of electricity they produce is down 12% from its 2006 peak."

Basically the nuke dream is over - it's just that the nuke fantasy club can't see it.

Charles Barton said...

Anon, I find your comments to be curious. You ignore the distinction between Molten Salt Reactors, and LFTRs. Commercial MSRs can be built using technology tested by ORNL in the 1950's and 1960's. Small MSRs can be built in factories, and shipped all over the country using rail, truck and barge transportation. They have the potential of far more flexibledistribution than either traditional reactors, or renewable generation systems. I nhave discussed all this in posts on Nuclear Green. I suggest that you read more before you display your ignorance with further ill informed comments. As for the usefulness of renewables, you will find extensive discussions here, and even better studies on BraveNewClimate.

William Wilgus said...

I'm really impressed when someone begins an article about nuclear energy by proclaiming himself to be a Zionist and supports the defeat of Palestinians. Unfortunately for the author, that impression is entirely and irrevocably unfavorable. Of course that matters not, for the moderator will see to it that this isn't published.

Charles Barton said...

William, even if I were totally mistaken on my views on Zionism and the Palestinians were completely mistaken, it would be irrational of you to reject my views on nuclear energy because of my Zionism. I mentioned my Zionism because it is unfashionable among progressives to be a supporter of Israel. I am 71 years old, and became a progressive at aq time when progressives were supporters of Israel. That has not changed. So if you disagree with someone over one issue, you8 intensely dislike them, and disregard anything they have to say about any other issue.


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