Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Some silly things I have read today

Call for rational nuclear debate

OK, let's have the debate...

I, Brian Wilson (that's the former UK Energy Minister, not the musical genius) propose in order to deal with increasing energy demand, curtail carbon emissions, and reduce dependence upon fossil fuels imported from the Gulf... that we build a new generation of nuclear power stations. Hell, it'll even keep you "Peak Oil" freaks happy!

Thankyou for that proposal, Mr. Wilson. It's shite. It makes no sense. And we're not listening to any more of your craziness. Goodbye, and thank you for that lovely rational debate.

But, but...

If you don't fuck off right now Mr. Wilson, we'll have you ejected forcibly.

Nuclear power is a shit idea, people.
  1. Nuclear energy is not a substitute for oil. So it doesn't mitigate the peak oil issue.
  2. Uranium resources are even more limited than fossil fuels. The Australian government estimates that "[a]t current rates of consumption, existing and estimated uranium reserves recoverable ... are sufficient for only about 50-60 years" and point out that "growth in the nuclear industry will reduce this period."
  3. Although the Australian government do mention that "very substantial higher cost uranium resources exist (e.g. seawater offers a virtually unlimited supply...)", they acknowledge that it is not a sustainable option. (The amount of energy required to extract usable amounts of uranium from seawater is enormous... any such plan would involve the construction of nuclear reactors on an impractical scale)
  4. The potential risks involved would perhaps be worth taking (or at least talking about taking) if nuclear power offered a genuinely sustainable replacement for fossil fuels. But it doesn't. And a dramatic expansion of nuclear power station construction would be a guaranteed way of significantly increasing demand for fossil fuels in the near term.
(Note: Australia is the world's largest supplier of uranium and holds the largest reserves... hence the reference to their reports).

I am not a Luddite. In fact, I'm something of a technophile and see low-impact high-tech as an inevitable part of any solution to the energy problems we face. I've always called for serious money to be put into fusion research (a potential energy technology that doesn't have the natural resource scarcity issues of fossil fuels or uranium, nor the waste problems) which would clearly make the peak oil crisis far more manageable. But current nuclear power technology is not the way forward.

It's got no future.

The next silly thing I read online today was

The Things They Say by Oliver Kamm...

[W]e must acknowledge that Adolf Hitler was a truly excellent leader and had all the right ideas about just about everything. He was a visionary man who should have been allowed export the glory of the Third Reich to every corner of the globe...
- Joe Bloggs, opera singer and defender of Naziism
Oliver Kamm is the finest writer on the internet by far. He's the only blogger who really seems to get to the heart of the matter.
- Joe Bloggs, on a blogger he can identify with
And now a question to all you first year philosophy undergraduates still trying to get their heads around propositional logic... Anyone attempting to imply that Oliver Kamm is an anti-semite who wishes to see jews, gypsies and homosexuals exterminated based upon the above two quotes is guilty of which fallacy exactly?

Nice try Oliver. But reason, coherence and logic don't appear to be your strong points. Best stick to economics then.

Actually, I think Galloway is a bit of a scumbag myself, but it's just so bloody annoying when lazy thinkers resort to a constant stream of invented reasons to criticise someone they dislike. "George Galloway is evil! See... this crazy jazz musician likes him, so it must be true!"

In the name of all that's sacred... that's Marx Brothers stuff. And this guy writes for The Times? Talk about the dumbing-down of political culture.

Anyways, there's plenty of good reasons to take issue with George Galloway and the Respect Coalition. I suspect, when all's said and done however, that he is a blip on the chart. Once The War has ceased being an electoral issue and Blair's been replaced by Brown, Galloway's coalition will fragment. And that'll be that.

Until then I suspect (though I acknowledge this is a prediction, and could be wrong) that Gorgeous George will be an entertaining, ineffective and increasingly irrelevant part of parliamentary politics. Nothing more and nothing less.

(Incidentally, if I were the LibDems I'd be worried about those seats they took from Labour on what was - very possibly - a significant anti-war protest vote. I doubt that'll be a factor in 5 years time.)

So yes, George Galloway has rather dodgy views. He appears to have been guilty of some nasty campaigning. He seems willing to exploit social division for his own ends. He's way too egotistical to be an effective public servant. He is almost certainly no more trustworthy than Tony Blair.

For all those reasons Galloway should be treated with the same amount of contempt that we reserve for anyone using the political process in order to forward a personal or hidden agenda. But making an issue out of which jazz musicians count themselves among his supporters seems a bit idiotic.

And finally...

The other silly thing that I've been reading all day is all this speculation about the future of politics in the UK as though it's not already written in stone.

Whoever won this election will lose the next one. It matters not a whit who the next tory leader is, nor how competent Gordon Brown may be as a prime minister. By 2008 it will have become apparent that spiralling oil prices are out of the government's control and the next election will be fought by the tories claiming to be able to do something about it. They won't be able to. But that won't stop them winning by a landslide.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the name of all that's sacred... that's Marx Brothers stuff. And this guy writes for The Times? Talk about the dumbing-down of political culture.
Oh yes, fantastic stuff!

11/5/05 10:14  

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