D. Terry H. on Louis-Rolf debate

Rolf Martens rolf.martens at mailbox.swipnet.se
Thu Aug 1 23:35:00 MDT 1996

D. Terry H. on Louis-Rolf debate               [Posted: 02.08.96]

[I'm forwarding the below, posted by Terry to newsrgoups,
as "Appendix B" to my posting today:
{3} Why "reds" are "nukes" - Debate with Louis N. P.]

Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 14:06:25 -0700
From: "D. Terry Hazelrig" <hazelrig at iquest.com>
To: Rolf Martens <rolf.martens at mailbox.swipnet.se>
Subject: Re: Doug H. on plutonium, nuke wastes, cosmics etc

> Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 11:03:52 -0500
> To: marxism at jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
> From: dhenwood at panix.com (Doug Henwood)
> Subject: Martens' rants
> At 1:00 AM 7/29/96, Rolf Martens wrote:
> >Furthermore, the chemical fuels are always called "fossil fuels" by
> >all the media etc, by the entire present-day inquisition. This implies
> >that the theory of their being of biological origin is correct, which
> >would also mean that these resources were comparatively scarce -
> >another "reason" for limiting their use. In reality, the carbon hydrates
> >from which these energy sources stem are of cosmic origin.
> "Cosmic" origin? You mean if we run out of oil here, we could just
> start drilling on Mars? I imagine some logistical difficulties.

Actually, it would be much easier to replace a large part of our
(admitedly) depleating resources by the expediant of mineing
the asteroid belt. We could, using currently extant technologies, set
up a permanent base in a reasonablly good sized asteroid, and
simply (relatively speaking of course) tunnel out enough material to
be useful as propulsion tubes, put in place a low thrust nuclear
drive, and bring asteroids into earth orbit for mining. This would
actually pay for itself. The ores extacted from a one mile wide
asteroid are considerablly more valuable(at current market prices)
than the total current national debt.

The setting up a permanent (hollowed out)asteroid space station,
with the conjunction of a permanent similar station in earth/moon
orbit, will make the logistical problems of mining Mars(for such
hydro carbon fuels)much less arduous than they currently would be.
Besides, it will probably prove to be unnecessary to actually
mine for hydro carbons anyway, due to advancements in
synthesizing lubricants, and fuels from materials derrived from
asteroids. They are(in many cases)rich in such elements as silicon,
iron, nickel, and trace percentages of most other elements.
This will(almost without doubt)result in new, less polluting fuels.

> Martens, it's not enough to claim that environmental arguments are
> put to bad use; you actually have to make some scientific
> arguments. The overwhelming consensus of atmospheric scientists
> is that if we continue to burn your cosmic fuels, temperatures will
> rise, glaciers will melt, small island countries will disappear under
> the sea, and my 7th floor Manhattan apartment may become a 3rd
> floor apt.

Actually, this is not the latest interpretation of the potential
downside of greenhouse gases. They now believe(the problems of dynamics
of such incrediblly complex modeling aside)that the result may well
be another ice age, rather than the melting of the ice caps. However, the
models are all at the fringes of current knowledge and technology, and as
such, must be considered speculative, until further evidence
is gathered(over a long enough peroid of time to insure that we are
not simply observing a short term, but repeating phenomenon)
that supports strong conclusions as to what role humanity plays in this
complex, and virtually unknown(prior to the late 70's)phenomenon.

The empirically obivious inablility to predict the dynamics of weather
patterns with any level of accuracy over the short term of 5 or so days,
demonstrates a basic lack of understanding on our part. Furthermore,
current theory indicates that it may in fact, be impossible to exceed
this limited ability by more than a small percentage, due to the
extrodinairy number of varibles(many very small ones)that control
the process. This renders any effort to determine outcomes as far a
fifty to one hundred years away, as many of the models require, open
to debate. The longer removed in time the prediction, the greater the
influence of the cumulative varibles will have on the static picture
provided by the model.

It is for this reason we need much more evidence for the
phenomenon, before we dismantle our technological civilization.

You can find some hacks in the pay of Exxon and GM who
> disagree, but that's about it. Odd that a "Marxist" would make
> arguments congenial to the Carbon Lobby, but it's also odd that
> "Maoists" would draw upon the ideologists at the National
> Association of Realtors for analysis of the housing market.

This should not surprise you Rolf. Most people, even honest ones,
have within  themselves the ability to rationize the use of numbers
that cursorially support their positions, while at the same time
calling numbers from the same source that do not support their
positions false, or misleading. This is so typically human that it
needs not further explation. I find such use/denial of numerical
evidence to be dishonorable, but I admit that it is, nonetheless,

> But of course we won't need to burn all that "cosmic" oil if we fired
> up the nukes. I'm waiting for your citation of Ronald Reagan's claim
> that all the world's nuclear waste could be safely stored under a desk.

In a way(although it was allegorical)Mr. Reagan was correct. The actual
mass of the nuclear waste all the reactors in the world have created, is
very small. It could quite easily be stored in one(hopefully very deep)
salt mine, and buried later by filling the tunnel with layers of different
subtances. Ultimately, the best end for the stuff would be to simply fire
it directly into the sun, and have done with it. But the current position
of many world wide environmentalist's would preclude this.

> Doug

I enjoyed this discourse. Please feel free to contact me in the future to
continue it.

I am, Rolf, most sincerely yours,

D. Terry Hazelrig     American
> --
> Doug Henwood
> Left Business Observer
> 250 W 85 St
> New York NY 10024-3217
> +1-212-874-4020 voice
> +1-212-874-3137 fax
> email: <dhenwood at panix.com>
> web: <http://www.panix.com/~dhenwood/LBO_home.html>

[So far, D. Terry H.]

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