[Marxism] Technological optimism (was peak oil)

Andy esquincle at capital.net
Mon Oct 17 23:35:05 MDT 2005

I admire an adventuresome spirit.  I favor an open mind about 
everything, including nukes, and read your posts, Rod, with interest.  
And I would -- optimistically -- prefer to decline a contest over 
revolutionary optimism.  I also recognize that you tempered your 
remarks in an elegant way.

Yet I still find nuclear power to be the quintessential "hideous, pagan 
idol who would not drink the nectar but from the skulls of the slain."  
I am not convinced at all that modern science has brought this idol to 
earth and made it lovable, huggable.  While the problem of nuclear 
waste has been addressed briefly (and it is a huge problem),

The human cost of uranium mining and milling and processing remains -- 
officially, studiously uncounted and utterly staggering.  Thus far it 
is a little-told story of colonial and neo-colonial slaughter (and 
super-duper exploitation), primarily of native peoples, and continues 
through unimaginable suffering, among masses, across the continents.  
These are (and were) not only preventable illnesses and deaths but 
predicted illnesses and deaths.

If the true human and environmental costs of nuclear power to date were 
known, in (?hundreds of) thousands of lives lost and (? billions of) 
hours of human suffering and (? tens of  thousands of) ecosystems 
forever ruined, I suspect that a cost-benefit analysis would make a 
sentient reader puking sick -- and would be a poor way to promote the 
idea of collective re-exploration of the idea.  (This is not to reject 
the possibility of technological progress but to attempt to ground the 
issues in the present circumstances.)

I find the work safety, social and environmental issues surrounding 
uranium mining and milling and processing so utterly unacceptable 
presently that I would suggest that scientifically here and now the 
correct suggestion should be "there is no right way to do a wrong 
thing."  For now, I favor the Navajo ban on uranium mining.  I like the 
Dine College Uranium Education Project slogan: "Uranium: Leave it in 
the ground."

Andy Coates

On Oct 16, 2005, at 12:11 PM, Rod Holt wrote:

> ...The research and engineering needed to expand nuclear power by two 
> orders of magnitude is incomplete; there is important work to be done, 
> and there will always be more to do here. What has been accomplished 
> so far has been done only because of the Bomb. All the rest of the 
> accomplishments in this field has been done with the left hand, as it 
> were...

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