[Marxism] Re: Nuclear Power and Socialism

Emerson Tung emerson.tung at gmail.com
Sun Jan 15 22:20:27 MST 2006

Paddy Apling:
"the most effective way of capturing the energy coming from the sun, by a large
factor, is photosynthesis by plants"

This is strictly not true, solar thermal to electricity conversion is
something like 20-50%, Photovoltaics around 20-35%. Plants utilize
something like 4-8% through photosynthesis. If we had to depend on
plants for fuel ie wood, biofuel, we'd be back in the Middle Ages.

"It really is necessary for socialists to take note of advances in
science and technology and not simply hold on to statements which may
have been true in the distant - and sometimes the quite recent past -
but which are no longer relevant, but are inscribed deeply in popular
memory and are simply repeated with a force akin to religious "knowledge"."

While I agree that technology is simply a tool to be grabbed and used
(or not used) until there is a world wide socialist revolution then
the question of whether a future society will use nuclear power is a
bit abstract and utopian.

But unless someone can make a convincing case that civilization would
collapse without nuclear power (I've heard a ridiculous range of
estimates on what can be produced from renewables - anything from 2%
to 30% of what we use now) then I dont see why you would support
nuclear power.

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