[Marxism] (no subject)

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Sun Mar 11 18:11:28 MDT 2012

David P Á wrote:

"...It would be fine to apply the precautionary principle if there 
existed viable alternatives to nuclear power. As it happens, current 
opposition to nuclear power is, I'm afraid, objectively pro-coal. I 
won't dwell on the harms caused by coal extraction and burning, since I 
believe they're well-known."
"Objectively"? Is that the lesser evil "objectively", as required by the 
"...people getting scared of things they ought not be scared of..."
Scare tactics? Be scared, be very scared, of corporate profit-seeking in 
an enterprise producing nuclear fuel, which carries great risk of great 
harm, not just past and present but future harm into countless 
generations from escaping radiation's effects, including those effects 
on the ground and on its produce and on all living things, as we all 
might know by now (except for the personifications of nuclear interests 
and friends who in their public statements ignore or minimize the 
presence of risk), risk whose history persists in allowing design to be 
flawed, facilities to be carelessly placed, plant to become 
superannuated, and where they have repeatedly said "trust us, while 
cost-benefit in our system tilts inevitably toward the profit-seekers 
and away from periphera such as the human and other natural environment, 
still you'll be all right", while all has been corruptly and 
indifferently regulated, the precautionary principle ignored and 
catastrophic effects denied. Do we consider Japan's GE- and TEPCO-built 
Fukushima to be an exception? Hardly. **Vermont's** GE-built Yankee 
reactor? California's Bechtel-built San Onofre? No.

Speaking of "cost-benefit" this sort of reminds me that Ibsen's 1880s 
play An Enemy of the People in many ways described this type of 
situation to me unforgettably when I was very young. As I remember the 
story, a small Norwegian town has as its principal source of income 
municipal baths with waters reputed to have healing properties. The 
mayor's brother, a doctor, discovers and tries to publicize the fact 
that a tannery is discharging toxic waste upstream into the bath's 
source waters, causing lingering, fatal illness among the visitors to 
the baths. Instead of correcting at the source, which would be too 
expensive for the tannery, another main source of local income, the 
scandal is buried and the doctor is banished as an enemy by the 
townspeople, spurred on by the town fathers.

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