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View Diary: Status Report of the Ontario Coal Phase Out. (194 comments)

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  •  The Educated Person Will Be Aware of Chernobyl. (1+ / 0-)
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    I have described in some detail in a diary here a work of critical analysis done by a Ukranian-American who became so obsessed with the details that she abandoned her American life and went to live in Ukraine to examine the situation in exhaustive detail.

    Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl," Some Comments

    I highly recommend this book - with the caveats I listed in the discussion - for the educated person.

    I have spent many hours thinking about Chernobyl because in my position I am continually challenged on this subject.

    My position on the subject is clear.   It is regrettable in every way that there is a special fetish for the victims of Chernobyl to the exclusion of the hundreds of millions of people - and quite possibly more - who are likely to be effected by climate change.

    Several thousand people have died in the last few years in the Ukraine from coal mining related disasters, and many more have been killed by air pollution from burning coal - brown coal in that country.

    Right now the country is experiencing an unprecedneted doubt, almost certainly related to climate change.

    It is interesting to note that Ukraine - even though that country knows far more about Chernobyl than you do - is planning a major expansion of nuclear power.

    The well educated person is situated as to be able to do comparisons.   It is strictly true on a profound level that nuclear energy is the only form of energy that can properly be required to be perfect to be acceptable.  No form of energy is perfect but it is very, very, very, very clear to the educated person that some forms are more dangerous - by far - than others.

    If Chernobyl has wiped out the city of Kiev - and in fact there is some evidence that the city of Kiev is still there - it is very unlikely that it would have been quite as castrophic as any of the last 20 years of unrestricted normal fossil fuel operations.   In fact though, Chernobyl did not wipe out the city of Kiev.

    It is arbitrary to declare that the Chernobyl disaster - as regrettable as it was - is the only energy disaster that matters.

    In fact the largest energy disaster in the 20th century - one that killed hundreds of people in a single night, unremarked by the people who have a special Chernobyl fetish - was a renewable energy disaster.

    It was at the Banqiao dam.   Many educated people in fact ignore this disaster - a position that is extremely arbitrary and, in fact, in light of the Three Gorges Dam, a little bit strange.

    Unlike the continuous stream of fossil fuel related deaths, both accidental and systematic, i.e. continuous, the Chernobyl disaster was never repeated, not even in RBMK diasters.   By contrast there is no way to stop fossil fuel disasters, if even their mechanism is well understood.

    As bad as the Banqiao dam disaster was, it will pale in comparison to the destruction of Yangtze River from climate change.   I have attempted in the linked diary to estimate the magnitude of such destruction, comparing it in scale to things like the Second World War.

    I have had to repeat this viewpoint many times, so many times that it has largely become second nature.   It will be a much safer world when the deaths of 100 Russian coal miners last month - all of whom are already forgotten - becomes as important as the deaths of the Chernobyl victims 20 years ago.   It will be a safer world when the people who will die from air pollution tomorrow count 1/100th as the Chernobyl victims.

    •  Can we find a way to clean energy? (0+ / 0-)

      I am glad that you grapple with the dangers of all energy industries. However, it is false logic to suggest that coal's problems, or those of dams, make those of nuclear power desirable. I hope we are fortunate and intelligent enough find a way to clean energy.

      •  it's ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
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        to make a claim to any kind of "free energy" perpetual motion machine, much less to argue there's a conspiracy theory behind it.

        I'd recommend a primer on thermodynamics and conservation of energy.

        "The answer to fear cannot always lie in the dissipation of the causes of fear; sometimes it lies in courage."

        by woolie on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 08:27:38 AM PDT

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    •  China and India don't count (1+ / 0-)
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      The developing world doesn't even exist to most people in this country.. in particular people making claims about the power of wind and solar, carefully neglecting the fact the developed world became that way by massive burning of fossil fuels and the expenditure of energy that was required to build the infrastructure and cities of the first world.

      "The answer to fear cannot always lie in the dissipation of the causes of fear; sometimes it lies in courage."

      by woolie on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 08:18:49 AM PDT

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