[extropy-chat] Nuke 'em

paul illich paul_illich at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 24 07:13:08 UTC 2005

On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, Technotranscendence wrote:

> Which is not to say I'm against it.  Just allow a free
> market in energy production and if nuclear plants pop up all over...

I wuold caution, though, that such a 'free market' would prove 
nothing about price unless it incorporated externalities by
default (this goes for all other energy production, too, if we
want to understand real costs and long-term environmental
viability, which is surely necessary).

In the past, actors in the 'free market' have been singularly
incapable of self-imposed honesty on 'cost', and regulatory
bodies have hasd to be set up to try and force their hand
(with mixed success).

But, oops, this is then no longer a free 'free market', but
instead one that is fettered by ethical constriants. Now
Adam Smith would approve of this, and it is surely better than
acting unfettered by environmental constraints (where 
'environmental' includes human ecology as well as the usual
hippy notions regarding birds and bees). An ethical framework
of 'categorical imperatives', say, within which markets are
allowed to be free - his may make costings objective and
true: perhaps then all power provision might find itself on
a level playfield where we can see which to take 
seriously... IF we can address the R&D spending part of the
costing as well, for nuclear has had a lot of cash chucked at
it for little return, whereas solar, tidal, and wind have had 
a whole lot less R&D spent on them and thus may seem 'less
promising' (unless such costs are part of externalities).


Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005 

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