[ExI] EP and Peak oil

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky sentience at pobox.com
Tue Apr 1 01:29:12 UTC 2008

Lee, the world is 40 years behind where it should be on nuclear power 
as a direct result of anti-rationalist environmentalist meddling in 

As a result, the world also has 40 years of excess carbon emissions 
from coal plants that should never have been built.

It is not necessarily possible for the "free market" to swoop in and 
fix these problems after they have had 40 years to get worse.

Right now, we *should* have an upper bound of $5 on gas because 
everyone knows it's possible to just build more nuclear power plants 
and synthesize fuel from atmospheric carbon.  But, in fact, we don't 
live in that world.

China should be building one nuclear power plant per day using their 
foreign exchange surplus - after the rich West paid to do the design 
work, and standardized the plant manufacturing.  Instead, China is 
building one coal plant every 4 days.

The "free market" has *already* been stomped on, and the lead time to 
fix things is not instantaneous.

If I put it that way, do you see how much trouble we may be in?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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