[ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Mar 18 02:40:20 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
Subject: Re: [ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 11:40 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> Mike, we don't have 10-20 years.  The problem is that the Japanese 
> quake has scared off nuclear power investors now.  We will be forced 
> to lower consumption by market forces, and that includes lower consumption
of food.

>...Yeah.  miserable.  Still better than Keith's prediction of massive
die-offs though (I imagine everyone's quality of life will suffer

Ja, I am not predicting that.  Furthermore, most people from places where we
have the luxury of sitting in front of computer monitors as we are doing
right now, eat far too much in any case.

>...Do you really think we don't have 10-20 years?  What does that mean?

That means if we try to muddle along and maintain status quo, we will hit
the wall even harder in 10 to 20 years than if we are proactive.  Reasoning:
China and India are coming.  And when they get there, those couple billion
people will have *plenty* of money to compete with the US and Europe for oil
supplies.  The kinds of solutions I think we need are long-lead.  We need to
be drilling for oil like mad men, setting up artificial coal to oil plants,
building PV manufacturing plants as fast as we can get them in the ground,
building solar power aloft as in Keith's StratoSolar scheme, setting up
advanced nuclear power plants, not sure about hydro and wind power, but the
proven stuff we need to be getting on that.  We can't wait and worry about
caribou herds, the day for that has long passed.  If we dither for another
20 years, we will be slaying and devouring the caribou herds, down to the
last hoof. 

>...Are you telling me you think 15k years dead Mayans knew solar tsunami
would fry earth electrical grid in 2012?  Nah, didn't think you were
suggesting that. :)

No. {8-]

>...Seriously though, what degree of dystopian future are you predicting?

I have watched as our society thrashed about fighting the now largely
discredited threat of global warming, while mostly ignoring the much bigger
and more immediate threat of having insufficient energy.  Our attitudes
towards the energy problem seem very justified to me.  I reluctantly buy the
argument that the current fits in several middle eastern countries is rooted
in the rise in food costs.  If people are hungry, they will blame someone.
Hungry people are dangerous people.  They have little to lose.

Actually I think we will solve this, but the solutions will be painful.

>...  Maybe the Singularity save us from this trend, but I'm not sure I
really understand that as anything more than wishful thinking either...

The problem I see is that chronic energy shortages threaten the singularity.


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