Technology

Fear the Media Meltdown

Not the nuclear one! Great and detailed sense and information on what is actually happening, what dosages mean, and the media and anti-nuke industry reaction have been. It’s not nothing, but it’s not Chernobyl and can’t be, nor is it Three Mile Island. But then, from what I understood, seemingly refuted by all the references to it, is that Three Mile Island wasn’t even “Three Mile Island.” In the sense of an “OMG we’re all gonna die and let’s no never again build plants” event that, hey look, the media and the anti-nuke industry again, wanted us to believe. Yes, I said “industry,” since any such reasonably organized and financed cadre of people for a cause, non-profit or not, amount to an industry, and will tenaciously cling to and attempt to expand upon their mission. Witness the MADD rush from drunk driving awareness to neo-prohibitionism.

I fear for the nuclear renaissance and the pending explosion (poor choice of word!) of new and vastly improved reactors, leading us away from our excess dependence on wood coal whale oil petroleum.

This is Only a Drill

It seems the issue of the day is drilling for oil. Well, yeah. If you don’t pay, you can’t play. It’s absurd to have resources in the United States locked up so extensively, and I can’t imagine so much of a conspiracy extant that we’re intentionally sucking the rest of the world dry to have the last laugh with domestic sources.

I believe that, yes, costly gas will trump the ban. No matter how much drilling we do and refinery capacity we finally build, nuclear plants are also imperative. He could have done better about espousing a rational drilling policy, but at least McCain has sense about nukes. They are not your father’s one of a kind, many billions each plants, or at least they needn’t be. Of course, major equipment and infrastructure can take time. There may be elasticity associated with the entire energy market, but it’s of the discountinuous, somewhat brittle kind.

So yeah, about time the idea of heretofore off-limits drilling spread. I was pleased Bush was making sense on that topic, but some say he’s held back too much. If he could have undid executive orders and didn’t, then absolutely, but at least the noises he emits are soothingly correct.

Oil has been cheap for a long time. There are ways in which it being higher will be good, even if you’re not an eco-freak or anti-human prevert. People, meaning companies too, since just like Soylent Green, companies are people, if not always in recognizable form, respond to economic incentives, positive or negative. We’re at a point where the incentives are unambiguous, intense, and unlikely to recede to prior levels for years, if ever. Most of what government policy should be is to get out of the way. In fact, oil is arguably in this mess because of government policy. Heck, not arguably, really.

Drill. Drill soon. Drill widely. Build some freaking refineries so we can use the stuff. Use less of the stuff as gas. Cut it out with the absurd ethanol thing already! Stop starving people in the name of fell good economic inefficiency and pocket lining for limited special interests. Build nuclear plants. Get some efficient, small scale, mass production designs going so it’s even more economical. Put some windmills in Nantucket Sound already, don’t wait until Teddy is dead. And let’s get cracking on those wonderful microbes that excrete crude and make the deep hot biosphere concept sound all the more intriguing.