Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hard-to-See Crazy Hand

Paraphrasing and elaborating on something I recently heard on NPR while pushing the station wagon back from the grocery store:

The best way to get rid of weapons-grade nuclear material is to dilute it down to reactor grade and then burn it up in a power-plant. We had a program in which we bought old Russian warheads and used the good stuff in American reactors, and the program paid for itself. Thousands of warheads were thusly destroyed. Electricity was produced.

I do not like nuclear waste any more than the next guy but seems to me that was not an all-bad program.

The radio talkers implied that the program was no longer in use.

Also, I heard two local guys on this area's Air America AM station (1010 KXXT Phoenix) discussing the way things would probably have turned out had we been wise enough to follow the energy plan laid out by Jimmy Carter way back when.

Interesting in itself, that.

Of course, because his brain was covered with aluminum plaque, Reagan rolled back development of all of Carter's progressive ideas that would have saved us, well, probably a war or two, and several trillions of dollars.

But the real point the M & M radio guys were making was that the market is just plain stupid. After we've wasted half of the petroleum on the planet, after we have soiled the enviroment, after we have enriched Madrassas full of religiously insane future suicide-bombers, after we have initiated a war of aggression to secure a distant oilfield, after, after, after all that... the market responds.

Voila! A few people are buying smaller cars.

The invisible hand of free market capitalism is guided by madness.

4 comments:

JaneAZ said...

The best way to get rid of weapons-grade nuclear material is to dilute it down to reactor grade and then burn it up in a power-plant.

But it could presumably be stolen and enriched again, right?

Wondering why the Russians would rather sell it to us than use it for their own energy needs. Seems like transporting it that far would be a real hassle...

Nurse Mia said...

As sad and true as it is, I had to laugh at your climax to this post. Yes, it's pretty amazing what it takes to fight materialism and the myth that bigger is better. Fortunately, my conscience is clear as I don't have a car big nor small.

MEC said...

"Of course, because his brain was covered with aluminum plaque, Reagan rolled back development of all of Carter's progressive ideas that would have saved us, well, probably a war or two, and several trillions of dollars."

Nah. It had nothing to do with Reagan's brain being covered with aluminum plaque. If he hadn't been in the early stages of Alzheimer's, he probably would have done an even more thorough job of implementing regressive policies.

Eli Blake said...

Too bad people don't know the details of the Carter energy policy. The only piece I remember Reagan keeping was the concession Carter made to oil interests to build the original Alaska pipeline. Of course, those who opposed it by pointing out that the Valdez terminal was in an area with lots of navigation hazards and hinted that someday a tanker might spill crude oil all over pristine Prince William Sound were written off as 'wackos trying to scare people.'

And we don't have to look all that far back. A few years ago, John Kerry and John McCain sponsored an energy bill that would have mandated increasing fuel standards by a modest 2 mpg. Even that was smothered in the Senate by advocates for the auto and oil industries who complained that it infringed on 'consumer choice.'

Right.

Like do you know anyone who goes to a dealership and refuses to buy a car because it gets too MANY miles per gallon?