Today we learn, courtesy of the Washington Post, that nuclear power is the “new” solution to humanity’s carbon emissions problem.
I post this as a reminder that technocrats always claim technology will save the world from the excesses of…um, well…technology.
That, after over 40 years of experimenting in broad daylight, no technocrat has devised a safe way to dispose of radioactive waste never clouds the horizon of these cheerful boosters. And the costs? Nuclear power is cost-competitive (as long as you don’t figure in 20,000 years of waste management).
Perhaps our carbon emissions problem is not a problem of technology; perhaps our carbon emissions problem is caused by our stubborn investment in an unsustainable kind of human inhabitation?
What if, instead of committing ourselves to funding a new generation of nuclear power plants, we committed ourselves to living sustainably?
And, what if living sustainably required us to accord our behavior to the scientific fact that everything industry makes (from housepaint to nuclear waste) becomes our body, and the bodies of our grandchildren? (Did you know you have Scotchgard in your blood even if you never used it, or that nuclear industry-produced radioactive Strontium-90 is found in bottled water? Funny, but I never hear technocrats discussing these subjects.)
We cannot escape history, said Lincoln when he realized that there was no quick-fix legal or economic solution to the “problem” of slavery; only a comprehensive change in human behavior, grounded in the ecological fact that all humans are born with the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, could solve it.
Today we know we cannot escape ecology—but you’d never know it by reading today’s WaPo article.
Another reminder, sans snark: Biocitizen offers experiences and materials you can use to realize yourself as citizen of the bios, as opposed to simply a citizen of an ephemeral socio-economic construct. We can step beyond our carbon footprint—but to do so, must transform ourselves, guided by the real, actual, concrete value—ie, love—we have for the lives of our children, and their children, and so on.
Perhaps, like me, you look forward to the day the products we make, and energies we use, nourish, instead of poison, our bodies.