Tuesday, November 25, 2003


The Greens push a policy called the “precautionary principle” -- which basically says that if anything MIGHT be harmful it should not be allowed. Had that principle been around for very long most of the things that we now take for granted -- such as alcohol and motor cars -- would never have been allowed -- because practically EVERYTHING has its downside. Even common salt can kill you if you eat too much of it. Gross nonsense though it is, however, the Greens push on with their attempts to impose this ridiculous “principle” and they have had a disturbing amount of success with it. The EU, for instance, seems to be implementing it in a number of fields -- fields such as “chemicals”. All “chemicals” are now suspect. The fact that such things as the humble potato are full of all sorts of complex “chemicals” doesn’t seem to faze them a bit. Some people are however mounting a bit of a fightback by proposing an opposite principle -- a “technological imperative” that we should follow -- and putting up some pretty good philosophical arguments in favour of it.

Liquefied Natural Gas is widely seen as the "the only near-term, cost-competitive alternative to filthy coal production capable of providing cleaner, reliable base-load supply (i.e., supply that can run 24 hours a day, as opposed to renewables, which only generate electricity when the sun shines or the wind blows)." Yet many environmentalists opposed to ALL fossil fuels seem keen to hold up this useful alternative. So presumably they would prefer continuity of pollution from older, less efficient coal fired plants?? But who expects logic from them?

Even radical economists can make a lot of sense (as long as they are not Krugman): "Henwood is resolutely optimistic about new technology. More than that, he shows where the critics are wrong, exposing the anti-human ideas of the deep ecology movement and their ambition to reduce the population. Drawing out the unlovely consequences of the arguments made by greens such as David Korten and Kirkpatrick Sale, Henwood concludes 'this is snobbery, elitism and despair, masquerading as radical critique' .... The chapter on globalisation is the best, with its clear explanation of the mysteries of trade and its willingness to go against the grain of accepted ideas on the left"

The Greenies have not managed to destroy nuclear power totally. New nuclear power plants are being built in Finland, Japan and other Asian countries. So the fact that we now have a new and inherently safe reactor design that is also cleaner, smaller and more affordable is good news for all reasonable people -- not that anything will ever make a Greenie happy, of course.


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