159. Progress (IV)
When I was a teenage Communist, I was always in favour of nuclear power. My earlier childish inclination towards environmentalism—inspired by the cartoon Captain Planet—reviled nuclear in the fashion of the typical Boomer-May ’68 consensus, the consensus of respectable middle-class society. In my prime I have returned to an instinctive distrust of nuclear. Nuclear is the opposite of passing down a boon to future generations. In the past, people passed down land, furniture, and houses to the young. Our atomised technocratic societies pass on nuclear waste: we pass on a problem, a cost, that could well poison future generations. “Don’t worry,” the progressive fanatic says, “in a few hundred years we will know how to process it.” These people believe in constant and uninterrupted progress in science and technology; they do not imagine that people might lose their knowledge of science, or that there might be no breakthroughs in a field for two hundred years. They do not imagine that a society could collapse in civil war and that people will forget where the waste was stored. “People from that village always have deformed children,” observes a town elder, two hundred years hence, when, after years of chaos, the knowledge is lost.
The instinctive sense with nuclear is fear: there is an invisible, odourless, tasteless thing that can kill you—unless you have special equipment to detect it. People are right to be fearful of radiation. People who favour nuclear power always reply with statistics—a sure sign they have something to hide, since statistics are the liar’s friend. Radiation strikes at the very core of our humanity: it can deform our DNA—nothing is more important. Chernobyl was written off as a Russian affair, typical Russian incompetence exacerbated through socialism, but the problem is universal. The scientists always assure us that the models—models are suspect things, just look at the climate change debate—have taken account of the risk; yet even the diligent Japanese did not expect the tsunami that wrecked Fukushima. Everything has to be right all the time; there is very little tolerance for a mistake—and humans make mistakes all the time, especially with non-intuitive technology. All it takes is one unexpected factor—one tsunami or Chernobyl-like experiment gone wrong—and the consequences could be the permanent alteration of your country’s land and genetic code.
The more irresponsible the government, the more it invests in nuclear power; the most revolutionary countries—France, the USSR, and America—are the biggest users of nuclear power. This is no accident: these are the countries that reject blood lineage over supposed technical progress—these countries are the homes of irresponsible technical bureaucracies that despise blood and DNA. France, in particular, may come to regret her reliance on nuclear; in twenty years, unless a radical change of course takes place, she may be involved in a protracted insurgency with her Muslim population—nuclear power plants are likely to be targeted or disrupted, with catastrophic results. Germany, by contrast, has wisely liquidated her nuclear program.
Wind turbines and solar panels are not the answer either—they are a boondoggle and a chance to virtue signal. The answer to our energy needs lies in dams and tidal power—options rarely mentioned. Dams are Lindy, even a child understands how a dam works and builds them at the seaside—we have made dams for thousands of years; dams have a huge capacity to produce energy, unlike solar and wind power; and even if the population of a country becomes quite retarded, they will retain the ability to maintain a dam well into senescence. Dams have huge destructive potential, but humans know how to recover from a broken dam; there is no intuitive long-term recovery strategy from radiation. The energy debate is always conceptualised, like all debates in our society, as a conflict between the real progressive factions—yet neither side sees the issue fully, precisely because they are only interested in appearing as the real progressive force.