Jan 13, 2016

Obama, Walker, Industrial Unions and the Pathology of Nuclear Power

"Soren Kierkegaard said of belief that it becomes stronger the more impossible and threatened it is. And this seems to be rapidly coming true in the case of nuclear energy. The torture imposed on logic, reason and observational data by the advocates of nuclear power has now reached the level of clinical psychosis," writes Chris Busby in CounterPunch.

Putting aside cognitive belief in a depoliticized America is more likely a manifestation of ideology, lassitude, graft and corruption, Busby and Kierkegaard's point on nuclear power is well-taken.

Nuclear power is simply not safe. The half-life of Uranium 235 (U-235) is some 700 million years, (CDC), an prodigious order of magnitude older than Scott Walker's conception of the age of the universe.

When industry enriches U-235 and makes it "fissile" (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission), life-destroying radioactive waste is the consequence. "Radioactive waste is a lethal by-product and the wisest path to take is to stop producing it," notes Nukewatch.

Wisconsin Republican and Democratic legislators and Scott Walker appear to have missed this truism, fast-tracking Assembly Bill 384, (and Senate Bill 288) that would pave the way for approval and construction of new nuclear power plants in Wisconsin.

Likewise, industrial unions have partnered with rightwing fanatics and corporations (Wisconsin Government Accountability Board), trading in perceived job security for future catastrophe.

Believe a nuclear meltdown won't happen? Oh yeah, that Fukushima thing with radiation working its way across the Pacific to America's west coast, (Energy News).

In President Obama's State of the Union Address last night, Obama declared:

But we can do so much more. Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade. Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.

That's commendable.

Obama immediately followed the above graf with the words, "Medical research is critical. We need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources."

In light of Obama's "support for currently operating [and future] nuclear power plants [as] an important component of our clean energy strategy," Obama's words are ironic, (White House Fact Sheet, 2015). He appears to have missed that radioactive waste-lethal by-product concern.

Perhaps, with respect to the pathology of power and the short-sighted, good-ole-American go-along ethos, Kierkegaard and Busby have it right after-all: Mass clinical psychosis defines nuclear energy.

As H.L. Mencken wrote: "No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby. ... They dislike ideas, for ideas make them uncomfortable. The tabloids [journals of the time], seeking to force such things upon them, will inevitably alarm them and lose their trade. The journalism of the future—that is, the mob journalism—will move in the direction that I have indicated." ('Notes On Journalism' in the Chicago Daily Tribune (19 September 1926)) (UPenn)

Mob journalism abounds today—Right Wisconsin, WND, StormFront—and few politicians are losing office thereby.

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