Propaganda. Science. Pick One.

We have earned a new label: the conservation-industrial complex. Evocative, monolithic, dehumanising – perfect for avoiding analysis and self-reflection.

Why bother presenting reasoned critique of, say, distinguished scientists calling for the reevaluation of nuclear energy in the context of global climate destabilisation when a polemical epithet can save all the trouble?

…the recent “An Open Letter to Environmentalists on Nuclear Energy,” signed by a number of academics, some conservation biologists, and other members of the conservation-industrial complex, labels nuclear energy as “sustainable” and argues that because of global warming, nuclear energy plays a “key role” in “global biodiversity conservation.” …And for what will this energy be used? To continue extraction and drawdown­–to convert the last living creatures and their communities into the final dead commodities.

Or maybe it will be used in a key role to conserve global biodiversity, exactly as claimed – rather than the conclusion you have decided fits your castigatory narrative of outright rejection at any and all costs.

Ideally, yes – nuclear energy will be used to continue economic development of emerging nations, alleviation of poverty, expansion of opportunity for following generations. It will also undoubtedly enable the continuance of many of society’s inequitable, undesirable characteristics. And many things besides, but all with significantly lower emissions of greenhouse gas and poisonous particulates, less intensive material extraction and land use, and more certainty based on historical experience.

What would achievement of the romanticised past, deep green agrarian idyll entail? The forced disenfranchisement – or worse – of innumerable humans who currently enjoy and contribute to a high-energy society. The cessation of ubiquitous, affordable technology, such as that exploited in coordinating grass-roots environmental institutions. They are welcome to leap-frog their hoped-for day of reckoning and renounce the internet any time.

Would it involve men and women sharing the hand-washed laundry equally?

With a bit of manufacturing industry experience under my belt, I feel I have an appreciation for just what such people must blithely take for granted when putting finger to injection-molded plastic key to express such a perspective. Nuclear as a future energy source is being reevaluated right at a time when the byproducts of industry are being increasingly sequestered from the environment, when equality in economic participation is expanding and pathways to enhanced health and longevity are coming into greater focus, when statistics and technology will allow a future of prosperity for billions – if that’s what we want.


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