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    • Chris, what I do know from talking to people from TerraPower is that no new nuclear plants can be built in US soil due to public fears. Simply put, its political suicide. We know the same is true of other parts of the world, especially advanced countries after Fukushima. The plants that already exist in US soil are drawning in a tight noose of regulation and monitored by US armed forces around the clock. TerraPower has been on lean cash burn mode for several years due to how toxic nuclear power is to american politics. If people were aware of the actual risks, development would be much faster.

    • It’s sad but decades ago when I was an undergrad, I decided to change my major to nuclear from geophysics because, I told my friends, “Oil is a dirty, dangerous fuel.” They and my professors talked me out of it because of the fear of public opinion.

      We believed it was the Jane Fonda/Michael Douglas/Jack Lemmon film The China Syndrome that changed public perception of nuclear forever.

      Here we are all these years later in the very same position. Now it’s the new HBO series scaring the Hell out of everyone.

      So... wind and solar? Impossible burgers?

    • So... wind and solar? Impossible burgers?

      I believe failure to handle such major, visionary welfare for the species, is due to human's inherent nature, whereby immediate needs and reward of being satisfied do prevail by and large. Yes there are regional and culturally diverse grades of success on the planiglobe. But everyone lives a finite life, most persons able to judge and act on anything crucial like this are either not empowered to do so, or have not enough time and energy left in their life. Politics, impacting exactly the realm of leadership which should be operationally responsible for putting into practice these plans, actually makes everything worse, mudding waters forever. And so.. the classic quote perpetuates.

    • @kiko @Chris I have some reservations about nuclear power myself, I saw 2.5 too many of these "safe" energy providers explode and wreak havoc in my lifetime. Still, I understand that at some point even the craziness of sacrificing some thousand km² every other decade might become the lesser of two evils - and that new technologies like the TWR might be safer than that. I don't think we need to discuss these technologies in here.

      However, a discussion about the discussion of these technologies elsewhere might be interesting, because this brings us back to one of the random questions I posed. If nuclear power is the best thing in the world, but no one wants it, then it either must be implemented undemocratically, or it won't be implemented at all, or the populace of the world needs to be convinced, and fast.

      Similarly, @DrJamesDyke brought up GDP, and how policy makers across the globe rely on it. From their point of view, this is a sensible thing to do because a striving economy is what gets them re-elected in 3-5 years, while setting back the economy because "some invisible gas will kill us by the end of the century, for real this time" is the sure-fire way to be voted out and be replaced by someone who will roll back all the good things they started. Again, something like this might be attempted by some hypothetical benevolent dictator but probably not by democratically elected representatives, unless this becomes what the people want.

      So, a "social movement" as suggested by Dr. James Dyke is a great idea in theory - but what can each and every one of us do to make this happen? I've seen one suggestion in this conversation that has since been removed (feel free to bring it up again if you like ;)), but perhaps there are others? Also, it would need to be something that scales well and fast, rather exponentially than linearly - so it would need to be something that people are enthusiastic about and not something that people just consider to be some grim duty (framed as "more of something good" instead "less because we need to").

      Bottom line: Dr. James Dyke has all the right ideas - thanks for joining the conversation. Just... How?

    • When it comes to social movements, we don't have to reinvent the wheel :)

      https://350.org

      for example. What's important is connecting with like minded people - ideally in your neighbourhood, or at least online. Collectively you can have an impact.

      You may be surprised to learn how many people share your ideas, concerns, and values. I think the most pernicious thing we need to push back on, is that we are just consumers. That our roles in society is to just buy stuff and turn up and vote once in a while. We should be engaged citizens. I also think that means we have to be political in the sense of understanding the political process and applying pressure where we can.

      So find out who represents you and tell them what your concerns are and ask them to explain to you what they are doing about it.

    • I've seen one suggestion in this conversation that has since been removed (feel free to bring it up again if you like ;)), 

      Thank you for the kindness, @Factotum . Both for giving me the green light to re-post as well as for respecting my privacy should I choose not to. I sometimes will post something and then doubt it’s merits and delete it.

      The below may be rubbish, but if it facilitates further conversation on your original request for practical steps to take, then it’s served it’s purpose.

      ****************

      We need to share that vision with others, bring them to our cause and then make it happen. In short - we need a social movement. -@DrJamesDyke

      Bringing people to our cause, I think, is one of the things that @Factotum would like to do.  So I’m going to suggest one specific thing anyone can do this month to make a difference.

      Let’s focus on Memorial Day Weekend, when people will be sharing a meal with family or friends.

      If you normally eat meat at this outings, do something different and only eat vegetarian.

      If friends or family ask why you’re not eating the hamburgers/steak, tell them that you’re trying to cut back on your beef consumption.

      It doesn’t sound judgmental, like “I’m trying to save the planet”.

      If someone wants to know why you’re cutting back on beef, be prepared to share information that you think would help them to make an informed decision.

      Obviously, you need to know your audience: you don’t want to end up offending someone, but I wouldn’t shy away from a spirited debate if the person can disagree without being disagreeable.

      What we’ve learned from the anti-vaxxer discussions on Cake is that people often form their beliefs based on the opinions of family and friends.

      My two cents anyway, FWIW.

    • 1. Generally speaking, what can I do to help with this situation? I understand the common suggestions are to eat local and mostly meat-free, but I also wonder about raising awareness and other things. - @Factotum

      Speak to your municipal representative/town council rep about adding more electric and hybrid vehicles to their fleet.

      Post a request on Next Door asking people to call the mayor and tell him/her to replace vehicles with hybrids/electrics. Your town will be able to get a fleet discount and it should be a few bucks extra in tax dollars per person if you do the math (depending on the population).

      That’s a greater environmental impact than if you just bought a Tesla for yourself.

    • If nuclear power is the best thing in the world, but no one wants it, then it either must be implemented undemocratically, or it won't be implemented at all, or the populace of the world needs to be convinced, and fast.

      I wonder if technically speaking a remote, such as out on the orbit, placement of nuclear power plants would not be feasible, with power then being transmitted via energy beam. Of course other than Chernobyl when I was much younger, and closer, I haven't experienced life in relative vicinity of these major failures everyone is afraid of. Today I live twenty minutes away from such a power plant and every time I pas by it's park like setting in the natural beauty of the place can't stop being amazed how clean and healthy everything is all around it, farms, deer, etc.. And to my mind, they still seem very rare occurrences, I wonder if internet isn't over inflating such worries. Yet I agree with what is being said here, that profit is the driving force, rather than safety or concern for environment. And the only things that can be done are acting via democratic channels, which basically means raising voices over and over. in the hope of being heard.

    • I think our fear of nuclear preceded the Internet. We humans seem to fear what rarely happens but is terrifying when it does. Air travel terrifies us, but not cars. Vaccines terrify is but not pain killers. Mountain lions, guns not so much. Nuclear, not meat.

    • And I think the graphic understated other things, like the prominent role dairy plays in breast cancer, or that soy plays in returning nitrogen to the soil so we don’t use as much chemical fertilizer.