RE: [OPE] Power

Date: Sat Feb 16 2008 - 10:34:07 EST

I agree that there will be some health effects from dispersion of
radioactivity, and that these will impact on general populations.
But exactly the same applies on a much larger scale to fossil
fuel use.

In in 1952, the great London smog, caused largely by an inversion
which trapped fumes from the coal fired battersea power station
killed 1500 Londoners in a week.

The resulting Clean Air Act, meant that power station chimneys
were built higher. The sulfur dioxide emissions then altered
the cloud pattterns over northern Europe, and in due course
this disrupted the rainfall over the Sahel, resulting in
the Ethiopian Famines, which put millions of lives in jeapardy.

I dont think you fully appreciate the gravity of trying to
reduce fossil fuel use by say 90%. Efficiency savings might
amount for 20% if you are lucky. How do you suggest the transport
system is going to work, how are you going to generate all of
the extra electricity that is going to be needed?

Think Marxist indeed, but think what this implies for the overall
reproduction process. It represents a general rise in the value of
energy since the lower labour means of producing it -- oil, is ruled
out. Classical theory tells us that this will lead to a fall in relative
surplus value, but there are also the arguments of Machover, backed
up by a lot of empirical observation, that over the long term the
rate of surplus value tends to be in the order of 100%, so this implies
that a rise in the value of energy will imply a fall in general living
standards -- since not all the hit will be taken by profits.

This will be true until repeated production of the new powerstations --
nuclear and solar, lead to better construction techniques, better
experience in use etc, bringing down the labour content.

>> That even the most serious nuclear accidents cause relatively> few
>> casualties --- certainly compared to deaths in coal mine> disasters over
>> the comparable period.
> ===================================
> Hi Paul C:
> It's not simply a question of how many people die immediately
> as a consequence of a disaster. Without doubt, many more
> people have died as a direct and immediate result of coal mining
> disasters than as a result of disasters at nuclear power plants.
> When coal  mine disasters happen, there is loss of life for coal mine
> workers. When nuclear power generation accidents occur, there are
> also more far-reaching consequences. For example, for the health
> of populations (often working-class communities) living near
> nuclear power plants.  Even without "accidents" there are questions
> concerning the long-term health of people living in nearby
> communities.  Nuclear power plant accidents can indeed lead to
> large-scale displacement and de-population of regions. And, for
> how long? Decades? Hundreds of years? Thousands of years?
> We don't really know how long is required to make such areas safe
> to live in again. We do know, though, that it would require a
> *massive* expenditure of resources (no doubt, paid for by
> the public since the liability of nuclear power companies is limited).
> Furthermore, the effects on human populations could extend
> hundreds of miles away from the accident. Thus, Finland and
> many other European countries (in addition, of course, to
> the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia) were impacted by the
> Chernobyl disaster. Did the Finns drop dead the next day after
> the disaster? Of course not. But, with nuclear power accidents
> you also have to look at long-term health consequences. For
> instance, the impact of the accident on other species and how
> that then affects the "food chain" and, ultimately, people.
> Think of the consequences of the radioactive contamination of
> land, air, and water.
> Having nuclear-power generation is like Russian Roulette - except
> the odds are better (than 1 in 6) and the consequences are much
> worse (thousands can suffer and die instead of 1). It's a very
> big gamble with human (and other) life.
> Instead of favoring nuclear power, we should be favoring more
> energy-efficient and Green technologies and opposing the
> tremendous amount of waste of natural resources by
> capitalists and nation states.  We should favor solutions that
> demand that those responsible for the mess (capitalists and
> states, especially in and from advanced capitalist nations) clean
> it up rather than shifting the burden to working people and
> the poor of the world. We need to Think (Marxian)Green, not
> Think Radioactive.
> In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

ope mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Feb 29 2008 - 00:00:03 EST