Re: [OPE] A brief socialist history of the automobile | Links

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Tue May 20 2008 - 05:58:53 EDT

Gerald Levy wrote:
> Especially note the Appendix, "Labor's Militant Voice Environmental 
> Program",
> which includes a brief platform that  "would solve many of today's
> environmental problems" in a socialist economy.   But, would it?

'/Energy/. A program to develop and further investigate renewable and 
alternative energy sources. Research into technologies which promote 
hydrogen, solar, wind and hyrdo-electric power sources. A rational plan 
of energy use and production would call for an overall decrease in the 
use of stored energy of any kind to meet the general needs of society. 
The generation of energy for public consumption by industrial plants 
under private ownership, which today contribute greatly to carbon 
emissions, as well as airborne, water and soil toxicity, would be 
eliminated and replaced with power generation facilities under community 
control. In order to further reduce public energy consumption and waste, 
a program of socialised domestic food production, and sanitation could 
be implemented through organisations of community control.'

There is a real confusion of primary and secondary sources of energy 
there. Hydrogen can only be produced ( with
energy losses ) from some primary energy source -- fossil fuel, nuclear 
or hydro etc. If they are going to rely on solar
and wind, then there is going to be an overall increas in the use of 
stored energy not a decrease, since these
energy sources are intermittent and thus rely on an intermediate form 
for storage. At pressent that storage
is a big problem. The only proven storage technology is hydro electric 
pumped storage, which requires
particular geographic conditions which are limited. Batteries, 
compressed air and flywheels are other
possibilities, but nobody has yet developed these in the required 
multi-gigawatt range.

In a typically opportunist way they evade the issue of nuclear power.
> In solidarity, Jerry
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