Friday, 15 April 2011

Against Yang Ji-charng

"A disaster on the scale of that at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant would cripple Taiwan, a price the 23 million people of Taiwan cannot afford."
My response to that outrageous trouser-flash...

First, decisions as to what any given individual can "afford" are invariably decisions made in a context of action in which alternatives may be chosen (e.g. the risks of nuclear power vs the gross inefficiencies of renewables); by what curious labyrinthine twists of reason did Yang Ji-charng arrive at the view, implicitly stated here, that he is competent to dictate the decisions of 23 million other people (including me)? Such monstrous arrogance would properly be considered breathtaking by any decent person were it not so commonplace.

Second, the fact-free fear-bites Yang flings around about such a disaster "crippling" Taiwan are bunk for two principle reasons:

(1) Nuclear power contributes 18% of electricity to Taiwan's power grid - the sudden removal of this would create great difficulties, but the entire economy would not be "crippled"; 82% of the grid's capacity would still be available.

(2) The time-scale at which a radiation leakage would occur would likely be slow enough (days, weeks or even months) to allow ample time for precautionary measures to be taken. So far as I am aware, this is not true of any other source of industrial-scale electricity generation (readers: please correct me if this is wrong).
"Taiwan’s best bet is to decommission its nuclear plants and use alternative energy sources..."
Taiwan is not a hive and as such "it" does not make decisions - people make their own individual decisions in a multiplicity of social and politico-economic contexts. Some individuals may prefer to purchase electricity from windfarms - fine, let them pay for it. Some individuals may prefer to purchase electricity from gas-fired plants - let them make that choice and pay for it.

In short, put an end to State monopoly over energy, and allow people to make their own investment and purchase decisions on electricity. The other 23 million people in Taiwan do not belong to you Yang Ji-charng, nor do they belong to those State agencies which mendaciously claim to protect them and act in their best interests. They belong entirely to themselves and it is outrageous for you to presume otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. What happened at Fukushima and Chernobyl are apocalyptic signs. They remind us that man cannot and should not play God and tinker with forces of that magnitude.

    He needs to stop tinkering with language altogether.


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