Monday, 20 June 2011

Against Chen Mei-chin (陳美津)

"As a small island nation, Taiwan simply cannot afford a nuclear disaster and the devastating effects on humans and the environment would last for decades..."
Yet more anti-nuclear scaremongering in today's Taipei Times.
"In Japan, the contamination of farmland forced farmers to destroy their crops and slaughter their cows."
That's outright bullshit. It was the government, in their subservient fear of a public subjected to the emoting propaganda of environmentalists and other politicists, which forced farmers to destroy their crops.
"Phasing out nuclear energy will cause a shortage of electricity and raise the cost of energy that in turn will hamper economic growth — or so the argument goes. However, the example of Germany shows just the opposite: Investments in renewable sources of energy actually create hundreds of thousands of jobs and promote economic growth."
That's such a bad counter-argument as to almost look like it was made deliberately; everyone else would have to pay higher electricity prices in order that a relatively small number of people could have government-provided jobs. Underlying that argument however, is the even worse premise that the economy should be subject to the utilitarian "calculations" of politicists like Chen. To take up that premise is to treat the lives of some people as dispensible in the pursuit of political goals that will benefit others. That is economic canibalism - befitting only to the intellectual savages of the punyversities.


  1. I'm no nuclear expert, and I haven't been following this very closely at all, but isn't Germany's plan for something like 2020 or 2025? To expect Japan (or Taiwan) implement a German-like plan overnight is simply stupid, and to carry it out tomorrow even stupider. Phasing out is one thing, but expecting Japan and Taiwan to be able to do it immediately--even though the writer says "phasing," the rest of the article sounds urgent--is . . . Christ, I'm just going to have to use this word again: stupid. I don't think many are arguing against phasing out non-renewable and nuclear energy; my understanding is that most sane people think this is probably a good idea--perhaps even the best idea. The problem comes when phasing becomes quitting cold turkey. At least that's my (limited) understanding. Perhaps you can help me here, Mike. Is there a single sane person who is against phasing these things out or, rather, in favor of quitting cold turkey and believing that renewables will be able to pick up the enormous slack immediately? (Remember, I said "sane.")

  2. Nathan,

    I don't think anyone (except a handful of far left lunatics) is calling for the immediate shut down of the nuclear power stations.

    The phase-out itself is also stupid - in my opinion - and for additional reasons to the obvious ones. It would be less bad* if the nukes were replaced by gas powered turbines, but it seems to me that there's little to no political support for that in the pan-green camp.

    *But still very bad.

  3. Oh, I'm aware of this. I think I left a comment here a few weeks back about how many greenies can't seem to understand that the lights and computers they use run on electricity, which must be made somehow, while they use their computers and lights to bitch about all forms of energy currently being produced. Gas turbines are really no better, of course, since burning gas contributes to global warming. Thus my complaint: nothing can be used, but all is needed. And everyone wants it. In what other way can their computers be run to bitch about the things used to create the energy on which their computers run? Evidently I can snap my fingers and make renewable energy a reality and make it so in such a way that no one notices the instantaneous change, so the thinking must go. Another generation of these fools, "and the spirit itself will stink." (I was going to write something else here, but a Nietzsche quote for some reason seemed more to the point.)

  4. As an aside, I thought you might find this interesting.

  5. Well let's not make an enemy out of the virtue of accuracy and the tactic of understatement: the greens (and therefore much of the Left) don't claim that. What they claim is that a shift to renewables would have to be accompanied by both improvements in the efficient use of electricity* as well as some likely reductions in electricity consumption**.

    *Although there are certain improvements which may be conceivable, the questions which have to be asked concern the economics of implementing these improvements - or more specifically, who pays for whom and how much?

    **The greens aren't especially scared of making this point, but some in the broader Left still appear at least somewhat wary of it - and for good tactical reasons. Blackouts are a bad thing for everyone - just tonight I drove back through town and the only lights were those of the stores and the traffic signals. They would be so much worse (i.e. frequent) under a green policy.

    By the way, on Nietzsche, I think "The Gay Science" and "A Genealogy Of Morality" were in some respects (i.e. semi-scholarly ones) better books than Zarathustra, although that one has far more art to its composition.

  6. I have a soft spot for the art in _Zarathustra_'s biting criticism. But yes, I can agree with what you've written about it.

    With regards to the greens--and, granted, I catch bits and pieces from people back home and usually ignore much of the commentary on environmental politics here--I've been catching arguments from people for immediate switches to renewables no matter the pain and cost. Perhaps we're talking about different things. My meaning was that I've seen these arguments as well--and far too many to feel comfortable--and these, at least to me, are the most disconcerting and make me the most cynical about "green" politics. ("[G]reen" in quotes because this form of "green" politics has far more to do with evidently violent revolution and sheer takeover and little to do with the many of the things I hold dear.)

  7. Well, there are some far-left lunatics - especially at greenpeace and the like.


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