Written and uploaded by Oleg Panczenko       8 Sep 1988

   The current issue  of the "liberal"  THE NEW REPUBLIC (2 & 12
September 1988)  had an  eye-catching cover:  a field  of melting
blue ice  and the promise  that inside  is the answer  to "How To
Cool Off  the Earth".   The editorial  article, "Shake  Or Bake",
does surprise:
   All  we  are  saying  is give  nukes  a  chance.   ...  The
   standard complaints  about nuclear energy  are losing their
   force.   The  next  generation   of  reactors  may  not  be
   "inherently safe," ... but they can be made close enough to
   that for comfort.  This fact  should permit a more rational
   licensing system, one not in the thrall of the most fearful
   local  citizens and  the  most demagogic  politicians.  ...
   And  when  people  ask about  the  disposal  "problem," the
   answer  is: Compared  to what?   Each  year the  burning of
   fossil  fuels sends  well more  than  five billion  tons of
   life-shortening   carbon   [sic]   into   the   environment
   uncontrolled.  Nuclear reactors  worldwide annually produce
   seven thousand tons of waste, which has the virtue of being
   in tidy packages.   ...  In view  of air pollution's subtle
   shortening  of human  lives, it's  safe  to say  that, even
   after Chernobyl, fossil  fuels are costing  many more years
   of human life than nuclear fuels.
   [TNR, p. 8]
   Has reason broken out at  The New Republic?  No.  Their sudden
clarity  of  vision  is  in  response  to  the  latest millennial
   "[T]here's  no real  doubt  that the  greenhouse  effect is
   here,  and here  to  stay.  ...   This  century has  seen a
   gradual global warming of around one degree Fahrenheit that
   corresponds neatly to  the growth in  greenhouse gases ..."
   (TNR, p. 5) (See note 1)
Note 1:      "... the extra CO2  [added to the atmosphere in the
      last century] is  only about half  of that corresponding to the
      extra  fossil  fuel  burned  during  that  time.  What happened
      to the rest?  ...   [T]he measured increase of the temperature
      on the surface of the  Earth is not as great as would be
      expected  even from the  amount of CO2 accumulated in the
      atmosphere  ..." (J. Maddox,  Nature, 16 April 1987, p. 637:2).
      I am foolish  to point this out.  The solutions proposed  by the
      editors of  TNR  are legal  and political ones; thus, it is for
      legislators and the Supreme Court to declare what is true.
   This is  their justification for  a change of  mind on nuclear
power.  One  is tempted  to say 'so  what?'  Why  complain if the
right result is reach by means of wrong reasons?
   While part of  their solution is  nuclear power, the remainder
calls for  the greatest  international manipulative  and coercive
effort known to  man.  About a quarter  of a page  of a four page
article  is  reasonable,  the  rest  is  a  call  for coordinated
world-wide  planning.  An  abbreviated list  of what  the editors
urge contains
   tighter fuel standards on cars,
   energy-efficiency ratings for the benefit of home buyers,
   longer-lived light bulbs,
   stiff gasoline-tax (to cut the deficit, and encourage
     car-pooling and use of mass-transit),
   "costly" emissions-controls,
   "costly" conversion from "evil fuels, like coal" to "less evil
     fuels, like natural gas.",
   "creative" international agreements.
   It is not  only the people of  industrial societies which must
be under  the control  of the  planners but  also members  of the
lesser races of the world:
   "[I]n  Asia, more  people  mean more  rice  paddies, which
   exude  methane.   ...   [T]oday's  subsistence  farmer  is
   tomorrow's  bourgeois  energy guzzler.   ...   [A] central
   goal must  be to get  the world's  population growth under
   control.  One approach is a simple deal between industrial
   and  industrializing  worlds:  we'll  cut  down  mainly on
   emissions, you cut down mainly on kids."  (p. 7:1-2)
   There are  many more  proposals, but this  is a  good taste of
   Since George Bush  is now a  "environmentalist", we may expect
these proposals to receive widespread consideration.  The article
is not particularly  distinguished, but it is  an outline of what
we can expect the "issues" to be.
   The left is recycling arguments  and bugaboos from the 1970's.
They  had the  advantage  the first  time:  they would  raise the
points and the replies  were slow in coming.   But now, those who
champion freedom have a large body of information and argument at
their disposal.  They must use it.

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