Ecological Vision and Strategy

ZSplash Forums Social Vision and Strategy Ecological Vision and Strategy

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Brian Cady 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #299800

    Post questions, comments, ideas, proposals, concerns about Ecological vision and strategy under this topic…

    #299802

    In all Forums on ZCom, participants are expected to respect one another. No aspersions of ill motivation, no racism, sexism, or classism, will be tolerated. Likewise, no one should hound anyone else, and no one should over post excluding others.

    Think of it as being like a living room you are visiting. To dissent is fine, of course – engaging with one another over differences is the point. To be boorish, however, is not fine.

    For now, as an experiment that we hope will work, the forums are wide open. If that proves unviable because of anti social posting – posting will be restricted to sustainers.

    #300089
    avatar
    David Jones
    Participant

    I am an organizer in Montana, USA working on climate justice issues. The two top concerns are coal export, coal mined in Montana and Wyoming and shipped to west coast ports for export, and the Keystone XL pipeline which would traverse a portion of our state. Anyone out there interested in helping us stop fossil fuel development?

    #437585
    avatar
    Jim Vee
    Participant

    I am in Canada. The media are generally very strong proponents of keystone XL. As they see it, it promotes employment. And profits for local Canadian companies. Which allow many to live luxurious lifestyles. Something we’re led to believe, through American tv and movies, that Americans aspire to. The mass media is very territorial in it’s promotion of local jobs. Industry says they will ship oil by train if not pipelines. Which is more dangerous. I’m not so sure they will be able to use rail to that extent. Making exporting out of Canada harder should slow development of the tar sands.

    Coal is a big polluter here as well. It gets little media attention. Probably because there is little international news coverage of that fact.

    #529278
    avatar
    Ren Huntsinger
    Participant

    If necessary I can post many links to science-based apocalyptic predictions of human generated environmental collapse with impending climate change, but I am going to presume that the bulk of readers and participants of this forum are already aware of these issues, at least until someone asks for the specifics.

    To address the issue of vision, I’ll just link one of the latest news reports, April 1, 2014, of an MIT study that concludes: Methane-spewing microbes led to the worst extinction on earth, new theory says.

    The most dire predictions, by environmental scientists like Guy McPherson, see the possibility of our present global human activity triggering a mass extinction that could include humans. Even if that extreme does not come about, it would appear that our common course at the moment it headed for some sort of catastrophic collapse.

    As much as I would like to see fossil fuel development stopped, and fossil fuel use curtailed dramatically, I’m trying to imagine a large enough strategy that could do that in what appears to be a relatively short period of time. It seems to me a major part of that strategy will involve a very dramatic consciously-decided change in the way we live our lives.

    Most everyone I’m reading and listening to about describing the scientific details and probable causes of this issue seems to come to the conclusion that the causes are systemic and global, while the changes must occur locally in ways that will involve building new community relations that involve refusing to take part in those global systems and choosing ways of living, such as permaculture design, that will be more sustainable.

    So the vision of not changing what amounts to a process of failing global institutions destroying a biosphere that sustains life as we know it is somewhat apocalyptic. And some of us see it that way. Which of course if voiced can subject one to ridicule in many quarters.

    I’d love to hear and discuss the merits of any strategy ideas anyone has.

    #575900
    avatar
    Ren Huntsinger
    Participant

    Some more thoughts in case anyone is thinking about this issue, which, I’ve discovered over the years, few people tend to in proportion to the whole population. Not much I can do about that!

    What I’m simply suggesting at the moment is to watch this slide show/lecture put together by Dr. Craig Chalquist:

    Conscious Apocalypse: Outliving Our Ruling Institutions

    What struck me about it: out of all the possible things to think about on this issue that I’ve looked at, in the title, and through the body of the lecture, Dr. Chalquist turns his lens on institutions as the source of our problem — he even identifies them as “ruling institutions” — and he further describes them as failing.

    Now, what does he mean to say that institutions rule us, and are failing us? What would an institution be that it could be said to fail? For those who are working towards developing new institutional forms like Parecon, or Parsoc, that’s likely going to be a rhetorical question. But for others, I find, it can open up new ways of looking at organizational structures they presently take for granted, often without thinking that those structures — in which they willingly and sensibly participate — are also ruling them.

    With those issues, Dr. Chalquist also attempts to synchronize a symbolic, metaphorical and psychological analysis, drawing on the literary language of archetypes. I find that through that synchronization he inspires me to reach towards his up front goal of achieving a greater degree of consciousness about what is taking place all around us today:

    Craig Chalquist says at around one minute: “I thought it might be useful to explore what it means to live in the archetype of the apocalypse and what it might mean for us if we did it with more consciousness.”

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by avatar Ren Huntsinger. Reason: test to see if videos could be embedded failed
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by avatar Ren Huntsinger.
    #656006

    Clint LaForge
    Participant

    I write these comments to solicit feedback on the viability of a new society based upon a major shift in thinking. I believe that it is time to embrace a different future for Canada and the world, and the catalyst is Energy.

    The change would come from developing a new source of safe cheap energy that is universally available to all. This Energy is developed, not through the typical extraction industries of oil, natural gas, and other polluting methods, and not through the usual nuclear method using the uranium cycle; but through the development of Thorium nuclear energy. Thorium is the forgotten cousin of Uranium, forgotten and ignored for too long, because it was not and is not useful for creating nuclear weapons (is non-proliferative).

    The benefits of Thorium Nuclear Energy are numerous, using Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) technology.

    The prohibitive costs and typical safety issues of the usual Nuclear technology are not factors using thorium. Thorium technology is inherently SAFE, because as it heats up, the liquid salt carrier expands and the fissile components expand apart so they cannot become critical (as could happen with uranium). Because it cannot go critical, it doesn’t require the water cooling and redundant safety systems of the uranium cycle reactor. Its process safely runs hot at 700 degrees without using water cooling, so pressure vessels are not required, meaning it’s CHEAP to build. To build a prototype thorium reactor would probably cost about the equivalent of a typical coal fired electrical plant. Granted there are a number of challenges to overcome regarding engineering of this technology, problems in metallurgy, high temperature enclosures; but these problems can be overcome.

    The fuel in the Thorium reactor is cheap and abundant throughout the world, unlike uranium, and in the reactor it is 95% used up and converted to heat energy, compared to the 3% of the uranium fuel. Therefore the radioactive waste left over is comparatively little. In fact, the existing waste products from the Uranium reactors could be burned up safely in the thorium reactor over time, solving the problem we currently have of storing uranium nuclear waste for thousands of years. The thorium fuel is extracted from the mining of rare earth metals, and is considered a ‘contaminate’, making thorium a slightly active nuisance (about as dangerous as radon). So by refining these rare earth metals to remove the thorium, the world shortage of rare earths is addressed. It is not a dangerous process to extract thorium, however it would require a change to the Nuclear Regulations of the country. The current mindset of the regulatory body is directed only toward uranium reactor technology, and they would have to be compelled to consider a change to accommodate Thorium development.
    By the way, the technology has already been tested in the 1960’s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, successfully and safely for over 15000 hours. Political motivations in the Nixon era favoured the ‘breeder reactors’ based in California over the LFTR in Oak Ridge, and the technology was scrapped, and has languished for the past 45 years. (Surprised…not.)
    The societal changes of a safe, cheap, scalable, hot source of energy boggle the mind. Since we would now have an unlimited source of relatively cheap energy, we would have to rethink and re-evaluate our current activities. We would not require the scale of extractive polluting energy of tar sands, nor pipelines to transport oil or gas. These hydrocarbon resources would no longer be wasted, but would move up the chain to become higher value products, plastics, and chemicals. Elimination of extractive resources would change the rate of pollution and depletion of water resources, and would gradually reverse the climate change due to burning fossil fuels. Electric rail, thorium-powered ocean shipping would revolutionize transport. Cars definitely would become electric, trucking possibly natural gas/bio-diesel created by thorium powered spinoff processes. We would not need electrical transmission lines inefficiently criss-crossing our country, because the reactor would be safely located relatively close to population-centres. The hot process at 800 degrees, would allow more efficient production of electricity, but in addition we could apply or create other useful processes, such as desalination of sea water, or producing NH3 fertilizers by combining constituent elements, thereby alleviating world food crisis, etc. The production of fuels using thorium would change the deforestation rates in the world by eliminating ethanol producing fields of monoculture. I’m sure you can imagine more of similar downstream benefits from unlimited cheap clean energy. I’m also sure that innovation will more than replace the industrial disruptions caused, with new exciting developments.
    I would foresee push-back from existing Big Business…in fact the threat of obsolescence is probably delaying the development of this technology at present. Pushback would also come from those companies that currently produce the nuclear fuel pellet rods for the uranium reactors. However, in my opinion, we should plan for a new and better world built from the grassroots with good fresh ideas, away from the plans of the powerful manipulative corporations that currently influence and control our future.
    With a revised public perception, where nuclear power is not considered a ‘dirty word’ we could create a miraculous society. This change would have to start from the ground up, because of the disruption to existing business power structures, hence their intransigence. With enough pressure from ground up, we could develop this new industry here at home, solving many of the existing crises of our age, while creating a clean, safe, harmonious world for the future. That shift in perception could start with discussion at this level. After all, we must do something major about climate change, as time is running out. I believe that Thorium is that catalyst to create a 21st century change, on the scale of the ‘wheel’ or ‘fire’. I urge you to get a fire in your belly, and set the wheels in motion.

    Clint LaForge, Vancouver

    #668585
    avatar
    Ren Huntsinger
    Participant

    Clint, I appreciate your thoughts on energy.

    I have not educated myself enough in the field that would involve developing this technology, so I am in no position to debate whether it’s viable. But your other points are worth my consideration, because I have thought a lot about culture and how culture happens, both from the roots where individuals interact to create living, sustainable cultures related to their immediate environment, and from the macro view of institutional management, which of course involves both private institutions as well as public, governmental institutions on a global scale.

    Thus, I’d like to hear more about what you mean by this:

    Clint LaForge wrote: “I write these comments to solicit feedback on the viability of a new society based upon a major shift in thinking. I believe that it is time to embrace a different future for Canada and the world, and the catalyst is Energy.”

    When you suggest a “new” society, based on a “major shift in thinking,” can you be more precise about what you mean by a shift in thinking?

    I’m having difficulty imagining how it goes from the idea of a shift in thinking to this:

    Clint LaForge: “However, in my opinion, we should plan for a new and better world built from the grassroots with good fresh ideas, away from the plans of the powerful manipulative corporations that currently influence and control our future.

    With a revised public perception, where nuclear power is not considered a ‘dirty word’ we could create a miraculous society. This change would have to start from the ground up, because of the disruption to existing business power structures, hence their intransigence. With enough pressure from ground up, we could develop this new industry here at home, solving many of the existing crises of our age, while creating a clean, safe, harmonious world for the future. That shift in perception could start with discussion at this level. After all, we must do something major about climate change, as time is running out. I believe that Thorium is that catalyst to create a 21st century change, on the scale of the ‘wheel’ or ‘fire’. I urge you to get a fire in your belly, and set the wheels in motion.

    In my mind there’s a huge grey area that covers the cultural and institutional structures that involve creating and disseminating this technology from a grass roots “we” perspective. My first impression upon looking into thorium, is that I and the people I know are not good candidates to create a local thorium power source so that we can share it with each other in some way so that we can remove ourselves from the vertically integrated power grids and their associated commercial and political institutions that are now ruling the planet — and they are doing so by ascribing to a similar set of institutional logic prescriptions, involving complicated rules and regulations that, in my examination of their principles, make it very difficult to change them from a grass roots level. Those social and cultural features are the fundamentals of what I personally think of as the current thinking that needs to change. Of course, as an individual, it’s likely that I am myopic in my views so I’m looking for something hopeful in my otherwise limited imagination.

    I personally have concluded that attitudes about energy and technology come and go, but the deeper structure of industrial technology and the inherent logic of how these institutional systems can work together to create the commodified commerce that’s now in place globally — institutional systems that evolved rapidly and quickly in the 1800s to revolutionize the way we humans organize societies — has remained very much the same now for the bulk of the industrial revolution. In my opinion, Max Weber (1864-1920) pretty much nailed those characteristics more than a century ago. Plenty of thinkers have done wonderful iterations on those principles, including one of my favorites, Jacques Ellul. Those who have risen up in recognition of what this deep structure meant to their way of life, like the Luddites of the late 1700s, were tossed under the bus and run over in the process, but the institutional process itself relentlessly drives on. Now it appears we may be headed for a cliff.

    Can you offer some suggestive details besides the notion of a fire in my anarchistic belly and the idea of me and a bunch of similar-minded people going out in the streets to try to pressure institutional change in some way?

    #685431

    Clint LaForge
    Participant

    Ren, thanks for your reply.
    The ‘shift in thinking’ to which I referred, is to see more than one way to do nuclear power, and to stop thinking of nuclear power as a dirty word. The public generally sees nuclear power as unsafe and polluting, which uranium nuclear is. However there is more than one way to do nuclear, and let’s face it, there is a huge need worldwide for power that is high output, and ‘transportable/scalable, because all other methods of creating electricity are limited. You cannot create enough windpower, solarpower, and hydropower to power the world, they are niche only. The coal and natural gas fired plants are polluting, so what is left is nuclear. But, clean nuclear, thorium nuclear.
    I don’t see thorium research/prototyping as a “grass roots development that a few people create together and share so they can remove themselves from the vertically integrated power grids and their associated commercial and political institutions that are now ruling the planet.” Rather I see thorium, ultimately, once proven, as a large scale replacement for existing nuclear power, (once it is somehow seen in a positive light by these institutions.) I appreciate your comments about the stasis of the existing institutions, and their reluctance to change until the water is up to their nose and rising.
    As a mechanical technician at a nuclear particle research facility, I became intrigued by thorium nuclear reactor technology. After reading about it and watching you tube videos about the benefits of thorium, as an alternative to the standard uranium fueled reactors we are all familiar with, I feel very enthused about seeing it brought into reality. This urgency is compounded by the dire straits of our earth as we see all around us advancing climate change and receding glaciation, polarized debate about oil & gas pipelines, multiple threats to our environment, water pollution/depletion from fracking & farming, oceans degraded by garbage, desertification of the earth’s surface, hunger and malnutrition, wars over land water and resources. There are many huge challenges to society all around us.
    This new nuclear technology seems to me to be a ‘good news story’ of salvation for the world, solving the technological problem of cheap clean energy for everyone. It has the additional benefit of replacing an abundance of ‘dirty’ technologies, and even cleaning up the mess of uranium nuclear waste.
    But… the reality is that the existing power structure/business leaders I am sure will not be enthusiastic about an upstart ‘silver bullet’ because it will without doubt upset their existing agenda. I asked myself why hasn’t thorium been developed up to now, and I think the answer is the same as ‘why did the electric car get killed’. It doesn’t fit into the rollout of the elite business leaders, the 1 % who control business, banking, and economies, so they would not allow it, until they have extracted all the profits out of the existing structure. Because such a panacea type of energy supply would be very disruptive to the status quo, including extraction of oil/ gas/ uranium, but also greatly affecting transportation, shipping, electrical generation & distribution, even banking, investment-houses and stock-market transactions, pension plans, and private savings. Imagine the disruption throughout these inter-related chains, up and downstream, if a major shift were to be achieved in one basic supply…electricity, cheaply and abundantly.
    There would also be many offsetting technological advantages to this new cheap clean electricity, because new processes would replace the old way of doing things. Quick examples would be electric cars, natural gas trucking, thorium based trans ocean shipping, electric highspeed (maglev) trains. Also improvements in food production through hydropontics using inexpensive lighting, nitrogen fertilizers made from thorium spinoff, or desalination providing water to deprived populations. Many more innovative ideas could be developed/advanced, I’m sure.
    So it seems to me the only way for this ‘seemingly wonderful’ technological change to get off the ground is to demand it from the bottom up, although you suggest that bottom up won’t have any effect on these institutions. I would like for people to become informed about the possibilities, and then they need to create a demand through their political representatives or through some benevolent financiers, because I do not see such a change coming soon from the ‘top down’. I appreciate that my thoughts are very simplified and linear as you might expect from an engineer, so I am not familiar with ‘institutional logic prescriptions involving complicated rules and regulations that make it very difficult to change [institutions] from a grass roots level. ’ but I too am hopeful that change such as I have described can be achieved, because every good result starts with a big idea in the heart of one person. And, ‘fire in your belly’ only means passion! to me, not anarchy and protests in the street. Cheers.

    #692986
    avatar
    Ren Huntsinger
    Participant

    Clint, thanks for your trouble to provide a clear answer to my question. Looking at it from your point of view, I find little to disagree with in your analysis.

    If thorium is truly viable as a mass energy source to replace nuclear and fossil fuel energy, then I would imagine that a nation like Germany might be able to make the switch. They’ve already gone quite a ways with implementing solar power into their power grid.

    My own doubts come from a different, less technologically-based orientation to how people might act locally to change their relationship to what I see as personally dis-empowering institutional systems. What I’m envisioning as change at that level would be a very radical shift in the way people see the world these days, though probably not so radical to our ancestors who lived in much closer relationships with each other and their environment. To me, humans acting at the local level, changing local community relationships, culture, and their technology by taking charge of it locally, is grass roots. That’s just my personal take on anarchism. I think protesting in the streets is more towards what people do when feeling powerless in large dis empowering institutional systems. I know I’m not the last word on it. I’m probably not any where near the norm of what we call left thinking these days.

    #702456

    Clint LaForge
    Participant

    Ren, I share with you an interest in how might people act locally to change their relationship with disempowering institutional systems, but its not by retreating from them.
    Yes our ancestors lived a simpler relationship to their world and each other, and in some ways it is very appealing, but society as a whole cannot go back to those simpler times. However, there must be a way to switch on the leaders of our power institutions, so that they see the benefit of choosing differently, to see the Big Picture and then choose to do no harm to others or the environment. The radical shift you refer to may be as simple as recognizing that we are all part of our earth, and when we harm the environment we do harm to ourselves. Everything counts. This basic truism is probably not comprehended by the individual sitting in a corporate boardroom, whose motivations are profit, and increased share-price, versus ‘how will my decision affect the people who need clean water further downstream.’ It follows that most people will choose to do no harm if they think about consequences fully, unless they are pathological. So if somehow those people could see a more personal connection between their choices and global outcomes, they would make better choices that do not have harmful overall outcomes. Perhaps part of the underlying problem is considering the corporation as equal to the individual. When a corporation in today’s free trade environment, has the right to sue a government for potential lost income, because it institutes protections for its people; there is something very wrong here. Corporations have gained too much power. But corporations are still led by individuals, who can still choose to respect the earth and the people out there beyond their corporation. We need more leadership like Robbins (of Baskin Robbins) who threw over the corporate life to advocate for environment, and like Foster Gamble, one of the heirs to Proctor & Gamble, who leads the charge on finding your place to become involved in your favorite aspect of saving the environment a la ‘Thrive’. Socially responsible corporations are to be lauded, however should they not be the norm? I offer no real solutions, just rambling thoughts. Cheers.

    #720036
    avatar
    Ren Huntsinger
    Participant

    Clint LaForge: The radical shift you refer to may be as simple as recognizing that we are all part of our earth, and when we harm the environment we do harm to ourselves. Everything counts. This basic truism is probably not comprehended by the individual sitting in a corporate boardroom, whose motivations are profit, and increased share-price, versus ‘how will my decision affect the people who need clean water further downstream.’ It follows that most people will choose to do no harm if they think about consequences fully, unless they are pathological. So if somehow those people could see a more personal connection between their choices and global outcomes, they would make better choices that do not have harmful overall outcomes.

    I was involved with teaching survival training back in the seventies, similar to outward bound programs, only applied to young people who’d had trouble adjusting to society. That experience has a huge impact on young people’s awareness of the power and beauty of nature. These days it’s been incorporated into a field of psychology being called ecopsychology. Direct experience with nature is hard to beat as a form of education. I’ve watched inner city gang kids from reform schools transform and come alive to nature in new ways. Don’t know how long the new mental awareness lasted once they got back to their gang environments. Modern institutions have a similar effect on those taking part. I grew up on a farm — one of the last of the family farms in the outer fringes of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, near Ann Arbor. I’ve never lost my connection to the land. But that’s my experience.

    Chris Laforge: Corporations have gained too much power. But corporations are still led by individuals, who can still choose to respect the earth and the people out there beyond their corporation.

    Corporations are institutions with specifically and legally designed purposes. The in-place political system, logically, through its established laws, bows to those purposes if they are followed by the institutional managers, and gives them the precedence the law has put in place for them. It can work similarly to a mafia organization in terms of achieving a purpose, only it would be legal. People in them go along with the built-in and managed purpose of the institutions for what to me seem obvious and sensible reasons, though certainly not necessarily ethical or moral. Unless there is a specific requirement that the purpose be moral and ethical, the institutional legal purpose and designed requirements take precedence over those messy human concerns. People within institutions do their jobs, they develop a kind of corporate culture in the process, and the ideal is to be a professional. To be an expert. As Laurie Anderson sings it, Only an expert can deal with a problem.

    Institutions are, in my view at least, biomachine-like systems that humans have been developing over the past 10,000 years or so, designed to solve and manage problems. They likely began as a result of gatherings of people who formed cities like Catal Huyak.

    Modern education systems are geared to teaching us to behave and, incidentally, instructing individuals with the necessary knowledge to do our jobs within modern, complex institutional settings, along with a evaluation/testing system for sorting out who should do what, meanwhile much of what takes place systemically remains well beyond the individuals’ “need” to know. That’s a powerful programming that takes place from kindergarten. Generally little is done by the family to counteract that programming. Individuals who dare to veer from the prescribed systemic path are dealt with through various mechanisms, from withholding of rewards to more serious systems of violence against individual misbehavior. Relief from this claustrophobic system is offered through controlled systems of programmed fantasy piped into homes in the evenings, or replicated, recorded and sold in various media, produced, oddly enough, by the same types of systems that require proper behavior, and there is commodification, sales and profits involved. It’s somewhat Orwellian in my view. But my interests tend to favor arts and literature, not science and engineering. I make a lousy expert, let alone a professional.

    Chris Laforge:Yes our ancestors lived a simpler relationship to their world and each other, and in some ways it is very appealing, but society as a whole cannot go back to those simpler times.

    Well, in the past ten thousand years of experimenting with these complex organizations of institutionalized systems, historians, geographers and archaeologists and others have noticed they have occasionally gone backwards, sometimes abruptly, as the Soviet Union did around 1990: The Collapse of Complex Societies (New Studies in Archaeology) Joseph A Tainter. As Tainter notes, generally what emerges after collapse is the simplicity that all the complex redundancy builds upon with its skyscrapers of institutional structure, specifically the peasants who know how to grow food everyone must eat, for instance. After collapse, the whole thing seems to start all over again, and now here we are, once again, kind of like going around in circles. Dire warnings abound from our experts: Ocean Apocalypse: an evening lecture at the U.S. Naval War College by Dr. Jeremy Jackson.

    Namasté

    #722195
    avatar
    David Jones
    Participant

    Interesting dialogue, Clint, Ren, I will start with a basic skepticism about thorium nuclear from a lay position- For me it is not enough to say “Nixon era politics scrapped this technology and it went away.” From a rational, “Market” perspective, if there were trillions to be made from this technology, capital would develop it. “Metallurgy” cannot be the only thing which prevents investment. Much like the “Free Energy machine” in the movie Thrive, these dreams only divert needed energy away from real political solutions and give people false hope, stalling any chance of social/cultural change. I am not a scientist so facts and data won’t help convince me (I can’t interpret it) but if you can explain how a safe clean abundant energy source sits unused, I will apologize and change my position. I listened to a man on Saturday who claims to have a mixed alcohol fuel that will revolutionize energy production and presented the same argument.

    That aside, why wouldn’t we (climate movement) just attempt to de-legitimize energy markets? This institution has dramatically failed us and yet its ideology holds most of the world spell-bound with the mysticism of “invisible hands” and equilibrium. With market ideology discredited, wouldn’t it be easier to usher in these new democratic forms of political economy?

    #722235

    Clint LaForge
    Participant

    Healthy skepticism is good. However, the skepticism often encountered is “if that was such a good idea it would already be tried…” and that is just misguided human nature. I don’t believe this technology is misguided nor offering false hope, nor would it divert energy from real political change… Actually a shift of political paradigm is what it will take to expedite such a major social change, as this. Doing the same old things is not working, like untested carbon sequestration or ‘pollution taxation’, or covering vast areas with solar which only works when the sun shines. In fact this cheap clean energy from thorium completely revolutionizes our social cultural patterns, which I find very hopeful and energizing.
    I stated that thorium nuclear was scrapped in Nixon’s era, it was because the new breeder reactor looked way more interesting because it would produce electricity, it would ‘breed’ more fissile material to burn, and it would result in weapons grade spinoff…all good at the time. Thorium, by comparison, will not produce ‘weapons grade stuff’ downstream, and that is good for a civilian power producing reactor, but not as good for the military industrial complex. Metallurgy is one of the major engineering challenges, also mass production of these units…however, Boeing is producing units worth millions of dollars on their aircraft assembly lines, and this thorium reactor could be made modular as well.
    I think the reluctance to advance thorium in North America is because we are well down the track of the competing uranium cycle, there’s lots of experience here, a lot of which would be dead-ended. Other countries are going ahead with thorium, specifically India and China, so hopefully the tech will come to us eventually, it just could be so much more beneficial, in my opinion, if we could use it in an application like cooking out the tar=sands with thorium nuclear instead of wasteful CO2 producing natural gas…and here’s why. The thorium technology could gain a foothold and become mainstream in this application, ultimately demonstrating that the tarsands oil is no longer needed. It is roundabout way of weaning off of oil, but I don’t see thorium becoming common use without some catalyst to advance it.
    Cheers, Clint

    #727952

    Brian Cady
    Participant

    I wish ‘ecological vision and strategy’ was not placed within ‘social vision and strategy’ but instead placed on at least an equal footing.
    Ecology; the study of the inter-relation of life and it’s environment, stands beside, not under sociology; the study of the inter-relations of human lives and human groups.
    Similarly, ‘ecology’ has meanings that ‘environment’ doesn’t encompass, so ‘ecological’ doesn’t equal ‘environmental’. And ‘biology’, the study of life, is distinct from ‘life’.

    Hope this helps,

    Brian

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.