Sunday, December 12, 2010

critique of "Ecotechnic Dictatorship"

Difficult times always bring out the desire for dictatorship. Plato kick started it all with his vision of the philosopher king. But it never works. Instead when democracy fails then the looniest sociopath takes over. He has no concern for the future or for the environment. His obsession is always his own grip on power.

Anatoly Karlin's writing displays a nostalgia for dictatorship that infects a large minority of folk from/in the former Communist countries. As such he is more looking to justify his position than make an honest case. This is particularly clear in his treatment of nuclear power. He first says, correctly, that it is the only hope for continuing our current high level of energy use. Surely this should induce him to thoroughly investigate and understand that issue. But no. Instead he quickly dismisses it with quick comments about Uranium running out which don't reflect any honest attempt to understand that issue. [Uranium is a very common mineral, as we see from the amount that has got into the ocean. Thorium is more common and has more energy (though not soluble so not in the ocean).]

Peak Oil doesn't mean "running out of oil". It does mean rationing by price and the huge costs of changing infrastructure to an electricity based one. Difficult times are guaranteed and the push to dictatorship will be on from well meaning folk as well as the sociopaths who will win any successes in that direction. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Democratic institutions need to be improved not dismantled. People who genuinely want to save the world need to get involved with politics not acquiesce or support the destruction of politics.