Thanks for posting, it is an interesting development, and the passage you quoted giving the four stages of adoption of new ideas is so very true, I’ve witnessed it so many times first-hand also.

You are a chartered physicist, so you obviously have to some extent, vested interest yourself.

So I see this article as a kind of sales pitch, towards something you believe in.

But I might question the basis for your belief.

In your formal education, covering all things to do with physics, you will have covered subjects which roughly fall into two categories.

Those with a lot of potential to make serious money in the profit driven system, like nuclear, and those with not so much, like solar.

I remember myself seriously considering a future career in nuclear power, as it was probably the quickest route to becoming chartered, thus assuring a handsome income.

Several of my friends at Uni took that route, and some of our most respected and revered academic and industrial icons had been that route.

The institution granting all of us chartered status has a large foundation built on the proceeds of nuclear power.

At the time when I was studying, nuclear had an incredibly clean image, all of the glossy promotional materials were very well produced and all manner of new nuclear installations were being commissioned, both on land and at sea.

Our Uni had an entire facility devoted to, and funded by nuclear energy, which was visibly much more plush than all of the other, older facilities.

It all looked very inviting, to us young, ambitious Engineers.

I noticed recently also an article in another media on a new Russian floating nuclear power station, which can sail to anywhere needing temporary nuclear power, like in the arctic, and be put to good use in places like that.

It looks squeaky clean too, a very impressive display of technology.

But in my career, the path I ended up following was more communications system Engineering development oriented, with the result that rather than just being at the development end of nuclear, I got to see how they looked at all stages in their life cycles, including at the end.

As you maybe know, all nuclear plants have a finite lifetime, usually around 30 years.

I also spent some time working with safety critical software, of the kind designed to manage some of those systems, throughout their lifetimes.

And I can say categorically that none of those installations, not a single one, has ever been rendered technically safe.

To make them safe, their remains, toxic for thousands of years, would have to be literally ejected off-planet, to somewhere they could be safely disposed of, like the sun.

Obviously doing that would be so expensive as to destroy the profit driven business case which funded their existence.

So they do not actually make profit driven business sense at all, unless we neglect the detail of having to make them safe.

In practice, they are more or less simply abandoned, with the sites of their abandonement remaining guarded “no-go” areas for most humans.

There is nothing sadder looking, and feeling, on Earth, than a seemingly healthy place that no-one is allowed to go in normal life, because of the potential hazard of nuclear poisoning, in my opinion.

Those areas can only multiply with the commissioning of yet more nuclear plants.

Worse, there are even places where all of the no longer used, former sea-going installations are abandoned, usually in guarded inland water.

Those rusting hulks now are not a very pretty sight either. Who really knows how long it will be until one or more finally breaks up to an extent its toxicity is exposed to the environment? No-one, not really, in all honesty.

Isn’t it ironic, even poetic, that nuclear, which like fossil fuels, requires a profit driven world to even exist, requires finally to be disposed of in the sun, the very same source as the only one capable of supplying all of our energy needs for free, thus destroying the profit model we use for all things, forever?

Solar energy infrastructure is infinitely scaleable, since it pays for itself beyond a certain initial installation, and its energy thereafter is entirely free, and additional, and external to our zero-sum economy.

Places further away from the equator areas of maximum sun intensity such as Skandinavia and the arctic, can easily be supplied by long distance power transmission.

After all, if we can build things like the nordstream pipeline, we can certainly build long distance electrical power distribution.

That solar power, when substantively added to our planet, and our economy, both removes our environmental burden from the planet, and destroys the entire concept of profit, by violating completely the zero-sum operation of the controlled scarcity economy, i.e. the main principle of profit.

All debts, no matter how big, even the entire debt of humanity, can be paid back down by the relatively infinite, endless capability of solar energy.

When that is acknowledged, and all debts are finally assigned to that future goal, scarcity is removed.

The resulting free wealth from solar power, in a new donation-based economy, can fund literally anything, and probably will see the safe disposal of all nuclear waste, by ejecting directly to the sun, using new specially designed spacecraft, just for that purpose.

We can’t get by ignoring the reality of the sun for much longer.

Which of the four stages of adoption of that simple truth, would you say we might be on?

Solarpunk

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