My Blog Week: June 9 to June 15
A Word on the Week
Energy is Strategy
This is the topic heading I put down in my notes, with the idea I might sort of fudge it in, because I’ve been doing research for a number of projects (including my cartoon series The Dynamo Brothers), involving the history and use of atomic/nuclear power. Then the grid popped into the news after all, the New York Times reporting on U.S. hacking of Russia’s.
There’s a push these days for expanding nuclear power. We see India and China suffer appalling air quality for the sake of coal, and it’s true, Fukushima (2011), an INES* 7, the worst of accidents; Chernobyl (1986), also a 7, and Kyshtym (1957), a 6, combined, so far as authorities estimate the death tolls, did not kill as many people as a year of burning coal globally.
You would think advocates of building more nuclear power plants would be the greatest advocates also of peace and stability, cooperative international relationships. They would not poke and prod at the most volatile members of the nuclear community, North Korea and Iran. Because, as Fukushima taught us, a catastrophic event is not counterable by plant workers.
Imagine dozens of such incidents in a single day. Each plant is a bomb, and you may have one in your state (county, province, department), not far from where you live. Think of the familiar cinematic moment, the general visiting the men personally to say, “This is a suicide mission. I’m asking for volunteers.”
Moving…but. The old strategy for overwhelming the enemy’s resources was to throw squadrons of planes at them, so that as many as were sacrificed, a few would get through to complete the mission. The modern state of weapons changes the game. Literally. Because that’s the question the general might ask the soldiers now, the attack made remotely, with drones.
“Who wants to play a game?”
Not to mention sonic (laser, magnetic field) weapons, concentrated beams that can also be sent to the target from a distance, and used to disrupt electronic signals. (These weapons technically are in the theoretical stage.) Coal plants have their slag heaps and retention ponds, devastating to groundwater and natural resources. Hydro is variable, depending on what’s downstream from the dam, but even the gas in a car’s tank is bad for drinking water. So—solar, wind, geothermal. The cost in a wartime attack would be losing power, mitigated by individuals being able to produce their own. Grid systems will still be computerized and vulnerable to takeover or disablement.
A military’s job is to protect the people and property within its nation’s borders.
Thus, here we have one way the Green New Deal can be funded, by appropriating a portion of the military budget dedicated to homeland security in any case.
*International Nuclear Event Scale
Monday, one of the poems from Mystery Plays, “Killing Frost”; on Tuesday, Sequence of Events, an episode in which Van Nest finishes his discussion with Summers, on covert ways of using people. Wednesday, another Celebrated, Petra giving Tom a chance to take offense, or to explain himself (he does neither). Thursday, Catastrophe, Hess expressing his indignation over the Administration’s priorities; Friday, another poem in the Eight series, “Oh, You Did That?”, on the theme of crushing spirits, withholding praise.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: June 9 to June 15