A Safer, More Abundant World

Safer Forms of Reliable Power

For advanced human societies, reliable and affordable power & heat is a life or death issue. It would be wisest for such societies to pursue the safest forms of reliable/affordable power available. But who ever said that western political leaders were wise? For in fact, what we see instead of wisdom is the head over tail pursuit of unreliable and exorbitantly expensive forms of energy such as big wind and big solar, across Europe and the Anglosphere.

How do these expensive, unreliable forms of “green” energy rate on safety? Here are some numbers:

And here is another source:

Nuclear is the safest source of energy, producing only one-quarter the number of deaths per terrawatt hour as wind, which is the second safest. Coal is by far the most dangerous, producing deaths both in the mining and transportation and in its emissions of air pollution. Petroleum is the second most dangerous, again producing deaths in the drilling and in emissions from automobiles. Natural gas, hydro and wind are all extremely low by comparison but nuclear is the best. What seems to prompt fear of nuclear is the possibility of a catastrophic accident but even in the worst disaster in American history, Three Mile Island, no one was hurt or killed.
http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2015/12/04/nuclear_safest_source_of_energy_108914.html

Updated numbers from NextBigFuture

Wind is not as safe as portrayed above — in fact every single wind turbine is a death trap. And for the low reliability and small amount of intermittent energy provided, one must question the sanity of anyone who plans for or pays for large wind farms.

Other Reasons to Hope for a Safer World

Deaths from natural disasters are in decline:

This finding is in direct contradiction to the message one reads in papers or hears over the airwaves and cables. Humans who wallow in doom seem not to comprehend the many improvements in living conditions which our species has experienced over the past century or two.

Linguist/Psychologist/Philosopher Stephen Pinker wrote a book in 2011, “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” which argues that human violence has been shrinking over time.

Economist Bjorn Lomborg, in his 2001 book “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” brought thoughtful doomsayers down to earth with a scholarly takedown of the doomer viewpoint.

In The Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg challenges widely held beliefs that the global environment is progressively getting worse. Using statistical information from internationally recognized research institutes, Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental issues and documents that the global environment has actually improved. He supports his argument with over 2900 footnotes, allowing discerning readers to check his sources. __ http://www.lomborg.com/skeptical-environmentalist

In “The Rational Optimist,” Matt Ridley carefully and thoroughly explains to thoughtful sceptics why the doom they expect is not likely to occur.

Peter Diamandis goes further to predict a coming age of “Abundance” and widespread prosperity.

More on the anti-doomers and prophets of radical abundance.

The Secret is to Stop Making Stupid Choices

On the personal level in opportunity societies such as those in North America, other parts of the Anglosphere, and parts of Europe, the secret to “not being poor,” is to finish high school, get a job, don’t have children out of wedlock, get married, save money, and live within your means. All that time you should seek to enlarge your knowledge and your wisdom, and keep your eyes open for genuine opportunities to improve your situation. In other words, don’t make stupid choices.

On higher societal levels, the maxim of “stop making stupid choices” still applies. Organisations and institutions need to learn to “invest in their strengths,” instead of pouring money indiscriminately into their weaknesses. This mentality of reinforcing one’s strength can easily be seen in battlefield strategy and tactics, where the wise general aims most of his forces at the enemy’s weak points, in the effort to break through or to outflank and “roll up” the enemy’s force for destruction.

In peacetime, that philosophy applies to how a company or government agency spends its operating and research budgets. If a society spends most of its funds on the weakest and most perennially failure-prone aspects of their bodies, it will have less funds, time, and energy to spend on the parts of their bodies which offer the most hope for disruptive change and the creation of radical abundance.

Unfortunately, we often see the opposite of wise choices being made in government and other societal institutions, leading to massive waste and futility. The reasons for a lack of wisdom in decision-making bodies are many, and include graft & corruption, ideological idiocy, and a general stupidity in high places.

Things are Getting Better and Things are Getting Worse

On many levels humans are growing and learning their way into a better existence. Optimists such as Matt Ridley, Julian Simon, Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Bryce, and many others can point out the reasons why we should cultivate at least a certain portion of optimism in our daily lives.

On the other side of the equation, large institutions are staffed by stupid, greedy, and dishonest people, who think nothing of spending large quantities of “other people’s money” to achieve destructive goals. A good example of this massive top-down dysfunction can be seen in the “green movement,” in almost all of its manifestations — in government, media, academia, foundations, NGOs, intergovernmental agencies, non-profits, and in ideologically bound corporate boardrooms and departments. Another example is the pernicious top-down crusade for indiscriminate third-world immigration into Europe and the Anglosphere. Many more examples of top-down dysfunction can be readily called into consciousness, given a bit of time and effort. The exercise would do you good.

Keep in mind the strong link between “doomerism” and most of these destructive movements. Try not to let doomerism happen to you. Keep your mind focused, sharpen your skills, and stay alert for possible courses of action. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood, and “retirement is not an option.”

Doomers are a dime a dozen

Start building a better future

Optimism

When trying to understand why the enemies of western societies and free market capitalism fight so hard to destroy reliable and affordable sources of energy, electric power, and heat, keep in mind that all of an advanced society’s critical life and death infrastructures include or are deeply dependent upon abundant, high quality (and affordable) electric power:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_infrastructure

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6 Responses to A Safer, More Abundant World

  1. Jim says:

    How does an enormous Sub-Saharan population fit in with Diamond’s views? Even without super-abundance this population will be a vastly larger proportion of world population in the future than it ever was in the past. With “super-abundance” it will demographically dominate the whole world. Will this population be able to maintain the high level of organization and technology required for a future of “super-abundance”? The historical record of Sub-Saharan Africans suggests the answer to that question is no. Then what?

    • Jim says:

      Sorry, I meant Diamandis.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Yes, that is the great contradiction that will have to be resolved one way or another. Accelerating science & technology vs. accelerating dysgenic demographic decline. There is no easy way of coming out unscathed at the other end. Leftism is the Trojan Horse within the walls of the west, opening the gates to decline of all types.

      Smarter people will be making provisions.

    • Aldo says:

      The ridiculous population predictions you see peddled about by the UN or Steve Sailer for [] Africa are unrealistic. [] Africa has not the ability to both grow and maintain such a population even with foreign aid. What’s more plausible is that [] Africa grows to a certain point than suffers from disease, famine, war until they’re thinned down.

  2. Terrific site, read it every Sunday. Pinker is quite wrong though about violence.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Yes, Pinker is an academic locked in an ivory tower. He fails to appreciate how deliberate government policies that create societal schisms lead to inevitable future violence. He also fails to appreciate how thoroughly the voices of his own institutions and colleagues enable that emerging violence.

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