The Breakthrough Institute has published a thought-provoking piece titled Reinventing Libertarianism: Jim Manzi and the New Conservative Case for Innovation It is highly recommended reading.
Here is a comment that I left on the piece, focusing on my particular interest area of clean nuclear energy development.
Interesting observations. I agree with just about everything other than the following statement:
“Nuclear energy came out of the Manhattan Project. No private company could ever have taken a weapon and made it an energy source.”
My deep research into the history of nuclear energy reveals that the order should be differently phrased.
Nuclear energy is a natural part of our physical world. God – or nature, if you prefer – put densely packed energy into the atomic nucleus and gave human discoverers the key for unlocking that energy.
Fission itself occurred in natural rock formations in a place called Oklo in Gabon, Africa. No private company could have turned this gift into a weapon capable of mass destruction, but an enormous, government-funded, world war-inspired effort against a nation led by a madman could.
Nuclear energy could have been easily harnessed for good by a small group of scientists and engineers. Without the Manhattan project and its resulting installation of deep nuclear and radiation fears, peaceful nuclear energy development could have progressed along the same lines as the taming of fire.
Publisher, Atomic Insights
Of course, it is impossible to reverse time and to start all over again. Since governments around the world have already seized strong control over nuclear energy innovation, actions to free the atom and allow it to better serve human masters must involve effective government decision-making.
Though most governments have not been terribly successful in their approach to atomic energy — with a few notable exceptions — it is time for citizens to put pressure on their representatives to learn more about the incredible gift of massive stores of energy-dense, emission-free fuels like uranium and thorium provide to humanity.