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  1. I figured I’d see a post on this shortly after I mentioned it.  It’s just too good to pass up, especially when we’re all in lockdown and have little else to do.

    Expanding on the topic of land use and moving large quantities of stuff, we have issues on the disposal end as well as the extraction and manufacturing end.  So-called “sanitary” landfills create literal hills of waste, making land unusable for most other purposes for at least decades after closure.  We need to close the loop on most of this.

    I think the solution may be at hand.  General Atomics and Framatome are working on silicon carbide fuel channels for BWRs.  SiC is extremely refractory and essentially unreactive with water.  If the fuel cladding is made from SiC as well, this holds out the possibility of a reactor which can operate at temperatures well in excess of 1000°C.  That is hot enough to react water with carbon to make CO and H2; in short, turn everything carbonaceous in trash into fuel gas.  This is an endothermic reaction which increases the net chemical energy.

    Doing this requires a coolant other than water.  Liquid lead or molten salts are likely candidates.  This allows a fast-spectrum reactor which can “burn” our current stock of used LWR fuel.

    Best of all, the remaining ash/slag is concentrated and far easier to “mine” for useful materials than the original waste stream.  In other words, we can get rid of two waste streams and acquire a new source of raw materials all at once.

    1. Respectfully, this is way, way ‘out there’. All I can say about SiC BWR channels is that Zirc4 channels cost about $7k 15 years ago, and they are bent and welded sheet metal. I totally appreciate the thought process and agree that there is “just so much we could do with 1000C”, but…

      1. Within living memory, nuclear energy was “way, way out there” too.  Then we went from the first controlled chain reaction to Hiroshima in less than 3 years, and the first grid-connected plant in a little over another decade.

        Doing a 1000°C fast breeder reactor seems to be less “out there” than trying to make power with D-T fusion, where every neutron is born with 14.7 MeV of energy.  The materials problems don’t seem to be nearly so challenging.  Of course you can do your thermochemistry with electricity too, but getting rid of the whole electric generation step would make everything a great deal cheaper and easier.

        I located a paper which gives several figures for the cost of reprocessing SNF; the highest is $1300/kg.  Using Dubberly’s figure of 102.71 MWd/kg burnup for the PRISM reference core, I calculate the cost of heat at about 23¢/mmBTU.  For reference, steam coal is running about $2/mmBTU and NG around $2-$3.  It looks like this isn’t a question of “can we afford it”, but “can we afford NOT to?”

      2. There is very definitely a lot that we can do with 1000 C from fission reactors.

        As early as the mid 1960s, 950 C had already proven to be possible in high temperature gas cooled reactors. With modest refinements of the Triso concept, USNC is talking about 1200 C as an outlet temperature for reactors that use their FCM (Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated) fuel https://usnc.com/FCM.html.

        If directly heated gas is used to transfer the heat, most of the complexities associated with molten salt heat exchangers can be avoided.

        I like hot gas because it allows us to more easily replace combustion as the heat source for Brayton Cycle gas turbines, but that isn’t the only use for very hot gases.

  2. Rod, I mostly agree with you.

    I certainly agree that renewables are well-described in the film. The sight of a ruined desert where solar used to be, and the huge piles of woodchips for biomass: these are things that people should see. Kudos to the film for these visuals. I also liked the many scenes filmed in Vermont, particularly the “mountaintop removal” episode (it was for wind turbines, not coal). This happened. I remember it.

    However, I disagree about the film’s ending. The film wrapped up with so much Malthusian hatred for humans….it was astonishing. I don’t think an upbeat sequel is anywhere in the works!

    Actually, the Malthusian theme started at the beginning of the film. Before even the title of the film was shown, Gibbs was asking people how long they thought humans would survive. The film never discussed their answers in any way. This was mere stage-setting. Late in the film, people discussed a major die-off, billions of people dying. This was described with almost as much emotional punch as someone discussing whether to have a salad or a chicken-avocado-sandwich for lunch.

    And, spoiler alert! If we weren’t upset about the human die-off he predicts (and seems to welcome) we can always watch that orangatan die in the last moments of the film. The implication is that our lifestyles killed that orangatan and we should feel very guilty.

    Judging by the books my teenage grandchildren are reading, dystopia sells. I just don’t think dystopia-sells is the best standard for making a documentary. Though of course, this is not the first documentary to be made this way.

    Good review, and thank you!

  3. The ignorance of basic science and physics is appalling. Not one mention of the most compact energy source in the world: nuclear. Lefties discover their precious greenie movement was hijacked by the Al Gores and Bloombergs of the world. He bemoans all of the environmental destruction to support windmills and solar panels and electric cars. I agree – it is terrible. That is why the IC engine and nuclear power are the best forms of transportation and electrical energy production, respectively. Both of these were spurned by the same environmental movement that now bemoans what they ended up with. What twits.

    But I like the fact that it pulls back the curtain and exposes all these inconvenient truths: e.g., cutting down forests for electricity rather than using coal-WTH sense is there in that? He ignores for the most part (one mention) the government policies (Renewable Portfolio Standard) that the green movement pushed on the states to replace coal plants – and now the poor leftie doesn’t like the result. At least he went out there and found the real story. Still, these tree huggers are stupid, got used, and now we ALL suffer with weather dependent solar and wind, an unstable grid, and demand side baloney.

    But of course the green movement is just a chess piece in the globalist plan to depopulate the earth and the interviewees return to that favorite topic time and time again. Well, go ahead and kill yourself then. Sick of your shit.

    1. Be aware that some lefties like nuclear. I personally know several of them, including some self-declared socialists. Better to stick with the Greenie perjorative as-is.

  4. Nuclear power will always be– marginalized– until nuclear power companies, finally, start utilizing nuclear electricity for the production of renewable synthetic fuels and industrial chemicals.

    Renewable methanol (eMethanol) is probably going to be– the new oil. And terrestrial and, especially, floating ocean nuclear facilities will probably be the primary means for the production of renewable fuels and industrial chemicals.

    eMethanol can replace natural gas in natural gas power plants cheaply retrofitted to use methanol. eMethanol can also be converted into gasoline, providing current gasoline powered vehicles with a renewable fuel. eMethanol is already being used as a marine fuel. And methanol can also be converted into various types of jet fuel.

    1. Note that methanol begins to “crack” to CO and H2 at about 180°C.  This is an endothermic reaction which increases the total chemical energy.  This allows lower-grade waste heat from a turbine or engine to be recycled back to the combustion chambers, increasing the net efficiency substantially.

      Methanol and dimethyl ether are my favorite “green” fuels, as if you couldn’t tell.

  5. Nuclear-generated electricity (design, construction, operation for 50+ years, waste management and decommissioning) is ~70% labour.
    And that is well-paid labour. One reactor supports many hundreds of of families, pays $billions in taxes and produces clean, prosperous communities.

  6. Well, probably better than the PBS program this week “Climate Change – the Facts” hosted by Sir David Attenborough and featuring Greta T. This program was full of activism and oil/gas industry bashing and low on facts. I timed the part dedicated to nuclear power, 10 seconds, and then they presented it as yesterday’s technology. The last 10 minutes, of course, were on the virtues of solar and wind along with the need for protest and activism. One more reason why I stopped contributing to Public TV long ago.

  7. Also missed this. But to be honest that’s not really a mention at all.

    The movie could have been called “the biomass lie” or something like that. Everything but biomass falls kinda short.

    Also kinda ironic that they show how unrealistic renewables are only to propose an even more unrealistic option. Who really thinks population or consumption will drop?

  8. I did my my homework to follow up on the flick Planet of the Humans. Solar energy has advanced much more than stated in the news with panels lasting 25 years or more almost at full capacity not 10 years as alluded in the movie. Think about the early ecologically and environmentally destructive stages of extracting fossil fuels and know that it is still going on after many genetations. Solar energy is just getting started and has made remarkable improvement to address alternative energy more efficiently while bringing down the cost in a shory amount of time. Yes the materials are derived with problematic ecological and environmental consequences but that is changing for the better too. In other words, that info provided by Jeff Gibbs was misleading and outdated. I have solar panels that may last up to 35 years according my solar company out of Colorado Springs. We get lots of sunshine here. My monthly bill getting electricity from coal before switching over to solar was around $95. It’s now about $21 monthly average and we have owned our system for 3 years.😎

    I could add much more to other aspects of the film’s questionable criticisms of the green industries creating a delusional impression for solving our global eco-catastrphe but will stop for now.😎🌍

    1. @Dennis Swiftdeer Paige

      While there have been marginal improvements in solar during the period since Gibbs began filming his documentary, those improvements do not invalidate his primary points.

      Solar panels on rooftops can be beneficial without clearing or impacting additional land, but even with impressive cost reductions they aren’t a high payback investment for most homeowners. Even with subsidy programs that cover 30-60% of the installation costs, it takes 6-20 years of savings from electric bills to pay the loans incurred to buy the system.

      In places like Florida, the payback period is lengthened by the numerous cloudy hours that are a usual part of our weather pattern. Our tourism industry created the marketing term “Sunshine State”, but observant residents know better.

      I’m sure that you have received guarantees for system lifetimes that are significantly in excess of the 10 years mentioned on the film, but the proof will only be available in the coming decades of real world exposure. I hope, for your sake, that the company providing the guarantee is still in business if you need to collect compensation for shorter than expected life.

    2. I have solar panels that may last up to 35 years according my solar company out of Colorado Springs. We get lots of sunshine here. My monthly bill getting electricity from coal before switching over to solar was around $95. It’s now about $21 monthly average and we have owned our system for 3 years.

      In other words, you’re using net metering.  You’re expecting the grid to take your excess when you have some, yet be at your beck and call whenever your own generation falls short.  Oh, and do this for about 20% of the price you used to pay.

      It’s never occurred to you that you only enjoy the benefits of this scam because most people don’t.  The grid is not a battery; you cannot all dump surplus power to it at the same time.  20% of your former bill isn’t enough to maintain the plants, wires and transformers which guarantee your reliable supply of power.  You push this cost onto other customers.  That will only work until they demand an end to the subsidy you enjoy.  That is likely to come sooner rather than later, such as a meter on your PV which lets the utility pay you at spot wholesale rates… which can go below zero at times of surplus.  At that point the weeping and gnashing of teeth will be yours.

      I could add much more to other aspects of the film’s questionable criticisms of the green industries creating a delusional impression for solving our global eco-catastrphe but will stop for now.

      I’m from Missouri.  If wind and PV are going to solve our eco-catastrophe, how about you SHOW ME where it’s been done?  SHOW ME a decarbonized wind/PV grid.  Not a net-zero region tied to FF generators elsewhere, a whole stand-alone grid that supports manufacturing of its own component pieces.

      You can’t show me one.  No such thing exists, and it won’t because it’s not possible to build one absent massive, ultra-cheap and very long-lived storage.  That isn’t even on the horizon.

      1. No reasonable person with an understanding of the grid and energy economics believes that renewables will 100% replace fossil fuels in energy generation anytime soon. Dennis wasn’t saying that. That’s a strawman. You’re right that net metering can stress the grid and hamper load balancing, but when paired with storage, distributed solar actually improves grid stability.

        The documentary cherry picks the worst possible case studies and leads the viewer to believe that that is the norm. No, it’s not normal for mountain tops to be removed for wind. No, it’s not normal for a utility scale solar farm to be left to metaphorically crumble. The film is misleading and intellectually dishonest, like most of Michael Moore’s stuff.

        While PV has made good progress, I think the most room for growth is within storage. There is massive and very long-lived storage that already exists: pumped hydro. The issue is that it’s very expensive and runs into a lot of land use issues. But there are a lot of companies out there exploring other novel gravity based storage applications. There is also a lot of room for growth in the battery space as well. Becoming cleaner and more efficient is one aspect of it, but increasing the efficiency in how they’re used is another. Any given battery storage installation has a potential to provide half a dozen applications, but they’re usually owned by one entity and utilized at less than half capacity. The issue is that the other services are needed by other stakeholders in the energy supply chain. There’s a budding niche in which consultants figure out the best way to share ownership and use of battery installations to optimize efficiency. Regardless of whether we’re talking about renewables, nuclear, or fossil fuels, energy storage provides a lot of ancillary grid services that save money and reduces stress on the grid.

        Ultimately, I agree with this blog that nuclear is the future. However, I also firmly believe that renewables, especially distributed solar, will play an important role in the transition to a clean, modern grid.

  9. Also in the film there was a reference to radioactive materials in the waste stream which told me nuclear was off their table.

    One thing we could learn from our RE colleagues is they have leaped against this documentary. In nuclear much of our industry still treats it like the crazy aunt in the basement.😒

  10. Interesting article… Doubt I will ever watch another Michael Moore documentary. Moore was given a chance to interview me as a nuclear whistleblower ten years ago who fought to both improve environmental standards and defend the importance of continuing nuclear energy. He would not even listen because he has closed his heart.

    Unfortunately, greed kills every form of energy there is. There are even at least four forms of excellent energy yet discussed here nor presumably in the documentary as well. In every case and in every form greed has predominantly ruined the formulas of what could otherwise have been great successes.

    Coal didn’t have to die when simple air and water scrubbers could have solved their problems. Nuclear didn’t have to endlessly dump from France causing mass environmental chaos through El Ninos and La Nina. France placed no limits on dumping into ocean. They pretended to be environmental friendly by using glass capsules while they bleed the mass expanses of their diluted waste into the sea of disharmony.

    Solar could have gone through the roof had they invested in recycling forethought and delivered the massive savings to the consumer they had the potential to give, instead just like all the others greed hobbled them into stupidity as well. Etc, etc…

    If you want to solve environmental problems, promote the common good. It’s that simple.

    1. Nuclear didn’t have to endlessly dump from France causing mass environmental chaos through El Ninos and La Nina.

      Are you insane?  El Niño has been known since the 17th century.  Is France supposed to have dumped something that had effects 3 centuries in the past?

      France placed no limits on dumping into ocean. They pretended to be environmental friendly by using glass capsules while they bleed the mass expanses of their diluted waste into the sea of disharmony.

      The sheer nuttiness of what you write is patent.

      Moore was given a chance to interview me as a nuclear whistleblower ten years ago who fought to both improve environmental standards and defend the importance of continuing nuclear energy. He would not even listen because he has closed his heart.

      No, it’s because you’re obviously crazy.

    2. Your comment about promoting the common good is right on.

      Having worked on some scrubber systems, I haven’t seen them to be all that simple and certainly not inexpensive. Their addition also takes a good bit of the energy of the plant.

      Coal is dying because natural gas is cheaper.

      In reading many of Rod’s articles over the years, I’m convinced that nuclear power presents a realistic alleviation of global warming. It’s only a matter of time before the people in charge finally recognize that fact.

      This movie points out a bit of the BS associated with wind and solar. It will be seen by many people. They will be questioning the accepted environmental dogma. It may present an opportune time to somehow present arguments in favor of nuclear power.

    3. “If you want to solve environmental problems, promote the common good. It’s that simple.”

      No, if you want to solve environmental problems, start with quantifying the size of the problem and the to-be-solution, and then make a plan that has a sound basis in science and engineering.

      Basically the exact opposite of what the so-called “environmental” groups (and even Moore) are doing.

      1. if you want to solve environmental problems, start with quantifying the size of the problem and the to-be-solution, and then make a plan that has a sound basis in science and engineering.

        Exactamundo.  When I started a sketch of what an all-nuclear USA would look like, I began with the assumption of 100 quads/yr of primary energy production (about 3.3 TW(th)).  This would require about 7700 Fermi 1-class reactors @430 MW(t) each, or about 3900 PRISM-class reactors @840 MW(t) each.

        Other people are doing that too.  Over at Oilprice.com, (h/t David B. Benson) they took note of an IRENA study which put a $110 trillion pricetag on an all-RE conversion by 2050.  IRENA is based in Abu Dhabi, not exactly the greenest country on the globe; this is just one of many cases of “renewables” being promoted by people and organizations with anti-nuclear interests.  It’s safe to say that they think “renewables” are better… for them.

        Basically the exact opposite of what the so-called “environmental” groups (and even Moore) are doing.

        Most of these people can’t do math.  Speaking of math, I calculated what it would cost to build out 800 quads/yr of thermal power at $1500/kW(t).  It came to almost exactly $40 trillion, a bit over 1/3 of the IRENA figure.  The Koreans are building LWRs for less than that (about $4000/kW(e)), and they’re building them in twos and fours, not thousands.

        We can do this.  We just have to want to.

  11. This movie did a great job of tearing apart some of the supposed benefits of solar and wind.

    However they don’t talk about fission or even fusion. And they also don’t talk about moving heavy industry off earth as Bezos, Zubrin, and some others are talking about.

    I don’t expect this movie to have a sequel, but it should have a rebuttal.

  12. We were pioneers reducing costs in thermal solar from 1977 to 1985, the record we achieved as investment payback was 3 years. As the high-tech photovoltaic appeared we knew this will end the developpement of thermal and will give moneymakers the opportunity to kidnap solar away from people’s low-tech.
    Today we have to renew nuclear, the new visions are mindblowing!
    I was deeply moved by mr. Moore’s documentary, his view on nuclear is outdated but also correct and smart to avoid more words. Reduce, Reuse, change ourself is by far the best way.

  13. The main point of the documentary is critiquing the conflation of capitalism and environmentalism, which, at its core, assumes a capacity for unlimited growth, for the possibility of technology and human innovations to overcome limitations imposed by climate change. Gibbs’ points in bringing up the whales and the South Pole and fishing, as well as Zehner’s discussion of the unsustainability of propositions for more nuclear energy facilities, is that nuclear is another seemingly renewable nonrenewable proposition.

    Saying that the filmmakers “simply don’t like humans and the well-powered society that we have created” is a bit of a narrow conclusion. For whom is this society “well-powered”? Who benefits from these technologies? We see the unjust treatment of Indigenous communities as well as communities of color. Which communities will house nuclear power facilities? Where will the materials come from to build them, and who will receive the economic benefit of employment there? From which countries will the materials be mined? The frames of child cobalt miners come to mind. Nuclear is another outgrowth of the mindset this documentary criticizes.

    As for the filmmakers being Malthusian misanthropes, I’d have to disagree there as well. They don’t advocate for all humans to be eradicated off the face of the planet. Yes, they discuss the possibility of mass extinction in a bit of a monotone way, but this information is really only shocking to communities which experience all of the benefits of these “green” tech innovations and none of the costs. Members of the Global South, Indigenous, and communities of color have long forseen the false promises of technological innovation. What the filmmakers to advocate is a philosophical paradigm shift, in which humans writ large come to terms with their own mortality, just as centuries of cultures did for a long time. Coming to terms with our mortality is in direct opposition with capitalism, which assumes that human intelligence and ingenuity can overcome any obstacle. It links up nicely with Western Euro-Christian beliefs that death itself is even an obstacle, not merely a part of life.

    I think the filmmakers did an excellent job. The points they raise are hard to swallow for many. It requires humility and open-mindedness to realize that capitalist worldviews will not save us.

  14. While I enjoyed the feature, and appreciated it was made available for free, I can’t help but feeling disappointed about the documentary.

    Let’s start with the elephant in the room, not discussing nuclear power – completely unacceptable. Even an apprentice documentary maker would get bad reviews from the teacher. And this is Moore we’re talking about, a veteran. Not acceptable. Moore is simply following the anti-nuclear “kill it by ignoring it”. Disappointing.

    To further deteriorate the convincing power of the feature, there is the lack of balance throughout the feature. Sure, balanced viewpoint and satire are hard to marry, but this is going to the point where all credibility is lost. Just one example: yes electric cars may be powered by fossil fuels – and this is a lesson for the enthusiasts, buying an electric car does not make the sun shine brighter or the wind blow harder – but even so, this is still a huge improvement because it takes pollution away from population. Virtually all car pollution is where people live and work, and at ground level. Avoiding this is a huge improvement in health and air quality, even if the power comes from coal. It is also more future proof in that electricity can be generated from many sources. Not mentioning such points is just being facetious.

  15. Then there is the general theme, neo-Malthusianism and overly emotional. That’s fine as a prelude, to set the stage and point out the importance of the topic, but for a feature length documentary one must at some point produce a coherent argument founded on data, and present that data graphically to show things like energy density, capacity factors, amount of waste produced per kWh and so on. The documentary keeps on being facetious right till the end. This is the same trap that most environmentalists have fallen in, and it has alienated and disempowered them: presenting environmental issues as emotional appeals and never providing a realistic alternative that works and that people can follow without having to live in a tent wearing grass underwear.
    ” hey here’s some ghastly pictures of monkeys choking in mud, therefore it’s all bad”.
    In a related vein, the demonizing of industrials is completely unfounded. We’re the ones who buy all their products. If you were an industrial billionaire, and you had to supply billions of tons of fuel, steel, concrete, and millions of tons of foodstuffs – would you do better? Could you spare the monkeys? How? Organic sustainable farming? That actually has a much lower yield so needs much more acreage – meaning more forest needs to go and thus more monkeys killed not less. There is no perspective on the scale of the problem. Unless you live in a tent and eat only the moss that grows on it and drink only the rain water falling off it, and have no internet, no electronics and no means of travel, then you have no cause to demonize industrials.

  16. Then finally at the end it gets rather inconsistent: after not having presented a viable alternative solution for most of the film, it then boldly states that we need to “do more with less”. A quantitative argument – in a film that is largely emotional and qualitative and satirical. At no point is any substantiation made as to why conservation would be adequate, and anyone who has honestly studied the amount of energy, metals, and food the world uses right now must admit that conservation is at best a small helping hand. The problems are simply too big to conserve our way out. To do that we’d need 90+% reductions in food use, metal use, energy use. Look around you and ask yourself: would you like to have a 90% cut in your paycheck? Would you live in a home that is 1/10th the size of your current house or appartment? Would you like to reduce your consumption of meat, dairy products, and vegatables by 90%? Would you like a car that has no more than 10% the weight of your current car? Would you buy 1/10th the amount of clothes, shoes and furniture? Of course not.

  17. Rod, am I the only one who didn’t know Robert Stone (“Pandora’s Promise”) taught Michael Moore how to make movies?

    Moore’s view of nuclear energy, at least here, might shock you.

    Filmmakers Michael Moore and Robert Stone Discuss Nuclear Energy and the Film Pandora’s Promise


    1. The support for nuclear energy is actually very bipartisan but also very shallow.

      A number of prominent democrats including Biden, Cory Booker, and Andrew Yang are either in support or have not ruled it out. And most Republicans are in favor in theory.

      However, we don’t see much in practice. There really needs to be a bipartisan nuclear caucus in congress and serious legislation proposed.

      And people need to be constantly asking their elected officials where they stand.

  18. Rod… Thank you for those excellent and very much on target comments on “Planet of the Humans”.

    Clearly the film is a mixed bag, well worth recommending to others, but with some important cautions: The film has 70 or 80 minutes of its 100 minute run time devoted to what is overall an accurate and on target expose of the fraud, scam, and in both theory and practice dismal failure that is “renewable power” (solar, wind, and biomass).

    [Frenzied supporters of renewable fraud have seized on the fact the film used 10 year old data to say that solar panels are 8% efficient, not the 20% efficiency that is common in the commercial panels of today. What they don’t to mention is that even if the panels were 100% efficient in converting solar to electric power, solar power would still be useless for replacing fossil fuel power, due to its very low density and the extreme problems of its massive intermittency, as well as its obscenely low capacity factor of 10 to 25%, combined with the (for most practical purposes… pumped hydro is available in very few places) total lack… now and for the foreseeable future… of means to store grid level power for more than seconds to minutes, in the face of a need to store it for weeks if one wants to “run the world off solar and wind”.]

    To be very very picky, Rick, I counted not one but TWO mentions of nucleare power in the film. Each brief… seconds total… and both negative. The one you noted, and one much earlier in the film where nuclear power was glibly in passing equated to fossil fuel sources of electricity.

    Should this surprise us? I think not. Both Ozzie Zehner (a principle presenter in the film, and author of Green Illusions) and director Jeff Gibbs buy totally into a litany of knee-jerk anti-nuclear lies. Please check out this presentation by Michael Moore, Ozzie Zehner, and Jiff Gibbs…


    … and look at the in particular the 3.5 minutes of video starting at the 45 min 45 sec
    part of the video, to see where Zehner and Gibbs stand on this.

  19. Excellent article, and glad you bring up nuclear and fission/ fusion ( hopefully soon!). I too was disappointed in the Malthusian world view of Mr. Moore’s film, but definitely applaud the environmentalist/ Green renewable propaganda getting some overdue exposure for the extreme damage they have done. The Malthusian philosophy ( required reading: Thomas Malthus’ book On Population) has and is the driving force behind the extremist environmental proponents, so I believe this is the weak link of Michael Moore’s outlook. The most important resource in the world is the power and creativity of the human mind. Now if we can only undo decades of anti- nuclear power propaganda and give those who have voices the courage to buck the knee jerk reaction to the word nuclear power, then we will begin to see real progress. The energy timeline through history is towards denser energy throughput, with nuclear fusion being the ultimate source. We just need to get humanity to that level, and I remain optimistic that we will.

    1. @Anne Warren

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Though Malthus’s work has some influence, it’s worth understanding how a rather forgettable piece of writing has achieved such a durable presence in modern education and thought systems.

      My view is that it is still known because it has been skillfully promoted and reinforced by people with motives, influence, and financial resources. The Rockefellers are closely tied to numerous iterations and branches of Malthusian thinking, lecturing, book writing, coalition building, and promotion for three generations spread over more than a century.

      IMO, one major motive is that their wealth and power is closely associated with the perception that the fuels needed to power our improving way of life are finite and limited. It’s also tied to their mostly successful efforts to control access to those fuels and distribution channels that enable those fuels to reach markets.

      Atomic energy poses an existential threat to their wealth and power by exposing the philosophical underpinnings as a complete fabrication.

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