1st world lethargy

Lethargy (noun)
A lack of energy or vigor; sluggishness.
A lack of interest or enthusiasm; apathy.

Seems apt for a first world country facing power cuts.

This, in a county with 2 million tonnes of uranium sitting under the soil. Or about 3.000 years’ worth of energy at today’s rate of annual demand.

But here we are, facing the risk of power cuts in a country claiming to be close to the peak of technological development and collective intelligence.

Surely there’s a typographical error, the sub editor must have missed an auto-correct replacement of “Australia” for “Afghanistan” or “Angola”.

Regular visitors to these infrequently-updated pages (yeah, I know; life has been busy) will know I don’t want or expect much from my governments; secure borders, rule of law, national defence and, if the government feels it must interfere in the provision of the utilities of water and power, keeping the bloody lights on.

If the government can’t even do that, what is the point of having one?

Seriously, if you one day find yourself with the job title of Prime Minister or Premier and the lights go out on your watch, perhaps consider firing every Diversity and Inclusion Officer, cancelling the budget for every Christmas party and closing every department not focused on the aforementioned core business of secure borders, rule of law, national defence and keeping the fucking lights on.

Bill’s Opinion

Australia is likely still 10 years away from breaking ground on its first nuclear power plant. So brace yourself for eye-watering energy bills, wearing a lot of layers in the winter and sitting around in air conditioned shopping malls in the summer.

13 Replies to “1st world lethargy”

  1. Remember clean coal? Down the memory hole she goes I guess.

    My primary objection to nuclear is the spent fuel rods. Those suckers aren’t like the AAA batteries that went flat out of the remote. Storage is dumb – buried deep in a mountain somewhere, or, if they still require cooling, err refer to Fukushima. They caused untold mischief there.

    It’s no small irony that the “Climate action now!” crowd who never seem to lead by example by having their cars crushed and eating only bugs, are going to put the lights out for the rest of us.

      1. Interesting, although if Wikipedia is to believed (probably not)

        “The most developed Gen IV reactor design, the sodium fast reactor, has received the greatest share of funding over the years with a number of demonstration facilities operated, as well as two commercial reactors, operating in Russia. One of these has been in commercial operation since 1981.”

        So a long way ahead of fission reactors but clearly there’s more to it than meets the eye. Big uranium keeping them down?

        I was secretly hoping that Gen IV reactors would run on spent fuel rods of the old reactors.

          1. Nice. Plus above, fission was supposed to be fusion – the one the sun does.

    1. Why is storage dumb? Archeologists know that humans have been storing past its use by date stuff in cemeteries and landfills for millennia. A couple of million visitors a year to Gaza says that storage isn’t dumb. Check out what Dr Richard A Muller has to say about the Witch of Yucca Mountain. Who gets more becquerels, someone living a kilometre away from Fukushima or someone who eats one banana a day? I’m glad I’m not a fact. I would get bloody sick and tired of nobody paying any attention to me.

      1. Interesting, thanks for the tip. He did lose me a bit here:

        “…and start worrying about real threats-such as the dangers of continued burning of fossil fuels.”

        But he’s not wrong here:

        “It is far safer to put the waste there than to leave it on site at the nuclear plants where it was made and is currently stored.”

        Still a dead end solution IMO.

        I don’t know about residents of Fukushima (and I thought the exclusion zone was a lot more than 1km) but the clean up workers certainly got more than their allocation. IIRC the Japanese government raised the acceptable exposure dose at least twice, because science or something I suppose.

        For quite a while there they thought one of the storage pools was at an acceptable level, not realising it had pegged out their detector. They only found out when using a different one with a higher limit.

  2. We have well and truly entered an era where people in the West accept declining standards of living as normal. Even twenty years ago that would have been unthinkable.
    We’ve developed all this new energy technology and our power situation only gets worse.
    It reminds me of ‘The Machine Stops.’

    1. “We’ve developed all this new energy technology and our power situation only gets worse”

      I’m on the fence as to whether this is by design or a result of astonishing hubris and stupidity.

        1. I particularly enjoyed Mrs Garvy’s steely determination to retcon herself. NPC’s are now imitating art writ large.

  3. Here in Sunny South Africa we are also having a chillier than usual winter. Because I’m a rational grown-up I promise not to say a word about Global Warming. At least in Australia all you have to do is call the Bureau of Meteorology to complain and they will smooth the thermometers and make it warmer and when in a year’s time you look back you will see that the winter was quite toasty after all.

    Here in Sunny South Africa we have a better way of providing electricity when the coal-fired thermal power stations run out of coal or the widget that held the splogle onto the recapsitrator that should have been replaced routinely every six months, broke and plunged us all into outer darkness. We have diesel backup! By allowing private enterprise to get involved, although to get the licence you have to be a relative or close friend, when ESKOM the Electricity Supply Commission goes AWOL, we switch to diesel! It’s not cheap. I grant you that. A good slice of what at first glance appear to be exorbitant profits has to be paid back to the operator’s patron in thanks for being given the licence. Oh and you also have to live in the right suburb served by those diesel generators. Choosing your neighbours carefully is always important and if they are members of local or national parliaments, you can’t go wrong.

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