Let’s look at planetary energy budgetary management.
The objective of this analysis is as much about the Global Thermodynamics implications behind the deployment of Nuclear Energy Generation, as much as it is about trying to avoid future faulty-thinking-patterns.
I might be wrong in both instances of the potential cognitive faults signified in this piece, but the exploration exercise and the potential implications are well worth the risks. Let’s see if I can sail this argument blowing the wisdom of a common Spanish saying that goes:
“ Man is the only animal that trips 2 times with the same stone ”
So, it should be with the idea of incorporating trans-generational, long-lasting and useful heuristics, that the wagon of techno-social development in the Train of History should be occupied. If that of ours, is a ride that keeps adding available destinations for the upcoming generations… we, at the very least, should try to:
Make sure not to make the same mistakes.
…or even better:
Make sure that in the future, others don’t realize that we and/or them have made the same mistakes.
There is (in the current world of information-saturation and limited attention spans), a tendency to oversimplify and extract nuance and complexity from intrinsically multidimensional hyper-objects (like weather, or planetary health, or economic development), by over-reliance on certain “most representative” mathematical and logical objects: Linear or Direct relations, Curves, Indexes, Data Points, etc…
Mathematical Representations are “objective”, easy-to-analyze and defend politically; they also represent a convenient, impactful, often visually beautiful and marketable objects-of-discussion, or objects-to-center-discussions-around. Never forget that we are in the era of powerpoint-based sense-making… the scientific community is convinced that “If it doesn’t fit in a single slide, the public can’t comprehend it”
But, as the majority of the sense-making-societal-organelles incorporate these higher-level-abstractions (over-simplistic representations of the problems), the object-of-analysis continually degrades from “The Problem” to “The Problem limited by the current normalized, standardized compression we are using to describe it and deal with it as a collective cognitive entity”.
In this way, we have come to eventually reduce Global Warming directly to CO2 Emissions and Levels, as a way to compress the complexity of the whole act of “Exponentially accelerating the controlled release of energy stored in the inside of the planet to power the economy” into a concept or linguistic-object that can be discoursed-about efficiently.
We then seem to fail poorly in our reductionist approaches to problem-diagnosing and in the consequent generation of solutions. If I am right about this “focus-hunting problem” in our collective cognition, I should be able to prove it using the nuclear energy example in just a few paragraphs, here I go:
The process we call “Modern Civilization”, is mostly the act of transforming the surface of the planet with work powered (mostly) by energy taken from the planetary core and released into the Atmosphere.
Here is the difference in the nature of Solar vs Nuclear:
Nuclear Energy generation dramatically increases the circulating thermodynamic currents of our atmosphere by releasing even more concentrated energy; while Solar Generation actually reduces the energetic budgetary load of our system, and allows the implementation of a global thermoregulating mechanism for cases when we might need to use one.
The greenhouse effect produced by carbon-based fossil fuels is not, by any degree, the only externality to be taken into account when implementing a solution for Global Warming. The CO2 footprint of our economic activity should be teaching us that these global problems need to be attacked from an angle of long term consequences with exponential developmental profiles.
In this sense, we can decide to sporadically walk away from “removing terms in mathematical representation of problems” as a way to find solutions… and more towards “philosophical depictions of our issues” guided by the only unifying hands we should trust: those of Science, Relativity and Quantum foundations.
What do I mean ?
We (seem to) have decided that somehow, if we burn “Star Fuel” instead of “Dead Dinosaurs” we wont have any problems, that this is an acceptable way to continue increasing the excitation state of the molecules in our atmosphere and that there will be no consequences to the relentless emission of heat.
Sorry, but this seems extremely short-sighted and silly.
I already settled the bases for this discussion in the piece where I am presenting a solution for reverting global warming, and the relevant explanations about thermo-regulating global dynamics are explained quite efficiently there; so I recommend the reader to go over the concepts of Albedo and Planetary Energy Budget in order to properly understand the ultimate proposition of this piece, which is:
NUCLEAR ENERGY INCREASES GLOBAL WARMING AND MIGHT REPRESENT AN EXISTENTIAL RISK FOR CLIMATE AS WE KNOW IT VIA INCREASED PLANETARY THERMAL LOAD.
If before, with carbon-based fuels we were extracting limited amounts of energy from our planet’s core… with nuclear, we will exponentially decrease the cost, and consequentially increase the availability of energy that can be put into circulation in our planetary system, conducting to a potentially irreversible earth energy budgetary management imbalance.
Happy to be proven wrong… I remain.