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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The nuclear industry and endlesss growth in energy use – theme for June 2017

The nuclear lobby boasts about meeting the planet’s ever-growing need for electricity. “Innovation” is the catch phrase – supposed to be always beneficial. Well, yes, – much innovative technology is beneficial: much of it takes over arduous and monotonous work, much of it increases safety, much of it actually reduces energy use.

But not all new technology is actually beneficial, and some of it increases energy use.

Take, for example, the use of robots .  Power is used in the mining and manufacture of materials (steel, cast ironand aluminum) to make robots.  Electricity is needed for their function, for maintenance and repair. Eventually robots become wastes, like all obsolete machines, energy again used in discarding them..

Leaving aside that major argument about jobs, let’s examine, as an example,  the use of robots in health and social care. Already used in Japan, and Europe, robots provide some nursing services and  “elderly social care” that assists old people at home or in nursing homes.   Some robots, such as Japan’s “Nadine” (below) have been made “personal”. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

BUT – I assert here, (yes, you’re right- I don’t have any evidence) that old people, (like all people) need that human touch, that human interaction, and robots simply do not meet that need. And then, there’s the robot baby-sitter. Same thing.

So – these are examples of robots, with deeply unsatisfying results, using up electricity, that take away jobs that many workers find satisfying.

With society’s problems of increasing obesity and lack of exercise, there is surely a question about jobs, that humans do well and enjoy, and in which human energy is expended, but which are taken over by electricity-guzzling robots.

The new nukes lobby bleats about being part of an “innovation revolution”. But “innovation” is not in itself necessarily good –   not if it just means de-skilling people, increasing energy use, just in order to increase business profits.

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June 4, 2017 - Posted by | Christina's themes, social effects

3 Comments »

  1. Bravo on this series Christina! It is well-established that babies die without human touch.

    While not replacing human touch, there are more and more plant based plastics of good quality and even conductive plastics can eventually replace copper, etc. We desperately need innovation in dealing with nuclear waste in a better manner. Or, rather, we need to make it priority in the patent process and to make dealing with the waste not for profit. Nuclear waste innovation is being locked out.

    Comment by miningawareness | June 12, 2017 | Reply

    • Thank you, miningawareness. So pleasing to find someone else recognising that the human touch is essential in jobs in the “caring” sector. Perhaps in all jobs.

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | June 12, 2017 | Reply

  2. Benoit Hamon just launched 1st of July Movement. He appears to agree with us on these points: “Hamon is also very critical of the neoliberal “myth of infinite economic growth”, which he blames for “destroying the planet” and argues is a “quasi-religion” among politicians. “There is an urgency to change now our way to produce and consume. […] We can negotiate with bankers, but we can’t negotiate with the planet.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benoît_Hamon He appeared the better of the French presidential candidates as he was anti-nuclear and anti-Putin. The article is here: https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/290617/benoit-hamon-veut-inviter-toute-la-gauche-discuter-sans-sectarisme

    Comment by miningawareness | June 30, 2017 | Reply


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