How would advanced aliens size up our reluctance to use nuclear energy?

Guest Post from Robert Rudolph Hasspacher

If aliens came down to earth tomorrow, and we told them how we are having an environmental crisis because we need to find new sources of energy besides fossil fuels, the first thing they would say to us is:

“What about nuclear energy, we’ve already seen you have the technology from the neutrinos you emit. Why not scale it up?”

And then the Sierra Club and Peabody Coal would step forward and say with ignorant sincerity, “NO! It’s too expensive, and it produces waste, and it could release radioactivity, and other countries could make bombs from our waste!”

The aliens would say back, “You mean to tell me that your species is intelligent enough to have gotten materials to within billionths of a degree of absolute zero, put 5 spacecraft beyond the orbit of Pluto, have genetically manufactured crop species to increase food yield, understand quantum mechanics to the point of being on the verge of creating quantum computing, have a worldwide aviation system with 1.2 billion passengers a year that is the safest form of transportation available, and yet you can’t engineer a nuclear reactor that produces negligible amounts of waste, has no risk of releasing appreciable amounts of radiation, is cheaper than blowing up mountains for coal, and avoids the improbable risk that someone makes a bomb from it? That is elementary by comparison! You came up with technology that could do that 50 years ago! Damn it, your planet is TEEMING with nuclear material, you could be in a golden age of energy abundance without carbon!”

And TEA would say back “yeah but enough people are uneducated enough to be fooled by fossil interests into thinking that an obvious solution like atomic energy is a danger to humanity.”


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4 thoughts on “How would advanced aliens size up our reluctance to use nuclear energy?

  1. James Greenidge

    One could tell the aliens that most of Earth’s public holds unfounded and exaggerated fears about nuclear energy based on bad scary sci-fi movies and the guilt of using a previously almost unknown mysterious energy to vaporize thousands of innocent Japanese schoolchildren and the suicidal lack of effort by those dedicated to promoting and advancing nuclear energy to sell its merits and virtues to that clueless public. The best whiz-bang nuclear reactor on the drawing board won’t mean squat in seeing daylight if the public’s nuclear illiterate and fearful of having it next door or even across the country. It’s a case of PR Darwinism that fossil fuels are getting over — even with fossil accidents that have actually directly killed tens of thousands over the years, not because fossil fuel industries are “evil”.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    Reply

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