The World’s Most Important Announcement of 2006
Almost thirty years ago, scientists proved that nuclear waste could be eliminated by turning it into nuclear fuel, but this was top, top secret, so for years we have had an absolutely stupid concern about nuclear waste. This in turn has forced reliance on oil as a fuel, since other still more advanced technologies are not yet cost efficient.
According to an article “Nuclear Energy Plant Would Use Spent Fuel” by Peter Baker and Dafna Linzer, in the January 26th issue of The Washington Post ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/25/AR2006012502229.html?nav=rss_politics ), the Bush Administration, in one of the few things it has ever done to promote peace and justice, has decided to declassify the existence of a solution to U.S. reliance on foreign oil. What this means for our Middle East policy I don’t know. It could mean that we soon will no longer need any friends in the Muslim world. It also could accelerate the gap between the haves and the have-nots by giving the American economy a huge boost in global competitiveness, because the drive apparently soon will start to design the reprocessing technology so that only America can use it.
Alternatively, if we can lock the process, then we might be able to negotiate with Iran to permit Iranian development of nuclear energy with the waste products shipped to the United States. This might provide a good excuse not to bomb Iran. But, will the Iranians buy it? One should always permit the other bargaining party a chance to back down gracefully. But how graceful would this be? And we could become the major customer for both Saudi and Iranian petro-chemical products, or at least might not even bother to compete. There is room for some heavy bargaining, with the future of world civilization at stake.
The catch, not mentioned in the article, is that the Iranians have developed nuclear technology similar to that in France, and the French can use this technology. America should have converted to this technology forty years ago, instead of building plants that must be huge and vulnerable and dangerous. This, of course, might increase the incentive to bomb Iran now while it still might make a difference. Others might say that popularizing this technology, which could be useful for making nuclear warheads and realistically cannot be locked into a U.S. monopoly, would force us to accept the unlimited proliferation of nuclear bombs, so there would be no point in trying to stop it.
The fact that this scientific and technological breakthrough of thirty years and more ago is now even being discussed shows that the arguments pro and con seem to have at last come down in favor of turning nuclear waste into useful energy. Since America is the biggest polluter in the world, we could become the least polluting of all the industrialized countries, so we could then afford to support the Kyoto Protocol.
Of course, another equally epic-making breakthrough would be for the U.S. government to help oil companies exploit the natural gas underneath the oil fields of Texas, which oil geologists have known for thirty years could fuel the American economy for more than a thousand years. It has been too expensive to extract from 30 to 40 thousand feet deep, but a little research could make it competitive with oil. Of course, it could never compete with nuclear energy once the capital investment is made to convert America to nuclear energy, as the French did long ago and as the U.S. government apparently has decided to facilitate by using advanced technology that we hope to horde for ourselves. I’ve wondered for decades why Texas deep gas was a no-no for polite discussion. My guess is that its utility depended on the prior question of whether we needed any energy sources other than nuclear. Also, good-bye such simple technologies as wind-turbines (marginal anyway), beaming energy down from giant quarter-trillion-dollar photo-voltaic arrays in outer space (could be used as a weapon and too vulnerable to attack).
What does all this mean? One possibility is offered by a bold initiative suggested at the website, http://www.americanrevolutionaryparty.us As a life-long global forecaster, it seems to me that we are at a global tipping point triggered by recent events in Iraq, Iran, and Palestine. The opportunities to pursue peace and freedom through revolutionary justice based on the wisdom of America’s traditionalist founders have never been greater.