The world today is facing many problems: financial, political, and environmental. Many people in the manosphere are suggesting that we learn to Enjoy The Decline. However, there are some within and outside of the manosphere who believe that these problems have solutions and have not yet given up on civilization. One must admit, while progress has come with quite a few problems there are some things that I would not be willing to give up.
One of the problems that the world faces is energy. Whether to power our houses, run our businesses, or move our cars the world needs energy. This problem covers all of the three categories mentioned above and our ability or inability to solve it will be a major factor in what the future of our species will hold. Many people are working on it from every angle imaginable. I am going to focus on two people, one man and one woman, and compare how they approached this problem and what it says about them.
The woman is Jennifer Granholm. According to Wikipedia she is the former Governor of Michigan, a beauty pageant winner, unsuccessful Hollywood actress, and graduated with a B. A. in political science and French. This is her speech at TedTalk about her plan to fix the energy problem.
The first five minutes is a sad story about a factory that closed in a small town in her state. After that at about 6:45 she gets to her plan, which is to put a $4.5 billion dollar reward from taxpayers to states that succeed at making 80% of their electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar, or biofuels. At 10:50 she mentions that it would be hard to get Congress to agree to this so she suggests that the rich people in the audience voluntarily pony up the money to pay for it.
There are three things to take from this video.
1) She doesn’t actually come up with an idea. She just came up with a way of spending other people’s money to pay for other people to solve the problem.
2) She is unbelievably happy with herself for her ability to come up with this idea of getting other people to solve a problem. Although I must point out that sometimes men do this too.
3) She is missing the point that the reason people are not moving to renewable energy is because at the moment it is more expensive. Moving to having 80% of a state’s energy from renewable energy at this time would increase the cost to companies that hire people. Blue collar manufacturing plants that use a lot of energy would be even more likely to outsource to other countries just like the refrigerator company in the beginning of her video that she seemed so sad about. Thumbs up for government interference in the free market.
Now compare her “solution” to a solution made by a real scientist, not a political scientist (in her own words).
Introducing Kirk Sorensen. According to Wikipedia he has a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. He worked as an engineer at NASA for ten years followed by a year at Teledyne Brown Engineering as Chief Nuclear Technologist before leaving to start his own company, Flibe Energy. Those are real credentials. His solution is an improved nuclear reactor called Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors which are explained in the video below. This video is much longer, but at least view the first five minutes and I will outline the other important points below. The point I believe are most important are in bold.
- 0:00-5:00 Short attention grabbing Intro to Thorium power
- 6:00 – 6:10 Gender demographic on Facebook
- 6:15-7:40, 9:50-11:50, 1:25:00-1:27:10, 1:32:10-1:35:20 Kirk talks respectfully with a hippie couple
- 16:35 – 19:00, 36:50-40:15, 56:00-57:20, History of Thorium energy
- 19:10-21:40, 24:50-29:30, 31:20-34:20, 40:20-45:30,1:10:00-1:11:30 Technical talk about nuclear power
- 21:40-23:00, 52:25-52:55, 1:25:30-1:29:30 Explanation of dangers of radioactivity in easy to understand terms
- 29:00 – 31:20 Explanation of nuclear weapons and thorium
- 34:30-35:00, 1:37:30-1:39:30, 1:53:00-1:54:00 Why we didn’t use Thorium before
- 45:30-48:30, 1:51:00-1:52:00 Safety in nuclear reactors
- 49:15-52:20 Explanation of accident in Japan’s nuclear reactor, Fukushima
- 1:00:15-1:03:50 Kirk disses other nuclear reactor ideas
- 1:07:30-1:08:50 People talk about LFTR’s use in military and third world countries
- 1:12:30-1:15:35 Using LFTR waste for NASA’s projects and medical isotopes for cancer
- 1:15:35-1:18:15 Cost of developing the technology
- 1:19:00-1:25:00, 1:37:00-1:37:30 Kirk disses on the MSM for fearmongering over nuclear power
- 1:30:30-1:31:00 Kirk gives a neat trick for confusing ignorant environmentalists
- 1:41:10-1:42:00 China is doing it
- 1:42:30-1:46:30 Thorium and rare earth elements
- 1:50:00-1:50:30- Using waste heat to make ammonia or desalinate seawater
- 35:20-35:45 Kirk complains about being in a basement
I included the last one because it shows how Kirk who has already done orders of magnitude more than Jennifer is able to remain orders of magnitude more humble about it.
I will break down Jennifer and Kirk’s solutions by the three categories I mentioned in the beginning.
Jennifer’s solution would obviously cost taxpayers or TED’s rich and gullible audience members 4.5 billion with little chance of seeing a return on investment. It would create jobs in clean energy production, but the jobs made in wind farms and solar would be at the expense of taxes that could be used elsewhere and would also raise the cost of electricity on both businesses and consumers hurting the economy much more.
Kirk’s solution would lower the cost of energy dramatically for both consumers and businesses which would help the economy. There would also a very good chance of getting a substantial ROI for investors. Kirk does admit that since it is a new technology there would be some risk for investors and he can not put down an exact percentage on the investor’s ROI, but it is better than Jennifer’s “just give 4.5 B because it is the right thing to do.”
Thorium energy adoption would hurt the coal and gas industries which do create jobs, but there would be new jobs in the rare earth mining as thorium regulations disappeared. I would imagine rare earth mining is nicer than coal mining (although I have never worked at either). Having a guaranteed source for rare earths would also prevent manufacturing jobs from outsourcing to China and perhaps bring a few back. No company will spend billions on a manufacturing plant in the US if there is a chance that US/China relations will go down to the point that China embargoes the US and they have to close their factory because they can not get their necessary raw materials.
Jennifer’s proposal would cause more bipartisanship as electricity costs went up. Kirk’s idea would get rid of the global warming and environment debate because the most environmentally friendly option would also be the most cost-effective.
We could also sell this technology to other countries to pay off our debt. Not to China anymore, that ship has sailed because we gave this tech to them for free already. However, we owe lots of money to other countries who probably aren’t expecting anything more than hyperinflated fiat currency by now anyway so they would love to trade debt for a few hundred thorium reactors.
As companies moved out of China because they weren’t the only source of rare earth metals then manufacturing in China would drop and they wouldn’t have to trade with North Korea for materials anymore and North Korea would have to stop their nuclear program.
We could offer this cost-effective proliferation resistant nuclear technology to Iran in return for them stopping their uranium enrichment program and they would have to say yes.
Jennifer’s proposal would involve building massive number of wind farms, solar panel farms, all over the country with high voltage power lines connecting all of them. That wouldn’t be environmentally damaging at all (/sarcasm). Also the amount of energy needed to build, transport, and set up this renewable energy infrastructure would take many years to pay off the carbon credit anyway.
Kirk’s idea would replace 5 billion tonnes of coal, 31 billion barrels of oil, 5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and 65,000 tonnes of uranium with only 5,000 tonnes of thorium because of thorium reactors high efficiency. However, I am personally very doubtful about his claims of creating carbon neutral gasoline from atmospheric CO2 even with nearly free electricity, but I would love to be wrong on that.
Even discounting the coal and natural gas the 5000 tonnes of thorium to 65000 tonnes of uranium difference would already reduce nuclear waste produced. Also the isotopes made from the decay of U233 created in the thorium reactor (Bismuth 213) can be used in cancer radiotherapy for leukemia so it would actually save lives.
So, which person would you choose to lead the country in solving the energy crisis?
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