As ever, my own predisposition towards both fatalism and detachment will filter any thoughts…
Nuclear power is/was sexy, one of the reasons it was able to compete with fossil fuels. But it’s also not congruent with any “grass roots” business model, it needs major investors and a very bureaucracy friendly infrastructure. It has a very significant and reliable maintenance budget.
And I’m not trying to discount it either, but the issue of hidden costs is always, well, hidden. The stock reply from the status quo about solar or other renewable energy options is that it’s “not ready”. Which is just a fucking joke, or would be if such simplistic, myopic “wisdom” wasn’t then accepted so literally. So then this is how nuclear (fission) power is ready, after a half century of research and practical application to the tune of trillions of dollars… ?
Shortsightedness, expedience, and just plain greed have defined our human history of cultural entropy and emergence. The basic tendencies haven’t changed very much. There is a fundamental paradigm shift that is in sight, but has not been truly ratified yet. It seems to me we exist in a certain limbo, between the classical truth (and truth it is) of governance, that those with exceptional qualities bear exceptional responsibilities; and the truth of ever more contemporary importance, that power itself corrupts.
It is a fundamental quandary of the human condition, as pack animals we are still not fully wired for the nuance and ambiguity inherent to the scale of civilization that we have managed to create. Authority is either accepted or it is challenged, with very little middle ground available to our response. And by extension, authority that is accepted is deemed righteous, and authority that is challenged is deemed worthless, again with very little middle ground afforded.
All accepted wisdom is truth, until it is no longer accepted. And all circumstantial truths eventually become quaint. And all visionaries who challenge accepted wisdom begin as a minority, and of course not all are successful nor will be remembered. More importantly, each truth that supplants a previous will be equally circumstantial…
“Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” Well, has any zeitgeist ever truly remembered the past? This is who we are, until we are this no longer… or perhaps even until we are simply no longer.
/waxing all free-association like on y’all.
A truth that is not circumstantial - or at least that is perennially circumstantial? - is that life goes on, and will always go on. Life endures, perseveres, and overcomes; in it’s own clumsy, beautiful, even perfect nature. And yet all patterns must change, slowly or otherwise, because that is the very definition of life. And in the end all sorrow, mourn and loss is over a thing that only existed for immeasurable moments. And so it could never be truly lost, for the memory of it is also the reality, and the totality of it.
Which is why, even in the midst of our greatest laments, we cannot ultimately stop seeking the future. Why life must always go on.