We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The decision to go nuclear has exposed the whole environmental cause for what it is: not a well intentioned drive for clean power but a spiteful, mean-spirited drive for less power. Because less power hits richer countries and richer people the hardest.

I’ve argued time and again that the old trade unionists and CND lesbians didn’t go away. They just morphed into environmentalists. The red’s become green but the goals remain the same. And there’s no better way of achieving those goals than turning the lights out and therefore winding the clock back to the Stone Age. Only when we’re all eating leaves under a hammer and sickle will they be happy.

I’m serious. All the harebrained schemes for renewable energy are popular among Britain’s beardies only because they don’t work.

Jeremy Clarkson

25 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks


    As for “the waste, the dangerious waste” – the standard excuse of Greens who claim to oppose fission power on environmental grounds. There are several ways of dealing with it (it can be turned into glass, or it can bond with certain forms of clay, or……) – or it can be used as fuel for fast breeder reactors.

    Fast breeder reactors would mean that even if scientists can not work out the problems of fusion power there would still be enough electricity for the world for centuries.

    No prizes for guessing that this use is what I would want done with the fission waste.

  • Andy

    Because less power hits richer countries and richer people the hardest.

    I’m not sure that’s true. The rest is gold though.

  • Daveon

    Agreed. Except at least under the old Hammer and Sickle there was a sensible attitude towards nuclear power, even if they built lousy generators.

    And egad, I agree with Paul Marks! Fast Breeders solve the problem of waste and give us a long long future of nuclear electricity. Then we just need super-capacitors to solve the car problem and we can leave oil products for what they’re necessary for; plastics and air travel.

  • Kevin

    “Because less power hits richer countries and richer people the hardest.”

    Bull! Tell that to a distant outpost clinic in the third world that would sell its patient’s vital organs for a safe reliable powersource so they can enjoy such rich western luxuries like… refrigeration.

    True that pseudo-environmentalists think that it will hit the rich people hardest but that’s only because they romanticize the squalor that many of their “beneficiaries” would rather not love in.

  • Kevin

    *live* in… Duh… but then again, maybe some of em may prefer it with the lights on!

  • martin

    Yep, cynical, but will likely prove true:
    Enough lights will be left on to keep the surveillance equipment working.

    Haven’t told you before: Grat Blog!

  • Chris H

    Nuclear reactors don’t actually produce that much high grade waste and because there is so little of it, storage isn’t really that much of a problem. As for low grade radioactive waste, the majority is produced by hospitals and you don’t see many protesters trying to ban X-Rays and MRIs.

    Of course, the last round of power station building in the UK was a nightmare of government subsidies and bureaucratic incompetence. I expect the next round will probably be the same!

  • Bull! Tell that to a distant outpost clinic in the third world that would sell its patient’s vital organs for a safe reliable powersource so they can enjoy such rich western luxuries like… refrigeration.

    You miss the point Kevin. If you live in some ‘low carbon footprint’ African shithole like the Congo, having power for 2 hours a day rather than 4 hours a day is not going to make all that much difference. Having less power in a society utterly dependent on power (i.e. the developed world) makes a vast difference. It is simply a tautology that it will affect people enjoying the fruits of capitalism more than those already being fucked over by a more restrictive economic system that already use very little power. I also regard it as self-evident that truism is why so many eco-statist activists like the idea of restricting the amount of power that is available regardless of how ‘green’ it is.

  • RAB

    Getting rid of the waste is easy!
    Dale and his friends are knocking themselves out getting space travel to be much more affordable.
    You just save up all the Nuclear waste and then put it in a rocket.
    Then you invite Porrit and Monbiot and Toynbee along to an exotic all expenses paid Intergalactic Environmental Conference on Jupiter.
    Just get in the rocket Polly love, dont worry about the suit. more efficient use of air. That’s the spirit…
    Then you fire the bugger up, and set the controls for the heart of the sun.

  • tranio

    I heard a physicist from Stanford state that the best place to dispose of nuclear waste is in the ocean right over where the earth’s plates are subducting. The waste would be drawn into the earth’s crust and reappear millions of years later when it is no longer radio active.

  • Paul Marks

    B.B.C. Radio Four was gushing over Cuba the other day.

    It seems that they have gone back to using horse pulled carts, and to plowing with oxen.

    Supposedly this is very “forward looking” (they were not being sarcastic) and what we all should be doing.

    At the end of the report the B.B.C. admited that Chevez gives (“in exchange for doctors” – it did mention that these doctors are kept as prisoners in Venezuala i.e. that they are SLAVES) Cuba vast amounts of oil.

    What on Earth is Casto doing with it?

    Is it filling a vast swimming pool somewhere, which the Great Dictator thinks will restore his youth?

  • ResidentAlien

    Is this Clarkson’s first Samizdata QOTD?

  • How should libertarians feel about government commitments keep the price of carbon fuels high if if it looks like nuclear can’t compete?

  • It seems that they have gone back to using horse pulled carts, and to plowing with oxen.

    But does every one use a state owned horse, or do only the rich own horses ?

  • lucklucky

    The Left offensive since 70’s has been only of instilling GUILT. The whole leftist movement lives from that: Guilty of being Rich, Guilty of History, Guilty of living from Earth creatures,products, Guilty of Eating too much, Guilty of smoking, etc. A person that have guilt is a person that is psychological vulnerable to an outsider, that doesnt protest Governemnt, because see itself as a guilty person. Kyoto for example was grand scheme for that: We all are guilty and the Government will clean our souls. That is the objective.

  • Evan

    This is pretty interesting for me personally, because I am going into the US Navy’s nuclear engineering program, and I’m glad to see public opinion starting to change about nuclear power. For a rough idea of how much power we can get from nuclear, a submarine can be powered for 33 years from a piece of uranium about the size of a golf ball. That also gives you an idea of how much (little) waste reactors produce.

    In a free market, nuclear would in all likelihood be able to compete successfully with fossil fuels for power generation. Reactors are very expensive to build, but very cheap to operate once built, and uranium comes from countries like Canada and Australia. Some libertarians (I’m thinking of the Cato Institute in particular) criticize nuclear because it gets some special subsidies from the government in America, but it makes a great deal of sense, even from a libertarian perspective, because it makes the West much less dependent on decidedly illiberal societies. Moreover, if government really wanted to help the industry, the best thing they could do (as in many other things) is get out of the way. Some of the big cost drivers in building a new reactor are securing government permits and approval. This is exactly why so many new reactors are being built right next to existing ones, under the jurisdiction of friendly (and informed) state and local governments.

  • Well, I’ve heard news of additional testing to be done on Polywell fusion by the US navy this year. It’s currently costing a lot less than the standard Tokamak model and there is some evidence, however scant, of it actually working.

    Let’s cross our fingers, and hope this pans out. And when it does, we tell the greens to go to hell before they take away our refrigerators.

  • Alan Furman

    …not a well intentioned drive for clean power but a spiteful, mean-spirited drive for less power.

    Marxism promised to make the lives of workers better by producing More Stuff than the technologically underachieving capitalists.

    It failed.

    So it morphed into the envirowacko movement and declared More Stuff (including More Energy) to be evil.

  • Jacob

    lucklucky is correct.
    The AGW is a perfect guilt scam. It re-creates the original sin. Man is born in sin. He breathes, therefore he produces CO2, therefore he sins. He drives cars – sinning again. He produces goods creating the cardinal sin of consumerism. Perdition is unavoidable.

  • Roger Clague

    Many are attracted to the CO2 induced AGW theory because it is promoted as democratic and fair . We all breathe at the same rate. We all produce CO2.

    So by reducing our output of CO2 we atone for our guilt and are being virtuous at the same time.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Clarkson is the nearest thing Britain has to PJ O’Rourke; now, if only Jeremy could ditch the snide Yank-bashing (he once said America was a nation of wankers without their knowing what the word meant), he’d be great. He’s also done a lot to raise awareness of the plight of injured British soldiers and their shameful treatment back home.

    I once read that Clarkson had been approached to stand as a Tory MP but he declined. Good decision. He’s far more effective bashing PC culture outside the tent anyway.

  • Yes. It DOES hit richer countries and richer people hardest, first. BUT….they are better placed, by virtue of accumulated “stuff” and clever models of how to get round things, to wether it. They can make do, sew up a blnaket, get scrap stuff and make gas form chickeno manure, etc. Africans (see below) would have trouble getting a chicken, even before they can harvest its poo, and even if it had anything to eat.

    Ultimately, it hits poor-people, in oversocialism’d and consequently over-“United-Nationed” countries the hardest, and for longest, and with the most consequent deaths.

  • Brad

    Those who “practice” Environmentalism, like most religions, have a very simplistic view of the world. Worse, they take this oversimplification and scramble to try and co-opt the force allocated to the State to make everyone fit into their simplified view. Unfortunately they have succeeded too well of late. I see a rising tide of fundementalism in the form Environmentalism, the same as any other guise it has taken – essentially it is Puritanism. The centuries are littered with those who had the Master Plan who unfortunately got hold of the power base of the State. When the two merge together, woe to the individual.

  • jk

    It is probably too late to start a draft Jeremy Clarkson campaign for the American presidency. Especially since we would need to amend the Constitution to allow the foreign born star of Top Gear to hold the position. And his general contempt for America and her people would be a PR challenge.

    But I still wonder…