Friday, 14 December 2007

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and the anti-nuclear movement

As world temperatures continue to rise and available resources [other than coal of course] continue to spur discussions of exactly when we will reach supply peaks [or when exactly that milestone was passed], attitudes are changing.

I began thinking about my own opinion - that the anti-nuclear movement will, over time, essentially die out. It has to, unless some magic technology is developed or humanity is willing to return to the dark ages - as frightening as that bad pun may be.

So what does this mean? How will it be manifested? Will there be a 'point' at which all will become informed and enlightened energy custodians? Na, it will be more analog than that, in fact it has begun already.

But how can this be? Can't we claim the anti- movement is as strong as ever and it's simply a case of governments being twisted by the industry, utilities taking advantage of subsidies, etc.? After all, many prominent anti-nukes have invested their lives into killing the atom. For their movement to die, a significant piece of them would also have to give up the ghost.

Then I thought of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Surely if something is dying out - the signs of Kübler-Ross' popular process or 'Stages of Grief' would be there. Specifically they are:
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Obviously, the anti-nuclear movement, even within Australia, does not move as one block or entity. Some - search enviro-conversions - have moved all the way through Acceptance and are now supporters of nuclear power. Many remain in Denial claiming, for example, nuclear takes too long, while defending the construction of more coal power stations because carbon-capture technology will eventually be there to save the day.

Anger? [Er, need I say it... 'election']

Even Bargaining has been around. Recall the pre-election films opposed to nuclear 'we don't need nuclear, we can get all we need from 'this' technology or 'that' energy reduction/saving program. I also see the elimination of the three mines policy as a form of Bargaining. Australia will support further nuclear power expansion elsewhere. But here? "No thanks mate." Eliminating 3-mines was a wise and helpful move indeed - but it only allows for partial implementation of a viable solution technology [just one of many that humanity needs].

I see other stages on the horizon. There will be Depression and - I expect - significant blame flying about as Australian emissions continue to rise, domestic coal stations continue to be built and/or climactic chaos intensifies; all despite the claims of complete fulfillment of all related election promises [i.e. significant government investment in reduction / mitigation programs].

Eventually there will be growing Acceptance and I'd like to add a 6th in this case.


1 comment:

  1. One of the signs I'm looking for is when the big energy money - oil and gas - moves into nuclear. The first twitches of this are starting to happen now (via NEI blog).