"Another case of energy colonialism: Tunisia’s Tunur solar project" opendemocracy.net/en/north-afr

« Like Desertec and the Ouarzazate solar plant in Morocco, this new project is a renewable energy grab or what has been termed ‘Green Grabbing’: the appropriation of land and resources for purportedly environmental ends. It involves massive land grabs (10,000 hectares) as well as extensive water usage to clean and cool the panels in arid and semi-arid regions to export energy to the UK and Europe. »

I thought about it lately here mastodon.social/web/statuses/1

Still, this is not eo ipso an argument against renewables, only a statement on how the switch to renewables in a capitalist/colonialist setting increases harm.

The argument against renewables is rather: If in a capitalist/colonialist setting we want to reduce harm by not burdening the Global South with the environmental costs of our energy needs, then we need to switch to nuclear and natural gas as it keeps the hazzard at home.

@simsa02 Aye. 'Renewables' is defined from a planetary perspective, but the world still runs by national borders and money flows. Same with nuclear (eg the UK doesn't have the resources to self-build nuclear).

@simsa02 There's always a trade-off, no escape. I was taught that nuclear comes with a tightly-controlled industry/state, ie you need to control the generation, usage and disposal of fuel and plants, which is a particular form of centralised energy (Political/Managerial) structure.

How interesting that the argument of nuclear coming with the trade off of a tightly-controlled industry/state was around in the UK as well. I thought it was a German thing (Robert Jungk spread it here in the late 1960s). I think it was a reasonable argument, back then.

In my times of resistance to nuclear two arguments were on my mind: the control/surveillance aspect, and the waste problem.


@simsa02 I was taught it at Uni briefly - it was a good department with a lecturer heavily involved in nuclear advice, so I don't know if it was a wider perspective, to be honest.

Interesting point about whether the control side is different now. Everything _is_ more controlled, but I do wonder if nuclear is a level up, just because of how sensitive it is. I'm thinking risk of hacking, and the effect of one 'unit' (eg reactor) on the grid...


Hacking obviously can be an issue (as has been seen in Israel's attacks on Iranian reactors). But why shouldn't that apply to coal fired plants and other "big infrastructure" as well? In fact, grid stability, e.g., is a major vulnerability. But given modern designs and refurbishments, today's reactors would rather shut down than keep going.

What I don't understand is what you mean by "the effect of one 'uni' (eg reactor) on the grid". Care to elaborate?


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Anyway, I myself am more fascinated with how arguments that have been reasonable in the past seem to cease to be so today. Which not just gives nuclear an opening but says something about the inherent conservatism/backwardness of the "alternative" or "progressive" crowd. We seem to lose touch because we still rely on outdated arguments and scary images. Which is detrimental to "the cause".


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