Monday, 14 March 2011

There's the big story, and then the hidden story, but neither are the real story!

‘The wisdom to know the difference’ - that’s what the Serenity prayer asks for. 

You can’t stop earthquakes. Going to happen. Nothing you can do.
You can’t stop man-made things breaking down. Going to happen. Nothing you can do. 

The difference between the earthquake and the man-made thing is that we don’t have to make the man-made thing. Just watch now as the world’s media and politicians make a great big hoo-haa about how maybe it’s not a good idea to build nuclear power plants on tectonic faults, but that’s not the story. 

They’ll present a united front pretending that it is the story, because building nuclear power plants on tectonic faults is evidently an astonishingly stupid idea. It makes great newspaper copy and excellent TV, with explosions that you can show thousands of times. You can advertise your rolling news channel showing these explosions over and over again, interspersed with shots of boats on rooftops and oil refineries ablaze, and then lead into the ad break with a tag something akin to ‘Sky news - Closer to the suffering’. 

Murdoch makes me nauseous. Suffering is not a product. It’s an emotion. Try one, Rupert. You might like one.

But my petty and peculiar dislikes are not the story either. The story is that man-made things will break down, and so it’s never a good idea to build a nuclear power plant, because as sure as you farted today, it’ll break down tomorrow.

Over the last couple of years Europe’s centre-left parties and some Greens have begun to ‘accept’ that nuclear energy is a clean environmentally friendly way to go. All of a sudden, nuclear power is all zippetty-dip sparkly efficient and really it saves trees, yes it does.

Oops, I farted. 
Here comes a meltdown.


Paz said...

I stopped watching news channels a long time ago as they tend to depress me

Charlie Adley said...

News will always be depressing if you let yourself become emotionally involved. I try to combine an in-built cynicism with my intact idealism. There's always going to be a slant, because journalists are human and editors and proprietors rule the roost.

But when news channels use exploitation of people's suffering to boost ratings in order to hike adspace costs, then I do become emotionally involved.

Paz said...

luckily I dont get emotionally involved in the news, I get depressed when I see how the media spins the news and people get taken in

Dave said...

Well said Charlie. The human race's ability for mass collective denial has always astounded me. Of course the story must be the inadvisability of building nuclear power stations in geologically unstable areas otherwise we would have to question building nuclear power stations at all; and we can't do that as then we may have to question our whole way of living and the social economic industrial consumerist wet dream that has an insatiable thirst for energy. We cannot question consumption and profit, heavens no!

And as you rightly said if we built it then it will go wrong whether it be crazily conceived power stations or consumptive economic systems.

Charlie Adley said...

Paz - you and I are on the same wavelength then, that's for sure. Just have to hope that some folk ain't as dumb as we fear they might be!

Thanks Dave -I like your comparison between the nuclear and the economic paradigm: the idea that eternal economic growth is the panacea for all ills, creating a destructive force which is now out of control ...

Thanks for your feedback - always good for each of us to know we are not alone in our frustration and anger!