Abstract: Pluto is the worst side of man, and a human creation, given by our lord, biological evolution. Naturally enough, the worst metal created by man is called Plutonium. This man-made radionuclide has a half-time of 25,000 years, and a microscopic quantity kills. Assembled fast enough, a few pounds can destroy a city, and trigger arbitrarily large thermonuclear fusion.
However, Plutonium can be indispensable in the furthering of goodness.
So can Pluto.
Yet, managing one, and the other, requires superior wisdom. Just as wisdom requires the Dark Side. Subtlety is no luxury, but a moral command.
TO EXPLORE MOST EXO-PLANETS, WE REQUIRE PLUTONIUM:
There is a global anti-nuclear paranoia, at least among so-called, self-declared “progressives”. In truth civil nuclear energy, properly done is not just rather safe, but much safer than the alternative (burning fossil fuels, or cutting on food quality and quantity to make fuel).
One should not put nuclear reactors in the way of tsunamis (as Japan did systematically), or by building dangerous reactor types, because the safe ones cost a bit more. Also one should systematically recycle nuclear fuel (to increase yields, augment efficiency, and reduce waste pollution).
Another obvious strategy to pursue is Thorium-U 233 reactors, which cannot be used militarily, and where the bad waste lasts a maximum of three centuries (by contrast of a half period of 25,000 years for Plutonium).
The anti-civilian nuclear energy paranoia is cheap indignation. It has diverted attention from the real problems: the confiscation of the economy by banks, the addition of a total of 50 gigatons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the lack of democracy, the pernicious corruption in the West, thanks to the political-corporations-plutocrats complex.
Another problem is the potential growth of nuclear weapons (developing the Thorium cycle would allow to short-circuit this, paradoxically). Confusing civilian nuclear power and military nuclear power is grave moral mistake.
The result of the anti-nuclear paranoia has been that NASA ran out of energy source for a successor of the Curiosity rover. There is a strong need for such a machine, as Curiosity found a lot of tantalizing hints for water and life on Mars. However, it has proven difficult to make one powered only by solar energy.
At this point, refusing Plutonium has meant to refuse to explore exo-planets. The “New Horizons” probe rushing to… Pluto is, appropriately enough, propelled with Plutonium. The lack of missions is directly related to the lack of Plutonium. Many of these missions will feed not just science, but philosophy (Ceres was just found to have water; Europa and Enceladus seem to have active oceans. If life does not happen there, we could certainly install it, something that is evident with Mars.)
So it is a good sign that a tipping point has been reached, and that RTG are going to be made again in the future. It may be the beginning of deciding that silliness will not stand in the way of science anymore.
We have no future without much better technology: there are way too many people for it to be sustainable with existing technology.
Exploring planets and their history brings great knowledge, but also great lessons. It also forces us to develop new technologies, which may be solutions to problems that are there, but we did not identify yet.
In The INTEREST OF PEACE, BE TOUGHER WITH IRAN THAN WITH SADDAM:
The preceding ought not to be construed as a support for Iranian “research” reactors producing Plutonium (Iran has one in the north; not to be confused with Bushwer, the energy producing reactor far away on the Persian Gulf).
BTW, the talks with Iran have sort of aborted; clearly the theocrats in Teheran are still suffering some mental block; while they got counter-attacked vigorously by the Saudis in Yemen.
To make an accord with Iran on nuclear weapons without the possibility to examine all of Iran without warning is the bare minimum. This sort of accord Saddam Hussein had agreed to… and it was implemented.
However, even then, the Bush administration claimed the United Nations inspections were insufficient, could not be believed, and, thus, attacked. Therefore even such an accord with Iran would not guarantee that a nuclear arm race would not ignite in the Middle East. (Saudi Arabia has one of the top five largest defense budget, world-wide! So could easily go nuclear.)
Hence an accord with Iran on nuclear weapons will have to be tougher than the one that had been done with Saddam Hussein, otherwise it’s worse than none.
CIVILIZATION NEEDS CIVILIZING DEFENSE:
This does not mean that, each time something can be presented as a technological progress, it ought to be developed. For example, GMOs, Genetically Modified Organisms, can be good or bad, depending upon the details, and the context. So it can never be a question of being pro-GMO, or anti-GMO. It is the same with nuclear: anti-nuclear sometimes is a matter of civilization (say with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which has absolutely to be prevented). Just as being pro-nuclear can also be a matter of civilization (to help cutting GHG emissions).
To be good does not mean to be inert, with a big smile on one’s face, and making only kind gestures.
Daesh (so-called Islamist State, or Caliphate) destroys everything in its way, especially reality, and thus history. What does the meta-good does in such a case? The same as with the Nazis: fuel and arm the bombers, attack.
(By the way, American and French planes presently bombing in Syria and Iraq have been so careful that nearly all “bombing” missions do not release their bombs. That is very good, and a far cry from the criminal, or near-criminal drone bombings conducted by Obama in the past.)
To be good at any instant, and for any gesture, and any thought, or emotion, in nearly all cases, will mean that one ends up meta-bad. This was the exact paradox of the Germans when Nazism came to rule. Germans thought, at the time, that they would be good by not intervening as the mad pilots too control of the ship of state.
Germany gave the Kurds 30 anti-tank Milan missiles. They are now exhausted, and France is going to send more Milans. And also more French Special Forces (who direct air strikes). The French presidency just received 5 Kurd generals, who first paid their respect to the site Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish hypermarket Islamist mass murders.
It is not just the devil who is in the details. Goodness, also, comes from examining the details. Goodness does not come just from the heart, it comes from attention to detail.
Socrates famously said that the unexamined life was not worth living.
When civilization is attacked, civilization should fight back. An old concept the French empire used to justify itself was “Mission civilisatrice”. The notion was frantically demolished by a whole series of French philosophers and sociologists whose business model was to play hysterical opposition to the established financial order. The result was the encroachments of vast empires instead: the USA, the USSR, now Russia, China, and of course, all over, above and around, global plutocracy.
The notion I advance is “defense civilisatrice”, the concept Obama violated, when he unleashed the drones, thickly, as if they were caviar on homemade bread. It is not that civilization has to be defended. Defense has to be a teacher.
On April 1, in Putin’s joke was to close the only Tatar TV Channel: Stalin deported the Tatars from Crimea (where they had been for more than a millennium). The always vigilant Putin prefers that they be exterminated culturally (as Crimea has been “Russian” always, like Ukraine, and probably Poland). If civilization does not push back, Pluto will wallop us.
Ultimate victory has been achieved when the enemy’s culture has been eradicated.
War has to be educative.
The European Union is preparing an assault against the monopolist, tax thief Google. (Google just employed Ms. Ruth Porat, a Wall Street manipulator, for 70 million dollars. Financial conspirators are most esteemed nowadays: this is the corrupted, rotting side, of today’s socio-economy.)
Not that the EU’s great assault against Microsoft worked that well: modifying itself like the malaria parasite it claims to be obsessed by, Bill Gates became a “friend of man”… like the malaria parasite, all over inside, perpetually mutating, but richer. And certainly a more lethal example.
Civilizing defense requires similarly to morph, swiftly and intelligently, always. Be it only to keep the parasites in check. Right now, it requires for goodness to make war in the Middle-East.