There are many huge problems on this little planet of ours that need to be tackled, such as war, famine, poverty, equality, and clean water for everyone, to name but a few. The biggest problem we face today, I believe, is global warming, and through my campaigning I was introduced to the book ‘Highway to Dystopia’, by Mathijs Beckers.
Beckers begins by painting a beautiful picture of our wonderful past achievements in science, a tribute to the greatest minds throughout history. From Newton to Darwin, Einstein to Hawking. You would think, that in a world with all the great thinkers we’ve had, we would have colonised Mars by now, or even beyond…but no.
The mood quickly falls off the precipice into oblivion, and the painting quickly becomes, what surely must have been in the mind of Milton, when he penned Paradise Lost. Im sure the likes of Bradbury, Burgess, Orwell, or Zamyatin, would have given their right arms to produce a dystopian future of this magnitude, but the most horrifying thing about this picture, is that this is not a work of fiction, it is scientific fact!
It is evident that in recent years, we are finally all on the same page, when it comes to the reduction of the carbon economy, and that we need to end the use of fossil fuel immediately. Even the most ardent of global warming skeptics, are now in agreement that it is real, although they lag behind, when it comes to the timescale in which we need to act. The fact that fifteen of the sixteen hottest years on record have been recorded since 2000, is just a quick reminder of the immediacy of the problem.
The whole premise behind this book, is to highlight the lack of critical thinking, not just from the naysayers, but also from the movement dedicated to ending the use of fossil fuels, in order to save the planet.
If I told you that per power output, solar, and wind power have respectively killed 30 times, and 10 times more people than the nuclear industry, you would think its about time I checked into an 8×6 with rubber wallpaper. But just ten minutes with a search engine, can bring you a wealth of information that will show you the true extent of global warming, and the fact that we are looking in the wrong direction for the solution.
If you wish to delve into the vast amount of data on the subject then please, be my guest. In fact Beckers insists you check out the facts for yourself, not just accept what he says as fact, supplying six pages full of reference materials that can be found on the web.
We cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, replace fossil fuels with renewables. Even with the end of patents on solar technology, and the impending startup of firms across the globe cashing in on the act, and flooding the market, one begins to question why we are so Gung-Ho about it.
Beckers concludes that once all the facts and figures have been collected, the only possible way to end the use of non renewables, in the short time frame that we have, is by utilising nuclear power. Of course, if one uses the ‘N-word’ with positive overtones, you’ll find yourself quickly ostracised from the conversation.
Nuclear power has suffered from a huge amount of stigma over the years, due to events like Hiroshima and Chernobyl, with the media painting it as one of the horsemen of the apocalypse.
Let me run a few figures your way, in order to put it into perspective. Mortality figures of those affected by a nuclear accident vary widely, so in this instance I have taken the largest estimates.
The number of people killed in the entire history of atomic energy, and I include those affected in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is equatable to the amount of people that die from smoking in the US every year, roughly 480,000. Take out the atomic bomb deaths, and you can half that number. Now compare these figures to the amount of deaths accountable to the fossil fuel industry, and the subsequent atmospheric pollution, this stands at roughly 7 Million a year.
Highway to Dystopia is not all doom and gloom, Beckers goes on to show how the nuclear industry has advanced over the years. From the fact that the chances of a meltdown has been reduced to zero, to the fact that we are almost able to utilise nuclear waste, and even turn weaponised plutonium back for power purposes that will create enough pollution free energy for 1,000 plus years, on our existing stockpile alone.
In conclusion, Highway to Dystopia dispels all the common misconceptions about nuclear power, and details how it is really, the only viable option in the fight against the carbon industry, and global warming.
5 out of 5.
Highway to Dystopia by Mathijs Beckers, is available through Amazon, just click the picture link below to purchase, and show him some love over on Twitter.
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Read all about my latest charity adventure in The Fan Dance.