Attention turns now to a different type of concern.  Like Technosteria’s original concerns about “green hysteria”, this one is global in scope and also involves risk management.  There is an alarming trend toward attempts to criminalize simple human error/ fallability in the aftermath of some serious accidents, particularly transport-related ones, and more particularly aviation ones. 

 

So far, this new form of scapegoating has been manifested only in a scattering of countries.  Of course scapegoating itself is as old as the hills, as so well documented in Western culture in the biblical Old Testament.  But these recent examples suggest attempts to impose, by judicial fiat alone, a standard of diligence and error-free performance which is entirely at odds with the reality of human fallibility.   

 

These un-warranted criminal charges are being prosecuted against operations professionals, engineers and oversight people.  They ignore – and would obliterate – centuries-old Western legal traditions which require an explicit finding of ‘wilfullness’ or intent (“mens rea”) as a precondition for sustaining criminal charges.  

 

The great harm of these judicial incursions extends far beyond the gross injustice to the targeted individuals, bad enough as that is.  Soon enough, people working in these fields will (quite understandably!) develop an “Atlas-Shrugged” attitude, saying in effect, “Enough of this – I quit”.  The more long-lasting and much broader-scope harms of these judicial attacks are therefore the stifling of progress, and ultimately of global prosperity itself.

 

Manifestations of these harms are difficult to discern, but are apt to develop quite rapidly in response to even initial attacks.  It is high time that the people being attacked join with others who recognize these problems to develop awareness among others outside of the targeted professional communities, of the fundamental injustice of these judicial intrusions, and the threat they pose to the general well-being. 

 

From a strategic perspective, we should probably initially focus “consciousness-raising” efforts on regulatory and judicial oversight officials, as well as members of the Media.  And while it’s quite difficult to develop much awareness of and concern for this type issue among the ‘lay’ or general public, the more alert individuals – whom we can reach – will be good allies in building the general awareness needed to begin quashing these judicial oversteps.

 

Posted along with this introduction are several flyers distributed at the recent 21st annual European Aviation Safety Seminar, where Technosteria had an exhibit for the aviation safety community.  From the seminar proceedings themselves, it was abundantly clear that aviation safety professionals are already keenly aware of these harmful judicial attacks, and of the threat they pose to further progress in aviation safety.  

 

It’s time to carry this message “abroad” (to the general public, and relevant government officials)!

 

 

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New Nukes

January 8, 2009

Finally after about a 30 year hiatus, new nuclear generating plants are being proposed here in the U.S.  There may be legitimate concerns over the need to get a permanent waste storage facility (like Yucca Mountain in Nevada) up and running, and perhaps other more site-specific concerns about some of these proposals.  But the knee-jerk, blanket opposition to these proposed new plants is badly mis-guided and counterproductive to a reasoned discussion of the new plant proposals. 

Herewith some very general “food for thought”, as presented in person at an initial NRC public meeting in

Glen Rose, Texas on the evening of January 6, 2009.

 

 

 

Be sure to keep the    b r o a d     picture in view…

 

Why would we consider the environmental impact of any proposed project separately from considering the impacts of whatever the alternative(s) to that project are??   For that matter, how could we consider only the environmental impacts of the project??   There are lots of impacts, environmental and otherwise, of all the alternatives, too – including the oft-ignored alternative of doing little or nothing about the situation for which the project is being considered!!

 

Surely, if we don’t take a broad view of the situation, we run the risk of skewed policy decisions, no?  (& the narrower our focus, the greater the skewing risk!)

 

Alternative / Renewable energy  sources have their own serious environmental Impacts!   (not to mention their much lower energy ‘density’ & continuity of availability).  For example, the infrastructure needed to harness these other power sources consumes tremendous resources (in materials, land & monetarily).  And unless a great deal more resources are used for the “capacity storage” that all these sporadically-available power sources require, we’ll still have to use conventional, always-available power sources to ‘fill in’ for when the Alternative / Renewable sources aren’t available.  (Wind & Solar are highly variable in availability!)

 

Excessive Conservation also has adverse environmental impacts – from the more impoverished conditions resulting from too much reliance on Conservation.     A more prosperous society is more able to afford the costs of higher levels of environmental preservation!

 

 

Just as “No one is an Island” (unto themselves), we dare not consider, in isolation, the impacts of just one (kind of) proposal.

 

Something else to keep in mind as deliberation proceeds on these proposed new nuclear power generating facilities:  

 

The validity of scientific (and other) theories & findings, is not in any way dependent on how many – or few – people express those theories & findings.  Likewise, the wisdom of any particular public policy(ies) also has no necessary relationship to the number of people supporting them.  None of those things bears any necessary relationship to majority (or minority) views.

 

Will Wohler, Ft. Worth, Texas

Once again, we’re being threatened by our ever-so-“helpful” federal lawmakers with imposition of a lowered federal speed limit.  Several have expressed the worry that without such a mandate, us weak-willed masses would fail to do what we’d really like to do – to sacrifice more of our precious time every time we travel on a highway, to save motor fuel.  Of course such a presumtive attitude fits in quite well with the underlying agenda of most of the apocalyptic global warming-mongers.

 

As an antidote to such insanity (as labeled by an excellent editorial piece by Mr Stephen Moore in the July 24 Wall Street Journal, our visitors may want to look over some of the new material on the “55” pages here.

ww

Why don’t we hear much (if anything) about possible beneficial effects of global warming?

Is it really likely that there are almost no beneficial effects of global warming?

What might be some beneficial effects of global warming?

Are there any beneficial effects of increased levels of atmospheric CO2?

Why don’t we hear much (if anything) about possible beneficial effects of increased levels of atmospheric CO2?

What other causes might – at least theoretically – be significant factors in global warming?

Of such other possible causes of global warming, what evidence – if any – might there be in support of those other factors being relevant?

 

Hello world!

March 18, 2008

The Technosteria organization was established several years ago to challenge the “Green” hysteria about technology in general. Most “Technology”, like any (other*) kind of tool, can be used for good or evil, so generally speaking, it has no inherent character. In contrast, “Nature” does have several inherent characteristics.

 

Actually, “Nature”, often in contemporary thinking associated with a gentle – or at least harmonious and stable – being or spirit, has several perhaps inadequately-recognized unpleasant characteristics. There certainly is a quite finely-tuned “balance” in every surviving ecological system. But throughout most of Earth’s 4+ billion-year history, the stability of these has most often been disrupted not by Man – but by “Mother” Nature herself. And these disruptions have usually been completely capricious and often quite violent.

 

Of course Man has committed quite a few environmental atrocities as well – there’s no excuse for the all-too-numerous wanton destructions of habitats and species we’ve committed down through the ages. And as we continue developing technology, our capacity to multiply environmental impacts – for good or bad – will continue to grow as well. So we must maintain a steady awareness and vigilance to minimize harm. But just as “Mother Nature” is not all Goodness, Technology is by no means all Bad.

 

  • * in one sense, technology is toolmaking, and toolmaking is technology

 

 

 

Technosteria’s goals are to provide intellectually-honest, scientifically-valid resources to effectively counter the ‘Green’ hysteria over technologies. Current areas of specific concern for Technosteria are the EU-developed “RoHS” type substance bans, and the alleged catastrophic human-caused global warming.