Matthew Ehret: The Dynamics of Nuclear Power Diplomacy: Russia and China vs the Neo-Malthusians

02 China, 06 Russia, Cultural Intelligence
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The Dynamics of Nuclear Power Diplomacy: Russia and China vs the Neo-Malthusians
In 1975, an influential Stanford biologist named Paul Ehrlich (author of the misanthropic 1968 Population Bomb) stated that in his view, humanity’s acquisition of fusion energy was “like giving an idiot child a machine gun”. Ehrlich’s views were shared widely among the peculiar sect of scientists that have come to be known as neo-Malthusians. Ehrlich’s colleague John Holdren ruminated that developing fusion energy was undesirable because it would only enflame mankind’s “pave the planet and paint it green’ mentality.”

Third Industrial Revolution author and fringe activist-turned-international climate advisor to the UN named Jeremy Rifkind stated “the prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”

Across the many voices of this neo-Malthusian landscape, the mantra has been the same: fusion energy is always 30-40 years away and since the world will boil over long before this day arrives anyway, why bother dreaming about it when we could start covering the globe with solar panels now in order to de-carbonize society and stop the new Armageddon?

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