Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nuclear Energy: A Great Loss and Worthwhile Pursuit

Thanks to energy activist Alex Epstein, the issues affecting energy production have become a side interest of mine. In truth, Mr. Epstein has become my favorite Ayn Rand Institute fellow given the immense interest I've had in his articles, and his most recent one on the safety of nuclear power is no exception. It's utterly shocking to hear that Japan's nuclear death toll post-tsunami was zero, and my shock is intensified by the fact that, for some bizarre reason, people are pointing to the tsunami disaster as "proof" of nuclear energy's danger. Based on what? 

My interest in energy is driven by my desire to own my own restaurant someday, actually. Energy, of course, plays a huge role in the industry. We need electricity to power the microwaves, natural gas for the oven, and so on. Can you imagine how much the energy costs affect the food pricing? And that, of course, affects how many patrons we serve and how much we sell to feed them. The worst time to work, in my opinion, is during those slow times in which we have almost no one eating; it's the meal rushes that I live for. It's agitating to think that such great energy alternatives as nuclear energy are ostracized and prosecuted, which leads to a lower energy supply and higher prices, and therefore higher restaurant costs and prices . . . and less patrons. I dream of a future where even the fanciest restaurants are cheap and almost always packed, and I'd like to be the head of one. That people like environmentalists interfere is annoying indeed.

But of course nuclear power isn't the answer to everything. I doubt anything will ever replace natural gas in cooking. Fire-top stoves are just more practical: You can judge the temperature easily by eye (i.e. by the height of the flame) and make instantaneous fine-tune adjustments, virtues I don't think are possessed as greatly by other cooking means, such as coil or magnetic stoves. Aside from cheap electricity, it'd also be great to have cheap natural gas to help drive restaurant costs yet even further down.

Hopefully public opinion can be changed for the better, for we have an immense amount to lose in wealth and technological advancements if practical forms of energy continue to be opposed and have their costs driven up. I'd hate to have an empty restaurant just because my lighting bill is too high. 

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