Some electrons have “balls” and others don't
August 30, 2019 2:04 AM Subscribe
Fascinated and horrified – like passing the scene of a car crash and craning your neck to see more – I dug deeper in some of these conversations, and found that this view is bound up in ideas of domination. There is actually something in the very destructive nature of digging great big holes in the ground, pulling up rocks and burning them, consequences be damned, that suggests greater strength and power to some people than harnessing the energy of the wind and sun. From this perspective, a plan to phase out coal and power Australia 100% with renewable energy is seen as a challenge to the view of this country as a place of rugged masculinity.This goes even more for nuclear power. In this understanding of the world, what could be stronger, what could demonstrate “man’s power over nature” more than our ability to split the atom? The idea that this is dangerous and has the capacity to make great big explosions is part of the attraction, not a mark against it.Do Nuclear-Powered Electrons Have Balls?, an essay by Tim Hollo of the Green Institute, exploring the connections between domination-oriented conceptions of masculinity and national identity and opposition to ecological technologies (including electric cars and renewable energy), in particular in relation to Australia's coal-dominated energy debate.
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