Tag Archives: nuclear

If I could change the world… the Creche system

I was procrastinating today and stumbled upon a snippet of pie-in-the-sky I’d written back in 1998. In it, I was trying to work out how parenting could be ‘improved’ in the future:

The Creche System [child care of the future]

The creche system would provide living arrangements for guardian parents and their children in same sex communal living complexes where the guardians share both the nurturing, the domestic chores and often the professional jobs which they have in common. This would leave all guardians with at least some free time – via rostered “days off”  –  to maintain identities which are distinct from their roles as nurturers.

The creche system is based on three fundamental assumptions:

  1. that [usually] only one biological parent is suited to the type of nurturing required to raise happy, healthy and well adjusted children,
  2. that the guardian parent, in order to remain effective, requires a support network of similar guardians who are best suited to share the load and provide both physical and emotional support to each other,
  3. that the guardian parent, in order to stay sane and feel fulfilled requires adult relationships outside of the nurturing environment where they can experience those aspects of life which are not child related – e.g. sex, work, hobbies, studies etc.

The majority of creches would cater  for guardian mothers and children.

Some creches would be ‘father’ based for those men who have chosen to be the guardians for their children – whether from necessity i.e. the mother is dead, incapacitated or disinterested or because they have rejected the male stereotype and, like most mothers, are good at, and enjoy, the nurturing of children.

A guardian would be able to contribute to a Creche in a number of ways:

  • by trading goods and services/special skills etc.
  • by sharing the domestic chores of communal living 
  • by paying outsiders to do their share of chores etc.

The Creche would be a combination nursery/parents club/sanctuary.

Some Creches would be family based i.e. like old extended families but either all female or all male.

Some Creches would be ‘public’ i.e. any parent can gain a place either temporarily or permanently.

Some creches would be ‘skill’ based where a number of parents engaged in the same expert profession would band together and share both the nursery and the job. Skill based creches would usually be small, highly organized and employ outside help for the bulk of the domestic chores.

In fact the number and type of creches would be almost unlimited.

The only common rule amongst all creches would be that sex must occur outside the creche. This is to avoid a guardian feeling pressurized into having sex when she/he doesn’t feel like it.

The philosophy behind this rule is that sex is not just a physical release but also a complete physical and emotional experience. Sexual partners should always feel that the sex is special – something that both partners look forward to, work for and enjoy. i.e. sex should remain as interesting and exciting after children as it was before.

Most importantly, sex should never become a routine on a par with shaving or brushing your teeth. The only way to accomplish this would be to separate sex from everyday life, making it an ‘event’ rather than a habit.

In same sex creches, all parties would gain certain benefits.


As nuclear families usually contain only one or at the most two children, a creche would provide the children with many other children – of varying ages, personalities etc – to socialize with. The children would also gain a sense of security from close contact with the guardian [mother/father] as well as a whole host of ‘aunts/uncles’.


The guardian – i.e. the parent doing the nurturing – would be able to enjoy the bond with their children without the sense of physical, mental and emotional isolation that often occurs in the nuclear family.

They would have an instant support network :

  • to share the load of nurturing and domesticity,
  • to provide much needed time out and personal space.

For those in skill based creches, the creche would also provide the opportunity to continue their chosen profession AND enjoy watching their children grow.

And finally, a word about biologicals. Biologicals are mothers and fathers who do not perform the role of nurturer for their children. For them, the Creche system would allow them to pursue their own goals and aspirations without being made to feel guilty or selfish.

Biologicals would be able to interact with their children and/or partners for  short periods of time without having to cope – usually inadequately – with the demands of everyday family and domestic life.

The degree of interaction between biological parents and their families would not be determined by social expectations but rather by mutual liking and affection.

Apart from tidying up the format, and the text to make it ‘flow’, I’ve left these ideas uncensored because…I still think some of them have value.

Would the Creche system work?

In hindsight, I can see how getting along with many other adults might also be harder than getting along with just one other adult, especially if you’re not particularly sociable. And yet…I remember being awfully lonely for much of the time while the Offspring was growing up.

Were you lonely as a parent? Did you miss your friends, job, social interactions outside of parenting? If you had your ‘druthers’, would you change how families work, and if so, how?

There ya go, something to think about during the weekend. 😀


Generating power at night, the flip side to solar

Nuclear energy has been in the news lately, and its proponents have once again cited the intermittent nature of renewables as a compelling reason to embrace nuclear. They say that only nuclear can wean us off fossil fuels fast enough given the imminent climate crisis.

My argument has always been that renewable technology is still in its infancy and that the sector will explode with new tech in the near future. This post is about one such possible ‘new tech’ – thermoelectric generation.

I can’t explain the science, but I can say that this new direction in power generation would work at night, while solar is unavailable. You can read the complete article here:


The amount of power generated was miniscule, but this experiment sought only to prove that the principle was sound. Scaling up the process and making it robust enough for commercial applications will take a while, but then so does setting up a nuclear power plant.

My money’s on the new tech rather than the old.




South Australia – arse about on #nuclear

meeka shockedWhat the…? According to the ABC news tonight, the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission of South Australia thinks that nuclear power plants are a bad idea but storing nuclear waste for profit is not.

Essentially, the South Australian state government wants to build a nuclear waste dump. Not for the miniscule amount of nuclear waste we currently produce ourselves, but for the massive amounts produced in other parts of the world.

And what will South Australia get for this? About 1500 jobs and some revenue. Billions are mooted but I would suggest that even trillions would not be enough. Not for a potential threat that will last pretty much forever.

Why forever? Because when the half life of something is in the thousands of years, it is effectively there forever. And our short-sighted politicians want to make this nightmare our problem. Also forever.

Oh but nuclear waste is now safe.

Is it? Is our technology really reliable enough to predict what will happen in 10, 20, 100 years time?

Yes, the Australian landmass is highly stable – in comparison to countries that sit on top of fault lines, but we do still have earthquakes – not often and not very big ones, but the ground does move. Can we guarantee that no earthquake will ever occur under or even just near a waste containment facility?

Indigenous leaders already think the government doesn’t much care so long as nothing happens under Adelaide.

And what of the spectre of war? Australia may not be a likely target for a great big bomb, but what about terrorist activity? If you create a whopping big, nuclear containment area full of super toxic waste, aren’t you just creating a tempting target for someone with an axe to grind?

Then again, maybe it wouldn’t even take a terrorist. Maybe all it would take is a guy with a hangover making an oopsie.

Or how about Climate Change and the geography we already have? Take a look at the video below. It’s of Lake Eyre…which is situated in South Australia. Funny bout that…

We once had a huge inland sea of which Lake Eyre is an ephemeral remnant. Is it really so impossible to image the dry inland becoming wet again thanks to Climate Change? I’m sure the designers of Fukushima never imaged an earthquake would break the plant and allow the sea in, but it did, proof that with nuclear, you can never plan for a bad enough ‘worst case’ scenario.

The truth is, none of us can predict the future. Nevertheless, it isn’t hard to imagine what might happen if something did go wrong. Much of inland Australia sits on top of massive, underground aquifers. If those aquifers become polluted with nuclear waste, the Red Centre could easily become the Dead Centre.

This is such a bad idea, I’m stunned any politician is capable of putting it forward with a straight face.

‘Unhappy Jan’.


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