Those who know me will often have heard me spouting off on one environmental topic or another. I thought it would be unfair on them not to inflict the same on my loyal reader. So I’ll start with the subject of power.
There’s a crunch coming. We in the UK have international obligations to reduce our carbon emissions, and our nuclear reactors are nearing the end of their designed lives.
My favourite methods of easing our future power crunch are:
- Reduce demand. Because really, it’s just obvious.
- Geothermal, solar, wind and wave power. I think those windmills are rather elegant. These technologies are about as environmentally friendly as you can get on a large scale, and they can also work on a small scale.
- Nuclear fission. I’m a paid-up supporter of Greenpeace, and every time they start talking about the dangers of nuclear fission, I think about cancelling my direct debit. Nuclear waste is not a good thing, but it’s much less bad than global warming.
- Tidal power. The construction of massive barrages hardly counts as environmentally friendly, but the amount of generation from other sources that can be saved is not trivial.
- Large scale hydroelectric. Badly analysed and badly implemented third-world projects have tarred the reputation of hydroelectric, and it is destructive. Just not as bad as the next two.
- Fossil fuels. They cause carbon to be moved from beneath the ground into the atmosphere. The Earth is getting warmer, if you hadn’t noticed.
- Biomass. Worst. Idea. Evar.
The hoped-for but still missing option of nuclear fusion would go straight to number two in the list, if it arrived with most of its promise intact.