Friday, July 14, 2006

Beauty nuke

In my younger, more idealistic, days I was a member of People For Nuclear Disarmament. I manned stalls, I protested nuclear ships in the harbour, I stuffed envelopes. I look back at those times with some admiration at such grassroots selflessness.

The Cold War has ended, and with it Mutually Assured Destruction, but, just as the evangelicals would have it, the Revealations are come to pass as the battle has shifted ground and is waged with the Middle East. It strikes me that Islamic extremists carry out campaigns far removed from nuclear technology. September 11 was all about strategy, and relying on an entire nation; a superpower, being unprepared.

I'm not suggesting that you can't surprise someone with a neutron bomb or a thermonuclear device of any kind. But the corresponding fallout changes the equation. If America's response to being slammed for puffing their chests out too much, was to puff their chests out further still then we have, nonetheless, to consider the danger they pose. Basically all the nuclear powers pose a threat by their existence. In most cases the enemy has to come to you but with nukes, the radiation from a targetted nuclear site in the US or North Korea or Iran will affect a much wider area. It will make regions uninhabitable. Could even the biggest meanest zealot with a noisome network of nutters compete with the atomic bomb? Not unless he has a bomb of his own.

II

There are more windpower stations being built in Australia but the government are grizzling about it and now our ever popular shyster Prime Minister is openly promoting nuclear power.

Now don't you think this is strange? We live in a climate that has a plentiful supply of both wind and solar energy. This is a free resource and it's non-polluting. Why don't we pour our research and funding efforts into these? In what possible way could something that:



be seen as preferable? Surely the piddling problem of finding ways to trap and store the energy generated by non-polluting natural resources is worth pursuing ahead of spending vast sums of our money on a volatile energy source that stands to cause major social and environmental problems well into the future.

And I'll tell you something about solar energy that you will think is brilliant: once it stores enough to power the house for the day IT FEEDS BACK INTO THE POWER GRID

I don't know about you, but it seems to me solar already has efficiencies worth developing. If everyone started using solar energy tomorrow, there would still be a plentiful supply the next sunny day. We won't have changed the course of streams or dumped tailings in them. We won't have gouged Mother Earth or displaced her indiginees. We won't be spreading toxins or pollutants. We will be treading lighter at no loss to ourselves. And that paradise is possible in the here and now.

2 Comments:

At 7:32 pm , Anonymous Bif said...

Sounds nice and believe me I'm a believer in old sol (so much so that I'm seriously considering coming up with the readies to so endow my house) but before you get all green around the eaves you should consider where all those solar panels would be coming from: mining whatever they are made from these days. I have no idea what the comparitive impact of producing a solar panel is versus smoking a little joint of UF6, but you can be sure the environmental impact of manufacturing a billion solar panels (thinking global here) would be vast.

 
At 11:01 pm , Blogger Berko Wills said...

Ah, good to have you aboard, o Bif.
You are right, of course, that's one heck of an initial outlay we're talking about.

But, short of recycling what we've already mined and rendered (recycling also using energy), this is still better than believing that things go better with coke and maintaining the status quo

(then again, those solar panels are going to need replacing at some stage..)

 

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