Wednesday, May 17, 2006
When I lost Faith in all environmental activists
It was in third year University, at the refectory, watching a debate about a hydro-electric dam proposal somewhere in North Queensland. My primary interest was that because it was the World's most popular and effective type of renewable energy, we may turn the corner and have a bias towards these type of projects and away from coal and gas powered stations. I was sadly mistaken. The local environmental speakers pointed out that we should be reducing demand by using less electricity in the home by turning off lights etc. etc. and not building new power stations (oh yeah, and not needing them anyway). The scheme was shelved - Not one single hydro power project has been built in NQ. Several gas power stations have been built. Coal fired stations that had been out of commission for years were re-started. Meanwhile, electricity demand has increased steadily by about 8% per year. Since that time I would estimate our (NQ) CO2 emmissions have doubled. Meanwhile at the university, virgin wilderness surrounding it has been built on for new accommodation and general expansion. Surely the environmental activist movement could have picked a different project to pick their fight on. Environmental activists are still aiding fights against wind farms, tidal energy projects and the list goes on. Any project that is "big" and "new" is automatically seen as bad and fought tooth and nail - but the gradual but certain expansion of existing facilities is completely ignored.