Monday, June 05, 2006

Happy Environment day or whatever

Planet Ark made a series of statements on the Sunrise show that separately are based on current conclusions from environmental researchers; but balance any against another brings either contradiction or super-optimism in ad-hoc choices. For instance, in adjacent sentences he mentions global warming as the highest priority to address, then suggests that gas power stations are a better next step than nuclear. If global warming really was the highest priority, his next sentence does not follow from the last. Later, he states that Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol, yet if it is binding, drastic unpopular measures may or may not be required which environmentalists are loth to take credit for if other environmental factors are played off (eg nuclear,hydro,wilderness encroachment) Last he states that Hydrogen will be the future energy format. As usual, environmentalists lean on "the devil they don't know" as the panacea. In the past Nuclear was touted in its infancy as a clean fuel. Wind farms and tidal energy are already falling foul of green groups when their issues become discovered as they become large scale. Large scale Hydrogen fuel infrastructure will certainly be seen as environmentally damaging if it ever happens. Plus it denies the certainty of severe fragmentation of the energy industry, with horses for courses energy and all formats considered, started and continued without the ending of others.

3 comments:

Dr. Clam said...

The gas-fired power station statement could follow from the one before, if it was couched in terms of the carbon costs of construction of the plant, transport of fuel to it, and transport disposal of wastes (assuming these activities to be fuelled by conventional fossil fuels) and took as gospel rosy coal-industry forecasts about the efficiency of carbon-capture technologies. But I'm guessing it didn't!

Dr. Clam said...

Ooh, I wanted to say something about hydrogen too! Where do we get hydrogen from? From thermal processing of fossil fuels (which gives carbon monoxide and hydrogen) or electrolysis of water (which gives oxygen and hydrogen). Where do we get the energy to run these processes? Er, from fossil fuels or nuclear or wind farms whatever...

Marco said...

Well, on A) countries like France use way less Carbon per capita than we do. The main difference - prolific use of Hydro and Nuclear power in France (and way higher petrol taxes of course). It is fairly difficult to argue that gas is better than nuclear without weighing in other environmental priorities explicitly.