Allan Takes Aim Blog

Why waste energy on a second rate solution?

Posted on: 9 May 2013

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Why waste energy on a second rate solution?

More people waste energy in rushing about trying to persuade Australians other than those who, like me, don’t think global warming and climate change is anthropogenic. Instead, they say we should stop using fossil fuels and produce energy using alternatives.

Unfortunately their proposed alternatives, solar panels, wave barrages, wind turbines et al, are incapable of producing the base load power necessary to supply electricity to meet the demands of industry and domestic markets.

This is not to say that these alternative sources of electricity should not be developed even if they cannot produce the necessary amount of base load power. They could be used to supply electricity to some places where it might be impractical to build power stations to supply the industrial and domestic market.

No doubt over time, their power output would be improved but it will never improve to the extent that it will be able to meet the base load power needs of expanding communities. That apart, the replacement cost of new equipment would be high.

All of these facts are known, yet across the world some people are constantly engaged in trying to persuade governments to legislate for the reduction in the use of fossil fuels and also offer industry incentives to manufacture this alternative energy equipment. It seems to escape their notice that manufacturers will need fossil fuels to manufacture this equipment.

In Australia, a country that prides itself on looking over the horizon at the future, this seems strange thinking. It is the kind of thinking indulged in by people with a preference for the past; people who think we should be satisfied with what we’ve got; and people who use their children and grandchildren as excuses to keep the future at bay.

Not for them the use of nuclear energy. They become carbon copies of Canute stemming the ocean’s tide; they become modern Canutes stemming the tide of progress. They are people who do not seem to understand the past they long for can never return; that the world will keep changing; and that soon they will be part of the past.

With regard to global warming and climate change, these same people say the science is settled yet at the same time refuse to accept that science says nuclear energy, in the shape of nuclear fusion, is the energy of the future. Their attitude would be understandable if it was likely they were going to be part of that future.

Sadly, most of them won’t. Indeed most of them are still locked into the scenes of death and destruction caused by caused accidents to nuclear fission plants at Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and Windscale. They use these scenes as a shield in the same way as scoundrels use patriotism.

At the same time, in their efforts to keep the aura of fear with which they have surrounded nuclear energy, they have focussed on nuclear fission: they rarely if ever mention fusion. And yet fusion, once developed will provide them with what they value most: cheap, waste free, clean and limitless safe energy.

Many scientists working in the field of global warming and climate change, plus people in the Green movement are sceptical about fusion. The former should know better because science, a sceptical discipline, has produced some of the world’s greatest benefits.

That said, it is pleasing to know that in the Cadarache forest in Provence, France, a group comprising some of the world’s greatest science sceptics are gathered together to prove through Iter (the way in Latin) a $13 billion reactor, that fusion is both feasible and practical. Contrary to the predictions of the doomsayers, they are confident of proving their point.

Building the reactor is already under way but after completion it will take at least a further five years of testing before the reactor will be seeded with plasma, a mix of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium that will drive the nuclear fusion reaction.

They say that once proved, a realistic time span to develop commercial reactors would be post 2050. Perhaps if the people determined to foist second rate alternative energy on the world started lobbying government to push for speedier development of fusion, that time could be reduced.

Comment welcome.

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4 Responses to "Why waste energy on a second rate solution?"

Knowing how motivation works can also help you to
discover how to influence others. A person been running
the Philly marathon this the four seasons?

While nuclear energy has no direct carbon footprint, it is still a contributor to global warming; we know this, because Einstein tells us so. Guy Lane explains.

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