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15 January 2008 @ 07:18 pm
Providing Alternatives  
Providing alternatives

Over the past few weeks, I have been making an extra effort to save energy. Why, I hear you ask, have I been switching off lights around the house, using the charged battery of my laptop, rather than leaving it plugged in for hours on end? Am I trying to do my bit for the environment, saving energy? Am I trying to reduce the electricity bill? Have I taken a case of OCD? It’s a bit of everything really.

This week it was announced that the British Government will back the production of new nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom. As it stands, the existing plants are in the process of being decommissioned, with the final site due to close in approximately thirty or forty years’ time.

So what? Surely it is a good thing that we won’t have vast quantities of radioactive sources in our back gardens. Why are we bothering to create a new wave of sites with the potential for catastrophic disaster?

I think it’s time the British public took a step back, and opened their eyes to the situation before us. This isn’t going to be a rant about the effects of driving off-road vehicles through cities, or not recycling every piece of waste we make – we’ll save the Greenpeace effort for another day. The fact of the matter is simple: we are running out of fuel.

Sure, there are plenty of people who believe that the supplies of coal, oil and gas are infinite, and there are others who believe the solution to the global problem lies with America and the Middle East. Even if that were the case, the stores of these non-renewable energy resources will eventually run out. We won’t be using oil in our boilers and heaters forever.

How does this fit in with nuclear power? It’s an alternative, one that I feel the population should at least consider the facts upon, before coming to such a harsh judgement. While there have been incidences in the past involving this technology, Health and Safety in the world today is such that an accident occurring in the nuclear industry would be simply that – an accident. Something that couldn’t be predicted.

And now I would like to pose a question to those who are against nuclear power as a plausible source of energy; to those who drive their cars to the shops five minutes away; to those who leave their television on during dinner, when no one’s watching. Why do you not consider an alternative renewable resource?

In this day and age, the variety of possible energy resources is increasing; but as with everything, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. We can’t have solar power, because the panels are unsightly and too expensive. Wind turbines ruin the countryside and the view; offshore, they are a danger to shipping lanes and fishing. Hydroelectricity is barely feasible as a beneficial resource due to the lack of dams and sizeable rivers.

Yes, all of these resources, including nuclear power, have their flaws. But we need to consider these, even if choosing one is the lesser of the evils. Eventually our coal, oil and gas will run out. Fact. The time to consider our options is now, not forty years down the line, although no doubt there will be cries of “We weren’t warned”.

So why am I doing my bit for the environment? Because it just seems right – it makes sense.
ebbiedoku: pic#113889276ebbiedoku on July 24th, 2012 09:05 am (UTC)