I read this article today about green energy, and how it is bad for the environment. You read correctly: bad for the environment. How or why, you may ask? Well, read the article, duh. The writer for LiveScience.com does a very good job taking the information from Jesse Ausubel's study in the Inderscience's International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology (does the name tell you anything? like maybe he is pro nuclear energy?) and then contrasting it with other experts' views. It's a very objective piece.
I googled Jesse Ausubel's name to find out more about him, to see if I could discredit him at all and I found numerous other new sources citing his study. This one is much more one-sided; it solely reports on his study, and offers no differing viewpoints. This blurb I found to be hilariously succinct. It's very interesting to look at the different ways information is presented in the media.
But, back to the subject: green energy. I happen to agree with the point of view of Mr. Turner (from the article). If you just look at one solution, and don't count space, structure and systems already in place, then it's not going to look like an efficient and practical solution.
Take the wind power example Mr. Ausubel gives. He says that "in order to meet the 2005 electricity demand for the United States, an area the size of Texas would need to be covered with wind structures running round the clock."
- First, relying on only one type of energy for all of America's (or humanity's) needs is a bad idea. Just like monoculture is bad. Just like using bamboo for building, flooring, cooking products, sheets, and clothing is bad. Just like never changing your mind about a war when new information is found, is bad (oops, how'd that slip in there?). In any case, variety is the spice of life.
- Second, Nobody would take Texas (or an area the size of) and devote it entirely to wind power. That would be asinine. You break the energy structure up into little pieces and spread it all over the country. If I could, I would compare the energy system structures we already have around the nation, to the size of what he says we would need. I will predict that it wouldn't be that different.
- Third, it seems that Mr. Ausubel is talking about replacing all of the current energy systems we have with wind power (or other green energy systems). This, again, is asinine. We don't need to replace every single system and structure that we already have. Anybody who has driven from the bay area to the 5 or to the foothills has seen windmills. Do we need to tear them down just to rebuild them? No. They work fine. And, the land underneath seems to be working fine as farmland, which is a point that Mr. Turner makes in the article. This means that the land used for these energy systems isn't all wasted on just energy, as Mr. Ausubel implies.
Mr. Ausubel goes on to state that nuclear energy is the best solution. To this, I think: really? Maybe it has a smaller carbon footprint, but leaky storage facilities, the need to store the nuclear waste for forever, and the possibility of a massive disaster all point to one thing for me: Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!
*ahem* the end.