'Dodgy foreigners' add to climate change fears
Increasingly strident calls to abandon fossil fuels now invoke 'dodgy foreigners'.
Global warming may or may not be happening. However, there is still a lot of debate on how much human activity is contributing. Climate change is not an exact science.
There are certainly reasons to abandon fossil fuels (except for metal and cement production where they are unavoidable.)
Eventually, they will run out. Nobody is quite sure when.
However, they will become more expensive as they become harder to find and extract.
In addition, they are poisoning us, mainly by reason of air pollution, and may be responsible for at least forty medical conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to previously unknown childhood diseases.
They may even be affecting our DNA, thus affecting our descendants.
The extraction, preparation, and transport of fossil fuels are also extremely damaging and costly.
We depend increasingly on dodgy foreigners for our supply of all our fossil fuels; there is ample scope for hostile countries to cause disruption, leading to future energy wars: the Middle East, Russia, and South America spring to mind.
In the medium to long term, only renewable energy is pollution-free, endless, and can’t be taken away from us.
Admittedly, it does have massive disadvantages, mainly in the matter of initial investment costs/times, intermittency, and utilisation factor. However, it will provide thousands of jobs, and the primary fuel is independent of fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are described as primary fuels. Energy derived from them is deemed a secondary fuel, and electricity is one of them.
By far, the most important aspect of future energy policy will be energy efficiency, domestic, commercial, and industrial.
The future is nuclear energy.
Our nuclear industry was originally set up to facilitate the manufacture of nuclear weapons; electricity was a by-product. Now we have the opportunity to provide clean, cheap energy to the entire world for generations to come.
Author's comment: Don't get too starry-eyed. Nuclear power stations may be carbon-free in running cost (though not in the construction). And aside from the issues of nuclear leaks and terrorism, no-one has yet worked out how to safely dispose of nuclear waste. If they had, they would be doing it, and they’re not.
We may be reliant on 'dodgy foreigners' for a lot longer than some people might think.
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