10 January, 2010

Power To The ACF

A few days ago I ran across a representative of the Australian Conservation Foundation at Pinjarra Junction shops, and because I'm on a pension I couldn't make the commitment to donate $20 a month to them.  But I can, and am, giving them a plug here on the blog.  At the moment they're running a petition for K-Rudd to do more about climate change.  I can't agree more.  Consequently, I picked up one of their petition cards and will post it in after filling it out.

If you see an ACF volunteer at your local shopping center, give them the donation I couldn't.  Sign one of the petition cards.  I think the message is actually a lot less strong than I'd put it myself...  I've gone to take a look at their Projects section and think they're all worthwhile.  But there are a few things I'd like to see someone tackle:

Like the stupid thing that is still happening, with "clean" coal.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING!  Only expensive coal and more expensive coal.  The mess is the same, whether we burn fossil fuels like petrol, fossil fuels like coal, or any other hydrocarbon fuel.  I'd rather see nuclear power plants, especially when there's a choice as clean as thorium nuclear power plants out there.  The sad truth though, is that we're in exponential times, not only for technology but also in our consumption of energy, and no amount of building power plants, be they nucelar, thorium, "clean" coal, coal, or powered by burning rabbits, (and you thought I was kidding,  right?) will be able to supply our growing need for energy.  


Our need to have cheaper and more efficient solar panels means more energy in designing building and testing prototypes, then in manufacturing, installation, and so forth.  Unless someone works out a very efficient way to store a few megawatts in a few gallons of water and sand, we're also going to exhaust the supplies of raw materials for batteries.  


The only way to reach this target is to reduce our energy use, reduce our water use, reduce our land use.  Only once all three of those things are done, does the idea of "clean" anything begin to approach making sense.  And India (in particular) and China (not singling you out China - honest!%) are still in the process of building up their energy use, they are nowhere near ready to start reducing it yet.  


If anyone has any ideas for ways that first third and developing countries can all come to one common level of energy use, and then reduce that uniformly, go to the ACF site and others like it,. and spread the word.  because, despite all the great ideas about "managing" our energy needs by an Emissions Trading Scheme or whatever else, or by building "clean" coal power stations, or wind farms or solar farms - are not going to make a difference, taking the pollution we currently make across a few hundred power stations, and spread it across a few thousand power stations instead.  The same amount (or even more) of crap will still be let loose on our poor old earth...


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1 comment:

Von said...

Totally agree.Solar could be produced so cheaply except of course it actually isn't efficient,pumping out most of the heat into the atmosphere.
Coal, dirty and a con.Love how Britain are now saying they have 500 years worth when Maggie Thatcher said she was shutting many mines because they weren't efficient and had little stock.She broke the coal industry as she intended are they now going to revive it?
If China stopped producing so much exprt rubbish th energy consumption would go down, right?
Great post.

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