In The Energy Debate: Talking Straight!
In the energy/climate discussion, we are sometimes very careful but hey, once in a while we have to talk straight in respect to some energy sources.
Taking that into reflection, and being as I am an unpaid nuclear energy promoter, I propose to you a reflection on some of the energy sources we have available in the world right now.
Starting with fracking: yes, it creates earthquakes (sometimes). However, since natural gas mostly replaces coal, this is the fastest way to reduce CO2 on some emissions (and increase methane ones). Also, renewables need reliable, dispatchable pairing power plants and natural gas is ideal in this application.
For Nuclear, for example, there will be more nuclear power plant accidents. Let’s get over it. Yet, in spite of future accidents, nuclear will almost certainly continue to be the safest energy we have. The greatest danger seems to be to overreact and order evacuations when they are not really needed. There is an inherent danger in modern life (just like in flying in an airplane) but hey, we are much, much better off than we were in the past.
Oh, and by the way, nuclear is very low CO2. Lower than solar and a match for wind. Are you listening, Greenpeace? Coal is better than wood and much better than no energy at all. Coal is, today by far, the #1 source of electricity globally. I think almost everybody agrees electricity is good, so coal is also good (although not as good as natural gas or nuclear).
And yes, it could be argued coal saved the forests (the ones we still have left today).Oil is the best transportation fuel. If not, why do you think almost every car, ship and plane is oil powered? Our world would be much, much smaller without oil. Let’s stop complaining and feel grateful for what we have. Will EVs eventually take over? Let’s remove all their subsidies and see if they can compete in the open market.
Renewables: they are a niche energy source but vast amounts of subsidies are being channeled to “clean energy” companies all over the world and, in particular, to China. Hey, these people have families to feed. Want to see a success story in Europe? Look at the stock price of Vestas.
Geothermal, wave/tide energy, etc. These are super niche energy sources. They work in some places like Iceland or Korea but will go nowhere. However, they are a great conversation subject.
Having access to abundant, affordable energy is the blessing of our civilization. Actually, our civilization would crumble in no time at all without energy. Most of this energy is, and will continue to be, fossil fuel based.
Sure, eventually (eventually doesn’t mean soon) nuclear may take over, but until then, let’s say it all together: I love fossil fuels!