Kyoto – A Perspective (Part 10)

Posted on Sun 04/13/2008 by



I have no argument with the environmentalists who espouse these things. What I wish they would do is to research just what the consequences might be..
They have a sanguine view of things.
Those engineering people who do know what the consequences are will not comment for fear of just being shouted down.
That in turn leads to two responses from the environmentalists. The first is that because they might be greeted with silence, then those Engineers must agree basically with what is being said, and the second is that their silence just means that they just want to keep the status quo, meaning that they just want to continue making money from polluting the environment.

If an engineer does try to explain the consequences, the environmentalists just say they have a sinister agenda. Then, with their typical sanguine rationality, they just tell those engineers to stop arguing and just get on with finding ways to do the work of saving the environment.

Governments however are caught between Scylla and Charybdis. They know the enormous costs, and that the only thing that will happen when they tell the public of those costs will be that they get thrown out of office. In the long run, the costs will have to be borne in large measure by the public. Governments cannot absorb those costs and neither can the private power companies. Those enormous costs will have to be passed on to the public. True, Governments will have to come to the party, as will those private Power Companies, and that’s something they’ll have to justify with their shareholders, or else they’ll just bail out and send the Company to the wall. So, the public will just have to pay, and it won’t be cheap.

I’m sure there are environmentalists reading this who are saying that the figures are bogus.
To them then, I set this task.
Go and work the figures out for yourselves, and then come back and tell us just who is going to go without electricity. Think of Winters with no heating, Summers with no cooling. Look at the Skyline of your State Capital. Think then, more importantly of the horrendous unemployment when all those tall workplace buildings become uninhabitable. The flow ons are too horrendous to even contemplate.
So lack of power is not just doing without your home airconditioner. It’s unemployment on a vast scale.
Really, it’s just plain chaos.

The simple response is this.
Oh! Tony, you’re just being alarmist in the extreme.

The Government’s own agency, the EIA says that an extra 12,000 MW, (and in reality more, because plants are being retired at a quicker rate) on top of the existing total is needed by 2016. It’s not going to go close to getting that from any source, and the environmentalists advocate taking out more than fifteen times that much and removing it from the grid. Those environmentalists say that there will be a time factor involved, and that this does not need to be done immediately, but phased in over time, and the big part of that debate is about how much time. However, if more power is needed just to support the population we have now, then how can they support removing power on a scale that will never be replaced.

The way I see it stems back to the psychology aspect I mentioned earlier.
These environmentalists are like the rest of us. They wake up in the morning, have a wash with warm water heated by electricity, walk into the kitchen, turn on the light, flick the jug on, get the milk out of the refrigerator, turn on the heater if it hasn’t been running all night in Winter, have their breakfast and then go off to work.
Electricity is alway there, and they expect that it WILL ALWAYS be there. It’s a staple of life and for all our lives has been a staple. Our brains have come to realise that it always is there.
How many times a day do you use electricity without even realising it.
One person in a thousand is an electrician who actually knows how it actually gets to the hole in the wall or the switch.

In huge areas of China, India, and yes, especially in Malawi, they have no power. They still live their lives. They get by because they’ve never had electricity. However, for us, life would grind to a halt. There would be absolute chaos.
Those environmentalists who advocate that huge slice be taken out of power production will still think they can use power at the same rate they do now, because they do it without thinking.

Another factor of the psychology of it is this.
They walk out and feel the breeze on their face. No one charges them for that breeze. It’s just free. It’s just there. They look up and see that yellow ball. It warms them up and provides light so they can see their way forward. No one charges them for that either. It’s just there.
The sanguine part of their thought is that we can use that blowing breeze, and that heat and light from the Sun, and because it costs nothing, then the cost of turning it into electricity, (somehow) will also be minimal, and then, once the setup is done, it will be free forever.

The environmentalists have actually propounded this.
Free energy from the Sun. it’s almost a mantra.

So, the fact that it is taking so long to get it up and running has nothing to do with the fact that the technology to produce the electricity (somehow) from the Sun and the Wind does not yet exist. No, it’s due solely to the fact that the environmentalists think that people are trying to find ways to make money out of it before they make it available to us, so in effect, they are gouging us so that they can become rich from what is patently something that is free.
Energy from the Sun.

The same goes for other renewables.
Without even the most basic knowledge of how it is actually going to be done, that Green Lobby actively protest that this must be done, and done right now.

Because we point out that it’s just not that simple, we are the ones with an agenda.
Keeping that in mind, what I hope to do is to try and find ways that this might actually be accomplished.

I feel sure that environmentalists reading this will still say that I’m still being overly pessimistic.

In the next pieces I’m going to go discuss each of those alternative methods of producing power to see if there is a viable way to actually produce power on the scale needed. However, the simple answer is that, right now, there isn’t.