November 20th, 2009

Dead Dog Cat

What IS Green Energy, really?

I've been ruminating about something for a while, now, and thought I'd post something about it:

I figure that there's a number of ways to generate power. Some of them have been pointed at as causing too much environmental damage of one sort or another.

So, let's look at them.

First, there's coal power. Even the cleanest forms of coal release quite a lot of carbon dioxide, not to mention the problems of acid rain and the like, so I can see this as not being supported by most folks in the eco-movement. Fine. Even though the US and China have immense coal reserves. Fine.

Then, there's hydroelectric power; you know, dams. Dams that interfere with the free flow of fish to their spawning grounds and whatnot. It also floods territory behind the dam, which might effect a rare species or two.

Well, how about solar power arrays, then? It turns out that attempts to expand such power stations in the California desert were being fought by environmentalists because of purported effects on the lifestyle of the desert tortoise. Hmm.

Well, let's put up more of those wind farms, then! Um, no, that's being protested by environmentalists because it kills birds. Well, so do picture windows.

OK, then, how about tidal generators. Real estate folks don't want them on the beaches, and environmentalists don't want that kind of construction out on the horizon due to possible effects on the fish or the marine mammals.

Geo-thermal? Some folks balk because they're afraid of it precipitating volcanic eruptions.

Fusion? Pipedream presently.

How about timber being fed to steam generators, then? Oh, no, that would rapidly denude what's left of our country's forests.

I guess that means that the intent of the rabid environmentalists is to have our country slip back into a pre-metal form of lifestyle, with perhaps one person out of a hundred surviving as vegetarian gatherers.

Or am I missing something? Did I forget some form of power supply that the Gaians can get behind?