by Alan Caruba
Every week there’s some new proposal to cover the nation with wind farms and solar panels.
Electricity is so commonplace that no one gives any thought to not having access to it. Few give any consideration to how it is generated, but we are now being inundated with the most virulent nonsense about how wind or solar power is “clean” and practically “free.” Every week there’s some new proposal to cover the nation with wind farms and solar panels.
The problem for everyone who wants to get rich with these energy sources or those who think they are the answer to our energy needs is that neither wind, nor solar can ever power anything more than relatively small projects like a farm or a local stadium. A nation of more than three hundred million people, however, needs a lot of generation capacity.
All the razzle-dazzle of television advertising and public relations propaganda cannot justify the building of massive wind or solar farms. They are simply inadequate to the production of the electricity the nation requires now and in the future. The weird thing about T. Boone Pickens’ pitch is that he talks about oil dependency to justify wind power, but vehicles are not powered by wind. Nor are they likely to be powered by liquified natural gas as Pickens suggests.
By contrast, the July edition of Energy Tribune devoted some of its pages to the comeback of nuclear power in America. What jumped out at me was co-editor Robert Bryce’s citation of the fact that, “The U.S. government has spent some $7 billion building a repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada” and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has declared that it “is never going to open” and is “not the answer to nuclear waste storage.”
Senator Reid recently said that, “Coal is making us sick. Oil is making us sick,” and then went on to blather insanely about global warming.
According to Bryce, “On June 3, the Department of Energy submitted an 8,600-page application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking approval of the Yucca Mountain site for waste storage. Just one day later, Nevada urged the agency to reject the application.” This is a glaring example of how to make sure America lacks the electrical energy it needs.
Throughout the debate over energy use, the Big Lie has been that industrial and other activities generate carbon dioxide emissions that, in turn, are causing global warming. Ergo, we have to radically alter every aspect of modern life to avoid the Earth’s destruction.
The problem with that is a decade-old cooling period that the Earth entered in 1998 and which is getting colder, not warmer. The other problem is the fact that the Earth has passed through periods in which the levels of CO2 in our atmosphere were much higher than they are today.
Since it is getting colder, we are going to need more electricity and other sources of energy to keep us warm in our homes, offices, schools, et cetera. We are going to have to burn coal, currently the major source of power, to generate electricity as well as the cheapest and most abundant. We will continue to use natural gas as well. All the hydroelectric sources have been identified and are in use at present.
That leaves nuclear. An Energy Tribune article by William E. Burchill serves up lots of information about the nuclear production of electrical energy. Worldwide, 441 nuclear reactors are providing electricity to one billion people. Presently nuclear power provides twenty percent of America’s electricity needs, thanks to the 104 nuclear plants operating in the U.S.
Here’s something to keep in mind. “No U.S. plant worker or member of the public has ever been injured or killed by an accident caused by nuclear power.” Moreover, amidst the frenzy over CO2, nuclear is “an emissions-free source of electricity.”