Ecology And Environment

The Alternative Energy Source with the most Potential



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"The Alternative Energy Source with the most Potential"
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A Brits point of view..

With the news that Britain is now committed to nuclear energy for the rest of the century, a huge public subsidy written into the small print of the government white paper to encourage massive private tender and funding for the new plants, its fair to say there is still an energy gap looming. These plants won't be ready for ages and the old ones have been run into the ground in a way Homer Simpson would be proud, leaking like a balloon after a fight with a hedgehog. That slow and cumbersome decommission of the old plants to come will also be rather expensive. When you add the cost for waste storage there isn't going to be much money left for the government to invest in alternative energies.

It's clear that oil, petrol and gas are also becoming too expensive for minimum wage families-75 % of the U.K-that economic engine being battered by fixed costs. With the petrol that powers our transport system becoming scarce even quicker than we ever dare contemplate; alternatives are needed to compliment nuclear, nuclear expected to produce between 40-70% of our heat and electricity by 2050. But this is not Back to the Future, our cars can't be powered by plutonium, and if we don't find alternatives soon then there will be huge cost problems on just getting to work. Anyone who works part-time and takes a couple of buses know that's cost is a big chunk of their wage. Apart from using veggie oil in your diesel car there's few options.

I'm all for nuclear as its very safe when built properly. Admittedly the idea that private contractors will build most of the new plants doesn't boost confidence as far as health & safety goes but do we have any real choice? France has the highest nuclear power usage in the European Union but the lowest carbon footprint. They have had no big accidents. Its pretty clear what happens if you do have an accident and the people who build them know they too will come a cropper if they cost cut, nuclear fairly unique when it comes to corporate responsibility. If the green mafia wants the planet to cut carbon emissions then this is the best way to do it. But you just know they are going to be ranting and raving over the next week or so over the decision and, alas, telling us how dangerous the plants are. But let's be honest, the total deaths in the U.K. due to nuclear accidents you can count on one hand, but innocent people slaughtered around the world to secure western oil supply's is well over one million. Every time the green lobby scaremongers over nuclear and oil they are forgetting there are no viable alternatives to fill that energy gap. These nuclear deals have been signed with little thought to the public cost because we have to get on with this. We either invade more Iraq's or build reactors, simple as! The idea that these namby-pamby renewable`s like solar and wind power is somehow going to replace our energy needs is fantasy. For every one barrel of ethylene alcohol based alternative fuel it takes two barrel of normal oil to grow, harvest and ferment that fuel. The only reason it's still popular is because the US farmers get huge subsidies to grow the right crops to make it for political reasons, probably the biggest debate had at the recent primaries in America. This is not a cost effective or green fuel.

Brazil have got their act together on ethylene fuel for cars with 70% of vehicles now running on it, but it takes such a he chunk of their cereal crop that staple foods world prices are now rocketing. We really can't win on this one unless the myth is true that cars really can run on a cup of water, the secret kept by devious oil executives over the years by a Mason like sect. I'm just tired of middle class eco whiners saying they don't want windmills in their back gardens, invasions of Iraq, nuclear dumps...how else do we get our power? Look out the window, solar isn't going to work. The trendy turbines stuck on Cameron and Browns roof will soon come down when he loses the election, the portable windmills taking a pathetic 167 year on average to pay your electricity bills.

January, of course, is when the utility companies whack up the bills, only the water boys holding out until it gets hot. You make you price hikes when you're demand is at the highest, whether it's fair or calculated or not. To be fair the energy companies had no choice but to push up the bills this month-probably not as much as they have, but up a sizable chunk. They buy their gas in the summer when it's cheapest and then store it and then flog it on for a profit, fair enough. What consumers are unaware of is that this round of increases is the first to include Browns erroneous 'green tariffs, tax by any other name, some 50% of this price hike going to the Treasury. The beauty of this one for the chancellor is he can claim the green taxes are doing good, introducing them helping to cut greenhouse gases, but he also knows fuel and gas prices were always going to rise, so getting a nice earn off something people just cant cut back off this time of year. Heating is not like petrol where we can cut back journeys. We need to keep warm and we are deliberately being taxed extra for that, including the old folks who have to beg for their rightful full pension these days.

The utility companies have to pay these three extra levies this year to Gordon Brown, the Emissions Trading Scheme thee most prominent one, bought into to tax pollution, the cost to each household around 28.50 total per year, approximately 50% of the new rises. I'm not asking you to give British Gas a break, far from it, they are crooks and we all know it, exploiting loyal customers who won't change and run the gauntlet of that particularly gruesome exercise. But what I am saying is Brown is suing global warming hype to raise taxes on fuel we can't afford not to use. He targets us with huge taxes to get to work in our cars and now he's taxing us to keep warm, all by scaring us that is we don't pay these taxes then the world will warm up. Hey, we want it to warm up if you are going to stiff us like this pal!

Some canny pensioners who have up-sticked to the likes of Spain and Portugal to get away from the cold weather and high fuel bills to live a life of SKY TV and British pubs have had the last laugh. After being the brunt of these rip off prices some 50,000 pensioners from the U.K on the Costa's are cheekily claiming their winter fuel payments.

Another way we are being stiffed over fuel bills is by Johnny Foreigner, the Euro energy markets currently exploiting the richer gas flow from Russia. The nearer the Russian pipes the cheaper and more available gas is. It's a pretty complex method but apparently any gas the North Sea is producing is sold to the markets, but such is the complexities, British traders have to pay more to buy it back, such is the way the warped European markets work. The likes of Germany and France seem to be behind this. We are pumping it on to the gas grid, if you like, for 40p a therm then and having to buy it back at 50p a therm. We then learn the foreign companies that own our utility firms are benefiting from that rigged trading,

So we know gas is plentiful but also increasingly expensive, security of supply and greedy foreign companies buying up our utilities all too willing to stiff is by artificially pushing up the heating costs. The oil argument is straightforward: it's over $100 a barrel and high be cause of demand and political instability, dwindling supplies to tough to extract, current supply and demand unlikely to See the price fall below $80a barrel for the next ten years. Big business will already be trying to figure out what to replace it with and how they can make some more money, but there are no real signs of how. The oil age is coming to an end and it's a scary time for all that dare to think about it.

Because of those high oil and gas prices the green mafia are having their day, claiming Armageddon is just around the corner if we don't slash our carbon usage, something memorably exploited by Al Gore, now earning 350k a lecture to pay his utility bills on his six properties. Yes the world is choking up on its fumes but can we really stop it with the energy alternatives we have.

I could be flippant. If man-made global warming is so close then surely the rapidly rising sea levels and increasing temperatures will make car journeys shorter and gas bills smaller? It's a paradox guys. If resources are running out and the cost of oil and gas rises testament to, then the fifty year curve will soon tack, only coal being the only pollutant used, giant economies like China and India the main polluters. Human nature demands that when the superpowers run low on resources they invade other countries to get it, what we have seen all too painfully in Iraq. The major economies never cut industry and profits to be less pollutant. If a way can't be found we will go on and on the way we are. The only Armageddon the world is facing is WW3 with China, inevitable if you look at history. The fact is that if current oil usage continues the way it is then just four countries will use half the worlds known supply by 2025, a scary thought indeed, which suggest war will preempt that crisis. You have heard this before but the U.K. would need to be turned off for two years to make any effect on global temperatures.There is nothing we can do so why worry about it.

If you want wind power then stop moaning if they build them near you. If you don't want us to invade Iran for more oil then don't lay into nuclear! If you think solars the future then wouldn't it be better to let global warming happen? We have to accept that petrol alternatives cost the environment more in their production costs and materials. There really are no alternatives other than steam and maybe wave and hydro power. I'm just going to ride the selfish train I'm on and if it gets warmer and cheaper to live in the U.K then here-here

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