Aug 042011

Joe Hockey shooting from the hip, yet again.

Thing is, every time he does this, he whips off his pants as well as his six-shooter remains stuck in its holster, a-la-Daffy Duck.smear_jones1951_1

Poor Joe, it’s becoming harder & harder for him to take a trick.

On the subject of alternative energies, however….a subject far more pertinent than anything Joe Hockey has to say….I’d like to note that proponents of nuclear energy fail to properly explain just how expensive their preferred form of base-load energy is. Nuclear power plants don’t come from coupons on breakfast cereal packets. Time to construct a nuclear power plant ranges from seven to ten years. Each one costs between $3 and $5 billion to construct. Globally, 8,000 nuclear plants would be needed to replace coal plants to meet energy needs for the next 30 years (there are only 430+ plants in operation worldwide now). Nuclear power generation will not appreciably impact on Climate Change due to the long lead time required to overcome the ecological damage already incurred through 300 years of human industrialisation. Do listen to the podcast at the previous link, it’s quite an eye-opener, even for deniers.

Then of course, there’s the inordinate cost of decommissioning and dealing with the waste products. Many people are happy with “just bury it” but clearly they have no concept of what “just bury it” entails long term.

Proponents of nuclear energy fraudulently never cover the entire gamut of ‘cost’ involved in embracing the technology. While I might be pragmatic about nuclear energy, and accept that it is a proven form of non-greenhouse gas producing energy production, it does have it’s drawbacks. Meanwhile, the many forms of alternative energy production are being ignored by the nuclear advocates. Solar photo-voltaic, geo-thermal and wave energy to mention only three are eminently capable in volume of providing base-load energy. Solar-thermal, hydro, tidal as compliments are well within our reach technologically, and then there’s wind-derived energy, in the right places. We are a smart species and we can do better than we have to date. We are, however, a lazy species. If it’s cheaper to dig a hole & burn what we dig up, then that’s the better way, according to some.

I saw a prophetic sign yesterday in one of those alternative lifestyle shops in Paddington, here in Brisbane. It said this:

When the last tree has been cut down, the last river poisoned, and the last fish caught only then will we realise that money cannot be eaten

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