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The Environment & Alternative energy Sources

The Environment & Alternative energy Sources

Whilst I agree that we need to look after the environment, is anyone thinking were we will get all of our energy requirements, ongoing, into the future?

If we are going to shut down mining, oil extraction etc. what are we going to use?

Windmills only work if there is wind, solar panels work the best with sun but these all only have a limited life span and they are not available 24/7 as the wind does not always blow and the sun sets for approximately half of every 24 hour period. This then means that we need to develop storage facilities to guarantee supply of energy as required.

Once the alternative energy sources (i.e. wind, solar etc.) and the associated storage facilities are set up then we need to transport that energy through a grid to the areas where it is needed, where the people live.

We also need to be able to find the resources needed to be able to build these sustainable energy machines. One of the first things we will need is a source of rock to develop or at least maintain the existing infrastructure (roading, buildings, drainage etc.) needed to manufacture these alternative energy source machines. Then we will need to find a source of the minerals required to develop the machinery and to do this we will need to have a viable extractive industry which also requires energy and resources to both develop and maintain.

Bit of déjà vu here same as the age old question, which comes first the chicken or the egg? Unless we want to start social engineering on a global scale we need to provide sources of energy where the majority of people have decided they wish to live. This then means that if we wish to go to use of alternative sustainable energy that needs to be where people live.

This needs to happen if these people want to live in the places they have chosen no matter what the weather. For example the freezing temperatures that they are having in the mid-west of America, if they didn’t have energy to heat their houses they would have to either go or freeze, and with the heat waves that we are having either in Australia & NZ. To keep ourselves cool we need power for the air conditioners etc.?

Look at the cost of moving these people from these areas to another country/area where it might be better to live without using energy to either keep cool or warm. Obviously this is not possible from a logistical point of view, but even if it was possible to move people to where there is either less need for or a supply of alternative energy, it would be prohibitively expensive.

Why not go nuclear?

The other area that nobody is thinking about is the industries that we need for society to exist as we know it today. Food production and Extractive industries.

Without farming in some form we will not be able to feed the population and without a supply of rock we will not be able to either develop or maintain the infrastructure that we currently rely on to live as we do.

Without a supply of rock we will not be able to maintain our sewerage systems or our roading systems and eventually society will start to break down.

Unless we are prepared to go back to the days of horse and cart and basically all manual production, we will have a big effect on the environment and while we do need to try and mitigate our effects on the environment we cannot do so unless we take a holistic view and make balanced decisions rather than individual kneejerk reactions.

We need to decide what is going to be the effect on the environment that we are willing to accept and then make balanced decisions about how we are going to ensure that this level of effect is not exceeded.

P Buckley Primary Land Users Group

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