Mike Parker, Chairman of SeSaME, writes…
YOU might think global icon Frank Sinatra singing “I did it my way” was true. Given his close acquaintance with the powerful political Kennedy family, the owners of the bars and speakeasies he sang in, you might also think he would inevitably be acting within the shadow of their influence. Perhaps he had an involuntary servitude to embrace if he wished his career to flourish.
Listening to the later line “the end is near, and so I face the final solution” helps you see the dark side to the shadows such servitude generates.
You might think that our society’s efforts to respond to the climate emergency mean “we are doing what’s best for all our citizens and planet earth “doing it our way.” You might also think that, somewhere in the shadows, there are those influencing matters “their way.” It’s your call.
One important element is generating electricity. It’s interesting to compare two conflicting energy source choices.
Nuclear Energy: Created from a finite natural supply that has to be sourced. Has costly infrastructure build and security. Set-up and building takes time. Hinkley Point nuclear power project has been planned and financed by state owned French EDF and Chinese CGNP. Operation, nuclear waste management and decommissioning were estimated to be £45.5bn in 2016. Unexpected accidents have long term effects; see Sellafield, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Nuclear radioactivity waste security has a radiotoxic lifetime over a period of 1,000-10,000 years. Eight stations are currently generating about 18% of our electricity, but due to be closed and sites made safe.
By-products kill indiscriminately and effectively if used in warfare.
Wind: An infinite, variable source best integrated with solar systems and battery storage. Currently generates about 25% of our electricity. Provides local ownership, work and ongoing maintenance. Recycling has income potential. Manufacturing research and investment is under-developed in UK. Whilst offshore wind gives a rapidly expanding contribution to renewable energy, onshore wind development is on hold for some reason.
The end is not yet but if we do it their way, not the planet’s way, we will have to face that final solution pretty soon.