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Nuclear, fracking and windmillsWhat's the problem with nuclear, fracking and windmills?

There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of nuclear power but my position in the debate results from observations of the behaviour of human-beings! Whether nuclear pollution is due to an accident, lack of planning, switching off safety systems or just plain stupidity, is itself of no consequence because the damage done is likely to be the same whatever. People appear to be the weak link in the enterprise. Once contaminated, an area might not be usable again for tens, and in some cases hundreds, of thousands of years! Worse, we humans have no in-built way to know when we are at risk from this dreadful blight. How dare we take such irresponsible risks and dump our failure upon future generations? Worse, we endure this when, in my opinion, nuclear power stations are completely superfluous as the electricity is not required anyway (please see my section on Combined heat and power).

Fracking, where to begin? I can completely understand and forgive anyone who is incandescent with rage over this stupid idea. For how long can we ignore the obvious and disgusting behaviour of the last desperate attempts of 'oil-junkies' in their futile panic to maintain their dependency on fossil fuels? Proverbially we know that we can't get blood from a stone, so isn't it obviously madness to try and get oil from them? What is the value of this oil? So much damage and expense for so little filthy oil and how long will it last anyway? What will we do after the tiny resource is gone and all we have left is billions of pounds worth of useless fracking equipment and a legacy of bitter misery for countless millions of innocent souls? What level of complete idiocy is required to believe that this money would not be better spent on greater energy efficiency so that we never need the puny amount of oil in the first place? (Please see my sections Wood is such a good fuel and Combined heat and power). In addition to that, what right have we got to inflict such damage over vast areas of ground that our very houses stand upon? What about all of the hidden costs that the accountants don't know about yet or are just ignoring? Remember, we were once told that nuclear power was completely safe and would give us electricity that was too cheap to meter! Compare the reality of dreadful nuclear pollution and hopeless expense with the 'fairy-story' we are now being told about the safety of fracking! Sorry, I just don't believe we should be so naive to fall for the same dirty trick again no matter how silken are the tongues that dribble the lies!

Fracking has all the hallmarks of a nasty short-term plot eagerly grabbed by greedy and powerful politicians and their mindless corporate friends who couldn't give a damn about the decent people who's long-term welfare is at stake. Fracking is the very antithesis of a sensible energy policy, it offers no long-term benefits whatever and is the cruellest form of selfish exploitation against the powerless.

My opposition to large white (or any other colour) windmills is not quite so vehement as my hatred of fracking, I just think they are generally rather silly, pointless and ineffectual. I am, however, very respectful of the community windmill projects similar to those located in Denmark and elsewhere, which I consider to be an excellent use of windmill technology, and stress that my following comments are specific to the ridiculous situation that exists here in the UK concerning grid-tied machines. In my section What's wrong with the grid , I have already explained why electricity production, and therefore including large windmills, decreases in usefulness the further away it is from centres of population. If we also take into account the energy required to make a windmill in the first place, it's very difficult to see how it will ever produce enough to even cancel that energy investment. Another failing is that the machine must switch itself off to avoid damage if the wind blows with any strength. Yes, we are actually installing windmills that can't cope with the wind! This means at least half of the available energy is just thrown away and, even if they did have the capability to cope, no-one is installing adequate means to store that additional energy anyway! It's difficult to escape the obvious conclusion that it's all a big con and a dreadful waste of effort, money and resources. If, however, a few wealthy landowners are becoming much richer from the generous payments and subsidies given to them by virtue of the 'green tariff' added to our electricity bills, I suppose that makes it all right then?

In my opinion, nuclear, fracking and large grid-coupled windmills are no solutions at all and can only delay the critical date of disaster a little into the future leading to even bigger problems later on. Why don't we just grow-up and deal with the issues properly now instead of pushing problems onto our children? The cheapest and least polluting energy is the energy we don't use at all! There are vast energy savings to be made if only we had the political will to do it and, the good news is, we only have to do it once, please see my section on How to save energy . If we get our energy usage under control first, after that ever-increase our generation or energy by non-damaging means, then this can only lead to a better future for us all and still with wonderful gadgets, cars and luxuries.

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These websites may also be of interest (click on Web addresses):-

See more information about problems with the nuclear power here: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/nuclear/problems
See more information about the dangers of fracking here: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/
Yet more information about the dangers of fracking here: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/gasdrilling/
Yet another of the thousands of websites warning us of the dangers of fracking here: http://www.catskillmountainkeeper.org/our-programs/fracking/whats-wrong-with-fracking-2/
See more information about the problems with windmills here: http://www.aweo.org/problemwithwind.html