Friday, March 14, 2008

The San Francisco Chronicle Chokes over Nuclear Energy

"If only there was a viable reliable alternative source of energy that is low in greenhouse gas emissions and plentiful..." says the Green.

The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized that “The EPA chokes” concerning its recent reduction of ozone limits from 80 to 84 parts per billion down to at least 75 parts. Citing a scientific panel’s recommendation that the standard should be reduced to at least 70 parts per billion, the Chronicle tore into the EPA for not implementing the full recommendation, and added that it had “signed off on lax standards for mercury pollution, refused to allow California and other states to set tighter tailpipe emission rules and dragged its heels on acknowledging global warming.”

Aside from the fact there are many good, scientific grounds for skepticism about global warming, I have yet to see a Chronicle editorial about how the environmentalists have choked by not acknowledging that nuclear power is the only viable means towards meeting environmentalists’ goals of greenhouse gas and air pollution reduction.

This is an interesting oversight on the part of the Chronicle’s editorial writers, since just a day before the Chronicle ran a front page article “Green energy is making big money.” It would seem that the analytical minds of the Chronicle editors would have immediately noticed the obvious in that article: that there is no way of replacing the energy generated by oil, coal, and natural gas by developing solar, wind, biofuels, fuel cells, and the other fringe energy alternatives.

Hidden in the article were little tidbits of awareness: “Worldwide sales for companies specializing in biofuels, wind farms, solar panels and fuel cells grew 40 percent in 2007 to reach $77.3 billion” – on the other hand - “Exxon Mobil, the world's largest international oil company, reported $404.5 billion in sales last year - more than five times the entire alternative energy industry combined. And that's just one company.”

And that doesn’t include coal or natural gas.

Another tidbit: “(I)f Congress doesn't renew tax credits used by renewable energy developers, companies that specialize in solar and wind power will be hard hit.”

"If these (renewable energy) credits are not extended by the time they expire at the end of this year, we could see the growth of solar and wind come to a standstill in the U.S."

A “cap-and-trade system (for limiting carbon dioxide emissions) would increase the cost of energy derived from fossil fuels and make alternative energy sources more attractive.”

Tidbits the Chronicle missed:

The alternative energy industry, at its greatest scope of development, wouldn’t be able to meet more than a fraction of the rapidly increasing worldwide demand for energy. In fact, it could not meet the needs of just one country, China.

In fact, due to China’s rapid and continuing growth in energy needs, the only way of satisfying China’s burgeoning energy requirements is through adding coal-fired generation plants, and China is adding a plant every ten days large enough to power San Diego.

The same increased cost for oil and gas makes nuclear energy much more cost effective than alternative energy.

Alternative energy companies will go belly up without tax subsidies, whereas nuclear energy is thriving without subsidies. If you doubt this, look to France and Japan.

Even with the high cost of oil, the alternative energy industry is highly inefficient. The production of ethanol and hydrogen require more energy to make than they produce.

Solar and wind power require huge acreages, are difficult and expensive to maintain, must be supported by 100 percent conventional energy backup in a constant state of readiness, cause incalculable environmental damage such as killing protected birds, destroying fragile habitats such as deserts, and are visual pollutants (just as Ted Kennedy and his family about a proposed wind farm off the Hyannis Port coast).

Biofuels drive up food costs, compete for scarce water resources, require more energy to produce than they provide, compete for natural gas to make fertilizers, and release such copious quantities of greenhouse gases when land is cleared for planting that it takes 93 years of CO2 savings before any positive result is accrued.

All this information, of course, is readily available to the Chronicle. However, it’s not the sort of information the Chronicle or its targeted readership is comfortable knowing, so they remain willfully ignorant. Fortunately for the Chronicle its readers are ecstatic to be surrounded in ignorance in their Liberal Fool’s Paradise, and the Chronicle is pleased to be a constant contributor to their growing lack of knowledge.

The motto of the alternative energy industry: “Anything is possible when you know nothing.”

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