201421
201519
Letters  

Clean-energy needed now

According to most scientists and geologists the world’s oil reserves are about 50 times the current annual consumption.

That means the world could run out of oil in about 50 years unless further reserves are discovered. Some of the major deposits are controlled by non-allies and are significantly decreasing.

A shortage of oil will greatly impact our civilization, and probably lead to global conflict unless action is taken now to decrease our dependance on oil and improve the quality of our environment.

Are we just going to kick the can down the road to future generations as we have continuously done with deteriorating infrastructure and environment, or are we going to address the problems?

There are numerous clean-energy projects going on in the world but much more should be expended by all levels of governments. Or would you prefer balanced budgets to global destruction? There are many alternatives to oil energy that are now being developed.

I believe nuclear fusion will eventually solve our energy and environment problems, but decentralized power systems is also a key. Light water small modular reactors (SMRs) could greatly assist in providing energy and so could wind sails, vertical axis wind turbines, solar power, and electrical and hydrogen-powered vehicles. Tidal generators could be used along any coastline and river generators could be used anywhere in the world (such as in the St. Lawrence river).

U.S. President Joe Biden recently passed a CHIP law, which will allow the manufacture of computer chips in the U.S., thereby lessening dependance on China.

The U.S. has also reopened the Mountain Pass rare earth mineral mine in California. While that will also reduce our dependance on China, recycling of the 17 metallic elements in rare earth must be a priority. Continued waste is not an option.

Construction of new buildings and homes should require installation of solar panels and roofline ventilators and turbines should be converted to generators. This is relatively easy to do, and current homes could receive allowances or tax breaks for upgrading.

Detractors will ask: “At what cost?” But what is the cost to future generations and our planet if we don’t act now?

Patrick MacDonald



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