Regardless of party, modern day political leaders tend to prioritize the interests of industry over those of the public. Due to the global nature of trade today, and the fact our politicians so often seek the help of industry leaders when they have a problem, this translates to a preference for solutions that make more use of foreign goods than is necessary.
This is especially concerning where energy is concerned. Russia and Saudi Arabia are able to use OPEC+ and OPEC to force inflation here and in Europe because Western leaders put too much faith in oil tycoons. If you do much reading into the problems facing clean energy you’ll know something similar could befall it. Mining operations are unable to keep up with its demands. They are located, primarily, in regions where government is fragile or corrupt. Many researchers expect this will lead to conflict and the kind of behaviour Russia and Saudi Arabia engage in now.
The best energy solutions are those which utilize as much domestic material as possible. Hydro and nuclear require little foreign material. They also have less impact on environment, when you consider the impact the mining, refining, manufacturing, recycling, and disposal operations required to deploy other clean energy technologies is concerned. This is important as Climate Change is driven by global emissions, not just local ones. Hydro is obviously preferable, because it produces less waste, but you should know that even nuclear is clean too. In fact, the International Energy Agency finds it 500 times less toxic per unit energy developed than solar.
Hydro doesn’t generate much methane, as has been previously misconstrued by amateur geochemists presuming all methane released from hydroelectric reservoirs results from generation. In reality, most of that methane would be emitted whether there was a hydroelectric reservoir or not, as it’s produced by the decomposition of organic matter washed into it from upstream. That matter would decay and produce methane elsewhere if not in the reservoir. And without the reservoir, free carbon washed down along with it wouldn’t be sequestered. That’s a benefit the reservoirs provide.
We need some sources of energy that aren’t dependent on foreign markets. Industry, being largely composed of multinational corporations, don’t often promote solutions like that. And yet we need them if we are to combat the skyrocketing cost of energy and the impact of global warming.
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