August 28, 2009
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Letters to the Editor and other People Speak
FROM-North County Times
FORUM: Global warming not emergency; nuclear power key
I was surprised to see another Community Forum by Amy Hoyt Bennett on Aug. 18 ---- warning of "toxic" consequences if drastic and immediate action is not taken to halt global warming.
While global warming is, to be sure, a fact, it has been going on for 15,000 years or more ---- and thank goodness for that. However, there is no reason why we can't be working on better, greener solutions to backbone power generation than the huge number of coal-fired power plants that we rely on in America.
While solar and wind generators are a great start, the amount of energy produced by new coal-fired plants is outpacing new green power, each and every year. And why is that? Because the cost of energy produced by coal is less than half the cost of wind or solar power. And that, of course, is the reason for pushing "cap and trade" and the "carbon tax and dividend."
But focusing only on these negative measures spell trouble for the economic future. If we want life to be as good as or better than it is now, we need cheap electricity. This will especially be true as we see the increased use and availability of electric vehicles, most of which will be recharged during the night.
If global warming were the true crisis that Amy claims, we would immediately halt new coal plant installations and instead, build nuclear power plants.
Nuclear plants cost more to build, but don't require two trainloads of coal every single day for operation. In the long run, nuclear produces electricity as cheap as coal.
Global warming is not the toxic emergency that some fanatics say.
Peer-reviewed scientists do not blame global warming for fires and droughts and have said that during the last 20 years, the biomass of the planet has increased by 7 percent. That means the earth is getting greener. So we have time to think and act.
Nuclear power plants produce virtually no carbon dioxide, and actually produce less radiation than the so-called clean-coal plants. It will cost far more to build the wind or solar equivalent of a nuclear power plant.
Let's not focus on the negative, but instead begin replacing our coal-fired power plants with nuclear. Do this and the carbon reduction will be 1,000 times more effective than any "cap and trade" or "carbon tax and dividend." It's possible to have cheap power for the economy as well as clean power for the environment.
LOWELL DUNN lives in Fallbrook.