Tag Archives: green energy

Unclean at Any Speed – IEEE Spectrum

Unclean at Any Speed – IEEE Spectrum.

I hate to break this to you but the movement towards greater use of renewable resources is anything but green. The article that I have linked to here is quite depressing. It demonstrates quite clearly that from cradle to grave, manufacture to disposal, an electric car pollutes our world far more than a standard car with a gasoline engine. Alberta’s tar sands project gets a lot of criticism based on destruction of the environment and pollution of surrounding areas. It would appear that and electric car is more damaging to the environment than a car fuelled exclusively by gasoline obtained from the tar sands. Please read the included article to find out why.

Regarding the green energy myth

On this particular topic, I really want to be wrong. And if you think I am wrong, please tell me. As far as I am concerned, so-called green energy is far from green.

I am an environmental pessimist. I believe that we have gone past the tipping point and that the damage we have done to this planet is irreversible. We have neither the ability nor the collective will-power to do what needs to be done. All that we can do, at this point, is work on survival strategies.

Green energy as it currently exists, is not going to save us. Let’s look at the two most popular solutions. Please excuse my lack of technical expertise. There may be occasions when the terminology I use could be slightly inaccurate.

Solar energy is expensive and highly inefficient. The solar panels that are in use now are highly inefficient, converting only about 17% of the absorbed energy into electricity. And what do we do with the electricity that is created. Currently, there are two options. Send it to storage batteries or feed it directly to the grid. There are problems with both processes. Battery storage is expensive and inefficient. And feeding it directly into the grid is problematic. The flow of electricity from solar panels fluctuates greatly during the day as a result of the passage of clouds overhead, and the flow diminishes as the sun sets. Electricity, in order to be useful and safe, must maintain a steady flow. Power surges and brownouts are highly damaging to electrical equipment. Solar energy is characterized by surges and brownouts. It must be cleaned up and stabilized before it can be used.

Wind energy has all of the same drawbacks that I have described for solar energy. As well, there are serious environmental concerns. Wind turbines generate considerable low-frequency noise which can be harmful to human health. People who live close enough to the turbines to be aware of this noise suffer in many ways.

According to Environmental Protection UK, “symptoms of LFN (low-frequency noise) annoyance are those associated with stress. These include feelings of irritation and unease, fatigue, headache, nausea and disturbed sleep. It is not clear at what level Low Frequency Noise may be physically damaging; however, the unpleasant symptoms it can induce are sufficient to cause disruption and significant social and economic penalties to sufferers.”

Even when wind turbine farms are far from human habitation, the damage to wildlife is enormous. According to Voice of America, ” there is mounting evidence that expanding “wind farms” are taking a toll on airborne wildlife. Thousands of birds and bats are killed every year by collisions with the wind towers and their giant blades. Environmental activists are taking the wind energy industry to court to find a solution.”

There are other energy sources under development but all that I am aware of are in some way damaging to their immediate environment.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I really want to be wrong. Will somebody out there please do something to ease my pessimism.