Click to Guest Editorial 7/28/2006

Energy Can be Produced Without Fuel Costs or Pollution

By Toby Kinkaid, 7/28/2006 12:08:36 AM

Michael Fox’s "The Un-Ending Global Warming 'Crisis'" should be titled “Unending Denial.” Fox again regurgitates that the “climate” is far too complex to understand. As usual in Fox’s writings the word “toxicity” never appears. The notion of “Global Warming” is far more than temperature fluctuations. It involves the total effects of human activities on the fragile “biobubble” that is our atmosphere.

Human industrialization has been burning fossil fuels for over three centuries. Basing industrialization on the burning of materials that took millions of years to produce, that release CO2, NOx, SOx and other particulates have dramatic and deleterious effects for life systems. The evidence for this is overwhelming. Has Fox been to Los Angeles? Mexico City? Beijing? These cities are overwhelmed with toxicity primarily caused by fossil fuel burning. The skyrocketing health care costs seems totally lost on Fox.

It amazes me that in the 21st century, as we enjoy incredible technology, that Fox, and those he cites, are so afraid of change. Fox, in other writings, advocates the lost cause of nuclear fission for power generation. Fox advocates that “everything is just fine” with our current industrial operation. History is full of examples of resistance to change, trumpeting that the way we do things is no cause for concern.

Fox advocates, dirty, centralized power plants that belch garbage into the air, or involves vast amounts of nuclear waste. These are ideas rooted in high profit for a few, and high costs and liability for the rest of us.

In the 21st century renewable energy is the fastest growing installed means of producing electricity. The reason? Good business. Fox is still caught up in energy being a “commodity” assuming that you need to “buy” it from some third party. Lost on Fox is the historic trend that energy can be produced with no fuel costs, or pollution, and can be deployed onsite where energy is consumed. As computers went from mainframe centralized units to distributed units (the PC), so will go power plants, from centralized (old manufacturing economy), to distributed generation (the digital economy). This is lost on Fox.

Fox reminds me of an old joke: a man jumps off a tall building and as he passes the 17th floor someone opens a window and asks “how’s it going?” The answer from the man: “so far so good.”