Today’s Australian Financial Review features a long section on how Australia’s energy sector may respond to the carbon price and the continuation of the renewable energy target. It is predicated on the standard assumption of a three way battle between wind, solar and gas. I like to call this basic strategy “failure”, because it almost guarantees locking in a whole lot of unabated gas for the next 50 years or so, leaving our emissions pegged at levels that are a far cry from zero.
The same issue carried this headline “Chinese dirty on solar plant pollution”. Turns out a solar manufacturing plant in China is so filthy, the toxic discharges are resulting in both nasty air pollution, and killing the fish in the local river. The locals are so fed up they stormed the plant, and the police had to disperse them. Here’s a link to the Forbes report. Yes, clean solar panels require plenty of nasties to make them. Those nasties have no half life, by the way. They stay nasty. If it’s not adequately regulated, it can be as dangerous and harmful as any other industry.
So what freaking gives? In the same two week period, 100-odd people were incinerated when a gasoline pipeline caught fire in Kenya, disempowered villagers stormed a solar factory for crying out loud, but we hear the most about an incinerator explosion because it happens to incinerate low level radioactive waste. If a nuclear facility was being stormed by villagers and killing fish because it was so lax in it’s standards, we …
Hang on. Deep breath. I think I need to take care that DSA does not turn into the blog that focusses on nuclear media hypocrisy. Depleted Cranium already does it (and he’s funnier than me).
I’ll try to keep it positive from now on. Promise. Sometimes it just gets a bit too much.