My regular readers will know that it is now my policy only to write when I have something new to say, or something worth repeating, because in the last two years I think I have said it all. What I wrote yesterday caused me to think more deeply of the future, when I hear the outpourings of the multination meeting in Rome insisting that we grow more food, while at the same time government is still dithering about the production of energy. The problem is politicians have a habit of making grandiose statements to appear that they are doing something, without an in depth examination of the long-term effect or the side issues that these decisions can make. I give the usual caveat, I’m a civil engineer, not an authority on nuclear power and the other methods of generating energy.
The decision is urgently needed now on the way forward in the face of a fast changing world, to ensure that we can maintain the power necessary for our needs. The problems of nuclear power are well known. As an engineer who has dealt in marine design I can assure you that using wave power, with the singular parameters that it raises, make it a slow and expensive process, with an unpredictable outcome as it is dependent to a considerable extent upon weather conditions.. I know only what I have read concerning the production of petroleum and diesel from farmed produce. It would appear to take up a tremendous amount of space, and I suspect that with the changing conditions associated with global warming, the problems of over farming and the usual ravages of weather, the needs of a nation, let alone the whole world, will be poorly served by this system. Solar energy and wind power are only tinkering with the problem. With respect to oil, greed by the producers coupled with politics make it a racing certainty that if we are not to have our personal and national economies controlled by foreigners with an axe to grind, we have to find a solution which we can rely on in the face of all the changes that are going to occur in the future We may not like the idea of nuclear energy, but from my uneducated corner I can see no alternative and cannot for the life of me understand why the government has not set a course, long ago, instead of wringing its hands
Thinking about vast acres of rape being grown to provide oil, made me think more closely about the speeches concerning world hunger, that came from the international meeting in Rome. I have read for many years that our aid has a strong propensity for falling into the wrong hands, and that those for whom it is intended are no better off. Burma is a case in point. We have been paying our farmers set aside money to avoid overproduction and in consequence, waste. Are we now going to be asked to pay for these pastures to be dug up and sown with produce to feed the Third World, when the reasons for the poverty of the indigenous populations that concerns us so, is as a result of the greed and the politics of the people in charge. What assurance have we that the outcome will be any better than it currently is, and that those indigenous people will once again be respected? I am a cynical old man who has seen it all before, I believe that this is rhetoric with no logistical basis, and while it all sounds wonderful, so does the Charter of the United Nations, and just look how useless that body is when it comes to healing the wounds of the individuals it was intended to support. I just hope our political representatives have the nous to be very circumspect before they commit us to a policy that I see clearly will have very little outcome until the grip of the military juntas has been relaxed.