Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, September 10th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, energy, Environment, International, leadership, politicans, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: carbon, energy, technology
While the Democrats and their fellow travelers go off tilting at some “Made in Russia” affairs, Donald Trump found himself some real live windmills to tilt at. Big ones too. In fact, the biggest and most powerful in the world, of course – what with him being an American and all! Anyway. He lost.
A couple of days ago, Aberdeen Bay was officially opened. It’s a small array of eleven windmills that can provide enough electricity for 70% of the domestic consumption of Aberdeen. (pop: 230 000 ) The biggest of them produces 8.8MW of electricity, and without them, it’s reckoned that some 140 000 tonnes of CO2 would have gone up into the atmosphere every year by getting that energy from “traditional” sources.
Here’s a very nice time lapse video of their final assembly at sea. It’s kinda neat.
But here’s what I want to get on to. There are a number of people who understand we need to get to a point of using only zero carbon energy within the next few decades. And some people point to windmills or solar or other technological possibilities that could achieve that. Which is all fine and good. But none of it magics itself into existence. Everything takes time, and time is something we don’t have very much of.
Those windmills off the Scottish coast took 15 years from inception to completion. That story repeats across the entire world, whether we’re talking nuclear, or wind or solar. Things take time. It’s called reality.
So here’s another aspect of that same reality. If we aim to have any chance of not seeing 2 degrees and the widespread resultant mayhem, then we need to drastically cut our energy use at the same time as laying in new, zero carbon sources of energy.
And when we say “zero carbon”, that obviously means taking bio-fuels off the table. So, for example, when Fonterra announced they were going to convert some of their coal fired milk drying plants to run on wood waste, we shouldn’t have been patting them on the back, or otherwise suggesting things were moving in the right direction, because bio-fuels contribute precisely zero towards any reduction in CO2 emissions – they are CO2 emissions.
It’s a bit early to making Christmas wishes, but here goes. This Christmas, I wish people would get real. So there you go. That’s much longer than a job trial period. Surely, more than enough time for people to shake off any drowsy dreams or crabby eyed sleepiness and be ready to face the cool light of day.
Or maybe I’m just tilting at windmills?