Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's o.k......as long as it's not in my backyard

Recently, during a gathering of neighbors, a man and I had a debate about the horrible terrible, hypocritical jerk....Al Gore. This gentlemen was flogging Mr. Gore because he, and other leftist extremists like him (that would be me), were behind the stopping of drilling (to save some idiotic polar bears and caribou) and building of nuclear and coal plants.
This gentlemen felt that coal in and of itself would more than help the U.S become self sufficient in terms of energy and we should go back to relying on it. Add drilling and nuclear and we were set for as long as he could see into the future. (Of course so many of us are very short sited now aren't we?) Just to finish summing this thought up...this man was in his late 30's. So much for the future.

Changing thoughts...not long ago on this very site I blogged about a new technology that was being tried out in the ocean. It sounds wonderful...and clean...and non invasive (anymore than humans are in general I suppose). One person commented that they thought it was still a bad idea and that really all people just needed to use less energy. Period. No other thing but just that.
Now...after some thought I do agree with that commenter. How we will actually accomplish this, and can we as a society, I don't know. I have thought about it and just don't see it happening without MAJOR complications forcing it. Like gas..being so high this last year. Now that it is low...people are back to buying big vehicles again. And letting them idol while they run in the store to buy something.
I also know I don't go to enough trouble to change my own personal consumption. Not as much as I should anyway...though I am trying to and do use many ways to reduce my consumption, but by no means am I an ace at it.
I do use some ways most average Americans don't even bother with like power bars to completely shut all power off to electronics not in use. I mean...most of it uses the same amount of energy while waiting for me to tell it what to do as it does while doing it. On the other hand at times I do leave the t.v running when I am really not paying complete attention to it as I clean and what not.

Moving on....I am sure you heard of the Tennessee coal ash spill. This spill is maybe 2 hours northeast of me as the crow flies (if that far). And of course as it moves downstream it will eventually make it's way down into the Tennessee River, through Chattanooga (near me) and on to places like Atlanta Georgia. All shit flows south now doesn't it?
And so...did you hear that a few weeks after the Tennessee spill, TVA had another one over in Alabama?
Here's the link.

I have always been completely against Nuclear Power. I have on this very blog posted about that a number of times. If for some reason you can't understand my rabid dog (and yes, I can get very mad about it) opinion on NO nuclear....please read the title of this post. Now think of these coal ash spills.

My thought is this: No persons life, and the total wasting of land, was worth a nuclear melt down to me just so I could leave all my lights on while I ran to the store. (know people that do that) Soooo...someone wouldn't steal my stuff???
So I could see into the upstairs window when I got home??? So I could tell what time it is in every single room I walk into and the t.v will respond without me first having to flick a switch. So that I could have a t.v in each room and watch my show as I walk around the house and never miss a part (know people that do this too).
Now....I feel the same way about coal. Now...I must get even more serious about my power use. Not just because coal is more common in my area but because NO person's life is worth trading for me to have a light on during the middle of the day while I walk down a very familiar hallway (know someone that does this also).

So...are you one of those people that thinks it's o.k as long as it's not in your back yard? If we aren't willing to live in the zone of the emergency evacuation signs for nuclear plants or under the towering walls holding back the poisonous ash then why do we expect others to? I mean how can we ask someone else and their child to do it if we won't?

My point is both that we need the government behind clean technology (and I don't mean clean coal) and we ALL need to conserve......as if our very life depended on it. Because in reality someone else's might.


Robbyn said...

It's strange, but our society is spiraling deeper and deeper into a total disconnect. We're trying to change things here at our place, but we have a long way to go and prefer to implement things slowly. We're wanting to return to a past lifestyle many generations removed, yet we're very spoiled. I had a conversation with a gentleman yesterday who spoke about the difference between his generation and his grandchildrens' today. Your comments on gasoline made the same point...society at large today is not willing to reverse the fundamentals...the fundamentals affect our ENTIRE life, not just one area such as energy usage. We're finding we're actually scorned for not "keeping up with the times," as if having every new technology is somehow an indicator of quality of life and being integral to this "new society." Baloney. I think part of our path is going to be to pull the plug, my husband and myself. Maybe to the next generation this will look so weird, we'll be considered as separate as the Amish.

And I'd really consider that a compliment at this point.

Bucky said...

Great post, Monica.

You are right about nuclear power. It isn't the answer. I get tired of all those nuke supporters telling me how safe it is -- I'll think they buy their own BS when they are willing to have a nuke power plant in their neighborhood.

Not likely, of course. The by-products of nuclear power are a burden for other people's children.

It is amazing to me that we still don't have any serious conservation efforts in this country. The potential savings from negawatts (energy not used) is enormous.

Anonymous said...

So few people are willing to come out and say conserve. But its really the only answer.
How anyone can think that burdening hundreds of generations with nuclear waste is a solutions is beyond me. Have you read Joanna Macys thoughts on this subject?

Wendy said...

I spent many years living in a coal mining community, and it's not okay. Coal is not clean. The mining of it, in itself, is incredibly destructive to both the people who live in those communities and to the land itself. That's what I tell people who tell me that coal is the answer. It's not. It's not even "an" answer, and we should abandon dependence on it sooner rather than later.

And I agree with you on the nuclear topic. Not in my backyard ... but not at all - even better!

The commenter on your previous post was correct - use less. That's the answer, and if we ALL use less, then we'll be that much closer to being able to have enough with more "gentle" energy sources, like wind, solar, biogas (which uses "waste", like sewer sludge and animal wastes to create methane - not the same as biofuel ;), and hydro power (including the wave power plants you posted about).

The government can build the infrastructure, if we insist that's what we want, but first, we all have to see the need to cut back. That's wherein the problem lies - convincing people to ditch the four television sets and beer refrigerators in the garage.

Mike said...

I think that it is safe technology. I am not afraid of it. It does have to be handled with care, but it does the job and overcomes the complaints of those who do not like using oil or coal. If we do only what most want, we would be back to the horse and wagon and then the people who whine for animals would put that to a stop.
Where do we go?

Dancingfarmer said...

Well Mike,
I understand that many are not "afraid" of it. However, again: is it in your back yard? How about Japan this year?? Isn't that a lesson to learn from?
My point is not necessarily that it should never be used but before we all start whining about how wind and solar don't work well enough lets remember that hardly anyone has it up yet. And those that do say it works great. Nuclear itself is not for every place either. Fracking for gas...well again there are lots of people that have complaints about that since it is in their back yard. HOWEVER since more of us will complain about NOT having A/C in the summer those in power look beyond the few it hurts. It's kind of like how dumps or chemical plants always end up where the poorest people live. Why? Cause they can't do anything about and usually won't.
Sorry....I just don't buy that there is no other alternative and that we'll end up back in the horse and carriage age.