Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 |
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Be careful what you wish for.
Listen, I am very much into saving the planet from climate changes that promise to kill a lot of species and many millions of humans.
But, the way that governments are going about it is wrong. The world depends on fossil fuels to survive and prosper. Food, transportation, medicine, heating, refrigeration, clothing, etc. The list if very very long. We take for granted that there will be food in stores. Without fossil fuels, there will not be.
Even if you just consider the transportation of getting the food that is produced to market, it is crucial to have fossil fuels.
Yes, fossil fuels will run out. I do not know when. I do know that failing to explore for them and transport them and process them will cause major, as in catastrophic, food shortages.
Food shortages will cause nations to fail and civilization to fall apart. Think Somalia.
We are not immune to food shortages in America. Besides the major drought in the West and the flooding in the East, diesel fuel to get the food to markets is becoming scarce.
Using up the strategic petroleum reserve to appear to be doing something about the energy shortage is plain stupid. It leaves the nation very vulnerable to any natural or human caused emergency … like Hurricane Ian or war.
We need to let our leaders know that we, as a nation, need to go slow in the transition to renewables so that we have time to build the infrastructure needed for the transition. We will need to use fossil fuels to make the transition. I know, it is ironic. But it is true. To get to a carbon free future we will need carbon based fuels to build out the infrastructure we need.
So, please, spare me the leaders who think that magic will get us to carbon free. It ain’t gonna happen that way. We need to use common sense and demand it from our leaders.
I do not think there is any way to make the transition to all electric everything without using carbon based fuels. I don’t have to like it. But if we are to be realistic, we need to face that fact.
I drive an EV. I love it. But I know that my electric grid cannot function without fossil fuels … yet. Yeah, I know, it would be really great if we could just flip a switch and go all electric, but it’s not going to happen. We are getting the cart before the horse.
Build what is needed for the transition and then flip the switch.
Incidentally, I think thorium power should replace oil and gas and coal fired plants. I also think that the newest uranium power plants can be extremely safe and economical.
There are answers that do not mess up the world economy by shutting down fossil fuel power before we are ready.
Hawaii is trying hard to get to carbon free. But we need to be methodical. We need to get all our ducks in a row and not go off half cocked.
We can get there. It just takes some time and preparation and patience.
Tom Beach is a resident of Waimea
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