Many people identify the production of greenhouse gases as being a major contributor of global warming and as a future threat to the planet`s health and ozone well being. Some people/groups, only go as far as generally stating that greenhouse gases are the root cause of accelerated global warming, while a few others go one step further and name the car and electricity consumption as being a required target for public reduction. While it is correct to identify the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to look at the car and power usage as the major culprits, it seems less than honest not to tell us how we are expected to achieve this reduction in a modern society. How do we do it and how will it effect every day life?
My suspicions are that some conservationists/greens, have got themselves caught up between a rock and a hard place on the issue of nuclear power. This unwillingness to embrace nuclear power as a major power generating source has instead cornered many conservationists/greens intoputting up with coal, gas and oil driven generators, which because of their very pollution/greenhouse gas levels, led them to call for a public reduction in the use of electricity in an attempt to minimize the volume of pollution produced by these plants. This less than honest stand, that of trying to promote less energy usage so that some could still look clean and green, was always doomed to fail because socially and economically the trend is upwards in mobility and electronic dependence. Everyone today wants and deserves an equal chance, they do not, will not go back to the have and have nots.
The real world isn`t always a nice place at times although thanks to the efforts of science and conservationists, we are making it nicer than it was. However, some conservationists and others should have bitten the bullet on the issue of nuclear power rather than hiding from the real world and attempting to be all things to all people, because nuclear power together with other clean generators meets one of their objective and opens the gateway to another objective, that of clean transportation.
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Electrically powered vehicles are not a real option for a cleaner environment until most, if not all generating stations are clean producers of power. However, once clean power is available the second objective, that of reducing /removing petrol and diesel emissions can then be met by electrically powered vehicles, providing governments actively encourages the use of such vehicles by making the recharging costs significantly less than current fossil fuels. Unless mile for mile the recharging costs are at least 50% cheaper than the equivalent of fossil fuels, then we have missed the boat. People must be better off switching to electric powered vehicles, making real cash savings and not real term accountancy ones.
The current technology of electrically powered vehicles, while not in its infancy has still some way to go in developing power cell technology and power duration. Although the industry is making progress, it will not be until this technology is in daily public use that research and development will get the boost it needs. For as long as this technology remains out of mass public use, then it will languish on the development bench. Nothing will transform its future development like public use and ownership.
The market for electric vehicles is out there in local utility companies, council departments, local commercial deliveries and as the second family car, most of which on a daily usage basis, would be well within the current limitation of power, storage and range. That electric powered vehicles would initially be limited to local use should not be seen as a negative factor but as a positive step forward, in reducing pollution levels.
The means of achieving lower greenhouse emissions are within our current technology and available today as a way forward. That nuclear energy has a deadly waste product is acknowledged and I, like many other people are concerned over safety. But we need to balance this with the opportunity we have of moving towards a cleaner environment in a relatively short time. We can always look again at new, better, safer ways of producing power in a future we have secured for ourselves.