Other alternative energy forms suffer from drawbacks rarely covered by the media or spoken about by politicians. No one mentions that the 104 nuclear power plants across the United States consumed some 52 million pounds of uranium in 2007 and, of that, just two million pounds were from the United States. Our country is on the verge of becoming far more dependent on foreign fuel sources by following the path to nuclear power.
Solar energy is just as bad. Building large thermal solar stations, as is currently being experimented with in deserts around the globe, puts power generation too far away from the consumer to allow for cost-effective transmission. The 2003 blackout taught us a clear lesson: The source of power generation must be near the point of consumption.
Like solar, wind power generation suffers drawbacks. In order to tap into the North American jet stream to produce America’s electric needs, estimates peg the number of windmills at about nine million. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that few studies have been conducted on the potential consequences of disrupting the jet stream. It could be catastrophic.
If global warming is indeed a fact, there is very little that can be done to stop it. Instead, the solution is adaptation and mitigation. Our engineers need to work with the same commitment as the Dutch have to expand upon 700 years of efforts to reclaim land from the sea, or the Venetians and their efforts over 1,500 years to keep their city from being swallowed by the Adriatic.
This is America; defeatists need not apply. Remember, 25,000 years ago mankind crossed from Asia into North America at a time when ice sheets two miles thick covered much of the continent as far south as Manhattan. Yet mankind prospered and did so without electricity, without Gore-Tex and without Al Gore’s Internet.
Adam Victor is president of Project Orange Associates and TransGas Energy Associates. Victor has proposed building a coal gasification plant in Oswego County.
READ THE OPPOSING VIEWPOINT BY DERETH GLANCE.