Prejudice without thought

I had to bite my lip today, and not respond to provocation in a forum this morning.

It wasn't deliberated provocation, but an example of how ordinary folk can be hoodwinked by decades of negative publicity, which basically results in them becoming brainwashed, and not even willing to consider discussion of a subject let alone consideration.

This morning's subject was wind power versus nuclear power. The easy one to deal with was nuclear power – they had no need for discussion: dangerous, proven dangerous, expensive, pointless, dangerous, proven dangerous. Fair comment, but this is 2006, not 1956 when the technology was unknown, and the motivation was plutonium production for Cold War weapons, not power generation. The nuclear power generation industry has 50 years of development behind it now, awareness of the problems, and the production technology and software development to build plants that can't repeat the naivety and foolishness of the past.

Unlike the city dwellers that are all happy to jump for joy and welcome wind farms with open arms as a fabulous source of green and renewable energy, I live near to some of the areas of Scotland that are being blighted by the sight and sound of these things. THEY ARE A CON! They're not cheap, attracting massive subsidies to make their installation economic. They're not green, requiring roads to built and scar the area they are built in so the construction can be supported. They're not a panacea, being subject to the vagaries of the wind, a reliable baseload supply is still needed, or the lights will go out when they stop. They consume vast areas of land, destroying the tourism industry and jobs of the areas they are parachuted into. Again, the numbers are ignored, tens of thousand of the things would be required to make a major impact on the amount of conventional power generation required.

We DO NEED WIND POWER, but as part of an integrated solution. Wave and tidal are harder to achieve so have been largely ignored, and the same sort of subsidy needs to be thrown at developers to promote them. The same goes for offshore wind farms. More difficult to install, but probably in a better and more reliable source of wind on the land/sea interface, and not consuming vast tracts of land.

But do me a favour… don't let the anti-nuclear brain-washers get to you. Ignore their propaganda and go find your own information from sources independent of them (and the equally daft pro-nuclear loonies too. Crazy pro is just as bad as crazy anti).

(No, I'm categorically not in the nuclear power industry, but I am an electrical engineer who can read and understand the data).

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