What about a Green Future

What about a Green Future

For many years I've been concerned about the status of the environment and it appears that my concerns were not wasted.

I wonder why the resources and industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, thinks that nuclear power is the answer. The National Party is also interested in looking into nuclear power. Why do some ministers think it is a viable option for Australia and its energy needs?

The door is still open for debate but if things go down the nuclear path there may be no return. John Anderson has also indicated that any such program may take as long as two decades to complete. I wonder whether the public will notice and will they care. Of course they should.

One thing I found is that the subject is rather complex in its nature but simple answers can be found; however, it does come with a modern compromise and that is to adjust to a less power hungry existence.

Ok, power hungry is ok if you're green and it can be done, people do it, but why can't the government support this? Australians are power hungry energy users and this is not isolated to industry but also applies to commercial and residential users. The issue is one with many competitors all trying to make solid their share of the energy supply market. I wonder how much of what I see on TV and in the paper is part of an agenda.

One thing is clear: coal is no longer the best option but is the answer really nuclear power? No, well it doesn't have to be.

From what I've read NSW Premier, Bob Carr, is considered the greenest Labour politician and is a proponent of nuclear power but has extended reservations. He may come around. I hope he hears the green energy cries.

Offering sympathy to Carr is treasurer Peter Costello and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson; really, what are their individual positions on the matter? The Upper and Lower Houses are still made up of a group of individuals with a vote each so we the public can force them to act in the interest of the public instead of the corporate agenda's. Queensland Premier Peter Beatie and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks seem to be the real opponents of a nuclear free Australia.

The calls for the movement into a nuclear future have been fuelled by fresh claims that nuclear power is green energy. Never have I read such an idea, it sounds ridiculous. Nuclear material is a ground spoiler and it's got a long life and long half life.

One thing is clear and that is the need for a new energy plan for NSW. The road will be hard but most supporters of real green energy would agree that the future still remains with solar/wind/hydrogen products. Decentralisation is best but centralised power is ok if they take on the real green path.

The key is in the areas of energy conservation and product manufacturing energy standards. So new standards should apply first to the user end efficiency of a product and then to the manufacturing process. Efficiency has always been the area of greatest gain and on a national level may in time be the only logical step left. Hopefully it doesn't come after the nuclear road has been taken.

The problem is huge and one can be brought to an understanding of how nuclear power could be the answer. Although the air quality would be better nuclear would destroy the soil; will we get down the track and think oops, that was a bad idea?

There are many factors including national security that have not been taken into consideration. Amazingly, we could secure ourselves by actually helping to fix and aid the environmental problems while being the leader via new solutions. If standards of life fall all over the planet and we as a nation decide to act early we will in fact have the mechanisms to make a safe transition through any environmental changes.

Nuclear is not the answer.

It's simply a risk to go to a reliance on or even supplementation with nuclear power. Yes, there would be less CO2 but now the ground which is changing all the time would be filled with even more toxic life-killing chemicals. The protection of water supplies is a key area that worries many opponents.

I've been a supporter of decentralised power supply for homes and my reasons are very clear. Can the manufacturing sectors take this path of independent energy production; probably not, but soon yes. The end consumers, the home owners, could definitely jump on the real green wagon. With the current state of the planet why would we not? It would be crazy to sit back and watch and do nothing.

Governments should be focusing on the way to make energy use cheaper via new manufacturing power standards (as mentioned). Is Carr retreating from an anti-nuclear stance and from what has been set in stone? I ask what's going down in the other states because in my opinion the issue is of great national importance. Lets hope it's not nuclear.

Warren Lake.

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