Friday, May 09, 2008

"Reduce consumption and use solar energy. Don't go nuclear."

Answer : No doctor will prescribe the same medicine for obesity and malnutrition. There is a humongous disparity in the consumption levels of the world today. It is true that most of the consumption in Western societies is wasteful and directly harmful to the environment. But nuclear energy is a valuable aide in lifting up the living standards of the developing world. The energy-consumption levels of the third world will have to inevitably rise to obtain decent living standards.

Apart from producing greenhouse gases, we are rapidly depleting mineral and water reserves (Consumerist societies are meat eating. Production of meat consumes 12 times more water than the production of vegetable protein). Some of the clean energy options such as bio-fuels, wind power and hydel power compete with food production for these resources, so they have to be used with care. The depletion of these resources will cause famine and war all over the world. As I have mentioned earlier in my blog, bio-fuels could be a valuable tool in making land profitable in the developed world, thus ending the food subsidies that are enjoyed by big farmers there. Developing countries should look upon bio-fuels more carefully, because they are more pressed for land and water.

Both nuclear and solar energy are valuable towards desalinating water, and averting famine. Along with attempts at reducing consumption, these novel sources of energy will prove priceless in improving the well being of the world.

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