Maple Bay – Mr. Thomson’s May 22 article "Nuclear has a place in power discussion" is right when he says that a "mix" of energy technologies is needed to phase out fossil fuels.
But he has underestimated the capability of solar; and overestimated the capability of nuclear. I have just spent four days in Heidelberg, Germany, as a guest of their ex-mayor, Beate Weber. (And yes, as a "carbon buster" I travelled to Europe on a carbon neutral cargo freighter). Ironically, it was the anti-nuclear fears of Germans that propelled their solar revolution – about 30 per cent of existing electricity comes from wind and solar, and they are aiming for 80 per cent.
Yes thorium is better than uranium; but the time and resources needed to develop a safe nuclear technology, and overcoming public attitudes, are too long to solve the crisis
of climate change. We need immediate action to phase out the use of carbon fuels – catastrophic climate change events, like flooding in Houston, are happening now. And unlike nuclear, solar is a proven and safe technology which can produce massive amounts of energy at prices competitive with BC Hydro.
Don’t believe me? Well then, come to my next presentation to the CVRD sometime this fall to hear a cost benefit analysis of my Cowichan solar "farm" of 192 solar panels. They will soon produce 50,000 kwh of energy per year and make a five per cent profit on my investment.
Mr. Thomson correctly noted that the solar industry in Germany is experiencing difficult times right now. Conservative politics and the influence of the fossil fuel industry have created huge problems; but hey, we know all about that in Canada.
Public debate is good; but public action is needed urgently. Solar energy works.
Maple Bay Cowichan Carbon Buster