Even potentially cheaper fossil fuels should NOT tempt us away from saving our planet.
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 14:29
The recent discovery of techniques to extract vast reserves of shale gas has caused uncertainty around the future of energy. I pose the question, can we afford to exploit these resources or is it more important to develop renewable energy? Why are people so quick to see shale gas as a “solution” ? Considering the threat of global warming has been in the news for over 40 years why hasn’t the need for renewable energy received the same immediate attention? Instead we appear to be taking a step backwards in our pursuit to dig deeper and use more of the earth’s natural resources that will inevitable cause more damage to planet.
Tony Juniper, Chairman of Action for Renewables (A4R), argued that through extracting shale gas “we are putting much more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and worst still investing in long term infrastructure that’s going to make it very hard for us to turn back from what looks like a catastrophe according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) who warn us that the door is now closing in changing our energy habits”. Conversely, former Tory chancellor, Nigel Lawson described shale gas as “the most exciting technological breakthrough… it means that there is now the prospect of cheap gas in abundance all over the world including incidentally in this country”.
It would appear that Nigel Lawson is very much thinking short-term as he displays no interest in the environment and therefore fails to recognise the urgency for change. Interestingly whilst Lawson describes renewables as “hopelessly uneconomic”, Juniper correctly identifies that putting a price on environmental damage “would change the economics of everything.” I couldn’t agree with this more and strongly believe that in order to safeguard the planet we must eradicate our dependency on fossil fuels.
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