Jwenting: In many countries the reductions will be forced onto people without consideration for the economy.
Oh come on. We´re sacrificing a little short-term growth for ecological progress. But at least over here, most people know that efficient use
of energy contributes to a higher quality of living - and it saves money and troubles in the long run.
Jwenting: The treaty will just be used as an excuse for more taxes on energy 'so people use less energy in order to reduce emissions'
There´s no excuse needed - that´s what they are for.
Jwenting: instead of an incentive to actively invest in nuclear power
Even the german nuclear industry has just refused to support the conservative chancellor candidate in a reversal of the nuclear exit strategy negotiated with the current government. The train has already left the station.
Jwenting: (other sources are useless, for example a solar plant is not cleaner than a coalpowered plant for the first 10 years of its operation due to the polution caused by the production of the solar power units).
1) The current generation of solar panels has become a lot better than that. And they live a lot longer than 10 years as well.
2) The total energy balance the nuclear power plants is not a lot better (if at all). Even if you´re discounting the humongous efforts required to dispose of contaminated nuclear fuel, components and complete power plants, the massive overhead required makes nuclear energy quite inefficient. If there weren´t the huge subsidies on account of nuclear weapons programs, nuclear energy would be entirely unprofitable. You´re just paying most of your nuclear energy bill through your taxes
, not to the utilities themselves...
3) Everybody has recognized after 9-11 that nuclear plants are prime targets for terrorists. Especially in densely populated areas like Europe, entire nations could be wiped off the map by a major nuclear disaster. This has been one of the factors in the criticism against nuclear energy in Germany for decades, and even german plants (which are among the most heavily armored ones) are just protected against accidental crashes up to the size and speed of a Cessna; Certainly not against fighter jets or airliners aimed
at them at full speed.
energy isn´t really the big issue (although efficiency can be increased a lot even there). There is still much more efficiency potential in heating, air conditioning, traffic and industrial consumption.
Jwenting: In fact, many countries are replacing nuclear plants with coal and oil fired plants to pacify the environmentalists.
Partially. Usually the new ones are highly efficient high-tech affairs, while at the same time old and inefficient conventional plants are retired.
By the way, we´re just now dismantling the former GDR nuclear plant in Greifswald. It wasn´t up to western standards anyway, but it´s still an opportunity to get specialists trained in this kind of project. And it´s a hugely expensive project at that. Dismantling nuclear plants is tricky business - and it´s about to become another successful export...
This phase of the nuclear industry is just beginning - and we´re learning about the real
costs as we go along. Please include several ten thousand years of guarded storage in your calculations, while you´re at it.
Jwenting: Without a reversal in this worrisome trend the only option open to those countries (countries like Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) will be to reduce their industry to pre WW2 levels.
You´re plain wrong on that count. European industry already has for decades
decoupled economic growth from increasing energy consumption - the trick is more efficiency
on the consumption side. And the same is true for private consumers. We just don´t need
ever-increasing amounts of energy to increase production - or our standard of living. We simply decided we didn´t want to waste
as much as we used to.
And it works very well.