Enlightenment requires more than wind farms
The British Government’s confidence in the capacity of wind turbines to deliver 20 per cent of our power is quaint but not reassuring. When high-pressure zones settle over Northern Europe, delivering brilliant starlit nights with intense chill or sweltering August dog days, the London Array will not help us.
We need back-up. That means nuclear power, but which government minister is actively promoting new reactors? Where is the nuclear waste to be stored? Who is considering the planning process and how will it be accelerated? We need these reactors within a decade.
It is easier for a government in limbo to promote offshore wind turbines. Many people prefer renewables and advocate conservation, insulation and a lighter foot on the accelerator, but history is not on their side. Civilisation is about illumination. Christians who dress trees with lights are tapping into something that is quite fundamental. Jews light Chanukah candles and Hindus celebrate Diwali with lights.
December 20, 2006
by Carl Mortished: European briefing
in The Times
December is grim for those of us who are scared of the dark. We spare no energy in adorning trees with bulbs, mantelpieces with candles and high streets with kitsch illumination.
My children are keen participants in the winter kilowatt orgy. Banishing the dark corners on the stairs (where monsters hide), they throw every switch and bathe the house in glorious, comforting light. Curmudgeons (guess who) grumble at the cost of it all, and those more public-spirited give warning of the wider consequences of energy profligacy — global warming, shortages, political conflict and wars fought for oil.
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