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Iznogoud

Why Green Tech Will Win

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First of all let’s start off with a few reasons for going green that have nothing to do with climate change.

1. Green tech is cheaper.  It used to be that various forms of green tech had to be subsidized by government; in fact a few of them like hydrogen fusion and tidal power still do.  However, current solar and wind installations are now cheaper than coal.  Simple economics dictates that the more efficient system will eventually win out.  Currently electric vehicles are still more expensive than conventional gas and diesel powered cars, but that is changing rapidly as more and more electric cars are produced and the world’s auto-makers gear up to produce them.  Eventually they will cost no more to buy than their hydrocarbon-fueled rivals.

 

2. Green tech is cleaner.  There should be no argument here.  If you are in favour of air that is free of the poisons given off by fossil fuels green tech is the only choice.

 

3. Green tech is not as environmentally destructive.  Open-pit mines and the problems caused by fracking either do not exist or are greatly reduced when it comes to acquiring the materials required to develop green infrastructure or power electric vehicles.

4. Geo-political considerations.  For decades the world has been plagued by the uncertainty associated with global oil production.  Prices have fluctuated wildly in the last 50 odd years creating a rather unstable situation in regard to economic planning.  Not only that, but the world’s largest oil reserves are found in nations that are not particularly friendly toward the West and who have not hesitated to use their oil production as a form of blackmail.

5. Green tech is infinitely renewable.  The world is hardly likely to experience a shortage of wind or sunlight.

 

6. Green tech is flexible.  For the most part hydroelectric power, nuclear and coal-fired power plants are costly large-scale projects that require years to build and cost billions of dollars.  In addition, cost overruns are common in such projects.  By comparison solar and wind installations can be built to any scale.  Solar panels on rooftops are already commonplace and farms, small towns, and larger industries are perfect for wind power.  Isolated communities in areas of northern Canada, for example, could be served without the necessity of hooking up to the electrical grid.

 

7. Green tech is evolving.  In recent years the efficiency of wind and solar has increased many times over and both technologies, especially solar are expected to improve even more in the next decade or so.  This, coupled with improved electrical storage systems in the form of increased battery efficiency gives green tech an edge that cannot be matched by other energy sources; all of which appeared to have peaked. 

 

8. If you want raw power, no modern engine matches an electric motor.  Railroad locomotive designers realized this years ago when they created the diesel-electric engine as did railroad builders in Japan and Europe who designed their all-electric high speed rail networks.  The Tesla Model 3, designed as a family sedan will pretty much blow away gas-powered vehicles that are similar in design.

9. Everyone has access to it.  Solar and/or wind are available everywhere.  No nation has to depend on imports from unreliable and often expensive sources.

As noted in the introduction, none of these reasons has anything to do with climate change.  In that regard conversion to green energy is simply icing on the cake.  Whether or not man-made global warming is real or not is irrelevant in terms of the switch to green tech, but if it is real, then that is simply one more reason to go green.

 

Now, before anyone starts pissing all over this post, I realize the following:

1. That the changes mentioned are not going to happen overnight.  It took decades for the internal combustion engine to supplant animal power and it will take decades for green tech to supplant existing technology.  I also realized that China and other nations are still building coal-fired power plants.  However, I also realize that China is also committed to eliminating fossil fuels.  Apparently the Chinese do not like breathing poison any more than anyone else does. 

2. That green tech is not entirely green.  All technology uses raw materials and these have to be extracted, and the extraction process is rarely friendly to the environment.

 

That said, the changes mentioned will probably happen faster than expected.  As an example the first iPhone came out in 2007, now there are literally billions of smartphones.  Similarly I replaced all of my incandescent house lighting in 1996.  Two years ago I got rid of all my fluorescents and switched to LEDs.  I find the speed of change in the 21st Century to be quite amazing and expect that the speed at which the world will change to green tech will be surprising to many.  However, it is going to happened whether anyone likes it or not.

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Green = no CO2 emission, is this what you are stating?

What about the conception of solar pannels? Is it safe for the environment?

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R&D is needed to make Solar and other Battery Technology viable and affordable. It's ultimately where things are going. Fossil Fuels are such a finite resource. 

I don't agree that Carbon Pricing is the solution. You need a viable alternative, you can't just make transportation unaffordable to a vast portion of society. That's taking us backwards, not forwards. 

I have a Hybrid now, I would totally get an electric car if it was a viable alternative. There'll be a tipping point where the demand for electric vehicles outstrip that of fossil fuel powered vehicles. 

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On 1/16/2019 at 9:07 PM, QuebecOverCanada said:

Toxic waste?  Here's toxic waste.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/14/canadas-shameful-environmental-secret-tar-sands-tailings-ponds

BTW you are also breathing it thanks to internal combustion engines.

Edited by Iznogoud
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