Don't hold your breath!

Posted by David Bamford



A couple of weeks ago I decided not to renew, after 2 or 3 years, my subscription to the New Scientist, the weekly magazine with a broad science and technology scope.

Why did I do that? Well, I was dis-enchanted with their Guardian-esque, left-leaning views, the focus on R&D and innovation from academia rather than industry, and I found I was not interested in the rather large proportion of articles on the life/biological sciences.


Also a week or so ago I heard Al Gore giving forth on the BBC “Today” programme and thought to myself that if he had told me that the New England Patriots had won the 2017 Superbowl I would have to go and check…….even though I know they did, I watched it! Lo and behold, with a completely different logic of course, New Scientist then published a short piece saying Mr Gore was a poor champion of the need for urgent action on climate change, basically because many folk would have had the same reaction to him that I did!

Which leads me to…..

One of Mr Gore's ‘inconvenient truths' is that Renewable Energy is delivering ever more rapidly and will soon dominate. Again, lo and behold, New Scientist published last week an Analysis entitled “The green revolution is stalling”, a few key points of which were:

1, Wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy supply just 8% of the world's electricity.
2. Looking beyond electricity, Renewables supply only 3% of the world's total energy use.
3. Even if you count in hydro and nuclear, just 14% of our energy isn't from fossil fuels. This figure has changed little over the last 25 years. Coal is far from dead; oil and gas are growing fast.
4. On forward prognoses, we are “centuries away” from a clean energy system.

Of course, the pitch of the Analysis is that governments need to do much more to boost Renewables. But this seems to me to put unfounded Optimism ahead of what the Data is telling us!

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Renewable EnergyFossil FuelsAl Gore

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