> I am not sure how I feel about the coal industry. I have mixed
> feelings. It is so destructive to the health of the miners, there
> are so many accidents; is it truly worth it as an alternate source
> of energy? This might not be an appropriate topic for this list....
If Ray is busy and we're quick about it, we could squeeze in a short discussion
before getting a smack, I'm sure... ;-)
Anyway, it is relevant in that Irish west-coast gas, Scottish North Sea oil and
Welsh coal are all important to the economies of each country.
Coal isn't an alternative energy source in the usual sense. It is a fossil fuel
used long before oil and gas were. It is worth it as an alternative to oil and
gas, though, as it'll become increasingly cheaper relative to oil and gas over
the next several decades as it'll run out slower than these others.
Meanwhile, the Irish government has given away the Corrib gas field, North Sea
oil is running out fast, and Welsh coal is almost a non-industry these days.
Also meanwhile, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany and Ireland all have direct access
to the best source of wave energy on the planet - the NW Atlantic, and excellent
sources of wind energy. Brittany and Cornwall can viably use solar. In the midst
of this, the UK government is intent to crank up the development of a new
generation of nuclear power plants and wants to sell off Sellafield to private
ownership, placing thereby a great threat to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in
commercial rather than state hands.
Over the next couple of decades the issue of how and where to source energy will
become increasingly critical. It should have become critical 10-20 years ago.
Anyone care to comment on the implications for national security (nuclear power
plants), economic viability (loss of oil, gas and coal deposits), and the effect
of implementing the likes of wind farms on the landscape of Celtic countries?
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