Of the many things that one encounters when working in the corporate world is the concept where individuals will work to strange ends to manifest success for a project they wish beyond all measures to implement — sometimes in direct spite to what one might believe is to the betterment of the company. In many years of working management roles and corporate roles within companies, I have witnessed this phenomenon many times. Many people term these as “pet projects”, usually led by a Vice President in an organization. Often, somehow, it seems almost that the individual’s entire position and career becomes intertwined with the project’s outcome.
Although partly anecdotal, in many ways, the Democratic Party has done this with the environmental – or rather, Green movement. I say “Green” rather than “environmental”, because there is an important distinction. For one, the concept of environmental beckons that they care more about the environment, and therefore would move towards any project that would improve the environment. Green, however, is much more of a marketing term than a meaningful environmental claim. It’s perception rather than substance.
Though a complex and nuanced issue, gas prices have risen steadily through the Biden Administration. It is not exclusively Biden’s fault, yet it certainly can be argued that it is his responsibility. Still, it seems that the two solutions offered are for Americans to drive less and for there to be a greater reliance on solar — a green energy solution.
To note, solar is fantastic. I plan to install solar on my first purchased home as soon as I am able. However, on a mass scale, it is not practical, nor is it efficient, nor is it convenient. In fact, to generate 100-megawatts, China built a solar farm that covers 248 acres. One might think that this is awesome, but that is 248 acres no longer available for flora or fauna. That area is COVERED in solar panel arrays. This is “Green” energy.
Contrast that to the R E Ginna nuclear power plant in New York. It is the smallest, and it generates 582 megawatts. And while one might argue that it sits upon 426 acres of land, the plant only occupies a small portion of land otherwise available for flora and fauna to thrive.
But yes, there are definitely other concerns with nuclear power that should not be discounted, but carbon emission — a Green talking point — is also zero with a nuclear plant. The point here is to efficiency. Nuclear as a mass-producer of electricity is far more efficient than solar. Nuclear is an environmentally conscious solution to mass energy, while solar is a green solution. Understand the distinction?
The question that needs to be answered in all this isn’t whether solar is better or worse than nuclear, rather is solar power (or even nuclear for that matter) the right solution to rising gas prices? Is solar a suitable alternative to gas?
If everyone drove electric vehicles, then yes. But then gasoline isn’t a large contributor to the generation of electricity that would even go into charging an electric car. That means, in order for solar to become a viable solution, it means that first, everyone must drive an electric car. And then there are problems there too (the mining of lithium for the batteries and disposal of the batteries among them). Given that electric vehicles, though a growing market, only hold a small overall share of the market, using electricity versus gasoline then produces another obstacle: infrastructure. In other words, the transportation industry is built around gasoline and diesel fuels, not electricity. Thus, solar is not a good alternative. At least not in the near future.
Why then would a solution that stands no reasonable chance of working be tendered to resolve the rising fuel costs? Two ideas come to mind here: either those proposing solar as a solution are incompetent, or they are trying to push forward a pet project of their own: the idea of mass implementation of Green energy. Neither answer gives me any sense of confidence that the right people are in charge.