Recently, I saw a documentary about alternative energies. It was very interesting, although a lot of it wasn’t totally new to me.
I mean we all know, that oil, gas and coal won’t be available forever. And nuclear power isn’t a satisfying solution either, since we still don’t know what to do with the highly toxic waste.
Therefore, alternative sources are needed. Many things are found, or so we believe, like e-cars, solar panels, wind and water energy.
It dawned on me already a while ago that – like everything else – these alternatives have another side of the coin too. And what I learned now, it’s much worse than I thought!
Of course, I was aware that by using electrical cars, we still have the problem with the batteries. Or by using the wind, these huge wind parks kill countless birds. The back side of water energy are the turbines, who kill millions of fish each year. Especially eel and salmon, who need to return to their place of birth , in order to spawn.
But I had no idea, what exact resources are needed to satisfy this new growing, “clean” industry. The most sought-after raw materials are the so called “rare-earth metals”. Apparently, China has worldwide most occurrence of these precious materials.
Sadly, as so often, the environment pays the high price for humans endless greed.
The pictures where shocking! Huge mines are destroying the nature. Water is needed in unimaginable quantities, which gets contaminated and generates toxic lakes. The air around is loaded with poisonous particles. Not only does it kill the workers in these mines and factories, but it turns hundreds of square kilometres around it into a hostile dead area.
It doesn’t look better than coal mines or oil rigs. In order to salve one’s conscience, we want clean energy by using solar panels and by buying lithium batteries. Of course to the best of one’s knowledge, don’t get me wrong!
Patrik and I wanted the same! We constantly search for ways to keep our ecological impact on this planet as little as possible. A few years ago we threw out our 20+ old oil-heating in our house and replaced it by an air heat pump. Now we are customizing our yacht and bought 5 solar panels in order to produce our own power. We want to buy an electric motor, and sell the Mercury we have now for the dinghy. In the future we also want to replace the existing board batteries by lithium batteries. Installing LED lights throughout the boat is also our aim…. and so on.
So, the million dollar question is, do we harm our environment more by buying these new, “green” things? Are we just soothing our remorse?
It looks like we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place!