Environmentalism generally has its heart in the right place, but often, not its grip on science. Too many times folks jump on the bandwagon of what they honestly believe is good for the planet only to find out later that there were a lot of downsides overlooked as a result of the initial euphoria. As an example wind technology robs the earth of winds, which in turn reduce reforestation and evaporation, which in turn heat the planet. But we don’t talk about that. Trust me, as more wind farms go up and the effect is felt, we will talk about it.
Orthodox science teaches clearly that there is no such thing as a magic machine, there is no perpetual energy. Science has laws that teach students very early on in their studies that To make X, you will generate Y in waste and undesirable products. The good steward wants badly to believe that there are new, magic technologies that will provide the same benefits as old technologies, but without downsides. However, while some technologies may offer a little better efficiency and cleanliness, the scientific Laws we learn of Conservation of mass and energy tell us clearly, that all machines, are going to make about the same amount of bad stuff. There is no escaping this.
No place is this “oops” factor more evident than with a new gas fired steam plant that is being constructed in Memphis, TN. Environmental activism lead the TVA to close the coal fired Allen Steam plant in Memphis and put in a new, so-called clean technology.
The celebrating of environmentalists over the new “clean” plant just got rained on by the discovery of the OTHER side of the equation. You know, the equation I mentioned just a moment ago, if you make X, you are going to have Y in negative things to deal with.
Well, as it turns out the new plant is going to require 3.5 million gallons per day of water. The most logical and economical source of that water is the Memphis Sand Aquifer. Environmentalists are now upset because they believe that the heralded new “clean” plant is going to jeopardize the quantity and quality of the great Memphis Sand Aquifer. Ah, they forgot about the OTHER side of the equation.
Environmentalists now want the “clean” plant to use other water sources such as industrial waste water. Can this be done? Of course, however, once again the OTHER side of the equation comes in. It is expensive and polluting to convert waste water into high-quality process water. So now you see if the environmentalist gets his way, the energy produced becomes too expensive for TVA to make a profit on.
This is yet another case where looking at only the part of science that we like, winds up creating a mess in the long run. If we really want to do the best for our planet, we need to start actually reading science textbooks and not headlines. We need to understand industrial process and scientific protocol. If we did, issues like this TVA water problem would be addressed before new plans were ever settled upon.