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“>Damstadt DeclarationThe industrial transformation of cultural landscapes which have evolved over centuries and even of whole regions is being allowed. Ecologically and economically useless wind generators, some of which stand as high as 120 metres and can be seen from many kilometres away, are not only destroying the characteristic landscape of our most valuable countryside and holiday areas, but are also having an equally radical alienating effect on the historical appearance of our towns and villages which until recently had churches, palaces and castles as their outstanding features to give them character in a densely populated landscape.

More and more people are subjected to living unbearably close to machines of oppressive dimensions. Young people are growing up into a world in which natural landscapes are breaking up into tragic remnants. The oil crisis in the 1970s made everyone very aware of the extent to which industrial societies are dependent on a guaranteed supply of energy. For the first time the general public became aware of the fact that the earth’s fossil fuel resources are limited and could be exhausted in the not too distant future if they continue to be consumed without restraint. In addition came the recognition of the damage which was being caused to the environment by the production and consumption of energy. The loss of trees due to pollution, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident, the legacy of the ever accumulating piles of nuclear waste, the risks of a climatic catastrophe as a consequence of carbon dioxide emissions have all established themselves in the public consciousness as examples of the growing potential threat.

The real problem of population growth and above all the resultant phenomenon of escalating land use and consumption of drinking water supplies is however being pushed aside and being considered instead as a marginal phenomenon. With few exceptions it is not the subject of any political action. On the contrary, the public interest is becoming even more limited, focusing less on energy consumption as a whole and concentrating its fears and criticisms predominantly on the generation of electricity. Admittedly nuclear risks do doubtless exist here. However electrical energy plays more of a minor role in the balance sheet of energy sources. In Germany three quarters of the energy consumed consists of oil and gas. But it is precisely these energy sources whose resources will be exhausted the soonest. If it were really a question of concern for future generations then immediate, decisive action to protect supplies of oil and natural gas would be imperative. Instead petrol consumption continues unchanged, and the idea that we are leaving nothing for our great grandchildren is dispelled with the vague presumption that there will one day be substitutes for fossil fuels. On the other hand hard coal and brown coal, which are the main primary sources of electrical energy, are available in such abundance world-wide, and in many cases in deposits which are as yet unexploited, that electricity production is guaranteed, even with growing-consumption, for centuries, possibly even for a period of over a thousand years.

With regard to the exhaustion of energy sources for fossil fuels the development of electricity production using wind bypasses the problem. Although Germany has taken the lead in the expansion of wind energy use, it has not been possible to date to replace one single nuclear or coal-fired power station. Even if Germany continues to push ahead with expansion it will still not be possible in the future. The electricity produced by wind power is not constant because it is dependent on meteorological conditions, but electricity supplies need to be in line with consumption at all times. For this reason wind energy cannot be used to any significant degree as a substitute for conventional power station capacities.

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