In Vienna’s Ratthaus-platz there’s a screen which shows Live Earth – great place to think of your own environmental impact. I’m pretty efficient in that regard – working at home eliminates daily transportation issues, my electricity consumption is mainly backed by clean nuclear energy, and.. oh, I had 20 plane flights in 2007 already. Probably thats far less, compared to what I’d have to do if I visited each and every customer.
Here some Greenpeace activist tried to convert me (don’t know into what). I knew their position, so went into discussion about nuclear energy. It was fascinating to observe how facts-free religious position was presented, with Chernobyl (the crazy experiment gone wild – they forgot that) being the only example of what is wrong with energy, as well as the waste (see, you have to secure it, unlike CO2, which can be set free).
Of course, every field has its own problems, but thats where technology and engineering helps. The Greenpeace guy was all for wind or hydro power, but these ones are not intervening only for those who never leave the cities – the impact on landscape is obvious (and ecologists can measure impact on biosphere). The feeling of Greenpeace being sponsored by Big Oil doesn’t abandon too much – wind or water will never replace real needs of energy, and nuclear power is too big of a threat for energy monopolies.
Now, what made me rant about this – the guy asked me where I was from and after hearing I’m from Lithuania (Litauen!!) he explained to me that it was different mentality issue. See, us from Eastern Europe are simply Wrong. Even if I just paid a visit to vicinity of IAEA headquarters.
I believe that there’re far more problem than massive consumption. It is also massive growth of civilization overall, and we’ll have to achieve technological breakthroughs, or we’ll somehow will have not only to turn off our lights, but turn off some world population together with their needs. Who are they going to be?