• Unraveling the “clean energy” myth

    “Call it a lie, if you like, but a lie is a sort of myth and a myth is a sort of truth”- Edmond Rostand. When I read this quote and reflected on the prevailing situation of climate change, I was engulfed by a multi-pronged, inescapable belief that a myth has the power to take a choice and make it look like destiny. “What if Edmond’s claim is a myth that has held me to this inescapable belief?” I thought. With this thought, I realized that I was actually confirming my very own deductions about the power of the myth because if Edmond’s claim was a myth, then it had succeeded in shaping my belief about the subtle lies linked with clean energy as a remedy to climate change. This deceptive characteristic of a myth is what has blindfolded Africa and the globe, in the quest for remedies to climate change.

    Are solar, wind and other alternative energies, the infallible remedies to combating climate change? A lot of messianic endeavors have been made to push for this so called clean energy. Take a look at the recent meeting of world leaders in France to develop the climate change policies that vehemently upheld clean energy. Also, in my very own continent, Africa, there’s a rise of naive optimism in clean energy. African government have successfully been convinced to adopt clean energy technologies in the bid to combat climate change. Is there really need for this relentless global hype of clean energy? Well, I must say that the subtlety of the clean energy rhetoric has deluded many on the continent and in the world.

    Apart from having overwhelming economic limitations, the notion that photo-voltaic cells, wind energy, bio mass are clean alternatives to energy from fossil fuels, ironically, has overwhelming environmental limitations.

    first and foremost, these alternative energies rely on fossil fuels for their initial existence and subsequent survival! They rely on fossil fuels for raw material extraction, for fabrication and for maintenance. Diesel is need to run machines that will fabricate solar panels, in turn releasing harmful emissions to the ozone layer. The manufacturing process of the amount of steel and or plastic needed for assembling a wind mill plant for mass production of electricity, would lead to mass release of harmful emissions (greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere, thus accelerating the depletion of the ozone layer. This is a clear environmental hazard caused by an intention to free the environment from environmental hazards! The mass production of solar panels or photo-voltaic cells has an inescapable potential to release toxic sludge and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere. It turns out fossil fuels have to co-exist with these developments. Ignoring these facts is doing injustice to the environment.

    I might not be wrong if I said that the current global campaign to prop clean energy alternatives in the bid to curb climate change, is actually fueling the climate change process. This is because it is leading to mass industrialization (to produce components) that in turn pollutes the environment. The world is experiencing a boomerang effect in this regard. The subtlety of this boomerang effect is so deep that we have embraced the comfort of the clean energy illusion!


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