Sunday, May 6, 2012

I don't care to write a pro or anti-geothermal treatise.

The reason is that, although I can write propaganda and push buttons,  I would simply make more enemies and change no one's mind no matter which side I took.  However, I can make statements which I believer are accurate.  I believe both sides are doing it wrong and I believe these are reasonable assumptions.

(1) New geothermal plants(s) are going in.  It doesn't matter what the residents want.  It matters who gets paid.  Arguing against the construction based upon historical or religious beliefs will be ineffective.  They have been generally ineffective for thirty years. Prior injury has not abated the issue.  Continuing to expect that it will is a failed strategy.  You must make the plants unprofitable for anyone but us, and you must plan for and provision for a disaster.  Asking for a larger exclusion area is not planning for a disaster.  It is merely an invitation for the county to condemn your property to make the exclusion zone.   

(2) The plants will suffer a disaster at some point.  It is simply the nature of nature.  Everything breaks eventually.  Making that point and using Fukushima as an example of failed planning is a better working strategy because it places the onus of safety and responsibility on the builder.  Demanding that the community or the county or even the state own the plants and operate them as a co-op would destroy the profit factor and either cause them not to be built, or cause your electric bills to go to $20 a month with proper safety measures in place.  I live miles from those areas, yet I have and carry full face respirators which would allow me to evacuate a blowout area.  So it is obvious that I believe a threat exists.

(3) These are some very interesting scientific data.  http://www.dukelabs.com/Publications/PubsPdf/HU0706_Geol280FHawaiiGuide.pdf


(a)  A clever person could use this to make a reasoned argument that continued drilling along the rift zone could contribute to opening another caldera between the current geothermal plant and the ocean, on a line between Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Loihi.  But I am already persona-non-grata with the opponents, so I have no compelling interest in making that argument.  But if that rift zone opened to the atmosphere, it would be fed by the same forces which are creating Loihi.  This would be no more dangerous than what exists now, but it would place it in an awkward area and make half of Puna unlivable.

(b) Another clever person could make exactly the opposite argument using the same data.  Similarly, I have no compelling reason to make that argument, especially since several scientists are being paid - or will be paid to make it.

I regret losing some of my friends because I speak my mind.  I do not regret speaking my mind.  My only regret is that reason can never overcome emotion and emotion can never overcome greed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment