In Germany, arguments are raging over the decision to close down all nuclear plants by 2022 following the tragic and avoidable meltdown of Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Germany's Angela Merkel although pressed hard by electoral gains by the Greens, has still taken a brave decision. However, it will also cast a long shadow over the landscape as the solution seems to be to build 'mega masts' to move energy from the North's wind turbines to the South via power lines in the sky.
|Chancellor's Angel Merkel takes a brave step towards a non-nuclear future|
Traversing the beautiful forests of Rennsteig, the high voltage cables on large pylons, will scar an idyllic piece of the countryside to provide the 'Energie Autobahn' that cities such as Munich and Stuttgart will need. This is a quick and lazy solution to the problem. If the Government was willing, it could bury the lines or find other solutions to developing alternative energy sources for the South of Germany.
|Local residents opposing the proposed pylons|
The risks from nuclear energy and all the waste that accompanies it are well known but after a hiatus of the past ten years when nuclear energy seemed to grow in respectability, Fukushima blew away the veil of naivety to reveal a form of science that repeatedly causes deadly consequences. Nuclear has received bad press over the years from a suspicious public and media seizing on any doomsday news to exploit fears and worries over its safety. By ignoring the massive waste problem and tinkering with the figures, the argument was that nuclear was cheap, safe and carbon neutral.
|The belt of nuclear reactors around the earth's middle|
But Fukushima once and for all ended the 'rational', 'green' argument that nuclear was needed in a world with self inflicted climate change.
|Before and after the explosion at Fukushima|
The world should detach itself from the reliance of nuclear energy and massively invest in sustainable energy sources; wind, solar and water power. For too long countries have given muted support to alternatives and failed to turn them into mainstream. This is not an easy solution and arguments rage over whether alternatives energy sources can meet the demand, especially with the massive increases in energy demand from developing nations such as China and India, but a way has to be found. No one ever said finding enough energy for the human race was an easy science, but the sooner we seriously start, the better. Germany has taken the first steps and the rest of the world should follow. Organisations such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are blazing the trail to find 100% sustainable energy solutions.