Too much hot air

Many of the arguments surrounding efficient and environmentally-friendly energy generation seem a little less than rational.

The primary issue is to cut back fast on the use of carbon-based fuels. putting down nuclear-based and solar-cell energy generation on the basis that the CO2 generated in their construction exceeds that saved in their working lifetimes misses the point.

The atmospheric pollutants these energy sources generate, including generation of CO2, is negligible compared to the generation of the equivalent power from oil and coal. Nuclear power generation is not a perfect choice, but is among the best we have for the medium term.

On a related topic, you recently carried an article (The Engineer Online) on the proposed introduction of reflective particles and bodies into the atmosphere and space to reflect the sun’s energy. Well, through the 60s, 70s and 80s there was a major effort to reduce particulate and SO2 contamination of the atmosphere. The rate of global warming has been most apparent through the 90s. It looks like we might have already been there.

Ian Neale

Warrington, Cheshire