Social psychologists have found that our desire to do the right thing is often trumped by that little voice in our heads that tells us to go ahead, “you deserve this, so what if it’s bad!” The fact that we have become very accustom to throwing the switch and having the lights come on and never considering where that power comes from or is made by has that little voice working overtime for most of us!
When it comes to being concerned about where our electrical power comes from, when asked if they know, most tend to blank over in a stare and answer; the wall? The issue is further complicated by the recent deregulation of utility companies letting the consumer buy from the cheapest supplier, while still getting their power from the local utility. Very confusing stuff to be paying one company while another does the providing and service work. In that same slight of hand style, our power is provided from many sources and what ends up coming into your home is an amalgam of energy created from various sources.
Thanks to the grid, we have no idea where our energy is produced be it, nuclear, coal, natural gas, sun, and wind or hydroelectric. They all arrive at your door complexly disbursed so that you have no idea where the power you use was created. We can say hats off to the system that blends it all together into one massive power grid and shame on us for not sending a thank you letter for such good work. Despite anyone’s best efforts to sort out where our power originates from, stats readily available to inquiring minds tell us the majority of our power comes from coal, followed by a combination of petroleum nuke plants, hydroelectric systems, the wind and some sun. For an exact breakdown, click here.
So why get upset about where it is coming from? Given the fact that we have so many sources of power and they all go into the same grid, one can just fill the hole when the other runs out. King Coal will be around for quite a while. Yet enough are concerned about this energy source’s effect on our climate that they tell us we need to be more aware of it Despite all the bad things we know and the lack of solutions to the problems associated with the new interest in nuclear power the quest to increase nuclear power’s presence in the energy grid is growing.
Fittingly, on the thirty-first anniversary of the Three Mile Island accident one has to ask, has this industry and process for producing power gotten any safer? Are we able now to operate plants that don’t release dangerous radioactive materials into our air? Are we safe stepping away from coal, despite its green house effects? The answer, as usual, depends on whom you ask.
Of course those who stand to make the most money say it is safer now. Those who like things just the way they are want to invest in nuclear power plants. One begins to see that nuclear power is coming to our rescue whether we want it to or not. In other words, the cavalry is coming to our rescue and they have a glow about them.
One thing for sure, the internal costs of operating a nuclear plant all go right into the mix of what your power will cost. But how big of an insurance policy does one buy to cover loosing an entire state for the next ten thousand years? Aha, now we’re back to listening to that bad man on our shoulders…
(not done yet…)