Alternativas a la energía alternativa

VIRGINIA BEACH - El problema de las fuentes de energía de largo plazo ha ido a la deriva hacia una crisis desde hace décadas. De hecho, las catástrofes en Japón finalmente podrían lograr lo que no pudieron décadas de conflicto en Oriente Próximo: obligar a los gobiernos a invertir en la investigación necesaria para desarrollar alternativas energéticas viables.

La respuesta política inmediata al desastre japonés será realizar pequeños reajustes entre las fuentes de energía conocidas, incluidas la eólica y la solar. Sin embargo, las opciones actuales que muchos gobiernos desean abarcar no lograrán este cometido. Por ejemplo, la producción de los materiales utilizados para capturar y almacenar energía solar puede causar tantos daños al medio ambiente como los combustibles convencionales, y las tecnologías solar y eólica actuales no pueden satisfacer fácilmente las necesidades de grandes poblaciones.

Por supuesto, los combustibles fósiles, principalmente carbón y gas natural, siguen siendo importantes, pero su extracción y uso están vinculados a la contaminación de las aguas subterráneas y emisiones de dióxido de carbono, especialmente en América del Norte y China. La tragedia en Japón nos recuerda que, si bien la energía nuclear no emite CO2, es tóxica de otras maneras.

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