Nest of energy dilemmas

Richard Crockett rightly points out that the debate over the means of power generation raises a whole nest of dilemmas.

He and Carol Berry make good points about the viability of wind farms. Ms Berry mentions the ecological problems of mineral extraction for magnets for wind turbines. I would like to point out the environmental damage caused by the mining of uranium for nuclear energy.

Uranium is mined in Australia, Canada and Africa, where the land is taken from the indigenous peoples (often sacred land) The mining requires massive energy consumption, vast amounts of water (which could be better used to grow food) and produces enormous quantities of radioactive waste. The miners suffer ill heath and early death.

Richard Crockett attributes the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters to human error. Do we really think that we in Britain are infallible?

Our power stations are located on the coast and we hear that coastal water levels are rising. I have heard that some French power stations are built close to geological fault lines. The new generation of power stations planned by Westminster will be built and run by a French company.

The debate is endless. We must urgently seek ways of curtailing our energy consumption now.

Scottish Borders Council is to be commended on the appointment of a carbon reduction officer who will work with schools and communities. Perhaps she could start with the council itself. I have been unable to discover why it is necessary to have street lighting on in the evening before it is dark and why it remains on long after daylight.

I acknowledge the need for lighting to ensure children can go safely to and from school in the winter but I see no reason for lighting to be on all night. The council recently announced financial assistance to communities providing festive lighting. This is another area where the amount of energy consumed is excessive.

It is easy to blame our problems on scapegoats but it is within the power of each individual to decide what they will consume and to ask questions and demand answers about what is consumed by our elected representatives in our name.

Kath Macdonald

Newstead