The energies we use to power our countries can have a lot of impact on our lives. So, it's no surprise when it's a constant subject of discussion and one that's always evolving as well.
In this slogging thread, the random channel community took the opportunity to discuss the latest news about the energies used in Europe.
The community shared their thoughts about the possibility of nuclear and natural gas energy being considered green and how this could affect us.
This Slogging thread by Sara Pinto, Mónica Freitas, Limarc Ambalina, Jack Boreham and Abeer occurred in slogging's official #random channel, and has been edited for readability.
Are nuclear and natural gas energy environmentally friendly?
The European Commission has declared that these energies can be considered as a green option which leads to controversy. Europe is divided. Some countries are against and have spoken about it, but this decision may benefit others.
Since the EU plans on "becoming climate neutral by 2050", some people are seeing this as "greenwashing". Yet, the possibility is not definite.
Mónica Freitas Jack Boreham Abeer Limarc Ambalina Linh Smooke Daniel Guzman Do you think these energies should be considered sustainable?
Sara Pinto I don't know much about the pollutant levels of these energetic alternatives, but I do know that nuclear energy is quite effective and long-lasting. I understand, however, the fear associated with it. We know how nuclear energy can affect any living being surrounding, and no one wants to see a scenario like the one in Hiroshima replicated. So, I'm a bit conflicted on this topic.
I'm confused. Isn't natural gas the opposite of Green energy lol
So the article says:
"EU officials were keen to stress that the change was not a requirement for any state or company to invest in gas or nuclear.
It is instead a highly technical set of rules, called the "EU Taxonomy", about what classifies as "sustainable" so that private investors can decide where to put funds, the commission says.
It also regulates what can be said to be environmentally friendly, so that climate-conscious investors can make informed decisions.
The list is supposed to recognise green projects that make a "substantial" contribution to at least one of the EU's environmental goals, "while not significantly harming any" of them."
One thing I'll say is, when there are no accidents, nuclear energy is efficient. Japan relies alot on nuclear energy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Japan#Nuclear_power
However, when there is an accident, you get deadly uninhabitable zones that no one can live in for decades https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Sj7mh2j3E
So "green" energy? I don't think so. Should be spending more effort on geothermal power and solar power
Mónica Freitas I think that's exactly the issue. Both energies may have benefits, but as far as I know, in the long term, there only be consequences. Plus, I'm not sure if nuclear energy is renewable. It seems like they are trying to make it ok to use these energies. Do you agree?
Limarc Ambalina My thoughts exactly! If it's not a renewable energy, how are they trying to pass it as sustainable? Let's not mention the drilling to get it
As far as I understood, the "EU Taxonomy" has these rules to help know which energies are green, but if it leads to considering these energies, I'm not sure it's working. I don't want to sound extremist, but it sounds a lot like greenwashing
One of the downsides of nuclear energy is that if a malfunction happens, it would be tragic, as Limarc Ambalina and Mónica Freitas said. It would be a lot of trust put into one project
Is that a risk we are willing to take? What do you think? Abeer Jack Boreham
Sara Pinto Yup, nuclear energy isn't renewable. That certainly makes things a bit easier to judge. If it has more risks than perks, maybe we should just push that idea aside. On the other hand, there are probably many people who have a lot to gain from building nuclear power stations, so, of course, they will push it full force. Luckily, communities are standing tall against these forceful initiatives.
Sara Pinto, I think Monica summed it up. It's not renewable, and that's what we should be focusing on. Efficiency on its own isn't worth it.
Mónica Freitas I was glad to see some countries won't stand by it, even though it could be financially profitable. It gave me some hope
Mónica Freitas Jack Boreham I'm surprised they still considered them. The fact they want to claim these energies as sustainable is easily debunked. We are a click away from knowing these energies aren't the best option. Why still try to push them?
Sara Pinto definitely because it makes them money! Efficiency leads to more dollars
Sara Pinto, I remember something about some company wanting to install a nuclear power plant in Portugal a few months back, and there were a lot of backlashes.
Sara Pinto money makes the world go round. As long as someone can get something out of it, especially if that someone is more influential, they might just be able to push it forward.
I just hope in a few months they come to their senses and won't decide on these energies being green. I don't think Portugal has made any claims to this. Where do you think it would stand? And even though the UK is no longer in the EU, with who do you think it would side? Mónica Freitas Jack Boreham
Sara Pinto, I'm not sure where the government would stand. I've heard of populations standing against it but not a word from the government. So, it can go either way really. Especially now that we no longer have a strong representation of environmental advocates in our parliament.
Our Tory government supports nuclear energy so yaa it would come down on that side
Mónica Freitas Exactly my thoughts. Still, I think the government would stand against this. We may not take many actions, but in terms of morals, we have the right thought
Jack Boreham We would have a torn Europe I think
Sara Pinto, I just hope you're right.
Sara Pinto Hmm. I’m trying to understand where they’re coming from. Natural gas is pretty “clean” compared to other fossil fuels but it’s still a non-renewable resource so I wouldn’t call that the most sustainable. I assume it’s hard to make the switch to solar and wind energy so perhaps they’re hoping to use natural gas as an easier transition away from more harmful energy sources.
As for Nuclear, from what I understand, it’s actually fairly clean. I remember reading a lot about potentially making Nuclear renewable by getting Uranium from sea water. I’m sure the biggest concern regarding Nuclear energy is safety. I know Elon Musk is pro-Nuclear and said it really wasn’t bad if you put the reactors away from places with a lot of natural disasters. I also remember reading something about him saying how it’s possible to make safer Nuclear reactors … but yeah, despite all that, I personally find it hard to even consider it after what happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima
Abeer, I also thought of the possibility that changing to more green energies, such as wind and solar power, wouldn't be as viable. But still, to do point of considering these energies, I think they missed a lot of steps. What I understand about nuclear energy is that it can be clean but not renewable. So it does have perks, but unless they actually work on getting uranium in that way, it's not a long-term option. I hope they take more time to think this through, but I guess we'll have to wait and see