Sunday, March 23, 2008

Climate change is "accelerating"

An alarming warning wraps itself in a pitch for nuclear power. From David Parsley in the Guardian (UK) via the Observer: The growth of developing economies in Africa, Asia and South America has accelerated global warming far beyond official predictions and it is developed nations that must act to halt the potentially catastrophic consequences, according to a new study from the world's leading temporary power supplier, Aggreko.

The warning, which has shocked environment campaigners, comes from Aggreko's chief executive, Rupert Soames, who said: 'The threat of global warming is far greater than people have previously thought. The consensus figure on the world's power consumption going forward to 2015 is simply wrong.'

Soames is referring to the findings of a report Aggreko commissioned from Oxford Economics, the commercial arm of Oxford University's business college. While the International Energy Authority (IEA), states the annual rate of growth in the planet's power consumption will be 3.3 per cent until 2015, the Aggreko study, which studied the growth of developing economies in greater detail than the IEA, puts the figure at 5 per cent.

'What's happening is the developing economies are growing like topsy,' said Soames. 'There's work coming into these countries and when people earn they want to buy mobile phones, TVs and fridges. Now, who are we to tell the developing economies to go without these things to protect the earth from global warming?'

However, Soames believes the study has produced a solution to increasing concerns over global warming. 'There are about 8,000 power stations in the world and the vast majority are highly polluting coal-fired things,' he said. 'If the world is serious about making an impact against global warming, then just turn the worst 150 polluters around the world into clean nuclear stations and the effect would be the same as if you immediately took every single car in the world off the road. It'd be that dramatic.'…

Nuclear power plant symbol by Hendrik Tammen, Wikimedia Commons

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