Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tidal power

Following on my post yesterday (and subsequent argument with my good friend Steve!) I stumbled across this piece in the Independent on Sunday regarding tidal power. Personally I'd rather explore how that could provide anything from 5 per cent to one fifth of our electricity needs. As I've discussed with Steve, I also think it's fanciful to expect us to keep growing our energy consumption when we clearly don't have the resources to do so.

A government with the balls to take strong action now - which might mean a few years of uncomfortable living - would make life better in the long run for all of us, climate change or not. Why shouldn't they support their voters by demanding technology becomes much more energy efficient, thereby cutting electricity consumption (and bills)? How much of a barrier would the need to build in low-power to all devices to overall technological advancement? Personally, I believe technology moves too quickly anyway - for all the power of today's computers, they're not that far removed from yesterday's machines. And I have first-hand knowledge of how - when the technology itself is stunted, as was the case with the ZX Spectrum and then Atari ST - people find ways to exploit it that no one dreamed of. Today's computers could be capable of so much more if programmers had to really streamline their code instead of lazily assuming tomorrow's PCs will be able to handle their demands.

Technology makes people lazy - those who make it as well as those who consume it. There has to be a better way, and if it means we're not expected to buy a new mobile phone every six months, or new PC every two years, then so much the better.

No comments: