walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

just stick it way offshore and no one will notice

Many years ago, John McPhee (and yes, this is one in a long list of reasons why I don't much care for John McPhee) wrote an essay in which he advocated for (or, at the very least, didn't seem overly perturbed by) the idea of offshore nuclear power plants.

Really. I could not possibly make shit like this up. An abstract of the essay (which I saw in a book that I was weeding at the local library) can be found here:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1975/05/12/1975_05_12_051_TNY_CARDS_000315100

I was so shocked when I read this I could barely describe it coherently to R., who really enjoys reading McPhee (I disliked McPhee long before encountering this gem -- I'm willing to allow that this could be a generational issue).

Anyway. Offshore drilling has always made me somewhat nervous, and of course Katrina didn't help much. _Shipping_ oil makes me anxious, and I do recognize that we all need it quite desperately. Whatever. Our Awful Leader is pressing more more offshore drilling, trying to get changes made to what individual states can regulate (so much for the party of states rights, hunh? Truly returning to Lincolnian days, apparently). And then there are people trying to build wind power plants offshore.

http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/451466

An interesting proposal to do offshore wind generation in a lake (so no salt water corrosion problems). Nice comparison of the tradeoffs with nuclear (time to build, capacity, cost per generated amount, whether it's baseload power or not, toxicity, blah, blah, blah).

FWIW, I'm all in favor of offshore wind generation, subject to the usual (turbine spin speeds optimized to _not_ kill migrating birds; attention given to neutral-to-positive impact on the marine environment). I don't give a flying fuck about anyone's view (yes, that's to _you_, Nantucket); I like looking at windmills and I really hate breathing crap air.
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