This is one of the things that gets right up my geeky nose. The idiocy surrounding clean and sustainable technology. This is not something I hear a lot about, but there are some things in this that will surprise you and maybe shock you about the supposed ‘clean’ and sustainable technologies there are out there.
Bio-degradable – Sounds easy right? You throw it away or even down on the floor and it rots. That’s good right? It is until you know that bio degradable plastics will only degrade when subjected to high temperatures in the region of about 100 Celsius. The reason for this is that bio-degradable materials are meant to be thrown into compostable waste where they’re thrown into a huge industrial composter which get hot enough for them to degrade.
Don’t tell you that do they?
Electric cars – The amount of times I hear people say they their fancy electric car is great, clean and makes no emissions. Sure the car itself doesn’t emit any CO2, but what about the electricity that was used to charge it.
The other thing is don’t get me started on how much energy is used to make these electric cars, especially the battery. But don’t let me put you off, electric cars are the future, but don’t be naive thinking is more or less grew on a tree.
Solar panels – The chemicals used in the semiconductor foundries where solar panels are made are in no way environmentally friendly. In some cases they’ll kill a human in no time. A solar panel will lose 5% operating efficiency every year that it’s in use and no-one seems sure that they actually generate more energy over their life than was used to make them. These are the facts that are kept from the users of the solar panel, in addition to this solar panels work best when cooler. This means when the sun is out and giving loads of light they’re not working at peak efficiency.
Lightweight materials – Lightweight materials are a good idea to make things like cars lighter and save energy. But what has been used to make them? How much energy went into creating them? These snippets of information will likely shock the eco tech warrior.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t use these new technologies, it’s a step in the right direction. But if you want to be sure about the eco credentials of a technology, then think about it, find out more. There is no silver bullet to the green tech problem and saving the planet, not yet. Every technology has it’s trade off’s and the people pushing them will not know or won’t tell you some of the uncomfortable truths about them.
In some cases the uncomfortable truth’s are the real eco friendly choices. Like keeping your old car running is more eco friendly than buying a new one. Nuclear power is the cleanest way we can produce mass electricity and the real problem is that we use and throw away too much of everything. The truths close to home are the ones that make the real difference.
Have a great day.