Can Natural Gas Take the Strain?
Whenever an oil crisis occurs one can be sure that calls for the replacement of oil by other sources of energy will receive renewed attention. This is, of course, whoUy admirable and should not have to wait upon crises. The present situation in the Gulf is already giving rise to equally predictable demands for more money to be spent on various exotic alternatives to oil – generally with the taxpayers being expected to pay the bill. These alternatives, based on wind, tidal, solar power etc., are usually said to be
renewable forms of energy, as if that were merit in itself. Popularly, the renewable title is somehow taken to imply that obtaining energy from these sources will involve hardy any cost at all and that their application is wholly beneficid. Both assumptions are rather doubtful. It need only be remembered that these arguments about unlimited, benign and virtually free energy were advanced in favour of nuclear power in its early days.