Solar Planes: Showing Us What We Cannot Do With Renewable Energy

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Observing the endless stream of nonsense and wishful think uttered in the name of sustainability is often enough to make me wonder why I continue to think, let alone make observations, about this whole business. Today the Guardian provides me with yet more annoyance, a predictable event perhaps.

Solar planes. Yes, that thing again. Last year a Swiss guy flew across America in a time that would not have impressed Benjamin Franklin all that much, but he did it in a solar powered plane. This would make it a planet saving endeavour, not a totally mis-appropriate use of energy technology.

And here he is this week, telling us about his effort to fly one of these things around the planet:

“It’s not the easiest way to fly around the world, but probably the most spectacular to attract the awareness … to show what we can do with renewable energies.”

This is an inversion of reality. Solar powered planes do not show us what we can do with renewable energy, they show us what we cannot do. Instead of pointing this out environment journalists provide fawning coverage. Easy copy, and easy reading. Meanwhile Britain continues to burn far more coal, and far less gas, to produce electricity. Perhaps that story will be covered tomorrow.

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