Originally published on Doorbraak.be “Kernenergie, oplossing voor de energietransitie – Open brief aan de informateurs”
JANUARY 23, 2020 André Berger & Samuel Furfari
Dear gentlemen informers,
The past year peaked the disinformation in terms of climate and energy – resulting in low points adjacent to the manipulation. As authors of this text, we do not necessarily agree on all issues surrounding these debates. We sometimes agree on two sad facts: on the one hand, the current hysteria is not appropriate and also not constructive. On the other hand, the proposed solutions to combat climate change are not suitable.
The climate is changing, has always changed and will always change. It is a natural phenomenon, connected to the interaction between sun and earth. Human activities – mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) – also contribute to this change, according to greenhouse theory.
Since the industrial revolution, made possible by the use of fossil fuels, the global temperature has increased by 1.24 ° C, of which almost one degree up to 2000. The IPCC has established a cause-effect relationship between this increase and the growth of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, the extent and regional impact of global warming remains complex to determine.
Panic seeding is out of place
Climate science, which incidentally brought one of us (André Berger) to Belgium, is a young science, and therefore it cannot be said that we know everything about this phenomenon and that we just have to intervene. That is why the reports of the IPCC are extremely careful and often – as is customary in science – they are based on a number of assumptions. The uncertainty margin is particularly large when estimating the effects of human activities on the climate, so one thing is certain: panic seeding is out of place.
This year, however, we have witnessed that all common sense boundaries have been broken. The most unlikely communications are promoted by the media and social networks. This has prompted European politicians to follow this trend.
To prove that there is an exaggeration today, let us say that the regular phenomenon of the ‘acqua alta’ in Venice and the floods in flood areas would be solely due to our CO2 emissions and therefore to our aircraft flights or our consumption of red meat.
This madness, which is at odds with science, drives the political world to make energy policy decisions that are just as brash as the prevailing alarmism.
Since 2000, the EU and its Member States have spent an estimated one billion euros (one million times million!) To achieve a share of 1.9% wind energy and 0.5% photovoltaic energy in the EU’s primary energy balance. This is economically absurd. Why do we continue to spend government money with such disappointing results in the hope of doing better? It is high time that we acknowledged the failure of renewable energy policy.
Isn’t it time to do what the EU has already done with biofuels? While the 2009 directive provided for a minimum of 10% biofuels for the transport sector, the EU was forced by the economic and environmental failure to impose in the 2018 directive no longer a minimum but a maximum of 1% above what that was achieved on the basis of the obligation from the original directive.
This must be balanced against the spectacular increase in global CO2 emissions since COP-1: + 58%! We penalize our economy with new CO2 taxes in the pipeline, while the rest of the world continues to use fossil fuels more and more competitively. China continues to invest massively in nuclear power stations and in ultramodern, clean coal-fired power stations that will run for another 40 years. The flagrant failure of COP-22 up to and including the recent COP-25 is an unmistakable symptom of this. No, CO2 emissions will not decrease and Belgium – with its 0.4% of global emissions – is not setting the example for the world.
Gentlemen informers, there are only two solutions to reduce CO2 emissions. First, economic recession. But that must be fought, as you also want to do, to safeguard the prosperity of the Belgian population.
The second solution is the use of nuclear energy. The correlation between the development of nuclear energy and the historical reduction of CO2 emissions has been amply demonstrated.
It is undeniable that the irregular energy sources that are wind and photovoltaic must simultaneously use equivalent capacity to ensure supply and to meet demand (this is the subject of the capacity compensation mechanism law – CRM). Renewable energy sources are therefore automatically associated with non-renewable and CO2-emitting sources, while nuclear energy hardly emits.
Sovereign, renewable form of energy production
President Macron also stated this at the recent European summit. The Council of 13 December acknowledges in its conclusion – finally! – the right of States to use nuclear energy. Yes, nuclear energy is still the most low-carbon and sovereign renewable form of energy production. Other world leaders have already announced this loud and clear.
In your report to the King, we hope that you choose to use the language of truth. Don’t be politically correct, the future of the country is at stake!