back to article Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled

Greenpeace activists are celebrating today, after their protests led to the halting of plans to build a massive renewable powerplant which would have supplied clean, green, low-carbon electricity in huge quantities. "Today, we celebrate," Greenpeace chief Matías Asún told reporters, following a decision to withdraw government …

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  1. TRT Silver badge

    Why...

    a DC transmission line?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why...

      Lower losses and now achievable with modern equipment, which was not the case years ago and the reason ac transmission was de rigeur.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Why...

        Also a higher power carying capacity for a given specification of transmission line. This reduces capital costs.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Why...

      Why a down vote for a reasonable question?

      Often you have A/C grids in different cities which are not synchronised. This makes interconnects complex and can allow failures in one grid to take down the connected grid.

      Coupled with the "you can transport more power without building bigger pylons to hold thicker wires" (read: cheaper) and you lose less power along the trip (read: increased range) makes it a bit of a no brainer.

      The following link is pretty good.

      http://electrical-engineering-portal.com/advantages-of-hvdc-over-hvac-transmission

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Why...

        Cheers for the link! Fills in the holes about bulk transmission in my 80's A level physics course.

    3. knarf
      Joke

      Re: Why...

      First AC then DC so you get ACDC

      1. 404 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Why...

        Which leads to the Highway to Hell......

        *burp*

  2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    It's looking more and more...

    ... like these "carbon this" and "enviro-that" movements are set up only to keep developping countries poor and docile. And I'm only half-paranoid!

    1. xperroni

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      And I'm only half-paranoid!

      Time to stop doing it halfway?

      http://atomicinsights.com/smoking-gun/

    2. Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      no paranoia. rich enviro types hate developing countries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's looking more and more...

        "rich enviro types hate developing countries."

        This should read "rich enviro types hate any country not actively retreating towards the stone age"

    3. paulf Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      I became convinced the enviro-hippy movements aren't interested in The Earth/Being Green (tm) and are really determined to get us all back living in caves* ASAP when I saw a comment from one in a Tory-Graph** article about airport expansion that said (in not so many words):

      "If people need to fly to see their friends they should make friends closer to home".

      *Can someone come up with a good joke about coming down from the trees being a mistake?

      **Yeah I know the Tory-Graph, hey ho.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's looking more and more...

        Why did the monkey climb down from the tree? Because Greenpeace hadn't been invented then.

        These days they're not so much Greenpeace as Greenpolice.

      2. Charles Manning

        "Make friends closer to home"

        Probably a direct quote of someone who had just flown in to an enviro-summit at Cancun.

        One of our NZ politicains was telling people to reduce their carbon footprint - interviewed while on a week's holiday in Greece!

        The "do as we say, not as we do" nature of these people is gobsmacking.

      3. Euripides Pants Silver badge

        Re: It's looking more and more...

        Whats wrong with living in caves? Caves are great - no one cares when you paint stick figures on the wall.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's looking more and more...

          Surely you would need planning permission for that, and English Heritage would demand that you be prevented from making any changes to a grade 1 listed cave.

      4. Johan Bastiaansen

        Re: It's looking more and more...

        In my opinion, future generations won't fly on vacation, or a city trip to Madrid.

      5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: It's looking more and more...

        For all these pseudo-environmentalists who claim to be so concerned about everyone's carbon-footprints: they are hereby welcome to remove their own carbon footprints from the planet.

        (I say "pseudo-environmentalists" because anyone who would actively defeat and then cheer the defeat of a project that positively moves towards reducing pollution, etc. is *not* really trying to *solve* the problems, and is really more interested in flogging their own power-craze).

    4. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: half-paranoid

      Ah, that would be mononoid...

    5. Daniel B.

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      It's a bit more complex than just GreenCheese getting mad at this. The project was going to cause irreversible damage to natural reserves in the area, and it was opposed by a whopping 74% of the population. It was basically Piñera's pet project, a right-winger, and given that his party was ousted in the last general election it was pretty much a given that Hidroaysén would be axed.

    6. Psyx

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      For a slightly less biased version: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-27788286

      The plan was turned down by the government, not only on environmental grounds [and tourism, I suspect, judging by the type of vista that'd be getting trashed] but also because the people building it appear not to have given a crap about the people they'd be displacing.

    7. MR J

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      Actually your wong, these type of projects usually harm the poorer nations as the funding ends up coming with strict terms from Europe and USA. These debts are so costly that they never end up getting repaid, think pay-day lenders or legal loan sharks.

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ZsqK-9Kon0UJ:patagoniasenzadighe.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Financing-of-HidroAys%25C3%25A9n-IR-080919-PROFUNDO1.doc+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

      Personally speaking... I don't think these projects are that good for the consumer, they are not good for the local ecosystems, and they are not good for the governments deploying them. The big winner is huge Euro/American firms.

      If this was government infrastructure then I would likely support it, despite the huge amount of damage that these Hydro projects can do.

      Probably the bigger (short term) loss here was the fact that a big provider was moving to HVDC, something that we haven't seen done enough for the world to move to it yet.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      Any greenie who objected to a power project such as this is a misanthrope who prizes his or her lonliness.

    9. Tom 13

      Re: It's looking more and more...

      No, that's only half the equation. The other half is they want the developed countries back to those conditions too.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lower CO2 emissions maybe

    But I seem to recall reading an article that pointed out how much methane would come from the inundated plant life. I recall the CO2 equivalent impact was much the same as the power generated would have been responsible for, had it been provided by conventional means.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

      There's got to be a cost in methane production. Although does all the methane bubble through the water and reach the atmosphere, or how much of it gets trapped in the sludge on the bottom?

      Anyway, I can't believe those figures. You could chop down a bunch of the vegetation if it's that bad. But the methane cost is a one-off. Once you've built a hydro-electric dam you've basically got carbon free electricity for ever. Sure you may have to keep repairing the dam, and buy new generators and impellors, but that's never going to have the same cost in methane.

      So that argument sounds like the kind of bollocks that the anti-fun anti-modern economy type campaigners go for. Where nuclear isn't green, because it uses lots of concrete, hydro isn't green because methane - so either move to a mud hut or kill yourself for Gaia.

      1. chris 17 Bronze badge

        Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

        I'm with you Spartacus, but there is an incredibly large amount of concrete in dams with the associated CO2 emissions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

          " but there is an incredibly large amount of concrete in dams with the associated CO2 emissions."

          But that's largely irrelevant unless the alternative is sitting in the dark shivering. All infrastructure uses lots of concrete. Hydro is admittedly worst at perhaps 3,000 tonnes per MW, next worst is that old hippy favourite, crappy, expensive intermittent wind power, at around 300-500 tonnes per MW. The best is CCGT at around 20.

          1. Grikath Silver badge

            Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

            Given that the CO2 from the concrete is released at ground level it will be consumed rather expediently by the local plant life, methinks. It's a slow-release process, not a carbon bomb..

            As far as the methane argument goes.. as far as I can tell, most of the Amazon flood plain ( for starters, any natural flood plain works like this..) is one huge methane factory by the same "logic". Yet I do not hear the Hippies about canalising and controlling that to "reduce methane emissions".

            The Hippies used to have a point, but they've degenerated into a rabid political tool.

            1. John Hughes

              Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

              "Given that the CO2 from the concrete is released at ground level it will be consumed rather expediently by the local plant life, methinks. It's a slow-release process, not a carbon bomb.."

              And your research that supports this "interesting" theory is published where?

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

          "..but there is an incredibly large amount of concrete in dams with the associated CO2 emissions."

          Only during production. Once it's installed, concrete *absorbs* CO2 making calcium carbonate. Check out what happened to Biosphere 2, where not realising this created a few problems.

        3. Avatar of They Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

          True, Windfarms can have upto 1000 tons of concrete for the big uns, and all that is usually carted on a truck to some top of the mountain place on roads that also get built, and it all costs in CO2, some windmills save a fraction of that in their lifetime against the cost of their manufacture and placement.

          But we all go, yay windmills.

          But in this case I think stupid greenpeace.

      2. rh587

        Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

        "Anyway, I can't believe those figures. You could chop down a bunch of the vegetation if it's that bad. But the methane cost is a one-off. Once you've built a hydro-electric dam you've basically got carbon free electricity for ever. Sure you may have to keep repairing the dam, and buy new generators and impellors, but that's never going to have the same cost in methane."

        It's not quite one-off. Due to seasonal changes in water level plant life can encroach on areas of the reservoir bed which are then re-flooded in winter. How bad this is varies from project to project - if you're flooding a deep rock-sided fjord or steep valley with a small surface area, then not very. If your reservoir is relatively shallow and wide, then a drop of a few metres can uncover hundreds/thousands of acres of land which can harbour plant life through the summer before being inundated again.

        However, a lot of the statistics also only count the first 10 years of a reservoir's life, which is indeed bollocks when a well placed and constructed dam could easily serve duty for over a century, which will easily outstrip a fossil-plant unless it's exceptionally shallow and seasonal, in which case don't bother.

        In this case, methane/CO2 arguments aside, this project was managing to hit pretty much every sore spot as (according to Wikipedia), it was liable to impact six national parks, eleven national reserves and twenty-six conservation priority sites, which is a stonking good effort by anyone's reckoning.

        1. Suricou Raven

          Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

          Methane doesn't last long in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide hangs around until a plant gets rid of it. CO2 is actually a very weak greenhouse gas, it just makes up for that by sheer quantity and persistence.

          1. The Axe

            Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

            Methane is a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny amount of the atmosphere. 0.00017%. CO2 is a bit more but still less than 1% at 0.039%.

            So the hippies are up in arms about tiny little things. No wonder they are against drilling for gas. The fractures created are tiny micrometer sized cracks. But I don't see the hippies protesting outside coal mines clamouring for the huge multi-meter sized holes to be closed down.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

              " But I don't see the hippies protesting outside coal mines clamouring for the huge multi-meter sized holes to be closed down."

              In western Europe that's because they've already won that battle, by virtue of persuading the EC and European Parliament to introduce emissions controls that most coal plant can't meet. The ever creeping standards for these things means that DECC expect there will be no active coal power plant in the UK power market by 2025 or thereabouts.

              You did vote for that, didn't you?

            2. mmeier

              Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

              Oh I saw them do that. Even ON the premise of a mine. Until the activists had a run in with the 6:00-14:00 shift coming out of the mine and where "persuaded" not to come back in a not so gentle but easily understood way

              Police tried to get a description. But "was wearing standard miners clothing and had a black face"(1) didn't help

              (1) German miners get their work cloth from the company so they all "look the same"

          2. Paul Shirley

            Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

            Suricou Raven:"Methane doesn't last long in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide hangs around until a plant gets rid of it"

            ...but that methane degrades into CO2 + water vapour. So you get the direct methane hit then the long lasting CO2 *as well*. And water vapour is itself a potent greenhouse gas, especially high in the atmosphere.

            Flooding is so damaging because it converts carbon to methane instead of CO2, trickles it out over a long time and doesn't convert just the surface vegetation you could have burnt straight to CO2 but also the trapped carbon in waterlogged soils.

            1. James Micallef Silver badge

              Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

              So, build the dam, and cut down and truck out the vegetation in the soon-to-be-flooded area. Like this, no (or a lot less) methane produced, and some timber company gets a nice source of raw material (so it could be done at zero cost to the dam project).

              In any case, hydroelectric is by far the best non-carbon energy source we have, it can scale up huge and is more-or-less on-demand, PLUS when grid-connected it can be used as a pumped storage to buffer the intermittency of other non-carbon sources.

              Greenpeace being against this makes as much sense as them being against nuclear.

        2. Dr. Ellen
          Flame

          Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

          If a power project doesn't hit a sore spot, they will set to work finding or developing a sore spot it *will* hit.

      3. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

        In my experience, admittedly a bit limited, only a tiny fraction of "progressives" are able to understand, let alone actually handle, mathematics above the elementary school level. Coupled with the inability of nearly everyone to analyze and evaluate risks rationally, that leads to idiotic actions such as the article describes.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

        Large body of water damages the environment? Oh my gods, DRAIN the OCEANS!

  4. Andy Gates
    IT Angle

    Mod -1, flamebait.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      ...and how.

      I hope it is Sun powered!

  5. codejunky Silver badge

    Another win for mud hutters

    Maybe the evil sods can pay for the price rise in energy to help the people they just shafted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another win for mud hutters

      Nah, they can't afford to pay for that.... but their parents can.

  6. herman Silver badge

    Greanpeace isn't really about either Green or Peace at all. Basically they are a bunch of clowns who figured out how to have fantastic holidays in wonderful places at the expense of their rich parents and other sponsors.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Flame

      And who will not be happy

      until we're all living in caves, killing our own sausages.

      I'd like to take each and every member of the 'environmentalist' lobby, strip them naked, and dump them in some nice hospitable location: a rain forest, a desert, the north Yorkshire moors or similar - and see how long it takes them to learn that:

      a) man modifies his environment. It's what he's evolved to do, and

      b) even environmentalists are amazingly dependent on modern technology and infrastructure.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: And who will not be happy

        Neil Barnes,

        From the openining sentence of your post, I thought you were going to go in a different dirction there. So when you say that "I'd like to take each and every member of the 'environmentalist' lobby, strip them naked," - I thougtht you were going to continue: And turn them into sausages.

        Didn't you do the live below the line £1 a day eating challenge this year? Were you really missing meat that badly? I guess anyone could, with sufficient provocation, decide that human meat can be both free range, and free. Leaving your £5 to spend on veg and rice.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: And who will not be happy

          @ ~Spartacus:

          If it's good enough for Jonathan Swift...

      2. boltar Silver badge

        Re: And who will not be happy

        "'I'd like to take each and every member of the 'environmentalist' lobby, strip them naked, and dump them "

        Don't tar all enviromentalists with the greenpeace brush. Greenpeace jumped the shark years ago and now they're just a left wing anti-everything political movement. But they're are organisations like Friends of the Earth who do have a reasonable point of view and don't want to ban anything invented after 1800.

        1. The Axe

          Re: And who will not be happy

          FoE are worse that Greenpeace, if that's possible. They are both fascist organisations that want to control how we get our energy and think they know best about how to run the world.

          Look at bio-diesel. They were all for it initially. Now that it's been shown to be a pile of poo, they are against it.

          Everything GP and FoE touch is eventually seen to be a lie.

          Look at the debacle with the oil rigs in the North Sea where GP campaigned to not have them sunk but rather dismantled at shore. Turns out that GP lied and that it would not have been a problem to sink the oil rig. In fact it would have created a nice reef for the fishes.

          1. boltar Silver badge

            Re: And who will not be happy

            "They are both fascist organisations"

            I suggest before you start spouting moronic off the shelf student rhetoric you at least get a clue first:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

            " think they know best about how to run the world."

            Unlike governments and corporations who obviously DO know best, right? Oh , wait...

            1. Lamont Cranston

              Re: And who will not be happy

              If people checked their facts before yelling "fascism", Godwin would be wrong, and we'd never know that an arguement had run its course.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And who will not be happy

                Mike Godwin's law only applies to Nazis, not fascists in general. When Hillary Clinton compares Putin to Hitler, that's a perfect Godwin*. But if she compared him to Mussolini - who wasn't 100% evil and at least tried to sort out the Italian mess - that would still be wrong, but could be a legitimate argument.

                *In fact Putin compares himself to Charles de Gaulle, who gets a better press than Hitler, Mussolini or Franco despite having been not much better than either of the last two. Being called a fascist seems to depend on where, and when, you happen to have been in power.

            2. The Axe

              Re: And who will not be happy

              Look up the meaning of the word "fascist" in a dictionary - "a person who is dictatorial"

              1. Oninoshiko

                Re: And who will not be happy

                if someone has to look up "fascist," I'm guessing they would also have to look up "dictatorial"

          2. John Hughes

            Re: And who will not be happy

            "Look at bio-diesel. They were all for it initially. Now that it's been shown to be a pile of poo, they are against it."

            I don't understand. You're complaining because they changed their policies to fit the facts?

            1. Polyphonic
              Facepalm

              Re: And who will not be happy

              Therein lies the problem with the pseudo science and mythology which these organisations base their opinions.

              When they were banging on about using bio fuels the potential problems were highlighted but the green lobby won the day.

              Now we are committed to a percentage of bio based fuel in petrol throughout the EU and it is harder to wind this out than it is to put it in to law.

            2. The Axe

              Re: And who will not be happy

              They didn't change their policies when the facts changed, the facts have always been constant. What caused them to change their policies is the realisation that they were causing problems. So they quickly buried the fact that they were for it.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And who will not be happy

              In the US, a Republican who changes his or her mind to fit reality is called a "flopper". It is not a complimentary term. In the minds of far too many people, consistency is more important than accepting reality.

          3. chrisf1

            Re: And who will not be happy

            FoE once tried to get the UK to ban glass recycling. They were supporting a naive banning of lead on a simple parts per million basis from the Packaging and Packaging waste directive with no regard to its perversities.

          4. Old Tom

            Re: And who will not be happy

            "Look at the debacle with the oil rigs in the North Sea where GP campaigned to not have them sunk but rather dismantled at shore. Turns out that GP lied and that it would not have been a problem to sink the oil rig. In fact it would have created a nice reef for the fishes."

            I emailed Greenpeace at the time suggesting the rig(s) would make a nice reef. They never bothered to reply.

        2. Risky
          Coat

          Re: And who will not be happy

          " 'I'd like to take each and every member of the 'environmentalist' lobby, strip them naked, and dump them "

          Don't tar all enviromentalists "

          He never said he was going to tar them let alone reach for the feathers..............

          1. Stuart Castle

            Re: And who will not be happy

            Having said that, producing tar presumably isn't very environment friendly and neither is obtaining the feathers... :D

      3. Midnight

        Re: And who will not be happy

        "until we're all living in caves, killing our own sausages."

        Once, herds of wild sausages a hundred thousand strong thundered across the prairies, shaking the earth and crushing whatever lay in their path.

        The majestic sausage played a significant part in the early history and culture of Europe. Otto von Bismarck attributed his keen understanding of politics to having spent his youth watching wild sausages during mating season.

        1. Irony Deficient

          The majestic sausage

          Midnight, who would not be able to stand in awe of these breathtaking creatures? Today, only a handful remain, scattered among nature reserves, zoos, and other locations.

    2. David 14

      case in point...

      I was at living in residence at University when another guy living there decided he was going to join Greenpeace and headed down to the waterfront to protest the arrival of a US Aircraft carrier. His protest was about keep Halifax (the city we were in) a Nuclear Free Zone... the ship has a nuclear reactor and capable of (and likely carrying) nuclear-type weaponry.

      On his return I asked him if he really felt that strongly about being Nuclear-Free... of course his response was that he was dedicated to it! It was only then that I informed him of his gross oversight in paying tuition to a University with not only a nuclear physics doctorate program, but a functional nuclear reactor that is used for training purposes.

      Not surprisingly, his enthusiasm for following the "Cult of GP" waned pretty quickly on facing the fact that he was financially supporting a nuclear reactor operation in the city.

      The point of this story is that I somehow doubt that the Greenpeace activists that were protesting here were made up of people without reliable or affordable power... but rather those people that have much more privileged positions in the world, where is is easy to look down at others for trying to climb the ladder of prosperity.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: case in point...

        Halifax's got an university? And how the heck would someone bring an aircraft carrier there - it's almost as far from any waterfront as it gets. In the UK. Oh... Canada, you said :)

  7. petur
    Thumb Up

    Renewable is OK but...

    Not when you go destroying some VERY nice parts of nature to do so.

    Same goes for the idiots who are planning the hydroelectric projects in Iceland. All nice on paper with their zero emissions, until you visit the place where they will build this and see what rare piece of nature has to go for this.

    I normally don't agree very much with Greenpeace, but in this case, I fully understand them. This one's for nature!

    1. Filippo

      Re: Renewable is OK but...

      Right, while burning fossils instead, which is what Chile will have to do now, is SO much better for nature.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Renewable is OK but...

        1) Pick up fone to Canada

        2) Order up a few CANDUs

        3) ???

        4) ENERGY from cheap uranium.

        On the minus side, the lead time is prolly 10 years.

        On the plus side, you will enrage Amurricans and Greens because you can produce Plutonium in a continuous cycle.

        Added bonus if you order up a Russian fast breeder package.

    2. petur
      FAIL

      Re: Renewable is OK but...

      7 downvotes as I write this reply?

      Not bad, only 7 readers so far who never get from behind their desk and only know how nature looks from those nice wallpapers on their desktops... Here, have a FAIL icon....

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        @petur

        What do you expect when you imply that only nature above the waterline is beautiful? With statements like that you will make the Great Barrier Reef cry.

      2. Bassey

        Re: Renewable is OK but...

        "only 7 readers so far who never get from behind their desk and only know how nature looks from those nice wallpapers on their desktops"

        My, what a pompous arse you come across as. As it happens, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and am lucky enough to spend most of my time in the countryside miles from anyone. However, I also realise the beautiful environment around me has changed over time. What we see as "this green and pleasant land" was constructed by people AND nature. Nature is hugely adaptable. Even more so than humans. Things change. Not all change is bad. Not all change is ugly. Not everyone who doesn't share your opinions is an industrialist desk-bound psycho.

        Get over yourself.

      3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Renewable is OK but...

        "Not bad, only 7 readers so far who never get from behind their desk and only know how nature looks from those nice wallpapers on their desktops... Here, have a FAIL icon...."

        Ooh, a pretty forest that could have been replaced with ooh, a pretty lake. No matter, thanks to Greenpeace Chile can mine coal instead, or cut forests for woodchip fuel.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      @petur

      So countries that don't already have hydro shouldn't be allowed to pursue it because of the "nice parts of nature", but it is fine in the developed world because no one remembers how nice the nature was that got flooded to build those dams? Not everywhere is as conveniently barren as the area flooded by the Hoover Dam.

      I don't know anything about the project, but most dams also have great benefits for flood control and droughts, two things we're told we should expect more of as the Earth warms. So not only will they be saddled with more expensive energy, they'll be saddled with higher food prices during years where floods and droughts affect yield.

      If Greenpeace wants this for less developed countries, they should ask for donations to offset the cost to countries and their residents for stuff like this. Like those who buy tracts of virgin rainforest or stands of redwoods to keep them safe from logging. But their mission seems more about self-publicity than actually having a real benefit on the environment. I'd donate money to almost anyone before I'd give a cent to Greenpeace.

      1. Daniel B.

        Re: @petur @DougS

        I don't know anything about the project, but most dams also have great benefits for flood control and droughts,

        You should actually check out what the project is before blindly assuming it's not bad. It's actually pretty bad.

        Granted, Chile could do better by setting up a nuke plant, but I'm guessing that's not going to fly in this post-Fukushima era.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @petur

        "I'd donate money to almost anyone before I'd give a cent to Greenpeace."

        Burning money, literally, would serve a better purpose than donating to Greenpeace. Donating to those clows just encourages them.

    4. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Renewable is OK but...

      Not when you go destroying some VERY nice parts of nature to do so.

      "Nice"?

      I think perhaps we can do without "nice" if the alternative is inexpensive and emmission-free electricity for the foreseeable future. What we can possibly NOT do without is the loss of biodiversity in the areas that would be submerged, the loss of CO2-absorbing forest, and the human impact.

      As some others have pointed out, though, the decision here seems to have been motivated more by political concerns than environmental ones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Renewable is OK but...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucumbene_Dam

        There was quite a nice bit of nature here that got flooded, and a town or two IIRC

        Before we had the "greenies", it was possible to indulge in major works such as this. Perhaps the TVA is another (though I am not familiar with its details).

        These days, we couldn't put a green on an already existing "island" in a pond at my golf club, because some do-gooder discovered a frog living there :(

  8. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Have you red the project?

    It was terrible for the environment.

    Not everything is great about big hidroelectric!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Have you red the project?

      Few things are great about hydro.

  9. jason 7

    If you want to save the rainforests and jungles...

    ...really really want to save them then there is a very effective way to do it and its proven.

    Basically scatter the area you wish to save with thousands of anti-personnel mines.

    Think I'm crazy? Well the Americans may well have saved huge swathes of jungle etc. in Vietnam and the surrounding areas from logging etc. as there is far too much ordinance sitting just under the surface and it costs a fortune to clear it.

    Keeps the humans out and the wildlife just carries on as normal. Ironic really that US forces in trying to destroy something could well have saved it for future generations.

    If you wanted to you could design the explosive with a limited effective lifespan of say 25 years and then review the situation.

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: If you want to save the rainforests and jungles...

      I now have this wonderful image of a green paradise, sun shining, birds tweeting, bunny rabbits exploding...

      1. Roland6 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: If you want to save the rainforests and jungles...

        >bunny rabbits exploding

        It was Vietnam so it's more likely to be pigs than rabbits...

        1. Daggerchild Silver badge

          Re: If you want to save the rainforests and jungles...

          The bunnies in Vietnam are combat camoflaged:

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/422674.stm

      2. Tom 13

        Re: bunny rabbits exploding...

        Not these bunny rabbits:

        http://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Fluffy-Bunnies-Reel-Three-Cineverse/dp/0441718337/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403019390&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=revenge+of+the+fluffy+bunny+rabbits

  10. Hans Upp

    Wrong Paper?

    Y'know, reading this article made me wonder if I had inadvertently switched to the Daily Heil.

  11. ukgnome Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Oh Lewis!

    Maybe you could tell the full story rather than just the 33% you have actually written.

    Sometimes I feel that you actually like the way your inbox fills up.

    1. Oninoshiko
      Facepalm

      Re: Oh Lewis!

      You could also point out the part he missed...

  12. Naich

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7046-hydroelectric-powers-dirty-secret-revealed.html#.U5l2LPldWD0

    "Hydroelectric dams produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, and in some cases produce more of these greenhouse gases than power plants running on fossil fuels."

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Can't you capture all this methane and use it to run a gas turbine. ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Naich

      Sorry mate, it's many years since New Scientist was a reputable source, in my book (indeed, if it ever was).

      The whole "flooding valleys creates methane" story is not universally correct because it depends on what and where is flooded, and where it may apply there's a simple answer of stripmining the reservoir bed back to sub soil or bedrock. Even if you don't do that, as IAS pointed out above, a hydro electric dam has an asset life of hundreds of years, so the short term methane emissions are a one time cost for a very long term reliable resource.

      And as usual the hippies have ignored what nature does, which is to erode soil and rock, and wash living and dead plant matter into water courses. If the tossers applied the same logic to any lowland river in the world they'd find that nature generates millions of tonnes of methane all the time, and they'd be protesting in Parliament Square demanding the immediate closure of the River Thames. Likewise wetlands and rain forests are major sources of methane, but you don't hear the hippies demanding the levelling of the Amazon basin to stop its methane emissions (the Amazon basin alone is perhaps 5-6% of global methane emissions). What Greenpeace object to is the fact that somebody's lives might be improved.

  13. Paul Shirley

    is that Lewis's knee jerking?

    It's just so easy to jump on Greenpeace appropriating credit that a man with Lewis's beliefs couldn't really resist it. They've never been afraid to claim victory on behalf of others.

    Perhaps now we can have a proper report on why 60% of the Chilean population opposed and eventually killed this project, which seems to be a combination of national pride in their national parks/landscape, well founded distrust of their government, a genuine lack of belief that this project made any sense and the refusal of their government to consider alternatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: is that Lewis's knee jerking?

      "which seems to be a combination of national pride in their national parks/landscape, well founded distrust of their government, a genuine lack of belief that this project made any sense and the refusal of their government to consider alternatives"

      You forgot to add "and being deceived by the strident, often inaccurate, frequently dishonest PR campaigns by smug, middle class, first world based NGOs, who personally enjoy the benefits of the modern world, but are only too keen to stop the less developed world enjoying them"

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: is that Lewis's knee jerking?

      well founded distrust of their government, a genuine lack of belief that this project made any sense and the refusal of their government to consider alternatives.

      Distrust? How about "they got voted out of government in the following election"? I'm pretty sure the whole project is why Chileans preferred to vote Michelle Bachelet back into power rather than letting Piñera destroy their national park. It seems they learned that voting for conservatives is a huge mistake, something they should know better given their recent past.

  14. Chad H.

    Okay, I know that fair and balaced reporting on El Reg aint your thing, but couldnt you at least mention the reasons they opposed it?

  15. Cyberelic

    Greenpeace

    Sex an' drugs an' rock and roll an' LOTS an' LOTS of tea.

    Put kettle on, I'll build another one.

    What do you mean I've been here three days? I must get going soon.

    What, five days? I've been here five days? I'm going.

  16. bill 36
    Flame

    Tip of the hat to Lewis

    because he is quite right to point out the hypocrisy of the green brigade.

    Here in Austria, there are no kangaroos btw, there is a well developed Nimby mentality that protest against the damming of rivers, the erection of 380Kv power lines, an anti nuclear power station campaign group, electric "green car" campaigners and environmentalists of all shapes and sizes. But when you point out the obvious to them, they bury their heads in the sand.

    For example, most new builds of property are built with a "Tiefgarage", (underground garage )office blocks, apartments etc. This uses huge amounts of concrete. Are they bothered? No! Vienna consumes 10% of all the power in Austria, most of which comes from a nuclear power station in Slovakia. Switch it off i tell them. Are you mad they ask? And when you point out that if everyone in Austria bought an electric car tomorrow, they would have to build two nuclear power stations to cope with demand.

    Given that the Internet alone is projected to consume 17% of ALL the worlds power in just a few years, any amount of tinkering with energy production will not solve the root problem.

    So get over it all you eco-warriors, either we stop doubling the worlds population every 50 years, the root cause of most of the worlds problems, or we keep developing our own Armageddon because that is surely what will happen.

    1. John Hughes

      Re: Tip of the hat to Lewis

      "Here in Austria, there are no kangaroos btw"

      I think you might be wrong.

      http://austrianindependent.com/index.php?id=11510

      "The baby kangaroos at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo are enjoying the heatwave in Austria as these new pictures show."

    2. Irony Deficient

      Vienna consumes 10% of all the power in Austria

      bill 36, Vienna has 20% of all the people in Austria. Why is the consumption of 10% of the power by 20% of the people a problem?

      1. bill 36

        Re: Vienna consumes 10% of all the power in Austria

        ermmm!!

        where did i say it was a problem?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tip of the hat to Lewis

      I think the population curve 2nd derivative is falling already, and if not is expected to fall in the near term.

  17. aBloke FromEarth

    woah there

    If you read the article (gasp!), you'll see that amongst other issues, there was no plan in place to rehouse the people whose villages would be flooded by the dam. Given the enormous problems people in China are still having because of being displaced by megadam projects, it makes sense to postpone the project until a suitable plan's in place.

    I say, yes, go for hydroelectric, but don't make a ton of people needlessly homeless to do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: woah there

      "I say, yes, go for hydroelectric, but don't make a ton of people needlessly homeless to do it."

      If you're determined not to "spoil" national parks and scenic valleys, and you don't move local residents on, then you simply won't be building hydro schemes. There's a dearth of geologically and hydrologically suitable, uninhabited sites, even though there's lots of sites that fill one of the three key criteria.

      Even in the UK, most of our reservoirs have involved the moving on of "drowned communities" (1). Beneath the Derwent Valley reservoirs were once the villages of Derwent and Ashopton. Tryweryn Reservoir resulted in the flooding of Capel Celyn. Haweswater resulted in the loss of the villages of Measand and Mardale Green. The Elan Valley dams flooded Nantgwyllt, and so on.

      It's a simple call: You build where the land allows you to build, not where it suits the current residents. Curiously enough, if I object to wind farms in the UK, I'm a NIMBY and should be ignored according to Greenpeace. However, if I were a Chilean peasant scratching out a desperately poor existence, then I'd be "an indigenous people", whose (supposed) views, traditions and rights should be safeguarded to keep me in picturesque poverty and ill health for the benefit of the consciences of interfering middle class do-gooders from developed countries, and to an extent for students travelling on gap years who often become middle class do-gooders on their return to the lands of flushing toilets.

      (1) Did you see! I used the magic, magic word "communities", and that shows I'm a right-on, socially conscious sort of person.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: woah there

        I think th epoint of this quote

        "I say, yes, go for hydroelectric, but don't make a ton of people needlessly homeless to do it."

        wasn't "don't build the dam, there are people living there"

        but

        "go ahead and build the dam, but at least provide a home and pay relocation expenses to the people you want to move out"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully no one living downstream

    Andes - seismic instability

    Dam - large quantity of trapped water

    What could possibly go wrong?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huaraz#Contemporary_times

    More:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970_Ancash_earthquake

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hopefully no one living downstream

      Actually there's a lot of dams in tectonically active parts of the world. If the dam is well designed and constructed, and the geology appropriate they are amongst the most enduring assets ever created by man.

      On the other hand, if the geology is inappropriate, it can be very difficult. A little story bears this out, along with the folly of building dams where they are convenient for people rather than where they are appropriate. Back in the 1970s, the publicly run Severn Trent Water Authority believed it needed additional reservoir capacity. After much umming and ahhing, central government granted the funds to build it, and also mandated that it should be built at Carsington in Derbyshire, largely on the grounds that they thought there was a dearth of recreational water sports facilities in the East Midlands, and with a side order of not needing to relocate too many of the natives. Carsington was a dry valley, with no significant water source, so this decision made it an expensive to build, expensive to operate pumped storage scheme, using 10km of tunnels and pumps to extract water from the River Derwent. It suited government because it was lightly inhabited, not exceptionally scenic, although the underlying geology was very poor. A Leicester based engineering consultancy went public when the work started, and predicted in one of the civil engineering publications of the day that the dam would fail, complete with diagrams showing the mode of failure. The water authority pooh-poohed this, and ploughed ahead. Some years later and few weeks before the topping out of the dam, it collapsed in exactly the manner that the Leicester based firm had foretold. £35m had been wasted building a castle in the sand, and it all had to be scraped away, redesigned and built properly, for an outturn price of around £105m, being completed years later, after privatisation of the water authority.

      Had the dam lasted a bit longer, it would have been pumped full. And when it then collapsed, 35 million tonnes of water plus a few million tonnes of mud would have washed away the town of Ashbourne and most of its 9,000 inhabitants, before wiping out the 1,000 or so living in the village of Rocester, and causing untold damage further down on the River Trent in what would probably have been the world's second worst peace time dam failure.

      All of this is a matter of public record if you know where to look, but is rarely presented in this way because the bureaucrats responsible didn't want to be embarrassed. I was involved a few years after the collapse, but as far as I know nobody was sacked (although the bitter and resentful engineers of the water authority made sure they never employed the consultants who'd predicted the outcome so accurately). The key takeaway is only ever build where the geology is ideal, and not to have your decisions swayed by the specifics relating to the peasants, be that the need to relocate them, or the desire to let a tiny fraction of them enjoy a bit of sailing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hopefully no one living downstream

        With Yungay the second inundation wasn't caused by the dam collapsing, but the mountain above a glacial lake collapsing into the lake. This caused the lake to overtop the moraine at the end of the valley and pour into the valley below. You can still see where the debris from the mountain spreads across the lake and onto the far bank today.

        The point being - the dam might still be upright after an earthquake, but if the water's been displaced a landslide then it's still going to get awfully damp downstream.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hopefully no one living downstream

          "The point being - the dam might still be upright after an earthquake, but if the water's been displaced a landslide then it's still going to get awfully damp downstream."

          True, and not the only instance - Vajont in Italy had a similar disaster. But the fact remains that if you aren't going to take some risks then you won't build anything, the thing is to avoid situations where you've got half a mountain that can fall into the reservoir - usually this can be predicted, as it was at Vajont (just ignored by the decision makers).

  19. Triggerfish

    FFS El Reg

    You know what I'd be far more impressed if you could write an article that actually looks at both sides.

    El Reg purports itself as a site that follows science and technology, you jump on trick cyclists and other scientific studies that completly fail to use decent methedology, and use bad science to promote an agenda, and then you write stupid bits of demagoguery like this.

    There should be articles in this very site, with headlines like

    "Journalist distorts truth and presents half facts to further agenda"

    Then the article will start "Just like the tabloids you despise, Lewis Page a author with online site the register is a perfect example of the failure to report science properly in an effort to obscure facts to further opinion etc etc"

    Admiteddly it will probably go meta.

    I don't mind you giving your opinion but back it up properly, show me why the cons of building a dam still are better than the cons of not building one.

    Convince me with facts. Most readers on here probably like them, most probably spent years doing STEM type subjects and tend to like that sort of thing.

    YOu are getting to the point where I start to assume now that whatever you right is bullshit and I should aim for the reciprocal heading of your opinion for something thats more correct that may not alway be correct btw, but thats the point you are getting to now finding your right is sometimes like that feeling you get when you read the daily mail and finding yourself agreeing with something, you assume it can't be so because of the source.

    Its not to hard is it El Reg can we have some proper scientists and techy types or just decent writers writing who can produce a reasoned debate rather than complete opinionated bollocks?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FFS El Reg

      "Its not to hard is it El Reg can we have some proper scientists and techy types or just decent writers writing who can produce a reasoned debate rather than complete opinionated bollocks?"

      There's just short of a billion websites online, and you want this one to conform to how you think it should be?

      Would it not be a more sensible approach to either go and "join" one that does fit your view of what a good tech web site should be (could be a dull, dull place if you're in full agreement with the articles and editorials - a bit like the Guardian). OR you could found your own web site? If it's good, doesn't parrot government's received wisdom on all matters, and is suitably sparky I'll come and read it.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: FFS El Reg

        There's just short of a billion websites online, and you want this one to conform to how you think it should be?

        *No I don't even care if I don't agree with all the articles. In fact that's a good thing, maybe even they will show me I am wrong.

        Problem for me is when its cherry picking research to push a opinion I tend to lose respect for the writer.

        Theres good and bad things about Hydroelectric, it would be nice to see a balanced piece or a reasoned arguement for the writers opnion though.

        Would it not be a more sensible approach to either go and "join" one that does fit your view of what a good tech web site should be (could be a dull, dull place if you're in full agreement with the articles and editorials - a bit like the Guardian). OR you could found your own web site? If it's good, doesn't parrot government's received wisdom on all matters, and is suitably sparky I'll come and read it.

        *well I do read other websites and the Reg does do some good articles and I like the general air of flippancy, this however is the comments section so I feel free to comment how I like.

        I have to admit I usually just avoid articles written by Lewis now since they don't tend to be very good, its like reading jeremy kyle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FFS El Reg

          "Theres good and bad things about Hydroelectric, it would be nice to see a balanced piece or a reasoned arguement for the writers opnion though."

          Ermm, this is tech & science focused web site. I'd expect most readers to have modest inkling on the main issues, or the skills and inclination to find out, particularly in any article where the headline doesn't feature clickbait words like "Apple" or "GCHQ".

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: FFS El Reg

            There's a difference between a modest inkling and full knowledge. I'm quite willing to admit I don't have full knowledge of some of the subject the register covers, that's where the Reg can be quite good because it can be quite varied, it opens me to things I quite inclined to find interesting. I'd love to say I was a polymath but more likely for a lot of the subjects I'm a dilettante.

            Likewise I do look elsewhere, the Rio Xingu dam project is quite a good example of some of the problems hydroelectric can cause for example habitat loss that causes species extinction. The Mekong Hydroelectric dam project as well, and as environmental as my leanings might be against loss of fisheries and biodiversity I have been to areas like Laos and Issan and can see why at the same time for people there they could be quite life changing.

            But these things are a massive subject they can cover so many varied things ranging from societal impact, water rights, international politics, etc etc.

            Its actually I think quite hard to find that balance point which can give a best result, this is a problem you can see a lot of the time, for example diving (which I enjoy) can damage reefs maybe its best we don't, but then again what happens if we don't do the locals who would really like to feed their families have to go back to using cyanide and dynamite again to catch fish. That's maybe a simplified example. A Hydroelectric dam well that is really complicated, I think it would be good to see a balanced piece.

            As you say this is a tech and science site and most of the readers do have the brains and sense of logical thought to assess facts, that's my point of my comments the Reg is doing a disservice by not being a tech and science based site with articles like this (playmobil, bootnotes, Bulgarian airbags etc not included).

        2. Bill B

          Re: FFS El Reg

          Have an up vote for comparing Lewis to Kyle :).

  20. jason 7
    Meh

    Whats the choice?

    Cut back the forests or cut back the number of humans?

    Ohhh no one wants to dare talk about the second option......

    However, we need to strike a workable balance.

    I see these documentaires highlighting the issues with logging and that if they stopped logging then the poor loggers lose their living and the means to support their families.

    The brutal truth is we can well afford to lose the peasant logger and his family, no one will miss them. Sorry but it's true. They will either die off or go find something else to do, these are resourceful people.

    But we will all miss the jungles and forests once they are gone.

    Hey look on the bright side, it kept a few peasants in flip flops, cheap jeans and teeth rotting cola! Totally worth it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whats the choice?

      "Cut back the forests or cut back the number of humans?"

      Burn hippies for fuel, mate. Gaia will be happy. Non-hippies will be happy. Electricity users will be happy. "Limits to growth" types will be happy. Pension funds will be happy. Welfare departments will be happy. Heavy rockers will be happy.

      What's not to like?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Whats the choice?

        "Burn hippies for fuel......What's not to like?" Just don't stand downwind unless you want to get stoned off the smoke.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whats the choice?

          "Just don't stand downwind unless you want to get stoned off the smoke."

          Naaaah. I was thinking of dessicating the f*ckers first, shredding them, and using blower to move the shreddings onto a fluidised bed burner. Maybe have oxygen injection to get the temperature up further still. The weed residues would be converted to power immediately.

          An alternative would be pyrolysis, and then burn the syngas in a gas turbine, which again would convert the psycho-active substances to kinetic or thermal energy. In that case I'd have the waste heat fluffed off through radiators just to spite the dead hippies.

          1. cray74

            Re: Whats the choice?

            I like the desiccation idea. Lowering the water content of biofuels removes a significant heat-absorbing component and allows better combustion efficiency.

            I suspect you could take the raisin approach, leaving them out in the sun, but that'd probably just cheer up the hippies to be desiccated by solar energy. Using the waste heat from dry cask short-term nuclear waste storage for the drying process has a more karmically appropriate ring to it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Whats the choice?@ cray74

              "Using the waste heat from dry cask short-term nuclear waste storage for the drying process has a more karmically appropriate ring to it."

              Smooth, sir. I raise a glass to you!

              Given that wriggling and runaway hippies could be a problem, presumably your idea would also "neutralise" them? Whilst shooting them would be fun, it's messy, bullets cost money, and there's all that risk to the gun operators. And there's a nice bit of karma in wiping hippies out with a good dose of radiation. They could all go out with their last words being "I told you nuclear power was dangerous". So even they would be happy - they'd proved a symbolic point, reduced fossil fuel use, and been recycled.

  21. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Strong cases against hydro

    Here in the States we went on a big hydro-power bender starting in the 1930s. We've since had good reasons to regret those choices, all of which are available online to anyone interested. Sorry El Reg, but the tone of this article is crap.

  22. Yugguy

    MASSIVELY unbalanced article

    I'm far from a tree-hugger but this article made no mention of WHY Greenpeace objected. There must be some reasons that if we knew about we could more knowledgeably mock.

  23. s. pam
    Flame

    Greenpeace = Fucktards!

    OK, so let's burn coal, which has SO2 and CaSO4 pollutants, pollutes the groundwater, air, everything else, or bring in Russian Gas and burn it.

    Well done fucktards, another Ozone hole will be appearing and we'll name if Greenpeace!

  24. Fr. Ted Crilly
    Headmaster

    yeees...

    That's Ordnance btw. not a local bye-law

  25. Infernoz Bronze badge

    They are not Hippies they are Blood Water Melons

    Green on the outside, red on the inside for the Champagne Communists who hijacked it and the blood of the victims who were/are hurt or die because of these monsters and useful idiots!

  26. Donald Becker

    Blah! A whole bunch of misleading numbers for carbon/methane release.

    It has become one of my pet peeves.

    Rotting plants release exactly the amount of carbon that they sucked in while they were growing. The only way to prevent this is to bury them underground, where time and heat will turn them into solid carbon.

    Concrete is also carbon neutral, with a caveat. Portland cement is made by cooking limestone, thus driving off the carbon. Concrete takes an initial set with just water, but over time it gets harder and stronger by further reacting with atmospheric carbon dioxide. It takes many years, but eventually the same amount of carbon dioxide is bound up as was initially release. (The caveat is the very high heat used for producing Portland cement probably came from a carbon-based fuel.)

    I view this as a tradeoff between a remote place that few people will ever see will have its beauty changed (probably not 'destroyed'), in exchange for millions having affordable power and less pollution.

  27. Simon Coyne

    Just curious

    But would burning Greenpeace activists be environmentally friendly??

    I figure it would at least stop a lot of spurious hot air.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just curious

      "But would burning Greenpeace activists be environmentally friendly??"

      Yes. The resource is renewable, and the carbon they contain came (ultimately) from plant matter, whether through the vegetables they ate, or those eaten by the animals they ate.

  28. Potemkine Silver badge
  29. PJI

    Hydro is not perfect

    1. As several comments have pointed out, despite the headline, this was political and opposed by the affected people and would have done permanent, large scale damage to the land and biology of the country.

    2. It's not free. Apart from the large areas of land, canalising rivers, building canals, dams, roads, power lines over very long distances and, long term, enormous maintenance costs.

    3. It seems to me, that those advocating untrammelled developement and damn the Greens are the primitives. That, like slash-and-burn, was all resell and good when there were very few humans and, relatively, seemingly endless resources. But you ought to have noticed that that is no longer true and the Stone Age attitude of grab and profit now has to be modernised and take account of excess population, over built land, packed roads, lost flood plains and so on. Right wing or left wing dogma do not solve or justify anything. Switzerland has got extensive hydro and flood control, to the extent that even in the Alps there is barely a natural water course and the great rivers flowing through the lowlands are canalised with new schemes to "re-naturalise" them.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Don't worry, it will be alright in the end

    On the longer geological term, after the various apocaypsis, mankind will be extinct and Nature can go its merry way. That is even if we do or do not do all the Greens want . Unless we indulge in a little Global Nuclear War on the grand scale.(fireworks, horray)

    So I say slash and burn, use it all up, eat drink and be merry for tommorrow we die.

    I won't be alive to see the end and I dont have kids, so why bother?

    1. MichaelZWilliamson

      Re: Don't worry, it will be alright in the end

      You should accelerate the process and just kill yourself now, to reduce your carbon footprint to zero.

  31. MichaelZWilliamson

    Greenpeace are racists who want third world people to die.

    Violence is the only logical answer. Exterminating Greenpeace would reduce CO2 emissions, reduce excess population, improve the genetics of the species and streamline development and productivity.

  32. JLV Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Par for the course, really...

    The Economist this week has an article about decommissioning deep-sea oil rigs by cutting off the top till 20m or so under water, then leaving them in place to serve as artificial reefs. Not really all that different from sinking old boats to make artificial reefs, really.

    Trouble is, it saves the oil companies money in costs, even if governments usually take a big cut of the savings.

    Greenpeace's position? We're against this, not because it is bad ecologically, but because high decommissioning expenditures discourage oil companies from developing oil rigs.

    You know, you can be concerned about global warming, but be deeply disgusted at the influence a bunch of unscientific w*nkers have on the mitigation agenda.

    What we really need is a new mass movement that encourages regulators to minimize emissions using cost-effective, scientific approaches that make economic sense. Maybe it'll be dams, maybe it'll be nukes, maybe solar (not so much in cloudy Germany). Probably more carbon taxes.

    Certainly no corn ethanol and arguably less wind farms until the problems with intermittent output are fixed. Any baseload management through increased use of non-CO2 sequestering coal plants should be ground for summary execution. Looking at you, Germany.

    Whatever the mix, it should stop being driven by irrational fear-mongering and hair-shirting by strident minorities like Greenpeace.

  33. Gerardo McFitzpatrick-O'Toole

    This only goes to show

    That environmentalism doesn't ultimately care about what happens to the environment - that much has been made clear. It would be more accurate to view it as a modern manifestation of a death-cult, the like of which has been amongst the human race for tens of thousands of years, demanding human blood (metaphorical in this case, but no less deadly in its effect of preventing access for people in the developing world to modern technology) to be sacrificed on a regular basis to appease a higher power, preventing the destruction of the harvest/tribe/planet. It may yet kill us all.

  34. Brian Allan 1

    Greenpeace Equates To Idiots!

    Stopping an environmentally friendly project in place of burning more hydrocarbons!? Idiots!

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