Elizabeth is our link with the United Nations Association and CND. She continues to work on a voluntary basis for the peace and justice, for organisations including CND and Amnesty International. Since 1968 she has been secretary of Moseley and District UNA.
Her teaching career included many years teaching English as a second and foreign language at Birmingham’s Brasshouse centre. She was also liaison tutor for the external MA course for Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies, held at Woodbrooke College, Birmingham.
She asks: “Could the world’s deserts help to solve the world’s energy problems? “
Nuclear energy comes with problems and at an increasingly astronomical cost, further raised by the growing shortage of uranium. There is the prohibitive cost of insuring against nuclear accidents and the catastrophic nature of such accidents. Excess levels of cancers have been found in the vicinity of some nuclear power stations leading many to see radio-active emissions as an ever-present risk. No satisfactory solution to the disposal of nuclear waste has been found; high-level waste can remain radioactive for 100,000 years. Who can foresee the social and geological conditions at the end of such a vast perspective of time? Will the waste be safely buried?
Various studies worldwide have shown that the world’s energy needs could be met by renewables at a fraction of the cost and without the emissions produced by fossil fuel and nuclear energy.
Of all renewable sources of power the sun must be the most powerful; it could replace nuclear energy without the problems of waste or radioactive emissions, and at a fraction of the cost. The technology is being developed and, in some places, is already in place. In Rajasthan in India it has been converting hard water into drinking water since the 1980s. Desertec is a project based in the German Aerospace Centre [DER]. It aims to provide 15% of the energy needed in Europe and North Africa and to start feeding into the Spanish National Grid by 2013, given the funding and political will.