Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001
From: Berol ROBINSON
To: International Herald Tribune <email@example.com>
I was pleased to see the two-page spread on Sustainable Mobility (Thursday,
September 27, 2001, pages 10 and 11). You have certainly addressed the
questions. I was also happy to learn of the WBCSD and related efforts.
On the other hand, I was struck by the absence of an essential element in
Marnie Mitchell's report on the TES (Transport Energy Strategy) task force.
Her story leads to the hydrogen fuel-cell technology for the car of the
future, with the associated problems; but among the mix of sources of energy
being considered by TES, there is no mention of nuclear energy.
Renewables (solar and wind) are ideal for the production of hydrogen, and they
will certainly make their contribution; but they are far from being able to
provide enough energy to replace the tens of millions of barrels of oil
consumed by motor transport EACH DAY. Most of the hydrogen for our fuel-cell
cars will have to be produced by fossil fuel plants which emit carbon dioxide,
etc., and by nuclear energy plants which emit nothing.
I can well appreciate that TES, Ms Mitchell and IHT are sensitive to the
delicate question of nuclear energy, but nothing is gained by sweeping it
under the rug. It will be the energy source of the future, probably earlier
than most people realize, certainly sooner than the anti-nuclear movement will
A faithful reader.
(The writer is an American physicist - PhD Hopkins '53 - and an
environmentalist. Until retiring he was a science officer at the Paris
headquarters of UNESCO. He is a member of the French not-for-profit
international "Association des Ecologistes Pour le Nucleaire," and
correspondent for the United States. Visit the website at <www.ecolo.org>)