A letter to the Editor

Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001

From: Berol ROBINSON

To: International Herald Tribune <iht@iht.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.


Berol Robinson


(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>)