Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pristine Beaches Trashed By Renewable Energy Spill

By Darryl Mason

More than 10,000 solar panels and 200 wind turbines were washed off the deck of a Chinese freighter late last week, during a cyclonic storm. Now, the solar panels and turbine blades are washing ashore along more than 100 kilometres of Australia's most majestic coastline. Dozens of beaches in Queensland are now closed to the public, as hundreds of volunteers go about the barely monumental task of picking up all the solar panels, while heavy vehicles are now being brought in to remove the turbine blades.

The whole clean-up operation is not expected to cost millions of dollars will not keep some of Australia's most popular beaches closed beyond Monday. The Queensland government has declared a State Of UnEmergency.

"It's terrible, just a complete non-disaster," said Rada Bonflair, founder of the controversial pro-fossil fuels lobby group, Mother Nature Hates Renewable Energy, She Really Does.

"The solar panels are very difficult to remove from the beaches. You need at least two people to pick up each one. The wind turbines will take at least twenty minutes for each to be hoisted away. This whole clean-up could take a day and a half. If this spill was of toxic chemcials, dioxins and oil, then it would be a very different story."

A volunteer at one beach clean-up operation said his fellow volunteers were getting angrier by the hour as they continued to find no injured animals to rescue, outside of a few fish, and no nests of destroyed turtle eggs.

"If this had been 100,000 barrels of oil? Now that would have been a worthwhile disaster," the volunteer said. "We would have been cleaning dozens of pelicans and shaking our heads very angstly, and we'd be sifting sand to get out every last sticky globule. It would have taken weeks, cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and resulted in hundreds of lost jobs because our pristine beaches would now look like absolute shit on the evening news across the world."

Rada Bonflair said there was a valuable lesson to be taken from the non-destruction of Australian beaches by the renewable energies spill.

"People love to use a variety of renewable energies because it makes them feel good," she said, "and they think that their choice not to use oil or burn coal is somehow pleasing to Mother Nature. Well, it's not. She gave us oil and coal to burn, and when we stop using her free gifts, she becomes very, very angry indeed. What didn't happen to all those still beautiful and undamaged beaches from this non-disaster was no accident. Mother Nature was sending us a message. If we don't use the fossil fuels she has created for us, then she will absolutely not punish it. We don't have much time left."