A Sept. 10 letter to the editor by William Collins extolled the virtues of using renewable fuels and listed three countries that get 100% of their energy from renewable sources: Iceland, Scotland and Costa Rica. Mr. Collins invited his readers to “look it up online,” if in doubt. Well, I feel no need to go online and ask DuckDuckGo for assistance — I’ll just wing it.
Having spent time in all three of those countries, I seem to recall a great number of automobiles, commercial fishing vessels, airplanes and cruise ships powered by fossil fuels, not to mention the pollution created at outdoor restaurants where meat was cooked over humongous charcoal grills with grates that rose, fell and rotated.
Energy by way of non-renewable fossil fuels appeared to contribute greatly to the economy and transportation in those countries. As for energy required for defense, the United States carried that water, and still does. Yes, the “good old USA” that Mr. Collins would have us believe is inferior to communist China and on par with the likes of Morocco and Kenya.
I was stationed at Keflavik, Iceland, with the USAF and spent a year in the country. Their geothermal power was impressive, but then they have the fortune of sitting upon active volcanoes, one of which blew up while I was there. That was some time ago, but the last I checked, airlines still fly to and from Iceland, cruise ships come and go, people drive cars, and their massive fleet of commercial fishing boats still ply the waters, few of which are powered by renewable fuel sources.
How was Iceland so prescient as to develop geothermal and hydroelectric power? They had no choice; having cut down all their trees and sitting not on oil but volcanoes, it was either that or abandon the island.
If Mr. Collins was merely addressing “power grids,” he could have said as much and without all the America bashing.
Steve Ketzer Jr.