Unclean energy

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Professor Trewavas has confidently asserted that we are “knee-deep” in fossil fuels (Letters, 25 January). Apart from the unwitting contradiction inherent in his choice of words, he also makes extravagant claims for the amount of uranium in our oceans.

The American Chemical Society has stated that the oceans contain 4.5 billion tonnes of uranium, enough to power every nuclear plant on the planet for 6,500 years. That figure falls far short of the “hundreds and thousands of years” claimed by Prof Trewavas.

However, his argument is irrelevant, since he ignores the basis of the environmental argument, which is that we already possess far more recoverable energy sources worldwide than we can burn without destroying the climate. The motivation for a transition to a clean energy economy should be driven by concern for our fragile environment, not by the predicted scarcity or abundance of fossil fuels, or elements such as uranium, both of which are non-renewables.

Carolyn Taylor

Wellbank

Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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