Tidal Series: Welcome

“Tide goes in, tide goes out.” Thus spoke the brilliant Bill O’Reilly on an interview segment of his show in January, 2011 on Fox TV. Although the original context was surrounding the existence of God, the quote aptly describes one of the many allures of tidal energy – the constancy, the certainty. We can predict the motion of the tides tomorrow, and we can predict them for the next 100 years (assuming humanity doesn’t blow up the moon before then). Why, then, has it not been accomplished yet? The answer to this question rests on several factors. The effects on fish and other marine life in the Bay of Fundy are of particular interest, as are the economic and social outcomes. There is also the question of efficiency and reliability, not to mention any unforeseen consequences we may encounter.

The problems surrounding tidal energy are numerous, and it is the purpose of this tidal series to illuminate some of those problems. Faculty members across campus have pledged to share their opinions on Nova Scotia’s role in harnessing the tides. These opinions will be featured each issue, and will be backed by their knowledge and/or any research they have accomplished with the goal of answering the basic question: should Nova Scotia pursue tidal energy? Again, this is not a trivial question. It is the hope of this editor that by the end of the year, the students of Acadia University will be able to come to a rounded decision, by means of their own assessment, using the evidence provided within these pages. I urge you to read on and educate yourself on this topic, balancing the benefits and drawbacks with a fair, critical, and honest mind.

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Looking forward to the rest of this series!