Every day, twice a day, the broad sweep of Swansea Bay in South Wales presents a different face to the world. When the tide is high waves lap along its the three-mile promenade. When it ebbs a vast expanse of sand and mud stretches out half a mile to meet the line of the sea.

But the height of that tide, averaging twenty eight feet daily, is the reason a pioneering power company has chosen the area for a world’s first - the prototype of a giant lagoon to generate electricity from the awesome mechanical energy of the tide.

Swansea Bay has been a part of my life since I was a boy and I cherish memories of walks along its palm-lined promenade with my parents. The bay curves away from the entrance to the once bustling coal port of Swansea to the rocky headland of the Mumbles with its iconic Lifeboat station.
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I think most people are aware honeybees are in trouble and, in the past, we’ve written about our hive nightmare – genetically modified bees. So we thought it was time to give readers an update on the many way bees are being tampered with. Pre-genetic engineering, back in the 1950’s and 60’s varieties of bees were crossbred in an attempt to increase honey yields and the introduction of African strains led to the creation of the notorious ‘killer bees.’ They have a dangerous sting and an extremely violent colony defence instinct and guess what thousands of them escaped from a research facility in Brazil You’d have thought we’d learnt our lesson back then but no, we’ve learnt nothing.

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Two rivers drain into Swansea Bay, the Tawe and the Nedd, and for several years there have been dreams to build a tidal lagoon between them  on Dylan Thomas’ ‘long and splendid curving shore.’

The original plan envisaged a huge nine kilometre wall build with sand-filled, synthetic bags, faced with stone and a series of turbines to generate power embedded into it.  Oyster beds and yacht clubs were planned within its span and it would have served as a prototype that could be replicated on many sites around the British coast. 

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Regular readers of our columns will know we are not great fans of wind turbines or solar arrays and we argue they are anything but green or sustainable. However we love the idea of power harvested from the endlessly moving sea and advocate the UK government should back two prototypes projects for tidal lagoons on the Welsh coast at the cities of Swansea and Cardiff.

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In a recent edition the UK’s New Scientist magazine posed a fundamental but politically and socially explosive question. Should we impose population controls on the human race? The article quotes the Malthusian warning of 1798 that growing population would inevitably see mankind eat its way through the planet’s finite resources condemning millions to famine.

Thomas Malthus’s prediction has indeed come to pass with increasing frequency, at least on a regional level, but by and large the population, now standing at 7 billion, has yet to exhaust the planet’s bounty. Of course that may not be the case by the end of the millennium when, all things being equal, we may have three or four billion more planetary compatriots.

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For a couple of years or so we at Bohemianmojo have been discussing our reservations about so-called sustainable wind power and solar energy. We are huge fans of any well thought out efforts to harness offshore tidal or wave power. But we have been very suspicious about the much-vaunted green credentials of the other two although decided not to give it voice while the jury was still out.

We’ll talk about wind power in a future posting but a couple of disturbing dispatches about solar energy have prompted this report. The first is a stark warning from the Chinese authorities on the truly gigantic pollution penalty from solar arrays once they fall out of use.

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