Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fossil Fools in Washington DC: A Simple Lack of Practical Wisdom

The idiot zombies in Obama's EPA, Interior Department, Energy Department, Department of Interior, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Department of Agriculture can pretend that the country will function just fine without fossil fuels. They find it easy to ban offshore drilling, coal mining, coal power plants, oil sands pipelines, arctic drilling, shale gas & oil drilling, safe new nuclear reactor designs, etc etc. No skin off their nose, no sir!

Meanwhile, the nation they are supposed to be leading and guiding sinks more deeply into debt and dysfunction, for lack of any genuine leadership. Politics as usual, except more so. More cronyism, more corruption, more obstruction and destruction toward the private sector, more disregard for the welfare of the productive classes, entrepreneurs, and small business.

Human ingenuity wants to make things better and more workable. But government zombies have their own ideas.
The Obama administration’s decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would increase Canadian oil imports, should be viewed as a warning that the government is willing to oppose new energy production either directly or indirectly. If anyone had any illusion that the State Department’s decision was about a route through Nebraska, Daniel Kammen, an Obama 2008 energy adviser, left no room for doubt: “The real issue isn’t the route. It’s what’s in the pipeline.”

This Keystone XL decision, combined with project permitting delays in Alaska, moratoriums in the Gulf of Mexico and regulatory uncertainty surrounding new shale gas production would leave an objective observer to question if there is any will to move production beyond traditional Middle East suppliers.

Today, the choice for America is stark. If we support North American energy production, the United States increases its own energy security, creates more liquidity in the global market, and creates jobs in refining, and downstream industries such as fertilizers and chemicals. Alternatively, we can continue down the path of increasing reliance on foreign energy sources that could be unstable or hostile. The onus is now on Washington to seize the moment and stop obstructing the opportunity created from advances in technology. _Hill

There are clean ways to utilise all forms of fossil fuels -- even coal! But instead of using the massive US coal resource to rebuild the US industrial infrastructure, US governmental obstructionism is forcing coal producers to ship all their product overseas -- to a country that actually wants to do something with it.

People are saying that oil will soon run out. They say oil is a finite resource, and therefore it is obvious to them that oil will soon run out. Is it possible that something is wrong with their logic?
Coal not only did not run out, no matter how much was used: it actually became cheaper and more abundant as time went by, in marked contrast to charcoal, which always grew more expensive once its use expanded beyond a certain point, for the simple reason that people had to go further in search of timber. Had England never used coal, it could still have had an industrial miracle of sorts, because it could have (and did) use water power to drive the frames and looms that turned Lancashire into the cotton capital of the world. But water power, though renewable, is very much finite, and Britain’s industrial boom would have petered out as expansion became impossible, population pressure overtook income and wages fell, depressing demand.

This is not to imply that non-renewable resources are infinite–of course not. The Atlantic Ocean is not infinite, but that does not mean you have to worry about bumping into Newfoundland if you row a dinghy out of a harbour in Ireland. Some things are finite but vast; some things are infinitely renewable, but very limited. Non-renewable resources such as coal are sufficiently abundant to allow an expansion of both economic activity and population to the point where they can generate sustainable wealth for all the people of the planet without hitting a Malthusian ceiling, and can then hand the baton to some other form of energy. _MattRidley
A simple idea: use the energy resources which you have, to create better, longer-lasting resources -- such as advanced nuclear fission and eventually fusion -- for the future.

Why didn't the zombies in Washington think of that?



Blogger warpmine said...

Washington, both parties have a severe handicapp, a extremely small reptillian sized brain. Never expect DC to ever be cerebral no matter how many Nobel Laureates are residing.

3:11 PM  

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