Saturday, August 2, 2008

Et Tu, Obama?

Take a stand and stick to it.


The only way out of the energy mess we're in is, ironically, HIGHER gasoline prices.

Higher prices = less demand. Keep focusing on lowering the price of gasoline and we'll be dependent on it for another 30 years.

No thanks. Let's move on already.

UPDATE: Digging himself in even deeper...

8 comments:

Dogwood said...

You libs are so fun.

We are going to be burning vast quantities of oil and gas for another 100 years.

I don't oppose efforts to find alternative fuels, be they liquid or otherwise, and high prices do encourage conservation and R&D spending, but the idea of switching the entire transportation economy to another fuel source in 30 years is simply wishful thinking.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2003 there were 231 million vehicles registered in the United States. Add motorcycles, and you have a total of 236 million.

And that's five years ago, so we're probably closer to 300 million today.

The only fuel source capable of keeping such a huge number of vehicles running is oil. Not electric. Not hydrogen. Not natural gas. Oil.

To be embraced, accepted and trusted by consumers, alternative fuels need to be developed, tested, produced in mass quantities, and readily available on virtually every street corner in America.

Such a fundamental change in the transportation economy will not and can not occur in just 30 years, especially since no viable alternative to oil currently exists.

Not even ethanol and biodiesel have the necessary distribution and infrastructure in place to support such a shift, and we have spent billions of dollars on incentives.

It will take a century to develop acceptable alternatives and build the requisite infrastructure. Until then, embrace your inner oil baron and buy some XOM.

Dinosaur Trader said...

Dogwood,

Sorry, you're wrong.

You think in 1950 they thought we'd have a man on the moon? You think in 1935 they thought the world would change in 10 years with the bomb? You think Henry Ford said to himself, "Ah, this car thing... forget about it. There are no service stations?"

No.

The problem with you conservatives is that you don't have the capacity to imagine a bit... things will always be the same... blah, blah, blah. Maybe it's seemed that way since Dick Cheney has been in government for the last 30 years...

Things will only stay the same if everyone keeps acting the same. So, embrace your inner environmentalist and go buy a push mower. Things can change much faster than you think... history tells us that over and over.

-DT

Dogwood said...

I have a great imagination DT, I also am quite realistic. You are calling for the complete and total transformation of a core sector of the world's economy.

Changes in that area will progress conservatively because mistakes can and will have catastrophic economic consequences.

As for the space program, that was a new field whose technology has impacted many other economic sectors over the course of decades, it was not a reinvention of a current economic sector.

The automobile was a new invention that transformed the country's transportation sector, but it took decades and a national infrastructure.

As I stated previously, I'm all for the development of alternatives, but we don't have any viable ones, let alone the infrastructure to support them.

At the end of the day, it is all about economics and efficiency, and that equation still favors oil because the infrastructure already exists and is widely available, accepted, trusted and proven.

Any alternative must be widely available, efficient to use in time and costs, accepted and trusted by the majority of people, and proven in the field of use day in and day out.

No currently available or proposed alternatives meet those criteria, nor will they for decades to come.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't continue working on alternatives, we should, but we shouldn't hold future economic development hostage to something that may or may not materialize in the near future.

Dinosaur Trader said...

I also want to point out one other thing that changed very quickly and unexpectedly... the level of respect that the US commands in the world.

The dollar has declined 40% in the past 8 years and we are a laughingstock because of the policies of this administration.

Given your political views, did you forsee that 8 years ago?

Perhaps that's why I can't respect these arguments that come directly from the status quo. I understand that we have a lot of work to do, and quickly, but saying that it's impossible and that we just have to deal with what we have for another 100 years sounds exactly like what I'll be voting against in the fall.

-DT

Dinosaur Trader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dogwood said...

I guess your inability to counter the argument while trying to shift the debate to simplistic "the GOP is bad" talking points means I win the debate.

Someday, DT, we will find and widely adopt an alternative energy source that will allow us to replace oil-based fuels, but it won't happen in our lifetimes.

Even if we solve the scientific challenges, and we will, the product development and customer acceptance challenges will take additional decades.

Reality is simply a bitch is this area.

As for what you'll be voting against, I haven't heard Obama propose one thing that hasn't been on the leftwing wish list since the 1960s. Not exactly breaking new ground, that boy of yours.

As for world respect, I don't care what the world thinks of us, what I care about is that the President of my country puts the interests and needs and welfare of our country first and foremost.

Sometimes, that means working collaboratively with other countries, sometimes that means telling everyone else to go to hell.

In the final analysis, other countries will do what we want them to do not because they like us, but because they believe what we want also is in their best interests. If our plans are not in their best interests, then they won't join us in the endeavor.

Every country, DT, does what it believes is in its own best interest and being popular or liked won't change that calculus.

Dinosaur Trader said...

Dog,

The only thing you've won around here is my respect, since you're such a well-mannered debater. However, in order to win the debate, you would have had to change my opinion about something, and you have not.

I didn't mean to shift the debate. What I was saying is that after the last 8 years of failure, I'm not about to pay an ounce of attention to any of the right wing talking points about anything... especially energy policy.

It's simply time for something different, including a new attitude about our country and its place in the world.

I can't even take a summer vacation out of the country this year because the dollar is more like the peso now. It's crazy, and frankly, I don't get the people who still trumpet these people's ideas...

-DT

Dogwood said...

The fact you can't point to any viable alternative that has the ability to meet the previously stated requirements within your 30-year time frame is enough for me to declare victory! :)

Also, please explain what policies I have been defending in this debate?

All I simply stated was that replacing oil-based fuels within 30 years was a pipe dream and you haven't proven otherwise.

I believe the problem many people have in discussing alternative energy proposals is that they can't get their minds around the enormous scale and volume needed to keep an modern economy functioning.

Back in 2002, Steven Ben Beste wrote two blog posts on the issue, and even after six years, they are still worth reading. The first one is here and the second one is here.

Most of the material concerns electricity generation, but the second post does touch on alternatve fuels for vehicles.

The bottom line is this: we continue to use nuclear and coal fired power plants, and oil-based fuels, because they are the best and most effective ways to meet current and future energy needs.

Nothing else has the scalability to even come close to meeting our needs, and that won't change in our lifetimes.

Even T. Boone Picken's plan has significant problems. The only reason wind power is viable is due to state and local subsidies, take away the subsidies and wind is cost prohibitive. Also, wind power is unreliable for base load electrical demand, so large-scale coal or nuclear plants are still required to meet demand and keep the grid lit.

As for using natural gas for vehicles, you have national infrastructure problems combined with the simple fact that you get natural gas the same way you get oil, you drill for it.

If environmentalists won't let us drill for oil, then there is no reason to believe they will let us drill for natural gas, which tends to be located in the same places oil is found.

In short, until alternatives are proven viable and scalable and acceptable to the public, we have to dance with the energy sources that have served us for the last 100 years.