Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Officer O'Clancy, take care of this toxic waste.

One of the dreams of those that have spent the last several decades pushing for alternative energy sources is that of breaking our dependence on middle east oil.

An inevitable side effect of the United States leading the search for these alternative energy sources would be a revolution in U.S. industry. Much like the advent of the the automobile green energy would spur the U.S. economy and help the U.S. regain it's slipping lead on innovation and technology.

That's why it's been incredibly frustrating watching this administration spend eight years fighting investment in green energy solutions for purely ideological reasons. In doing so they were hurting the United States. They were making us weaker. (I think about this and a million other examples when Bush administration apologists tell us their greatest accomplishment is "making us safe." They've accomplished exactly the opposite.)

Their inaction doesn't mean some other nation(s) won't take the lead:


Gulf Oil States Seeking a Lead in Clean Energy

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — With one of the highest per capita carbon footprints in the world, these oil-rich emirates would seem an unlikely place for a green revolution.

Gasoline sells for 45 cents a gallon. There is little public transportation and no recycling. Residents drive between air-conditioned apartments and air-conditioned malls, which are lighted 24/7.

Still, the region’s leaders know energy and money, having built their wealth on oil. They understand that oil is a finite resource, vulnerable to competition from new energy sources.

So even as President-elect Barack Obama talks about promoting green jobs as America’s route out of recession, gulf states, including the emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are making a concerted push to become the Silicon Valley of alternative energy.

It is going to cost the United States a lot to catch up to these countries but it is a matter of national security that we do so. We must initiate a green Apollo program, and quickly. It seems like everybody in the world except the GOP dead-enders and their Democratic enablers can see the writing on the wall. Will they act?

I won't hold my breath.

7 comments:

ladybug said...

Actually, you should check out Denmark...they are leading the world

Here's some info:

Svend Auken, Denmark's former Minister of Energy and Environment, is generally credited with turning Denmark from being almost totally dependent on foreign oil, to being an exporter of sustainable energy within a 30 year period. And the Danish economy grew! Green jobs are now a major contributor to the economy, and renewable energy products and service are their #1 export.

Svend is also now on the committee to determine the EU's position on climate change and renewable energy.

dguzman said...

It would be so easy to do, too--challenge US business and entrepreneurs, just the same way Kennedy did with Apollo. Instead the govt remains ever short-sighted and ignorant of reality. And it'll be the end of us.

Lockwood said...

The fact is, we should have started when Carter told us to, 30 years ago. Reagan and Bush I put the kibosh on the idea, and Clinton was too busy fighting off rabid wolves to get anything done on that front.

By the time Bush II came in, it was painfully obvious we were in deep doodoo. It was also painfully obvious, from his own background and from that of many of his key personnel, that nothing would be done. In fact, that they would actively fight to prevent anything from being done.

Prices are low right now, due to a collapse in demand. This makes it even more difficult to invest in alternative energy sources. But make no mistake: we must do this and we must start NOW.

Don Snabulus said...

The first step is to use less fuel. Making ethanol and biodiesel cuts into the food supply as third world nations have already found out the (deadly and) hard way.

A part of that is more efficient transportation systems, but most people don't realize how inefficiently their own homes are designed and built. If all new construction used passive solar design, that alone would cut way way down on heating and cooling fuel consumption.

An Apollo type project is needed, but not to change fuels. It is needed to change our energy infrastructure and community design so we don't need 80% of the fuel.

Übermilf said...

Yeah.

What you said.

Randal Graves said...

So I should stop simultaneously running both my heat and air conditioner in May?

Dean Wormer said...

Ladybug-

Svend is also now on the committee to determine the EU's position on climate change and renewable energy.

Great. Now even the French will be ahead of us on this.

dguzman-

It certainly will be the end of us. All it requires is a little bit of imagination. They don't even have that.

Lockwood-

The fact is, we should have started when Carter told us to, 30 years ago. Reagan and Bush I put the kibosh on the idea, and Clinton was too busy fighting off rabid wolves to get anything done on that front.

Yep. That's why I see Obama's efforts to reach out those same wolves as ultimately in vain. Those guys know they can't let him succeed for ideological reasons.

Don-

An Apollo type project is needed, but not to change fuels. It is needed to change our energy infrastructure and community design so we don't need 80% of the fuel.

That's what I was trying to get at as I think it's something that even the Saudis realize. We are in a green arm's race and we don't know it.

ubermilf-

Thanks.

Randal-

You do seem to be someone that has trouble making up his mind.