[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Wed Jul 6 22:11:17 PDT 2005

Damien Morton wrote:

> Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>> A) Other countries don't have to sell the US resources.  B) While it 
>> is always wise to be efficient at the proper cost/benefit zone and 
>> you don't want to "break" the ecosystem, few aspects of resource 
>> usage can't be addressed when the time comes.  Even global warming 
>> can be handled in a number of ways (including controlling sunlight 
>> through space mirrors).
> What do you think would happen if, for instance, the Saudis decided to 
> reduce oil production to increase their revenue before exhaustion, or 
> if Panama decided to increase their fees for transit, or for that 
> matter, if Columbia decided to stop selling cocaine to the US.

Another solution would be found that fit the new economic profile.  
Hydrogen windmills off the coast, etc.
As I commented recently, running out of oil will probably be the best 
thing that could happen from the energy perspective.  We're stuck in the 
local minima of oil-based energy.  Nothing else is cost effective.  Even 
with massive cashflow from productivity-based (i.e. from human labor) to 
inert natural resource based (and indirectly funding terrorism), oil is 
still the cheapest source for many kinds of energy and chemicals.

The world/US won't make the capital investment in other solutions until 
they have to.  It won't be a calamity if we "run out of" oil, just a 
period of a little turmoil.  (heh)  The oil producing countries won't 
turn off the spigot because as soon as they do, they sow the seeds of 
their obsolescence.

The high cost of European fuel doesn't cause capital investment because 
nearly all of the cost is tax which won't go away even if the fuel cost 
were zero.  I would argue that having a high tax on fuel (and even 
trains) is like having a metered Internet connection: it inhibits usage, 
effectiveness, and value of the infrastructure.  It is argued that 
inhibiting usage is good, but is this really always true?  What about 
learning, living, entrepreneurialism, research?


swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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