[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
Ian Andrew Bell FoRK
Wed Jul 6 23:23:28 PDT 2005
The world won't make the capital investment until they have to,
indeed. One way to make it economically viable is to artificially
inflate the cost of burning oil and natural gas (fossil fuels in
general) by placing limits on their emissions, and by creating a free
market for the exchange of what are effectively emissions rights.
This is what the EU has done, this is what they have been asking Bush
to do in fulfilling the intent of the Kyoto accord.
The result of the EU's system, which comes directly from a book
called "The Ecology of Commerce", is a hell of a lot of real-world
technical innovation in diversifying their power generation
infrastructure, not to mention reducing their industrial emissions.
Bush says that "technology" will come along to solve this problem in
America and yet little has occurred in this area precisely because
the US provides no incentive for innovation. Ergo, Bush is a
hypocrite (revelation!) and SDW is guilty of blindly buying into his
line of bullshit.
Oil isn't just used to produce energy and power SUVs. It fertilizes
soil, produces plastics and synthetics, and probably is a key
ingredient in McDonald's milkshakes. Oil should be conserved for
uses where it has unique value and we should have weaned ourselves
off of fossil fuels for common power and transport long ago.
Assholes like Bush stand directly in the way of this.
It might surprise this crowd to learn that I'm actually in favour of
safe, accountable nuclear power generation facilities combined with
effective waste disposal. Combined with Hydrogen-powered transport
the combination makes for a pretty potent emissions-free punch.
On 6-Jul-05, at 10:12 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> 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?
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