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

Ian Andrew Bell FoRK 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.

-Ian.




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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