[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
Stephen D. Williams
Thu Jul 7 13:59:40 PDT 2005
Does it truly make sense to artificially force capital investment before
it is needed?
Probably not, unless there is a dangerous tipping point lurking nearby.
Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) wrote:
> 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.
I don't buy into Bush's explanations at all. It's obvious that
premature optimization is a possible problem here.
> 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.
Frozen yogurt is based on crude oil? You're out there.
> 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.
Nuclear hysteria is probably the saddest development of the last 50 years.
Now that we can treat most cancers reasonably well, we should be good to
> 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?
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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