Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cap and Trade

While the battle continues on healthcare reform legislation, next in line is "cap & trade", the Obama administration effort aimed at reducing greenhouse gases to incentivise the development of "clean" energy and reduce global warming. Carbon dioxide is said to be the primary culprit.

Global Warming

There is considerable disagreement over global warming and its causes. Scientific studies have shown that the Earth has gone through many cycles of warming and cooling. The last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago and we have been in the warming part of the cycle ever since. While a few people don't buy it, most of the scientific community now believe the Earth is warming. The major issue is man's contribution to it, how significant it is, and what we should be doing about it.

There is little doubt in my mind that industrial development has dumped a fair amount of carbon dioxide and other gases into the Earth's atmosphere. Defining the extent of its impact is a challenge I will leave to objective-minded scientists, not Al Gore. I also believe we should be doing the necessary research and development to come up with ways to reduce and eliminate the emission of gases proven to cause warming. Having said that, however, let me say it won't be easy.

Alternatives to Greenhouse Gas Emmitting Fuels

Coal, oil and gas fueled the industrial age and remain the world's primary energy generating fuels. In certain parts of the world, non-gas emmitting nuclear energy now shares the stage with the hydrocarbon fuels and could command a majority share if it weren't for the influence of anti-nuclear power activists. The scare tactics of the activists have succeeded in blocking totally any new nuke plants in the USA for several decades.

The power likely to be generated by all currently known alternatives to hydrocarbon fuels combined will never equal what is currently generated by coal, oil, gas and nuclear. Nevertheless, alternative fuels should be developed to the maximum economically acceptable limits and hopefully research will produce one or more alternates that will permit the removal of hydrocarbon fuels from the picture altogether some time in the future. Until then, we will need to use hydrocarbon fuels and nuclear energy.

Cap & Trade Economics

The economics of the so-called cap & trade proposal are not pretty. It is an attempt to force greenhouse gas producers to switch to "clean" energy which is partly developed, still on the drawing board, or still on the "wish" list. Meanwhile, they would be required to buy "carbon credits" in a market yet to be defined. It can do nothing but raise the cost of energy for all consumers and the loss of more jobs.

As mentioned before on this blog site, energy companies are already devoting much time and money on research in new energy sources and what is needed to develop and deliver it to consumers. It seems unlikely that more money and more scientists and engineers to work on the needed research would not add significant speed to the process.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Saving America

Am I alone in my growing feeling that unless we change course now we will soon be a totally collective state ? I hope and pray there are others who see what's happening and are willing to join with those who want to right the ship and return us to government as set down by the founding fathers in the Constitution. We know it won't be easy and it won't be done over night, but we must begin.

2010 Elections

The next opportunity to begin saving America will be the the votes in Congress on such issues as healthcare, cap & trade, immigration reform and the military budget et al. Then it will be on to the 2010 elections. Every seat in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs and one-third of the Senate.

Many seats held by liberal Democrats in the House are going to be vulnerable because of growing disallusionment in Obama's policies and actions. Moderate and Blue dog Democrats are probably safe except for those in normally Republican territories. Seats held by Republicans should be safe for the most part. Republicans should take back a few seats in the Senate, at least enough to make it difficult for the Democrats to get a two-thirds majority on votes requiring it.

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to a man who has only been in the White House less than 8 months would be laughable if it wasn't for what lies behind Obama's selection. He was selected by people who support collectivising the entire world in one big socialist society. Anyone who doubts that is either very naive or a supporter of the collectivist movement. Of course, it isn't the first time the Nobel prize committee has shown their true stripes in their Peace prize selections. Arafat...Woodrow Wilson...Jimmy nauseum were all strong left-leaning purported leaders. I no longer have any respect for the Nobel folks when it comes to their Peace awards.

I respected the Nobel people when they gave the prize for economics to Milton Friedman back in the 70's. I had the honor and privilege of meeting him in Miami a few days after he received the prize. He seemed to always talk common sense. We certainly could use people of Friedman's insight today.