18 August 2006

Forget Global Warming

Apparently Global Warming is not yet compelling enough to get the world to start using petroleum products for chemistry instead of fuel. How about guilt?

With the exception of Israel, all the governments of the Middle East, including Iran, are either despotisms or near-despotisms. They are propped up against the will of the majority of their peoples by one thing -- oil money. If we could dry up the supply of oil money, these governments would have to come to terms with their people, or fall. I'm betting on the despots' survival skills that they would manage a more or less orderly transition to something that the people would be more willing to support.

This would do two things. First it would remove domestic political oppression as a major source of grievance from the Muslim world. Second, it would replace the culture of dependency on foreign currency handouts (that's what oil money is, after all) with a culture of self-reliance as Muslim societies develop real economies. This would remove the sense of powerlessness (called humiliation in Islamofacist rhetoric) as a motivation for terrorism. Once these obstacles were removed, Islamic societies would either develop in a healthy manner, or would become impoverished. One way they would be less motivated, and the other way they would be less able to make perpetual war with their neighbors in this world.

In more succinct terms, the burning of petroleum products contributes directly to the oppression of Muslims (by both secular and Islamofacist despots). If President Bush wants to make a positive contribution to the future of all humankind would do better to take back his challenge to return Americans to the moon, and instead resolve to convert Americans to alternative fuels.

I favor hydrogen. We can make it at the pump from water and electricity (from solar, wind, or nuclear power). And it burns to create water-vapor. No more automotive pollution. No more smog. Yes, we have President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative funding some research. But let's do more than that. Let's make it our primary national priority until we achieve it.

Let's clean up our act, everyone. Burn hydrogen not oil! Free Islam!


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with some of your points. We do need to put a much higher priority on freeing ourselves from our dependence on fossil fuels (including coal which I don't think you mentioned). Hydrogen fuel certainly has a lot of promise. The difficulty is in having the electricity to make it.

You mention three possibilities for producing that electricity: solar, wind, and nuclear power. Of these three only the last one, nuclear power, has any real promise of delivering sufficient amounts of electricity in the near term of ten to twenty years. Personally I would support an all out push to build enough nuclear power plants to accomplish the goal of energy self-sufficiency as soon as possible.

Obviously building any new nuclear power plants in the United States is going to be an uphill battle because of the sheer ignorance about nuclear power, and the fear mongering of those who oppose its use regardless of the desperate need. Winning that war is probably going to be as politically difficult as trying to win a war in the mid-east against the Islamic Fascists.

The bottom line though is that it will require a war of sorts to free America from its dependency on oil. How many wars can we fight at one time? Right now we are in a war against people who chose to attack us in the first place, and I agree with President Bush that winning this war is a higher priority.

But ultimately I agree with you in that we will sometime have to also fight a war of energy independence.


Lawrence Kennon

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Scooper said...


I think we are in basic agreement here. I just want to remind us all that, even though we are up to our butts in alligators, we still need to drain the swamp.