The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, June 29, 2008


Via Glenn Reynolds, author Jerry Pournelle (co-author of one of my all time favorite Sci-Fi books, The Mote in God's Eye), says it about as well as it can be said about our energy situation:

Back in 1964 Aerospace and RAND Corps had a study of electric cars and transportation. I was a participant. I haven't seen much new in the discussion since. The technologies are better, the batteries are better, but the debates remain about the same. I am astonished.

It is certainly the case that more electric transport with the vehicles charged at night is possible; but we'd soon run into limits there, too. We need more kilowatts.

As to oil prices, there is this thing called Supply and Demand. Demand (including speculator demand) is high. The speculator part of demand falls dramatically when there is even a glimmer of an increased supply.

Five years ago we were told that increased refinery and oil pumping capability in the US would do no good because it would take five years for those to affect gas pump prices. Query: if we had greatly increased supply over the past five years, would not oil be at about $75/bbl, still high, but not headed to $200? And if we do nothing to increase supply now, where will oil go?

What will happen to the US economy in a time of $7/gallon gasoline and diesel fuel?And how long can we continue to send trillions to the Near East where it is used to buy the most profitable parts of the United States?

Are any politicians actually addressing these problems? Obama would hit the oil companies with new taxes. I do not recall a time when increasing a tax on a business caused a lowering of prices for that business's goods.

The US does not need to be crippled. We have enormous energy resources in the US. We need to develop them: or we will soon have a very green, very clean, US -- only we won't own much of it. And as energy prices rise, we won't commute and we can't afford to change jobs. Like peasants.

Which, of course, is exactly what they want to happen... because then they think we will "need" their governance even more. Cradle to grave.

It is time to wake up and smell the coffee.
DiscerningTexan, 6/29/2008 12:31:00 AM |