Skip to comments.An Energy Revolution By Robert Zubrin An Energy Revolution
Posted on 01/31/2006 12:25:34 AM PST by truemiester
The world economy is currently running on a resource that is controlled by our enemies. This threatens to leave us prostrate. It must changeand the good news is that it can change, quickly.
Using portions of the hundreds of billions of petrodollars they are annually draining from our economy, Middle Easterners have established training centers for terrorists, paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers, and funded the purchase of weapons and explosives. Oil revenues underwrite new media outlets that propagandize hatefully against the United States and the West. They pay for more than 10,000 radical madrassahs set up around the world to indoctrinate young boys with the idea that the way to paradise is to murder Christians, Jews, and Hindus. It was men energized by oil-revenue resources who killed 3,000 American civilians on September 11, 2001, and who have continued to kill large numbers of Westerners in Iraq and elsewhere. We are thus subsidizing acts of war against ourselves.
And we have not yet reached the culmination of the process. Iran and other states are now
(Excerpt) Read more at taemag.com ...
A decent read about getting out from under Middle-Easter oil producers. Sounds do-able with out to much 'pie-in-the-sky' technology. My first post.
I'm reminded of the old joke about the 10-year-old boy who had never said a word for his entire life. One evening at the dinner table, the boy said to his father, "Pass the potatoes, please." The stunned father shouted, "Son, you can talk! But why have you been silent all of these years?" And the son replied, "Everything's been fine up 'til now."
"If we are to win the critical energy battle, there is only one way to do it. We must take ourselves, and the rest of the world, off the petroleum standard. Only by doing this can we destroy the economic power of our enemies at the very foundations. Only in this way can we transfer control of the future from those who take their wealth, pre-made, from the ground (and therefore have no need for education or freedom), to those who make their wealth through hard work, skill, and creativity (who thus must build free societies which maximize the human potential of every citizen)."
I agree with Dr. Robert Zubrin. Energy conservation is not the answer. In his article, Dr. Zubrin calls conservation a "daydream":
"Ritualistic calls by utopians, moralists, and environmental absolutists for energy conservation are utterly inadequate and doomed to failure. To see this, simply run the numbers. Every year, about 17 million cars are sold in the U.S.roughly 10 percent of the worldwide total. Even if Americans were to buy only hybrid cars offering a 30 percent fuel saving over existing models, and none of them drove more, and there was no expansion in the U.S. vehicle fleet, this effort would result in only a 3 percent annual reduction in global gasoline use."
It is important that when policymakers make policy, they have the numbers. It is interesting to find out that we only have 10 percent of the world's cars. Many would have you believe that it was much higher and we were major energy hogs. This is not to say that we don't use lots of energy. Thirty percent of the energy use in this country is in manufacturing. Twenty-five percent is used for transportation. It is near impossible to find out what percentage of our transportation energy is for the distribution of products. I would guess distribution takes a sizable chunk of our transportation energy. I have no idea what percent air travel demands from the total energy use. To put our energy savings on the back of the passenger car would have little effect when you look at the total energy picture.
Instead I've heard he's going to try to sell us traditional Democrat issues like health care. No vision there. Petroleum will be used as a weapon very soon and as always we'll look stupid for our appetite for oil and our unwillingness to solve this dependency.
Horses, by gum. I'm buying stock it a buggy whip factory...um er ah...he he...bicycle tire patch company...shoe leather tannery. On second thought, I think I will keep my auto and wait to see what happens.
It speaks to the relative strength of our enemies. In a stand up fight, they would be like dust in the wind.
The other area where we need a lot of research and new ideas is in electric power generation. Our current electric power generation system is like the old mainframe computer era: everyone is connected to big central processing plants where all the power is produced. We need a much more flexible, distributed power generation system even if this slightly raises the cost of power from big utilities--more like the internet. All kinds of power could be generated locally through wind generation and solar generation. Wind and solar generation won't work well every day, but of course they will work well on breezy days and sunny days. Wind generators could even be built almost invisibly into the roof line of houses and be connected up to battery storage units. Our power generation policy stinks and it's driven too much by the one priority of minimizing the production cost of big utilities, even if the taxpayers later get stuck with all the costs of nuclear waste disposal and acid rain.
Our energy policy needs a lot of improvement and it's influenced too much by radical environmenalists, big utility companies and foreign lobbyists. We need more good old American ingenuity and you'll be seeing that increasingly in the future. We have underinvested in energy research over the last 25 years, but that is changing rapidly. This will be a totally different economy in another 25 years. It has to change because the price of oil is going to keep going up.
As you like, but the rest of us won't.
The problem of nuclear waste is strictly one of perception. People are killed by fossil fuels all the time and in many ways that never would have been accepted in the nuclear industry. If safety were truly your concern, you would demand nuclear power.
A great article.
The national security issue may well be the cruncher in getting this sort of thinking moving.
Spending our lives worrying about the price and availabilty of Oil and what that can do to the economy, especialy when the owners are useing the profits to take us down, is plain crazy.
What you say is true jwpjr but the reason it has become a four letter word stems mainly from the "enemy within" being the messenger.
While they drive around in their limos listening to whale song, the enviro-wackos attack everything we do yet offer few solutions. Even when they do offer a solution like wind power some of their own ilk complain about birds flying into them.
Nothing a Conservative does will ever satisfy the commie-enviro-wackos (CEWs) so, yes, we do develop a knee jerk reaction when we hear conservation and that should not be the case.
However, you cannot conserve yourself out of this energy problem but it is unlikely anyone can find a single solution to our energy needs and as long as we have to offer up the silver bullet to the anti-American CEWs they will continue to reject any proposal.
I concur. Now, if we can just get the Politico's to pay attention.......
A hallmark of the human experience is that the majority of us don't do anything until we HAVE to. Whether it's taking out the garbage, seeing the doctor or making final arrangements we put it off for as long as possible.
Politicos will pay attention when it's too late to do anything other than take herculean measures. We've known for 40 years how dependent we are on our enemies for the very lifeblood of our economy.
For some reason we just don't seem to be able to handle a situation when it could done with relatively simple measures. In the end we solve the problem with efforts that are a thousand times worse than those that would have worked early on.
When it's all said and done, we have no one to blame for the coming crisis but ourselves. We are the ones who demand more and more energy and at the same time let a minority among us stymie any attempt to find other resources. But another foible of the human condition is that the more we become aware of our problems being of our own doing the harder we fight to blame them on someone else.
It's only a matter of time before our enemy is no longer as dependent on the income from our addiction as we are on the addiction and then all bets are off.
"The most depressing thing about it is that our while our enemies have not only declared war on us but are vigorously waging that war about half the population our country refuses to recognize that we are at war."
Seems like some people at the top are either BS'ing us regarding the WOT or they just don't give a damn.
ping for a later read
powerful bttt - read later file & PING!
The point is not about avoiding the war. The war is inevitable, the moslems are commanded by their scriptures to fight against us until they win or die. The point is about winning that war.
that's a good question.
first off, I'm a layman, but I think one answer to your prompt would be - discussing the net efficiencies of petroleum seem to focus on the bang-for-buck at point of use - I think petroleum currently has more bang.
But part of that calculation for bang reflects the current high cost/low numbers of highly evolved technologies now existing for hydrogen usage - the oilheads compare the proven petroleum tech to the unproven (and not widespread/complicated, etc...) hydrogen tech and factor that into their calcs.
And one thing I've noticed; not one of the oil-heads EVER takes into account the energy/electrical loss in distributing the energy fm petroleum down through the infrastructure. Pipelines, ships, insurance costs, gas stations, electrical power plants, electrical lines, etc... all these cost energy to distribute.
why are not these factored into the oil Bang-4-Buck? Methinks it would then draw focus away from the current paradigm, which can be described as corporate model, or how can we maximize/discover new resource fields/increase efficiency in our current energy model (fields-derrick-transport-refinery-infrastructure delivery-user). People might start asking how the paradigm can be changed.
All the above steps have persons/companies/government with their hands out taking a bit of $$$ at each step. Witness: a barrel of oil - 45 gallons - costs the saudis, etc., roughly $4 to $7 to extract... yet we're paying $68.00 per barrel now, and how may gallons of gas do we get out of a 45 gallon barrel? I don't know what happens in the distillation process, am sure 2nd law of thermodynamics impacts, but don't have the data. But it must be making someone some money, 'cause it's costing us 3 bucks a gallon to fill up the tank.
Who knows? I'm sure there's a future for hydrogen, and sooner than we think. Finland is about 10 years into a 20 year plan designed to run their entire energy needs on hydrogen. Granted, that nation is a floating thermal steam valve, but the point is, it's inevitable.
I think the fear the corporations have is that if we discover how to harness hydrogen at the user level, there'll no longer be a need for all that 20th century industrial paradigm, the-corporation-is-GOD model.
Again, am but a layman, would love to hear from any freepers more knowledgeable than I on this.
That so-called "waste" is actually a fuel source that can be safely reprocessed and recycled to produce usable energy for hundreds of years.
Petroleum has one advantage: it is actually a source of energy, unlike hydrogen.
H2 production is a net energy loss no matter how you slice it.
One would have to study and confirm the accuracy and utility of the proposals given here before accepting them. The writer is a globalwarming exponent (at least he writes as one) and such people are noted for fantasy data.
Sophistry. The alcohol standard is no different than the hydrogen standard. Both are manufactured fuels, except that alcohol is even less efficient than hydrogen. At least with hydrogen, you can crack it from water using nuclear power. All alcohol is is sunlight processed through a highly inefficient clorophyll manufacturing process.
Coal mining and production produces more loose radiation annually than Nuclear plants in America and Europe ever have.
Petroleum suffers substantial losses in extracting, shipping, refining and delivery. Energy writers just won't mention them.
I'd like to see a comparison of net efficiencies of various fuel infrastructures, but these articles only show the H2 efficiencies.
For those same forty years our energy production has been crippled by our catering to those enemies and especially to their allies here in America, the environmentalists and socialists who yearn just as much for the defeat and destruction of America as the Saracens do.
They recognize the war. It seems otherwise because it is difficult for everyday Americans to understand that those people are on the other side. They are as engaged in this war as are the troops in Iraq.
They'll be comparable because they both use steam turbines to produce the electricity, although nuclear may be slightly better because it can operate at a higher temperature.
I hope President Bush does focus on energy in his State of the Union.
As a side note, I just heard that scientist have finally put together the complete genome for the corn plant. This will enable advances that will make corn the ethanol producer we want.
Conservation is being worked on in all sectors, from changes in the lightbulb to the way industry runs machinery. The cost of energy must be encouraging better efficiencies.
Here's another article on how we can resolve our energy problems.
Imagine if you combined Amory Lovins' ideas with the idea put forth in the main article referenced on this thread. We could use biofuels to power lightweight cars, which means you'd need a lot less fuel in the first place.
We conservatives need to be presenting real answers to the problem of financing jihad through oil. The liberals say that we need to conserve and people would be happier without their cars anyway.
Our answer should be that we shouldn't be presuming what other people want. If people want an SUV, we should assume they have made that choice rationally. However, we can try to determine why someone might want an SUV and see if that choice can be met using some other means of technology.
For example, during the horse and buggy age, the truth was people weren't necessarily wedded to the idea of getting around while behind a horse. They just wanted to get to where they were going quicker than if they walked and wanted to be able to haul stuff along the way. A car was a superior means of doing so.
People like SUVs because they can haul a lot of stuff. We probably will be able to design big personal vehicles in the future that have much less weight and use biofuels. Why would conservatives be against that?
He is actually a pro-space activist. He is president of the Mars Society and has written a number of books on the 'direct approach' to Mars exploration.
This is the first article I have read of his about anything else. Still a great article, I felt it important to share in an open forum.
Good read, thanks.
But you have to admit that a terrorist attack on a train carrying nuclear waste could create a huge environmental mess and health hazard that goes way beyond anything fossil fuels have done in any localized area. I also heard a few geologists saying that the Yucca mountain area is not necessarily devoid of future volcanic activity. A volcanic eruption near all that nuclear waste could cause a massive disaster. While there are many advantages to nuclear power, there are also some major risks and I believe we have several other sources of energy that are essentially risk free.
Conservation can only be a temporary measure. We have simply got to get away from funding our enemies as a byproduct of satiating our energy appetite. Even if oil were down to below $20 a barrel again we would still be sending billions of dollars directly into the coffers of countries who support our destruction.
I don't mean to be a doom and gloom prophet, but I just don't see how much longer our economy can tolerate the rising energy costs, not to mention the fact that thousands of terrorists can't wait to die in the process of killing a lot of us.
until we stop funding our demise directly from within, I don't see us doing anything viable or constructive (like drilling our own)
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I agree with you.
"This country needs to attack the energy problem with the same determination and resources as building the A bomb (Manhattan Project) or putting a man on the moon (Apollo Project)."
And the goal should be SUSTAINABLE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. Meaning, create an energy-transportation complex for the next 100 years that is ecomically sound, environmentally benign, and ensures we avoid the political and economic costs of depdency on foreign sources of energy.
You ideas are all sound, but on nukes
... but the number is 400 nuclear power plants, not 100.
20% of our electricity is generated by nuclear energy with 104 power plants.
We should make it 80%. Build 80% of our electricity power generation from nukes,
this takes coal out of most of generation, reducing global warming impact and pollution. This also frees up some coal for syn-gas.
The author basically pans hydrogen as a non-solution - CORRECT - and points to ethanol and methanol as the answer.
Partially corect: We can get diversity in fuel sources by using bio-deisel, ethanol and coal syn-gas. These arent cheap. Cheaper may be to rely on domestic oil and gas...
but then we are stuck with the mathematics of 20 million barrels a day of consumption and only 6 million barrels a day of production. The author calls on huge agricultural movement here, to produce 4 times what we produce in food.
More practical in my view is moving a large part of our transport energy to plug-in hybrids. These can reduce our use of gasoline by 2/3rds, by using electricity (generated via nuclear power) to get us there. Then, using bio-based fuels like ethanol mixes we get a further reduction.
WE need to think of the solutions as complementary and not competing. In other words, wind power, nuclear, drill more, ANWR, ethanol, hybrids, etc. ALL OF THEM can play a role.
We are 12 million barrels a day in hock to foreign oil. ALL of these alternatives can play a role.