June 09, 2008

A Tale of Two Approaches

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle." Or maybe it's that my debit card was declined again; I'm not sure.

Pajamas Media has two articles up on high gas prices; they seem contradictory (high gas prices are good; high gas prices are bad). But they really represent different sides of the same coin.

Kate Berry discusses high gas prices in the context of reshaping our habits into ones more appropriate in a wartime economy (though she doesn't quite put it in those terms). At this point, we are importing an alarming amount of oil from unsavory people, so her advice is important. I especially like the fact that she advocates married people having . . . sex. After all, staying home is great for the nation's oil reserves. I hadn't quite thought about it that way.

Tom Blumer talks about existing high gas prices—and the even higher ones proposed by those who would like to see us paying Europe-crazy fuel bills—in the context of what it is doing to our mobility, and to the auto industry. (Though I am not sure the overall trend is downward; I do realize that truck and SUV sales are down, possibly for good. I think the "family truck" bubble may have burst. But smaller cars are doing quite well, for obvious reasons.)

Blumer's most important point is that the U.S. still has tremendous untapped petroleum reserves that we need to develop. This is true: even if we are in the twilight of petroleum's heydey, we must buy time to develop the next generation of fuel alternatives. High prices push us to do this, to some degree, and they certainly make it more cost-effective to do so. But we are still working on excellence in our hybrid and electric cars, and we are still investigating biofuels. We cannot present people with a choice between supporting foreign dictators or absorbing a violent shock to the nation's economy by trying to rely on alternative fuels prematurely. Both the raw research and some of the distribution issues will take time to work out.

There is also the issue of energy apart from out transportation needs (though if one of our solutions to the car problem is hybrid/electric, these need not be separate issues). And for that, of course, we must look to France. Less-draconian regulations there allow the French to enjoy both better-quality cheese and environmentally friendly energy. Yeah, I'm going there: we need to start building more nuclear power plants in this country, The Simpsons' rather quaint characterization of nuclear power notwithstanding. (Does Matt Groening work for the French? Just askin.')

Drill. Conserve. Research all our options for transportation. And go nuclear for some of our electricity.

Posted by Attila Girl at June 9, 2008 01:51 AM | TrackBack

I throw this into the mix because dear old Pops believes the USA can actually come up with such a devilishly simple idea yet keep it under wraps even now.

1. Consume other people's natural, perishable resources while NOT looking at our own resources. Sure, we'll pay a fair amount of money out, but we'll get some of it back anyways, and besides, we can always make more (productivity etc)

2. Watch and snigger while stupid oil sheikhs spend their money on wonderfully wasteful things such as a 7-star hotel, artificial islands, yachts with names such as Terrible Titties, with prow fixtures of the same.

3. Wait until said resources are exhausted everywhere else BUT the USA, THEN start doing the needful.

4. Laugh evilly while the rest of the world now pays monopoly prices on oil that only WE have left.

Which sounds great! Sort of like Joseph and the Egyptians. Only one problem: I don't think any of your pollies are smart enough to do this. And, even if they are, the timescales would have to be taken into consideration. Not to mention a thousand and one other tiny, niggling factors to keep track of.

What are your thoughts?

Posted by: Gregory at June 9, 2008 03:23 AM

Yeah, I've heard that idea before. But that strategy would only make sense if we were going for flex-fuel vehicles, which we aren't.

By the time we get around to drilling, at this rate, the entire world will have moved on to something better.

I'm afraid it's fears about environmental impact that are holding us back.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 9, 2008 03:31 AM

"Does Matt Groening work for the French?"...doubt it...France *makes* nuclear equipment as well as operating it, and if the US would become more nuclear-friendly, they could maybe sell some of it to us.

Areva, the primary French nuclear company, is run by Anne Lauvergeon, who is said to be an exceptionally charming individual. What she needs to do is to get her charming self over to the US for a couple of weeks and arrange some TV appearances so that she can mesmerize liberals & environmentalists with the benefits of nuclear power, using her charming French accent, and therby stir up some future sales for herself.

Posted by: david foster at June 9, 2008 06:02 AM


I didn't know that the French sold their nuclear tech to democracies ;)

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 9, 2008 08:24 AM

I think it's time for an educational video. Don't moan--learning is important. And some people have so much to share they can't keep it in--they are natural teachers. So, as requested by many girls,


Substitute you for XXX
tube for YYY
Fluffy demands it!

Posted by: Darrell at June 9, 2008 02:26 PM

So sad that no one is interested in education these days! You are cheating yourself!

Posted by: Darrell at June 10, 2008 01:46 PM

Hey! I watched the video, and I'm truly amazed that she never had any lessons. I would never have the coordination to manage those moves: all I can do is drive, some basic yoga and T'ai Chi moves . . . and a few other things.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 10, 2008 03:00 PM

Yeah. That's what I was looking at . . .
Yeah. That's what I was thinking . . .

Posted by: Darrell at June 10, 2008 06:34 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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