The Editorials of E. Desiderius

« Home | A Time For Resolutions, Not Silence » | On War and The Power Of Words » | The Failures of the Democratic Party » | The Case Against Withdrawal Pt. 2: Allawi Says Civ... » | The Case Against Withdrawal » | Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case for The Censure ... » 

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

No Alternative On Alternative Energy

It’s time for serious action on alternative energy. With all the rhetoric about foreign ownership of ports, illegal immigration and other such nonsense as threats to our national security, the biggest threat to the United States’ national interest remains our increasing reliance on petroleum, an energy source that will not last beyond the next several decades.

After all, it was oil which prompted the United States to rapidly secure the Iraqi Oil Ministry (containing all the oil survey maps of wells across Iraq) during the invasion, much to the dismay of anti-war agitators everywhere who cried foul and “No Blood For Oil.” Meanwhile, oil is the reason that the United States supports backwards autocratic or semi-autocratic regimes, like the Saudi Royal Family, and it is the reason that countries like Iran and Venezuela can use oil as a political weapon, threatening to destabilize the global supply. Never mind that the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve contains but 675 million barrels, which amounts to just 57 days worth of oil imports.

Unfortunately, in Washington, neither party seems to be willing to address the problem of energy independence or alternative energy or clean energy. A modest proposal to build a first-of-its-kind wind farm off the cost of Massachusetts may die in a committee backroom deal [1], primarily due to the opposition of a group calling themselves the Alliance to Protect the Nantucket Sound, which counts several high profile Massachusetts citizens as members, such as Senator Ted Kennedy (D), Governor Mitt Romney (R), and Gubernatorial Candidate Thomas Reilly (D). The proposed wind farm would have generated 420 megawatts of energy, replacing the need for 113 million gallons of oil, or the equivalent of taking 162,000 cars off the road [2]. The Alliance opposes the project for, among other reasons, “aesthetics,” as the wind farm would lit by strobe and red warning lights and would be visible from the Cape Code National Seashore. [3].

Similarly, President Bush in the State of the Union offered up a fantasy about fuel-cell hydrogen-powered vehicles that emit water as their only byproduct. Hydrogen, however its not an energy source, but an energy carrier and it requires energy to refine it from water. This energy can come from alternative energy sources, like solar or wind, or from polluting fossil fuels. As reported in Mother Jones, the Administration’s roadmap towards moving the United States towards a hydrogen economy calls for 90% of the hydrogen refining to be done with traditional fossil fuels.[4]

It is a pity that neither party can recognize the careless energy policy our country is pursing. The Bush plan to reinvent a hydrogen economy as one still dependent on fossil fuels is just as reckless as continuing to use gasoline powered cars without the foresight that petroleum is a limited resource that will outlast their administration, but not by much longer. And the mostly liberal opposition to a pioneering new wind farm which could generate as much as 75% of Cape Cod’s energy needs for reasons as shallow as simple aesthestics is just as shameful. There simply is no alternative to developing safe, practical, non-polluting alternative energy forms, and both parties need to recognize this.

-E. Desiderius

Relevant Links
UPI: Amendment Threatens Offshore Wind Project
MJ: Hydrogen’s Dirty Secret
Washington Post: Inuit See Signs in Arctic Thaw
Cape Wind
The Alliance To Protect the Nantucket Sound

Posted by George Gordon | Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | E-mail this post

E-mail this post

Remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of More...

March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 October 2006