Wednesday, February 06, 2008

We need to push for a real energy policy

by azul

It brings in most other issues and is already affecting us all. Because war is our current energy policy, our young people are dying, we are going broke and we are hastening global warming with all the energy wasted on this "Risk" game style approach. It is an approach based on fear and scarcity rather than innovation and creativity which anyone will tell you in a heart beat is what made our economy grow (along with hard work). It is a top down approach for short term profit that will cause civil unrest and threaten what is left of our freedom because we know that our leaders aren't serious about a real solution.

It is another area where we use spending and debt over savings and investment since we import 60-70 percent of our fuel. Overspending on imports is hollowing out what is left of our economy. Hydrocarbons are key to our whole lifestyle which will have to change by force or by choice. Any choice we still have would leave room for creative solutions. As we all know, our government's focus on grabbing what they can of a non-sustainable source of energy by force and wasting much of what we have left is misleading us. Our candidates have to make a plan for the future.

We should insist on a realistic energy policy from our candidates no matter who they are. I had an idea the other day. Besides contacting the candidates directly, how about we call all the people in our areas who are backing a Presidential candidate (x, y or z) and insist on it, because they have the candidate's ear to some extent. They could be advising them. So if they are getting a lot of phone calls in their home area about this issue, it may influence them as they advise the candidates who are formulating the policy they will follow when they land in the WH.

We still have a great resource of smart people, universities and research institutions in this country who are working but could be working much more on the many solutions we can come up with, rather than waiting for some big oil company to provide it for us. We could be leaders in this, but because we have people in charge who want to make money off of hydrocarbons for as long as they can until Mad Max arrives here, we sit and watch as the French come up with the fastest, most efficient train while our rail system deteriorates... I think our lobbying as citizens now could make a difference.

Interesting story:
Last night I saw part of a documentary on the development of electric trains going into NYC. The existing trains were owned by the Vanderbilts, and were steam engines (or at least Grand Central was -don't have all the facts). Around 1903 there was a big fire in one of the tunnels where many people died so NYC mandated that all trains coming in to Manhattan island be electric. The man who figured out the solution and implemented it was chief engineer of NY Central RR. He figured out a way to use the development of the real estate belonging to the railroad on Park Avenue to pay for a complete overhaul of Grand Central when he put the new electric trains underground (and I assume brought in the Pennsylvania RR to Penn Station which was ahead of NY's trains in going electric and was trying to get into Manhattan rather than just stopping in NJ). It was a huge project. It made a difference in a lot of lives. Not sure what lessons to draw from it as I only saw a bit of it, but one man without money to invest or a college degree made a big difference because he had a creative solution and the will to follow it through.

I found mention of this person in Wikipedia on Grand Central:
In order to accommodate ever-growing rail traffic into the restricted Midtown area, William J. Wilgus, chief engineer of the New York Central Railroad took advantage of the recent electrification technology to propose a novel scheme: a bi-level station below ground.
Under "Covering Park Avenue":


One Fly said...

In the spirit of BAD

Outta the Cornfield has linked to you. Welcome!

I agree with the post. This concept very much interests me.
Give'em hell and found you through Bart. tb

Anonymous said...

This question, what we will do when the hydrocarbons give out, is a fearful one. It is especially fearful to people who still think liberals are hippies and don't know what to do now that the Soviet Union is gone.

We are going to have to learn new ways of living, and it's gonna be uncomfortable

CarbonDate said...

Love the Mad Max reference. It'd be funny if it wasn't true. I painted a similar portrait in a letter I wrote to Barack Obama. I've yet to hear back from him, but he's a busy guy.