"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Jan 27, 2009

Obama has vision on energy security

President Obama continues to show significant leadership in his early days in office with a clear call for the US to move towards energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil. His vision sees a US which can not be held "hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes, and a warming planet". More importantly he is linking this vision to the creation of jobs in an "energy economy".

This vision of energy security should be welcomed even by those who are sceptical about man made global warming. It can't be sensible for any country to be be so dependent on foreign energy supplies and over time oil can only become a scarce resource. If modern economies are to face these challenges then this is a good time to begin. The US economy needs stimulus and this is clearly moving in the right direction.

The shame in all this is that in the UK there has not been such clear leadership. The UK also must look to it's own future energy security. Generation using non-fossil fuel sources makes increasing economic sense. The UK has significant coal reserves and vested interests have made much of the prospect of clean coal technology. But this is to continue to look towards big industrialised solutions. The real gains will come from efforts to reduce energy use, not least in the home, and by developing distributed renewable solutions probably on a medium, community sized scale. No single solution seems likely to meet the UK or any other countries needs.

In the UK we must hope that our politicians are watching and learning from the leadership that Obama is giving on the energy issue and how he is linking it to economic stimulus.


Looney said...

Certainly I am all for energy independence, but I am not sure where the vision is in all of this. Of course Tolkien had a vision when he wrote The Lord of the Rings, but not all visions are workable.

As you wrote, "The real gains will come from efforts to reduce energy use". In the US, this means doing something about urban sprawl and the massive energy use to commute, even to the grocery store. Urban sprawl, however, is a function / consequence of inner city social dysfunction. This gets into all of the ugly topics that divide America up and have nothing to do with energy, such as the rules for dealing with drug dealers and gangs.

Bunc said...

I agree that urban planning etc has a great impact on the energy people need to use simply for things like shopping etc. I do wonder in the years ahead if the type of commuting we see now may have to change and reduce. If the future is one of high and rising fuel costs it may force different approaches.

Its also true that some inner cities are indeed very disfunctional and this also needs to be tackled in it's own right.

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