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energy insanity

energy-driven geopolitics; ruling family dynasties of questionable conscience; people running around blowing things up in the desert – our world reads like a frank herbert novel.

given the blurring of reality and fiction, can’t our leaders try to be a little more inspirational?  is this the best they can do?  god, what i wouldn’t give to see someone think outside the box a little more.  how about a “no urban planner left behind” act, that would train a generation of thoughtful, eco-conscious city planners who could reduce the amount of driving folks need to do.  or a “war on poor public transportation” – fox news could even lead the propaganda charge aimed at relieving the stigma associated with riding a municipal bus.  perhaps new tax credits to subsidize new bicycle purchases?

it just boggles the mind.  over the past 4 years, we’ve spent billions (maybe even trillions) stabilizing energy-rich regions of the world [while ignoring the imploding energy-poor ones] and witnessed virtually damning evidence of global climate change.  and yet, in those past four years, our oil imports have increased 20%.

can the people in charge really believe that drastic efforts to cut energy consumption, such as gasoline taxes or immediate increases in minimum fuel economy are not beneficial in the long term?  i’m willing to believe arguments that such efforts would at least results in short-term economic harm, events which of course carry with them dire short-term political consequences.

is our system of government configured correctly to enable our leaders to make painful, but necessary long-term decisions?   philosopher-king anyone?  (+1 again for columbia’s liberal arts education!)

[we can also try conscripting anyone who watches the 700 club into an energy prayer unit, tasked with asking god for a renewable energy miracle.  i think she's dropping hints that we may not need to beg too much.  <-- if you're around mit, do yourself a favor and listen to jefferson tester, the lead scientist in the experiment, speak in a lecture or a class one day.  he's likely to derive an amazing statistic: assuming perfect heat energy --> mechanical conversion, one cubic kilometer of granite a mile below the earth's surface possesses enough heat to power the entire country for a year.  (some of those values might be off by an order of magnitude here or there, but you get the idea - earth's crust == lots of energy.)]

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2 Responses to “energy insanity”

  1. on 24 Jan 2007 at 11:45 pm Madhav

    Only one caveat – the spice melange was not energy – it was a drug. Closer to cocaine than crude. Last thought: this was tulips not so long ago [ok ok, not really, but still a good story].

  2. on 25 Jan 2007 at 1:12 am Lawrence David

    ah, good catch! although, imbibe enough petroleum and i bet space / time will begin to fold …

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