Friday, May 9, 2008

Less talk of Green, more talk of Green Backs

I believe man-made global warming and climate change are real. Why? Because I believe in science. However, my beliefs are not shared by all Americans and never will be. Many Americans don't believe in Global Warming and think Al Gore is crazy. I think that PR action for climate change is all mixed up.

Even if you don't believe in big bad global warming, all Americans should want to end our dependence on foreign oil. If I were running an anti-carbon organization, it wouldn't be targeted at a disaster some where in the future. It would be targeted at the already-present energy we have that will only get worse if we remain dependent on carbon. So here are a few bullet points that I think we can all agreed on, that should be the forefront on the anti-oil campaign.

1. We don't have enough of it. Worldwide demand for energy is growing exponentially. China and India are going through a revolution. In China alone 200 million will shift from poverty to a middle-class lifestyle in the next decade. I say good for them, but if they emulate the American standard of living that means they'll want at least one car, and one house that burns energy. This will increase the demand for oil and again raise global prices as the commodity becomes more scarce. That's not environmentalism talking, that's the free market talking. Middle class Americans will not be able to afford a gallon of gas, or to heat their homes, unless we change our ways.

2. Oil is a security threat. When we buy gasoline, or home heating oil, we are indirectly funding regimes, and individuals who hate America. Their oil revenues fund all Middle Eastern life. We are actually funding our enemies every time we go to the pump. Forget surging prices, what happens if production is halted by surprise? A terrorist attack or an earthquake hits? We could see unfathomable economic harm. We need a diverse energy portfolio so our grid can keep working and powering our vehicles not matter what.

3. Strategic assets. Whenever you hear a politician talk about Middle Eastern strategic assets they are talking about Oil. John McCain even said in reference to our oil dependency that getting off foreign oil would ensure "we never have to send our young men and women into harm's way in the middle east again."

4. Economic diversity. We always hear about diversifying out portfolio. We need to do so in energy as well. It's just senseless to rely on one source of fuel. Solar, wind, hydro-electric, biofuels, nuclear power, all should be in the mix to keep each supply in competition with the others and relatively cheap.

So those are the bullet points, but I think you get my point. Independent of the environment or global warming there are very cogent reasons for us to get off oil. Perhaps these inconvenient truths will push people to action.

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