December 04, 2003

Going to the Moon: Energy Dreams

George W. Bush, famously, is from Texas. Also famously, he gets along well with oil men. So what is he doing saying that he wants to go to the moon to explore for energy? Does he think there were dinosaurs on the moon and there's petrol mixed in with the green cheese? Hardly.

There has been testimony in committee on lunar solar power as well as some media attention. The only other lunar energy theory I've seen involves extracting He3 for the fusion reactors we've already been waiting decades for.

But why do we need all this extra energy? without a gargantuan increase in demand it would certainly make all those Texas oil men profoundly unhappy as the value of their oil sinks to its value as a raw material in plastics production and other chemical products. So why kick your biggest contributors in the backside?

The answer is simple, he's not. He's actually serious about bringing freedom to the third world and with free economies will come the energy appetites that free economies inevitably generate. Conservation won't cure it and, if you do the numbers, terrestrial energy sources simply don't cut it. Those oil men don't want to end up in the middle of global resource wars so we need large new sources of energy. The US has to stretch for a goal that is currently beyond our reach. Historically, that's always been a very good thing for the nation.

Hat tip to Instapundit who worries about how this will be executed. I worry too but am fairly confident that the energy companies won't let the bureaucrats screw this up. They've got the lobbyists, the checkbooks, and the Washington savvy to keep this from being an unprofitable sinkhole. The other reason it won't is that it's too big to fund if it doesn't start turning a profit.

Posted by TMLutas at December 4, 2003 09:33 PM