June 11, 2004

Letter to the Paper XXIV

Steven Den Beste get's enthusiastic support on energy from Reverend Sensing. Unsurprisingly, I disagree:

If exposing the fallacy that conservation would be enough is all that SDB were doing, I would join you in cheering him in his efforts. Unfortunately, that is not all that he's doing. He also attacks the idea of creating new sources of energy both as additions to and replacements of oil on any significant scale. This has several bad effects.

First of all, it is inaccurate. We are fast approaching a crossover point where our current energy creation and use infrastructure is going to be significantly changed. SDB's essays are not consistent with this coming reality. GM does not make a habit of seriously considering pie-in-the-sky solutions for its car platform powerplants, nor do major oil companies rush to rebrand themselves on a whim. Have you noticed lately that everybody's an energy company now?

If SDB is right, we might as well elect the "realism" candidate this November, John Kerry, as there are hard engineering limits that make spreading liberty to the 3rd world (and thus a free market hungry for energy) impractical and destabilizing for us.

Fortunately, SDB is wrong on this issue. He realizes the magnitude of the task but fails to understand that people are meeting the challenges. It's a hellishly complicated and difficult thing, to remake an energy infrastructure. By giving the false impression that it's not merely difficult, but impossible, SDB has turned himself into a nattering nabob of negativism.

Posted by TMLutas at June 11, 2004 10:17 AM