Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oil, Oil everywhere, i'll take me a drink.

Jerry Pournelle has a nice short essay about the craziness
going on around the world. Just to quote the end:

I long ago concluded that we are not capable of guarding the liberty of the people of the Near East, and that we ought to develop our own energy resources. I see no reason to change my views, although it will be far more expensive now. It will only get more expensive in future. We need to drill for oil, build nuclear power plants, and develop natural gas. Those ought to be our first priorities. Once we have energy we can use it to build those green facilities that we are told will save the planet, but if we cannot save ourselves, we certainly cannot save the planet.

I like reading JP probably because I agree pretty closely with
what he says, and he's able to say it without stupid or offensive
jokes. He was against the Iraq war from the beginning, I was
lukewarm for it until it started, then I felt the war should be
supported without being lukewarm.

Where we agree most strongly is on energy. The lunacy of sending
billions of dollars per month to countries that would nuke us if
they could get away with it is astonishing. Having to watch every
oil industry cycle where the price goes up and then crashes, each
time more of the US oil industry is destroyed and we end up importing

Energy is the key. We've got a few trillion left on our mastercard,
we should be building up energy self sufficiency. If the dollar is
worthless at some point, imported energy will be prohibitively
expensive and it might be too late to stop the final spiral down
to 19th century agrarianism, with internet. (very little travel,
and what does occur happens by slow train) "The sheep look up" by
John brunner type outcomes. Or is it Stand on Zanzibar?

Part of the problem is politicians and people enjoy the point in the
cycle when everything is crashed, and gas is $1 again. All the
alternative energy industries reset back to zero, and people go
back to buying hummers (not the good kind). I'm with the greenies
slightly in thinking that fuel prices need to be higher than 90 cents
per gallon. One way to do that is now that oil is $100/bbl again,
setting an import tax on oil to keep a minimum price, somewhere
between $50-$80/bbl, and apply if for natural gas as well to keep
nat gas prices north of $3.5/cu ft.

That will make nukes look cheaper, and solar look cost effective
in some areas, or at least it won't totally kill the US energy
industry every 5 years.

Some other things are still needed of course, convert all trucks
to run on natural gas. Build nukes and clean coal,etc. But anything
we can do to keep money in the US will help build the long term

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