The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

No Energy

I have, on many occasions in the blog, suggested that the United States must become energy independent. That we can do so over a 10 - 20 year period, and that energy independence is one of the few places where government incentives and programs are necessary for success. Energy independence is a matter of national security and real environmental responsibility.

I have watched in dismay as President Obama, a man who I did believe might actually launch a Kennedy-like national program for energy independence, did relatively nothing to foster such a program. He has missed an important opportunity and shortchanged the nation as a consequence. Sure, a corrupt Congress, influenced by energy industry lobbyists, shares substantial blame, but the President has a bully pulpit and has used it for far less important matters. His political capital now gone, it’s unlikely that the President can initiate such a program. Another 4 years wasted.

In an an-depth article entitled, No Strings Attached: The Case for a Distributed Grid and a Low-Oil Future ex-CIA director James L. Woolsey and his colleagues write:
Energy policy affects every human activity, from the heating of food to the production of microchips. And because of this pervasiveness and interdependence, energy policy affects a broad set of issues, from national security to international corruption. Pollution, health, climate change, and cost must all be taken into account when devising, as Amory Lovins put it, how to keep our beer cold and our showers hot—and much else besides. Moreover, the demand for new energy solutions worldwide is vast, particularly as the developing world catches up to the rest of the planet’s energy demands. Whatever new energy solutions meet the needs of the two billion emerging consumers will create a huge market, but also a challenge to find available and scalable solutions. Therefore, we believe it is necessary to find answers that at best alleviate multiple problems, and, at worst, don’t exacerbate one problem while curing another.

Woolsey et al go on to conjure the ghosts of George S. Patton, Rachael Carlson, and Mahatma Gandhi to explain how energy independence, not just for the U.S. but for developing countries as well, can be achieved. They bridge the gap between hard core protectors of our nation (Patton), environmental fundamentalists (Carlson) and champions of social justice (Gandhi) in a way that could be a blueprint for an energy independence program if only we had real leadership in Washington.

Read it in its entirety.