Published: Wednesday, June 25 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Yes there is hope. If society, ours and the world's, behave responsibly it
is possible to get off of the carbon diet while maintaing economic growth. You
can even do it keeping your beloved capitalism. But take a piece of advice from
a socialist, the longer you wait to make the adjustment from fossil fuels to
renewables, the more central planning will be required and the greater the need
for socialism. So, conservatives, if you keep sticking your heads in the coal
pile you'll make global socialism a reality.
Anyone with a brain knows we can not divest ourselves from fossil fuels! People
have to eat, have a job and stay warm in order to sustain life, which are all
VERY dependent upon fossil fuels! So called green energy does not exist
economically! Green energy is a rich man's toy! So liberals, pull your head
out of your fantasies and join the real world!
Here's what we as a species are up against - a government wholly in the
thrall of corporate money, and a large portion of the electorate who genuinely
believe that a Heartland Institute PR piece posted on your uncle's Facebook
page has the same credibility as a research study published in the Proceedings
of the National Academies of Science.
Oh pleaseThis author has been watching too much Star Trek and Back
to the Future. When we develop dilithium crystals and Mr. Fusion energy
sources, we'll talk. In the meantime, show me how we power a military, or
an industrial economy, without carbon energy? Try flying airplanes without
liquid fuel. At the very least the talk about getting away from fossil fuel has
to include nuclear power. The sun and wind are not going to supply our power
needs with todays technology. Until the technology can take the place of oil,
natural gas, ect. the idea of getting away from it is nothing more than a pie in
the sky dream.
What we have here is a rare SENSIBLE opinion piece in the Deseret News.Read it and savor it folks, because you don't get to see many like this
on this site.Yes, it makes all the sense in the world to NOT use up
all our fossil fuels so that future generations have NOTHING left. That would
not "promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to
ourselves and posterity," would it?And for the same reason, it
makes all the sense in the world to focus HEAVILY on building a national power
system that utilizes Renewable resources.The sooner we get
started the better.
Forward...Energy science is still in it's infancy because the cheap
energy obtained from fossil fuels for the last 100 or so years, discouraged
research into other forms of power. Now even the oil companies can see the fuel
gauge on their pumps getting lower and lower and have started looking for
sustainable substitutes, in order to stay viable.Just like when we
substituted petroleum for whale oil, we'll find a better way. When Prometheus gave us fire, it was meant to be a starting point.
It boils down to simple economics. When power generation from non-fossil fuels
(solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, etc) comes close to the cost of coal, gas, and
oil (without huge tax subsidies); then we will adopt them everywhere.I want to be "green". I just don't want to pay triple in exchange
for some vague promise that it will "stop global warming".So
far the only "clean" energy that is viable comes from hydroelectric and
nuclear plants. The environmentalists attack both of those solutions, so they
never seem to be happy.
Mountainman..... the irony is one of the most imaginative companies in green
energy is located in Idaho - where they are developing paving tiles that can be
used in roads and parking lots that capture energy. These tiles are in early
testing - and I am not saying they are the answer - but we don't even have
a clue how imaginative the futures solutions can be. 15 years ago no one would
believe you could cary in your pocket more computing power than was available to
NASA when they launched men to the moon. So to say we can't get there is
very short sighted.I don't think anyone has a clear vision of
what is possible in 5 years, less alone 10 or 15.
@JoeCapitalist2 – “I want to be "green". I just don't
want to pay triple in exchange”Well then you’ll be happy
to know that we’re almost there (much closer than “triple”).
The 6-16-14 issue of Time ran a good piece on the economics of renewables and
none other than Warren Buffett has recently invested billions in renewable
energy – and no way does this guy invests in something that costs triple
the alternative.Now if we ever manage to get rid of all the tax
breaks/subsidies oil companies enjoy not to mention actually pricing their
product to reflect ALL societal costs, renewable would already be cheaper.And no one is saying fossil fuels will be eliminated… only that
they should be a smaller portion of the energy pie.
@joeCapitalist.... waiting until something is economically viable has never been
the way we have led the world in new technologies. Our westward march was
accelerated by the railroads, that were heavily subsidized by the government
through land grants. Electrification came through government subsidies.... many
small towns today still wouldn't have power or telco access if it were left
up to economics to justify the investment. Even Hydro and Nuke has been heavily
subsidized through either Corp of Engineers projects, or DoD or DoE research
funding or direct involvement. Boeings 787 would not be possible if not for
the DoD investment into synthetic materials fabrication that was first developed
for defense projects.We do need to close the gap. No doubt. But
it is a false narrative to believe core infrastructure for this nation ever has
been or will be free of government support.
RE: Happy2bhere "The sun and wind are not going to supply our power needs
with todays technology."True enough, that's why the
technology needs to be developed, probably with government help. If we keep our
reliance on fossil fuels for another 25 years we will be sealing the fate of our
posterity - a very inhospitable earth. The situation requires us to take a long
view, one which capitalism doesn't do very well. The long view required is
very Marxian. That's why the late Keynesian Joan Robinson said over the
long range Marx's methodology is better than Keynes.The
question for economics is, can capitalism adopt enough of the Marxian analytics
to save itself? That remains to be seen, but the time is far spent.
Yes! Major development and endowment funds, including State Retirement, Higher
Education institutions, TIAA-CREF, religious institutions, and others should all
divest from fossil fuels. It is the prudent and most risk-aversive action to
take. And it sends a message that Utah cares about its air, water, lands,
health, and overall quality of life.
There are industries that require uninterrupted energy streams/supplies 24-7.
None of the "green" sources in place can do that, and I suspect none on
the dreamer's horizon and do that. Do we have an obligation to
clean up our environment, yes, but I doubt the idea of taxing people and giving
it back is a lucid thought let alone a practical idea.When I see the
greenies down-sizing their life styles to small dwelling, super-insulated,
solar-powered entities with a bike in the garage, large garden and hand-powered
appliances from Lehman's catalog then I will give some consideration to
their pie-in-the-sky ramblings.
"None of the "green" sources in place can do that" Really? Geothermarl? It doesn't do that? HydroElectric...
Doesn't do that? BioMass... it too doesn't do that? Hydrogen Fuel
Cell.... it doesn't do that? That is a pretty broad statement. Even
wind, in some locations surely does satisfy that requirement. Lets not make sweeping statements. Green or renewable is far more than just
Solar and wind - though those two of the fastest growing flavors.
Make no mistake about it - the climate crisis is a great big test for the free
market. The private market is capable of vaunting ambition to do great things.
Ironically, Enron is an example of that. Ken Lay wanted Enron to be a great
energy bank which would develop efficient energy markets. Too bad Enron became
an elaborate fraud. But the idea was good.I repeat the longer the
free market waits to do something about global warming, the more central
planning and socialism will be required.
Only a liberal would think humans can control the climate.
Eventually, diminishing supply versus increasing demand will make the choice
inevitable. We've got a bit, not much, of the luxury of time to manage how
well we approach that choice. So far, we've relied heavily on denial.
To "Mark Molen" and what do we replace all of the fossil fuels with? If
we cut off use of fossil fuels for our cars, explain how you will drive to
work.Fossil fuels account for 57% of our electricy generation, and
99.72% of our vehicles run on fossil fuels. How do you or ilk propose we change
that? Many claim that wind and solar are the solution. The problem with those
is that the sun doesn't shine as bright every day or at night, and the wind
can and does stop. The power from those sources is variable at best. We have
dammed up about every possible river, and environmentalists won't let us
dam up more. Plus, it doesn't have the capability of providing all the
power we need. Geothermal doesn't exist on a large enough scale to meet
demands either.The best solution that we have is nuclear power, but
your environmentalist friends won't let us do that.As for cars,
going all electric is so expensive that the only people who would be able to
afford them without government subsidies are upper middleclass and the
wealthy.What do we replace fossil fuels with?
"As for cars, going all electric is so expensive that the only people who
would be able to afford them without government subsidies are upper middleclass
and the wealthy."Same was said for cars when they showed up on
the scene, and yet, somehow mans ingenuity figured it out. I don't think
we have invented our last great invention, there is a lot more to come. Do you
really think we have made our last great discovery?
birdec: "Only a liberal would think humans can control the climate."Control, no, but influence, absolutely.happy2bhere: "
In the meantime, show me how we power a military, or an industrial economy,
without carbon energy?"Spain and England once had the most
powerful navies in the world without burning a single drop of petroleum.RedShirtCalTech: "If we cut off use of fossil fuels for our cars,
explain how you will drive to work."Good urban design means you
don't have to. We can start by emulating cities that grew up in
pre-automobile times. I once visited a lovely Italian town with
Medieval/Renaissance roots. Its urban core was maybe a mile or a mile and a
half across. It was surrounded by bucolic dairy pastures. Everything--
markets, restaurants, churches, jobs, open space-- was within a 10-15 minute
walk. I was flabbergasted to learn later that its population was 40,000 people.
If cities are built right, cars become unnecessary, even a burden. Walkable
cities have health benefits, too. You could spot the Americans clear across the
piazza by their waistlines. I can attest, the Italian women who walk everywhere
have gambe molto belle.
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