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.
The goal should NOT be to destroy fossil fuel companies, or get people to
divest. It's the wrong goal.Doing away with fossil fuel
companies does NOT solve the problem. We must create a viable and affordable
alternative.... to "Solve" the problem.When you create a
viable, affordable, and reliable alternative... fossil fuel companies will go
out of business naturally. You won't need to lead a rebellion. People
will be GLAD to move to these alternatives.But in reality... they
don't exist yet, and the pieces that do exist are not affordable to the
masses.A McDonalds worker can't afford a Tesla like you can (as
a rich retired investor). They can't even afford a Volt. And without coal
they can't afford to plug it in.When the alternatives are
AFFORDABLE... you will see people moving to them in large numbers. We just
aren't there yet. So your prodding to get people to take down fossil fuel
companies (before we have a viable and affordable alternative in place)... is
like tearing down the bridge while people are still driving on it... and before
a replacement bridge has been built.
"Utahn’s believe that unnecessary debt and risk taking is
inappropriate for the investment of public funds."Um, Deseret
News, I hate to inform you about this, but you don't use apostrophes to
make plurals.birdec:"Only a liberal would think
humans can control the climate."And only a conservative would
actually believe this is what liberals think. Conservatives also believe that
humans can't alter the climate. So, birdec, how's that drought coming
along down in Texas?
It's interesting that a lot of the pollution (inversion) problems we have
in Salt Lake, Cache and Utah counties is the result of carbon emissions from
fossil fuels. Imagine a scenario in which we all ran around these
"metropolitan" areas in electric cars or used public transportation. If
we wanted to take a long trip, we could rent a car burning natural gas, but
"in town" fossil-fuel vehicles would be prohibited. Imagine the decrease
in pollution. I think the biggest obstacle to this cleaner environment is not
technology, but the power of the current oil and automobile industries and our
own resistance to change.
To "UtahBlueDevil" when cars first became widely used, there was an
alternative to buying a car. What is the alternative now? If the gas stations
all went dry tomorrow, what would be the result? You have not answered the
question. What viable alternative is there for fossil fuels? You have half way
answered it. NOTHING. Electric cars are not viable because they are toys for
wealthier people, just like cars were 100 years ago.We don't
need to divest in fossil fuels. Investment should be made in alternatives
because once a viable alternative is developed, the need for fossil fuels will
naturally decline.To "Lagomorph" umm.....you do realize that
we are 100 years too late for that. How do you reconfigure a city like Salt
Lake so that it is walkable? How many homes will you have to tear down to creat
shopping centers every 2 miles or less?You do know that once steam
ships came around, powered by coal, they destroyed the wind powered ships.
@Lagomorph,have you ever seen a solar powered tank? I haven't.
They use fossil fuel. Or a battery powered Helicopter or F-16? Nope. Have
you ever flown across the country for a meeting or vacation on a solar powered
jet? Used fossil fuel... huh...Do away with fossil fuel companies
and you will be driving and rowing to Italy for your next vacation, taking days
in stead of getting there in hours.=========I know Spain
and England once had the most powerful navy in the world without burning a
single drop of petroleum. But what does that have to do with ANYTHING? Are you
proposing our Navy move to tall ships???I can guarantee you they
would be on the bottom with the push of one button from a Russian or Chinese
fighter.But you don't care about defending the American
people... so why even bring that up? It's just that there are so many
nations that would love to see America gone... and if America completely divests
from fossil fuels as this guy proposes... they would soon get their wish. They
could wipe our 1700's Navy in 15 minutes.
@RedShirtCalTech, @2bits:OK, my first comment may have been a little
too flippant and thus obscured the underlying points. First of all, no one is
suggesting that we wean ourselves from fossil fuels either entirely or
overnight. There will always be a use for them, but we can reduce consumption
substantially and save them for essential uses or uses where there are no
alternatives.As for reconfiguring urban areas, it is a gradual
process. Neighborhoods evolve. There are already transit-oriented developments
built or proposed in Davis County, WVC, Sugar House, Daybreak, South SLC, and
elsewhere along the Trax and Frontrunner corridors-- all in the last decade.
The Avenues, 9th&9th, 15th&15th, and downtown, areas that developed at
the cusp of automobiles, are already pretty walkable. Further, in the Info Age,
commuting to a distant office is becoming less of a necessity.As for
navies and defense, advances in hull designs and materials and engines could
increase efficiencies and reduce fuel consumption. The US navy will probably
always have a (carbon free) nuclear component. But it's not unthinkable
that civilian shipping (e.g. container ships) could be wind powered, freeing up
fossil fuel for defense.
Continued...We get to the low carbon future by having pricing that
reflects the true costs of products. You didn't pay for the Iraq wars at
the pump when you gassed up your car, but you should have (because they were
primarily about protecting our oil sources). Your electric bill doesn't
include the costs of the seawalls proposed to protect Manhattan from rising sea
levels, but it should. These are costs of fossil fuel consumption, but they get
spread out among everyone and there is no direct linkage between the fuel
consumption and the expenditure. These sorts of hidden subsidies for fossil
fuels distort market signals and keep people from making economically rational
decisions. When energy prices reflect true costs, then people will act
accordingly. Cities will reconfigure, transportation modes will change, but it
will happen seamlessly and organically. People will buy the home they can
afford. It may happen to be a townhome next to a train stop rather than a
rambler on two acres 50 miles from the office. They won't see the choice
as one with policy implications, they are just choosing freely what they want
and can afford. The Invisible Hand at work.
The problem here is the conservative posters use the "all or none"
approach where every other poster is suggesting a TRANSITION to other sources
before we are forced to because we have used it all up. Reasonable approach or
that strange black & white world of conservative?
@Lagomorph,If we all DIVEST from fossil fuel companies (as this letter
writer suggests)... do you think these companies will stay in business?NO! If we divest... they go out of business!If we get to
the point where we mostly don't need their products... they will go out of
business. They won't just sit around in case we need them (for jet fuel,
trucking, etc). That's not enough to fund oil exploration.If
you want to kill these companies... just come out and say it! Don't just
say "Let's divest them".... but then when it's pointed out
that there's a myriad of applications that are not possible to handle just
because we have hybrid cars... say "Oh they can stay around for those
things". Divesting means they go bankrupt.The solution.. is to
develop alternatives first and THEN let nature take it's course. We
don't need people plotting the destruction of these companies (just because
these corporation's existence doesn't sit well with the radical
environmentalist rhetoric some harbor now days).
LagomorphSalt Lake City, UT====== Don't argue
with RedShirt.he doesn't believe in "fossil" fuels
anyway.He is the lone beliver that oil is magically being made
faster than we can possibly burn it, based on a de-bunk junk sciencehypothesis
of the Earth spontaneously making oil via heat, pressure, and other
"secret" processes only a few "scientists" know about.BTW -- the problem with burning more and more fuels and their CO emissions and
ever increasing greenhouse effect gases STILL isn't addressed, even with
all this "secret" unlimted oil supply...
MarxistI don't agree. We have already made huge strides in
making petroleum much cleaner to use in car motors ect. The same technology you
have faith in to take us away from fossil fuels, I have faith in to create the
clean technology for the world to continue to use those fuels. As I cynically
mentioned in my first post, maybe someday there will be the kind of energy that
will fuel all needs without dead dinosoars. But, until that comes, we
can't rely on hopes and dreams. I'd been hearing since the 1960s that
hydrogen was the energy of the future. Well, I'm waiting.
To "LDS Liberal" actually, scientists, you know, those guys that you
despise, theorize that oil is formed in 2 ways. One method for creating oil is
through the decay of plan and animal life over millions of years. The other is
through a reaction of hydrocarbons deep in the earth's crust, this is
abiogenic. Apparently you don't keep up on science very well.Swedish scientists published a paper titled "Methane-derived hydrocarbons
produced under upper-mantle conditions" published in the peer reviewed
journal International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, proved that
abiogenic oil is a valid theory for oil production.If you choose not
to accept a peer reviewed journal article, written by scientists that are
experts in geophysics, that is your choice. I can only present you the truth,
and it is up to you to accept truth.
Hey 2 bits -" . . . and if America completely divests from
fossil fuels as this guy proposes . . ."He did not propose that.
Nobody did. You keep setting up straw men to knock down.And your
argument implying that clean-energy-fueled military equipment will always be
impossible because the technology does not currently exist, is just silly.That's like British Admiralty decreeing in 1803 that steam would
never replace tall ships. BTW, members of the British Admiralty, Conservatives
that they were, actually did say that.This nation should poor
funding into clean energy research, and start building a clean-energy
infrastructure ASAP. Think of it! . . . an endless supply of clean
energy, making us independent of foreign oil; and as technology progresses, that
energy will become cheaper and ever more viable.And NOTHING
stimulates the economy like cheap energy.
@2bits: You make a valid observation that conventional fossil fuels have
qualities (energy density, storability, portability) that many alternatives lack
that make them ideal for certain uses (e.g. transportation, including your
favorite military vehicles). They will be harder to find substitutes for.
However, there are non-fossil liquid and gaseous fuels that have similar
qualities (e.g. hydrogen). Furthermore, not all hydrocarbon fuels are fossil
fuels. Methane from landfills or sewage lagoons and biodiesel from algae are
identical to natural gas and diesel from a well in the Bakken, but they are
carbon neutral. They add CO2 to the air, but it is carbon recently removed from
the air, not carbon sequestered back in the Cretaceous, so there is no net
increase in CO2 from their combustion.The bigger question is why
conservatives are so eager to embrace the status quo as the ideal and the only
possibility. They trumpet American Exceptionalism, but when confronted with a
challenge like CO2 are the first to cut and run, whining, "It's too
expensive. We don't know how to do that. It's too hard." Where
is the conservative vision and trust in the American "can do" spirit?
@Lagomorph,We're not just embracing the status quo... we're
embracing REALITY.We acknowledge the reality that we need fossil
fuels (even if all alternatives worked out as rosy as some expect). It's
possible we will need them for a LONG time. Some may never be replaced,
regardless of the radical anti-fossil-fuel-rhetoric.We don't
agree with those who seem to want to do anything they can to blast the bridge we
are currently driving on... when a replacement bridge is not in place, or even
proven to be able to replace the old bridge yet.I have no problem
with investing in alternatives, I encourage it! And I hope they mature and
become affordable SOON... but they are not there yet.I just have a
problem with the people who say "DIVEST" or STOP all fossil fuel
companies (because of some radical rhetoric they have stuck in their brain).When they accept reality (which you have) the radical pose starts to
loose it's luster... and you see that we need both for the foreseeable
future. That's "Reality".
"I have no problem with investing in alternatives, I encourage it! And I
hope they mature and become affordable SOON... but they are not there
yet."And those alternatives will not mature soon UNLESS the
Federal government encourages their development and incentivizes those
industries. . . . Much like the Federal Government built the
transcontinental railroad, that allowed the steam trains to displace oxen-drawn
wagons and encouraged westward expansion.
Redshirt1701Deep Space 9, UtTo "LDS Liberal" actually,
scientists, you know, those guys that you despise,====== Me? despising Science?I'm not the - Global
Warming DENIER.pollution in the Salt Lake Valley inversions is a
'natural' occurance, Earth is only 6,000 years old, Evolution Doesn't happen.God is going to swoop down and clean up
the Earth.being Gay is a choice, and not biological.If anyone
is the Anti-Science Science despiser, You might want to look in a mirror.
@Redshirt1701Deep Space 9, Ut8:15 a.m. June 26, 2014Swedish scientists published a paper titled "Methane-derived hydrocarbons
produced under upper-mantle conditions" published in the peer reviewed
journal International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, proved that
abiogenic oil is a valid theory for oil production.======== BTW -- The theory has been tested in the labroatory, And the Swede's [Socialists mind you], spend $50 million on 3
seperate off-shore explorations drilling to confirm it occurs in the REAL
world.They found a few hundred barrels sludge containing extremely
primitive hydro-carbons [oil] that could not ever be refined to a viable
commercial level, and not enough to substanciate this "theroy" as being
THE source of the World's oil supplies.Myth - Busted.Apparently you don't keep up on science very well.
To "LDS Liberal" who is the Global Warming Denier. I have always said
that the climate is changing, and has been getting warmer since the little ice
age ended in the mid 1850's. Name the scientist that says that the climate
does not change.Temperature inversions are a natural event. Just
ask any meteorologist. There are records of the Utah Pioneers experiencing
them. See "Inversions form in different ways" to learn how temperature
inversions form. None of them include anything man induced.Some
Christian groups say the earth is 6,000 years old. The LDS church says "we
don't know how old it is." I agree with the LDS church.Why
do you mock those that believe teh 10th Article of Faith? Don't you
believe that the "earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacle
glory" at Christ's second comming?We don't know what
causes a person to be gay. All we know is that gay people have abnormal brain
chemistries.You should also read "More evidence for
'Abiotic' oil" from the Greenparty in Canada. Plus, if abiotic
oil is so wrong, how do you explain them getting oil from wells deeper than the
RedShirtCalTechPasedena, CAPlus, if abiotic oil is so wrong, how do
you explain them getting oil from wells deeper than the oldest fossils?12:59 p.m. June 26, 2014====== 1. Breathing ice
crystals in an inversion, is 180 degrees diamterically opposed to pollution and
smog. 1 is 100% natural and unavoidable -- the other man-made and 100%
avoidable.2. The Earth will be Celestialized -- but show me
where God ever said HE would use magic to do it. Re-read that Article of
Faith -- Mankind will do it, it's all part of the Plan for us to learn how
to Terra-Form our own worlds....No magic, just plain old Faith, knowledge the
belief in an idea, and lots of Hardwork.No differnt than our Pioneer
Fore-Fathers did with their primitive technology and knowledge in transforming
the Desert into a Rose.3. I explain your oil question of
different levels the same way Scientists explain it. Dinosaurs and ancient
seabeds and forests are found 15,000 feet ABOVE Sea level and Thousands of Miles
away from any Seas...via Millions and Billions of years of Techtonic
movement.Science tells me how, Religion tell me why.
To "LDS Liberal" you are wrong again.1. You said that
temperature inversions are not natural. A temperature inversion is NOT the same
as smog and pollution. If you want to discuss smog and pollution, I am willing
to do so.2. The 10th article of faith is not about the Earth being
celestialized. It is about the 2nd coming of Christ, at which time the Earth
will be restored to its paradisiacle glory. That means that it will be returned
to a glory that it once had, the earth has never been celesitialized. How do
you know what the process will be for this transformation? If God can create
the Earth, why can't he beautify the Earth too?3. I think you
missed the statements that the deepest fossils are 16000 feet below the surface,
and they are finding oil at 40,000 feet. If it was a techtonic issue, there
would be fossils at 40,000 feet.Sorry that you are wrong on all 3
points again, but you are welcome to try again.
For those of you who agree with the idea of Divestment from fossil fuels please
take a moment to click on the link below and sign the petition electronically.
This will help the Weber State Environmental Club with their Divestment Campaign
to get closer to their goal of needed signatures. Every name counts and I
promise it will make you feel great when you can tell future generations your
name helped at least one institution Divest from fossil fuels!