Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Something is Bothering Me

I was planning on going back to my asking of questions and reading what y'all have to say in the comments but... a few things are bothering me.

Last night, during the debate, Obama said something about making sure that WE provide China with the energy they need (due to their building of coal burning plants and the need to clean up the environment). I did not listen to the talking head dissection of the debate last night, nor am I planning to today (I'm really tired of it) so I don't know if anyone else has brought this up. WHAT?!?! Don't we have more important things to attend to at the moment?

AND... I just don't get something. Call me dumb. We have got how many cars on the road that run on gas? I think any and all avenues toward cleaner and more efficient energy use need to be pursued. There are very smart people out there and necessity is the mother of invention, right? In the mean time, however, we are a nation dependent upon oil. I am so sick of people talking about getting rid of SUV's... where do they think they are going to go? If people in this country don't buy them... they'll surely be sent down to Mexico and sold there. The fact is not everyone can just go buy a hybrid. The law of supply and demand will take care of the vehicle issue, but all of the vehicles on the road have a certain life span. While we are moving in the direction of lowering/eliminating our dependence upon oil we have to ensure we have the oil we need to get there. I don't get it. Okay... the world does not have an endless supply of oil... we need cleaner and more efficient energy supplies... I get that. I get that we as individuals need to be aware and start doing the things we can to move in that direction. What about the practical side?

Politicians lie. They do. What each of us has to do is to figure out what is most important to us and then cast our vote for the candidate that we believe is more likely to go in the direction we think they should. There are no guarantees. This really is not a democracy and our votes are really nothing more than hopes.

If you believe that the government should be our Daddy... that health care, education, jobs and homes are rights without responsibility and that you lack the ability to plan for your future and need to be told what to do... and you have no problem with your great grandchildren standing in line for hours for their ration of scratchy toilet paper... vote for Obama.

If you believe that government should be limited and that you should have the freedom to make your own choices... vote for McCain.

Above all... PRAY.


Two Dogs said...

Political overload? Oh yeah, boy, do I have it.

What about those of us that do not believe in the centrist point of view that McCain has? What do those of us that believe in individual liberties do when there is a decidedly fascist candidate and then one who is half-fascist are the only folks running?

Where is the choice for me?

Coffee Bean said...

The lesser of two evils. Sorry. It is what it is.

Two Dogs said...

Okay, Little Mrs. Christian, then it is okay to steal IF you do not kill? Or is the lesser of those evils the killing part?

Just clearing up what I am allowed to do by the lesser of two evils standard because I am flying today and I am sure that I will need to perpetrate some evil somewhere.

Just know that you are either sanctioning stealing or killing. Be able to live with what you unlease on society today.

Roland Hulme said...

The lesser of two evils. Pshaw. I totally disagree. I think Obama and McCain are both GREAT candidates who offer a huge amount to the country. The best candidates we've had for DECADES.

Centrist. Moderate. Call it what you want. That's the only place to be. There are nutjobs on both the left and the right. Moderation, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, is the only sensible choice.

One thing you've got to remember is that McCain will inherit a Democratic Congress and, after the elections, a Democratic senate.

Only when he reaches across the bench will he get anything done.

I like that - because it prevents the more right-wing elements from squeezing in anything scary.

Obama, on the other hand, will get whatever he wants. So we WILL see real change.

Coffee Bean said...

I was being sassy Two Dogs! What I meant was those are the two choices we've got and I happen to know you don't like either of them... so in your case, vote for the one you hate the least.

As far as stealing and killing... what are the circumstances?

Coffee Bean said...

AND... I'm joking about the stealing and killing.

Two Dogs said...

The circumstances? Being hungry and stuck on a plane with morons. And I wouldn't steal anyway. Killing, well maybe.

Roland, rightwingers are anarchists, they are voting for Barry. Leftwingers are communists and socialists, they are voting for Barry, too.

Just because you define "rightwingers" as Christians by your assumption, bad folks, doesn't make it so.

Roland, ask those Jews how they liked Barry's plan in Germany and Mother Russia.

Tom said...

What we need for energy:

1) Move to mixed-fuel cars. Every new car sold (except for diesels) needs to be able to run on Ethanol and Methanol as well as Gasoline. This is a very simple mod to the car, largely confined to ensuring that the hoses and such are compatible with the new fuels, and the computer can deal with the timings.

2) Remove the tariff on Ethanol. If Brazil wants to export to us this fuel, let them.

3) Move to RE-EVs. Range extended electrics, like the Chevy Volt, can handle most peoples' commutes and driving around town without taking a sip of gas, using electricity instead. At the same time, its gas tank and efficient engine lets it drive forever, if it needs to.

4) Build nuclear plants. Nuclear plants can supply electricity in gigawatt sized chunks. A single AP1000 reactor can supply more power in 3 hours than solar power produced last December.

Sarah said...

Why are we even talking about shipping how WE do business to CHINA? Sorry, they figure it out on their own. It's not none of their darn business how we operate our energy. Good grief. Energy policy, besides national security, IS my voting issue at least in this election. Anyone stupid enough to suggest we export our technology to a COMMUNIST country is too retarded to even be a citizen, let alone running for President. It frustrated me SO much.

Does anyone even realize that here's how our oil imports already work: we import them from a variety of nations, then EXPORT them to China to be refined, the re-import them to America to be used. Wonder why gas prices are so high? Because before it even gets to us, we have to pay to export it and re-import it just to get the oil refined. China already "helps" us enough. Sheesh.

It's time to actually use the French for something useful and import their nuclear technology. Or better yet, the British technology (yay fusion!). We'd have clean electricity, we could supply enough hydrogen to run hundreds of thousands of cars... and it's really really cheap, incredibly tiny and easy to store.

Let's look at it in this perspective. A pound of good power-plant grade uranium costs about $10. This pound can run the plant for several months to a year, sometimes longer, depending on how much it's producing.

Now look at it this way. A barrel of oil, which barely lasts for much of anything, costs, what, $100 now? I'm not sure how much it's fallen, but that's almost beside the point. If you were to fill a barrel used for oil with uranium, it would cost over $100,000. That's how compact and small uranium is. With that ONE barrel, we could power plants across the nation for YEARS. What can you do with ONE barrel of oil? Fill up a few cars? Maybe stretch it and make it last a few minutes? So then, you buy a thousand barrels of oil for the same price as one of uranium. Still not going to last you even a few hours at the rate we consume oil.

I will admit, other than the pricing information and how long uranium can be used in a power plant, which I just got in July from one of the nation's leading experts in nuclear technology at an energy forum I helped to put on with two state legislators I work for, my information on nuclear power is a few years old (Miss K will probably remember the project I did on this at HArtS...). Which probably means it's only gotten more efficient in that time.

As far as the debate, I think McCain actually overcame his inability to communicate by saying better stuff than he has been. And I did like his joke at the beginning about not picking Tom for Treasury Secretary. ;) Was it enough for him to win? I don't know. I doubt it.

As Dr. Veith said, welcome to the Age of Obama. Good God. Has it really come to this? Time to go out and get my handgun and license... (can't get a concealed carry permit for another year and a half. grr.) Party like it's y2k again, folks. You're gonna actually need the stuff this time.

And Miss K... you can vote today! Early voting, my dear. ;)

Junebug said...

Ok I have to ask: Sarah: What did the joke about not picking Tom mean?

We noticed a local gas station with very reduced prices on gasoline one day (20 cents less). It turns out to be ethanol added gasoline. But the problem is, it gets less miles per gallon than the regular gasoline, so it takes more to get the same.

Also, building more refineries would be a good idea. As strange as it may seem I had something else to say and now I can't remember it! I'll be back! Maybe...

Sarah said...

Tom Brokaw asked both candidates who they would pick for a Treasury Secretary, and so McCain's first response was, "Well not you Tom."

I just thought it was funny, mostly because McCain actually made a funny joke. ;)

Roland Hulme said...

Sarah mentioned France - they do have their schtuff together with the nuclear power plants.

In fact, their whole power structure is awesome - just like their trains. They manage to achieve this through heavy government subsidies sponsored by the tax-payer. Did you know income tax can be as high as 70% in France?

I don't think the free market will ever make the investment needed to produce clean, efficient power like this country needs. We seem on an inexorable march towards nationalisation of industry and if energy independence is the goal, I think a government entity is the only way it'll be achieved any time soon.

And I'm NOT saying that's a good thing.

MY parents live in France and they have a little box with a red, white and blue light on it (the tricolour, geddit?)

On blue days, the electricity is in low demand and cheap.

On white days, it's in moderate demand and moderately expensive.

On red days, it's in high demand and costs the customer a lot.

Therefore, my parents have to wait for a 'blue day' to do the laundry, run the washing machine and fire up the kiln.

Is that acceptable or not?

Sarah said...

Never said to become France, just import their technology. ;) God bless us the day we become France...

Tom said...

The tricolor energy-meter thing accurately reflects how much it costs the people buying energy (the electric company) to buy it. It think it makes sense to pass that cost along to the consumer, especially if it means passing the savings along to the consumer.

Some reasonable fraction of the power grid exists to serve the few highest-demand days of the year. If we can cut out usage on those days, we can reduce the cost of electricity year round.

Of course, since it's really just a few hours that are the problem, I'd prefer smart appliances, that can talk to the electric company and decide when to run. This will be especially important when it comes time to manage the huge electric loads caused by electric cars.

Two Dogs said...

Since obviously I am the lone sane human being left in this entire world, let me say this. There are no flying cars and the very same idiots that said there would be flying cars in the year 2000, are the very same idiots that are saying we need to do something about alternate energy sources.

If there is a need for alternate energy sources, they will not be advanced by one single piece of legislation passed by this Democrat Congress. This very same Congress that people turned to to bailout the institutions (that the this very same Democrat Congress forced to back bad loan paper causing their failure) is so stupid that in that bailout package there is language dictating what kind of wooden arrows that children should play with. Wooden arrows?

If you want to have alternate energy sources, or any energy source for that matter, line Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Clinton, and their moronic ilk against a brick wall and repeatedly shoot them until they are dead. That is the quickest way to get your electric cars.

I might add that those electric cars will NEVER be a viable mode of transportation for normal people, no matter how much you want them to be. Sorry, but it is just not going to happen. Now you know the truth. Whether you choose to believe it or not is your choice.

Stephanie said...

New candidate for president... have you heard about