Is Black Gold the new Green?
by Mark Ramsey on March 14, 2011 at 12:44 PM
The unfolding and apparently worsening Japan quake, tsunami, and nuclear plant emergencies should provide impetus for clear heads to evaluate energy production options. Since the O’Dems have embraced a “no energy” policy (not the same as having no energy policy), and this is clearly not sustainable (or particularly wise in any aspect), we should be ready to change this.
Wind and solar are well-known man-made economic disasters, with no real hope of improvement forthcoming. Both exist only on massive government life support, draining productive capital away from more productive uses. Jobs? Spain has tried to lead the way with these Keynesian wastes and they have become one of the WORST economies in Europe, (one of the so-called “PIGS” of the Eurozone). Recently Spain’s unemployment topped 20% (officially) and was described by news sources as the “highest level in the industrialized world”.
Both wind and solar suffer from extensive life cycle pollution loads on the planet, not necessarily visible once installed, but incurred during manufacture and in the country of manufacture (often China). Massive polluted zones in China are said to be directly from the materials being used in the windmills.
What about oil? With the looming Japanese reactor problems potentially taking decades or more to remedy, what has happened to the Gulf of Mexico? Predictions by the liberal media and government experts were that the Gulf had been “killed” (their word, not mine), and there were maps showing the bio-disaster spreading around Florida, up the Eastern Seaboard, and crossing the Atlantic all the way to Europe. One particularly extreme prediction was the oceans of the world were now poisoned and would never recover.
Fast forward less than a year from the start of the spill. Nature has all but eliminated the crude oil lost in Macondo. The experts who knew everything about everything didn’t know that bacteria, among the lowest in the food chain, ate and promptly digested the spilled oil. It is quite difficult, even for the experts, to even detect anything remaining in the Gulf. Within the industry, this was of course known from prior spills around the world, (Exxon Valdez, Amoco Cadiz, W. Africa, numerous pipelines, etc.) but no one would listen last year. About the only lingering effect is the O’Washinton’s de facto ban on deepwater drilling, first with the deepwater drilling moratoriums (declared un-Constitutional twice), and now by not issuing hardly any timely drilling permits.
On the other hand, the unjustly demonized oil industry has already designed, tested, and made ready not one, but two different systems that would stop another Macondo-like spill in its tracks within days or even hours, without government funding. Can anyone say “Adam Smith”?
So which energy source is REALLY the “greenest” long term? Nuclear can, in the rare catastrophes, have problems for decades or longer, including altering the very DNA of life as we know it. Wind and solar, when all life cycle costs are considered, result in poor economics, are unreliable, and literally poison the ground where they are manufactured. Oil, though messy looking during rare catastrophic spills and harming mammals and birds at the time, ultimately becomes food for the bottom of the food chain.
Oil is abundant, relatively safe, far more economic, provides far more and far better jobs.
Maybe we should begin thinking of biodegradable “black gold” as the “sensible green energy”. Natural gas, too!