Sunday, May 15, 2005

smell the coffee

When arguing whether nuclear power will save our consumptive civilization’s bacon, realize that we won’t have actual on the ground evidence until about five years after the first clump of these hypothetical plants are built.

And so it goes for most of the alternative energy sources. I could fight to the death to prevent using trees as feedstock for liquid fuel, only to watch the Northeast of the United States simply burn trees for heat following natural gas depletion.

The myriad alternative energy sources represent a basket of scenarios. Efficient batteries; nanosolar; Bio-Willie; sails on trains; pedestrian ideas all, and all will be granted their appropriate niche in the future. The list is endless. Shake dirt in a sieve and the gold remains.

So for all that, there is a stretched out timeframe to argue, debate, push ones favorites, and get it done.

What then is the urgent meta-issue in the world today, the peak energy driver?

Unsurpringly, it is the great game, focused in and around conventional energy sources. And when we are talking conventional energy, it is a zero sum game. Contrast:

Military Base Closures Could Devastate Some Communities
The Pentagon announcement of base closings around the United States Friday was met with worry in many communities where military installations make a major contribution to the local economy and there are likely to be many political battles over the list in the months ahead. The closing list contained bad news for some communities, but good news for others.

USA plans to expand military presence in Azerbaijan
As for the oil pipeline is concerned, there has been a certain plan elaborated for the implementation of security measures. The USA is ready to assign not less than $ 100 mm during the coming ten years for the development of the so-called Caspian Guard (founded in the autumn of 2003). Guaranteeing security to the pipeline, which is currently undergoing the construction process, will be the prime goal of the Caspian Guard.

I’m not arguing that the U.S. bases should be kept open. But notice the ugly, bony hand of empire and resource depletion behind these moves. Declining treasure is moved from the heartland of the United States to protect a pipeline in a far off land that may or may not be defensible. And yeah, the United States will stroke Uzbekistan, while complaining that Venezuela is not a democracy.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee. Alternative energy is a fantasy in the present. By all accounts, quarter four of this year will be loads of fun. The global players are fighting over the real stuff.

"As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize -- or do not want to recognize -- that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire -- an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class." - Chalmers Johnson


Post a Comment

<< Home