In the midst of all the debate over fossil fuels, we seem to have forgotten this fundamental role of energy in life. We think that all we need energy for is to drive our cars, fly around the world, run our electrical gadgets. But more important is that abundant energy is necessary for our way of life, for our civilization.
If that energy were to vanish, we would find ourselves once again living at the margin, and might well see the end of many things that we don’t associate with an energy supply, including democracy and the freedom and creativity that leisure makes possible. —Daniel B. Botkin
Does the phrase, “Nasty, brutish and short”, ring any bells? Today in the Western world we have opinionated and ignorant children sticking foreign objects into the spinning wheels of our energy infrastructure. Idolatry does not trump science.
But one’s belief in climate change is, in a sense, irrelevant to a discussion about energy for one reason: Nothing that Americans (or the rest of the developed world) can do now would significantly reduce the likelihood of environmental harms, even if the people predicting disaster are correct. Yes, we could tinker around the edges of our energy system and produce some slight reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but the reality is, China is now the world’s second-largest economy, the world’s largest energy consumer, and the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. Their emission trajectory would make anything that the developed world did purely symbolic. The developing world is now behind the wheel when it comes to setting climate policy.
Remember that oil pipeline that was going to bring Canadian oil to US refinery’s? Built at Canadian expense, providing jobs for Americans, tariff revenue for the US government and cheaper, more reliable supplies of oil for the whole country. Well…the new decision is to build the pipeline west to the coast, to ship that oil to China. It’s being done now. Nice job on the part of the America-hating Kenyan bastard.
After President Obama refused to grant a permit for Keystone XL in January, Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, indicated that he would never again be “held hostage” to United States politics, saying that some Americans saw his country as “one giant national park.” He said Canada would redirect oil that had been destined for Gulf Coast refineries to other countries, particularly China.