Terms of Agreement

I haven’t blogged on a political topic in earnest for a long time. But every so often, lately, I read some of of my favorite bloggers on the diverse subjects they are now pursuing. Ethanol comes up quite a bit. No Oil for Pacifists and MaxedOutMama both have commented in their respective posts on John McCain’s views, and the state of the economy. Usually, there are small references in posts such as these, and while I tend to enthusiastically read and agree with many of their views I just wonder how much of the bad rap that Ethanol is given is completely merited.

I feel that ethanol is part of the larger picture in managing the energy crisis, one piece of the overall answer of other alternatives, conservation, reduction of consumption, etc. With any of the alternatives to the present fossil fuel energy sources there are drawbacks, whether cost, reliability, present technology, or some other complication. While much of the present technology in ethanol production is centered in corn, I believe the greatest future in this alternative fuel source will be in other biofuel source, including waste matter. Subsidy might be needed for developing the technology for that, but in the long run it can be one facet of the answer to our crippling dependency on fossil fuels. Yes, oil sands are another answer…. although I’m not sure where we are on the technology for extracting those ( probably Rusty, of New Covenant, could enlighten on that subject).

While in Maui, the first thing noticed as you fly into Kahului airport, and one that I often viewed from Kihei beaches, were the line of windmills for electrical power on the side of the seaside mountain. That seemed an excellent direction for pursuing energy, but not everyone agrees. As I heard it, the people in charge chose the wrong sort of windmill (?) for the conditions and the cost for the windmills is questionable. I believe this is the type of problem finding that almost any source of energy engenders…which is what leads me to the opinion that it is a multipronged solution that we are going to need. For us to dismiss ethanol, or wind power, or nuclear power… or any of the possible answers, is premature.

Ultimately one of the greatest alternatives we are going to need to follow is control of our own greedy consumption. And once the log is out of our eye we can help get it out of our neighbors, because overconsumption is a habit most easily developed and transported. Lets get a grip on it now, while at the same time seeking energy sources.

Along with Carl, I am looking more closely at McCain. I was disappointed in the way media drove the campaigns, and even bloggers followed mainstream media in concentrating on just a few names from the starting block. I think runners like Huckabee got a short shrift from blogging consideration. So in my terms of agreement with my fellow conservative bloggers I find that there is little to hook me in on the particular candidates, and I will be voting issues. Because I will vote.

2 thoughts on “Terms of Agreement”

  1. Hi Ilona,

    There are, currently, very viable methods of extracting oil from oil sands. I visited the facilities north of Ft. McMurray, CA, a few years ago. Keep in mind that this is not an alternative to fossil fuels, but simply another methodology for extracting those fuels from previously problematic locations. The whole energy issue is certainly complex, with many points to consider. It’s interesting to note that one of the criticisms of using petroleum products was that we are running out of such products (and they are not renewable). Well, when will we run out? Depends who you ask. Back in the 1970s some people were predicting we’d run out before the end of the century. Yet not only were new oil fields found, but existing ones produced (and keep producing) more oil than expected. Add to that the ability to extract from places with oil sands, and we’ve effectively extended the time we can access petroleum-based products. (this, of course, isn’t considering the effects of pollution from the use of petroleum-based products)

    What this means, in my opinion, is that we won’t really get away from using fossil fuel technology until another type of technology comes along to replace it (by being cheaper, more efficient, etc.).

  2. The more I look at it the more I feel that we won’t get away from fossil fuels at all- simply downsize the need for them as a mix of fuel alternatives are developed.

    That old scripture on moderation in all things has more than one type of application. PPL like to go to extremes. More than anything the problem for the environment and continuing resources is humankind’s greed.

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