Thursday, July 17, 2008

A carbon-free vision

Since losing the Presidency to the Republican-controlled Supreme Court, AL Gore has branched out. He has gotten involved with new business ventures, become director of at least one company, Apple Inc., and become an advocate for environmental sanity by writing a book and making a film, both called An Inconvenient Truth. For that effort he won a Nobel Prize.

Quite a good list. Who knows just how lucrative, but even if he hasn't made as much as Bubba, er, former President Clinton, he certainly is doing very well. Yet more than just money, both have done good. It was reported just today, Bill Clinton's foundation is setting up a Malaria-Drug Price Plan. That is but one of the good deeds he has done in the last eight years. Al Gore has taken on a bigger issue: global warming.

Former Vice President Al Gore said on Thursday that Americans must abandon electricity generated by fossil fuels within a decade and rely on the sun, the winds and other environmentally friendly sources of power, or risk losing their national security as well as their creature comforts.

To see gas prices over $4 and to see SUVs racing down boulevards is to know the US is not near ready to understand just what we are facing; and then there are those who deny global warming is even true.

Although Mr. Gore has made global warming and energy conservation his signature issues, winning a Nobel Prize for his efforts, his speech on Thursday argued that the reasons for renouncing fossil fuels go far beyond concern for the climate. In it, he cited military-intelligence studies warning of “dangerous national security implications” tied to climate change, including the possibility of “hundreds of millions of climate refugees” causing instability around the world, and said the United States is dangerously vulnerable because of its reliance on foreign oil.

The US increases its reliance on imported oil more each year; the figures are staggering.

“We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet,” Mr. Gore said. “Every bit of that’s got to change.”

It is mind-boggling to consider how different things would have been if this man, who actually has a functioning intelligence he uses, would have won the presidency, rather than the dunces that we are, thankfully, about to toss out.

The Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens said in a statement that Mr. Gore’s plan would still not address “the stranglehold that foreign oil has on our country.” Mr. Pickens has called for a blend of government leadership and private enterprise to harness the full potential of wind power to help break what he calls “our deadly addiction to foreign oil.”

It does address precisely that. Boone Pickens just wants to be given credit for solving the problem and to make scads of money in the process. His plan is to use wind energy for those functions we now use natural gas for, and to use natural gas to replace petroleum. Sounds fine, only for as long as one does not consider that natural gas is produced by those sources, read nations, that produce petroleum. And, one needs also consider, Boone is a major investor in wind turbines. Next?

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