One of the important points of Sherry Boschert's "Plug-in Hybrids," is the significant overlap between national security interests and environmental concerns. Something Glenn Beck said
this morning reminded me of this. Beck laments the fact that America is beholden unto countries who share neither our ideals nor our interests and who in some cases, use the money we pay them for oil to attack us. He goes on to harp on how we should have started tearing up Alaska years ago so that we could get at the oil there (ANWR), but then he says something surprising:
But ANWR is not the answer, it's a Band-Aid, and I worry that our shortsighted politicians would use it as an excuse not to look for viable replacements for oil, which is what we really need.
He's right. But here's where we diverge. He believes in synthetic fuels
(essentially burning coal
in our cars) whereas I think combustion is a mistake altogether. Mr. Beck seems concerned about the high cost of oil and the foreign policy implications of our dependence on oil, but thinks the solution can be found by burning other things.
This 'if you run out of fire wood, burn the furniture' approach is fine if it's the dead of winter and you need to keep warm, but if you burn the furniture just for ambiance you're being a little short sighted. I think that a hefty percentage of fuel consumption in this country is unnecessary. We're using up our fire wood because we can and it's nice to have a fire. But if we want to make sure we can make it through the winter, maybe we should use less wood now
It is through conservation and
thoughtful use of alternatives that we will reduce our dependence on oil. I suggest that at a time when alternatives are still a bit hard to come by, and the economy is in the toilet, conservation might make the most significant difference in the near term.
Labels: alternative fuel, news