Friday, June 25, 2010

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume II, Issue XXVI

The 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] has a feature on Thomas Edison [click to read]. Our legacy is one of great inventors and problem solvers. Yet today we have given over energy policy and creative force to the loony luddite left.

It would be a simple matter to complete Edison's marvelous machine with nuclear power plants but in the 1970's we allowed hysteria to overrun history. We're still using fossel fuel for much of our electricity.

Indeed it is a very real problem that much of the fringe environmental movement's focus is to STOP innovative technology.

We've Let Disasters Define Energy Policy Before
How Hysteria Short-circuited Edison's Vision Being Completed

Three Mile Island.

Back in the 1970s we were poised to build nuclear power plants enough to meet our energy needs. Unfortunately the accident at Three Mile Island was used by opponants of nuclear power to halt much of that planned capacity. Today we depend on fossil fuels and lay a haze across the Appalachians to meet our electric needs. It didn't have to be so.

In the wake of accidents, safety procedures were improved. Nuclear energy powers much of Europe and Japan without problems.

In Brand New Green [click to read], Peter W. Huber discusses how Environmentalist Stewart Brand has discovered that nuclear energy is really pretty environmentally friendly. Brand says: "The question I ask myself now is: “What took me so long? I could have looked into the realities of nuclear power many years earlier, if I weren’t so lazy.” When he got over his nuclear sloth, here’s what Brand learned. (Most of the words quoted here are Brand’s own, but some are Brand quoting others approvingly.) “Fear of radiation is a far more important health threat than radiation itself.” “Reactor safety is a problem already solved,” and the new reactors are even safer than the old. Waste isn’t a problem; we need the $10 billion Yucca mountain disposal site “about as much as we need a facility for imprisoning dangerous extraterrestrials.” Nuclear power isn’t just the cheapest practical carbon-free option around, but the cheapest, period, when not snarled up in green tape. Scientists “invariably poll high in support of nuclear.” The people so pragmatic that they actually keep the lights lit, he might have added, have polled that way for 40 years, on the strength of reams of data and analyses, as well as the operating experience of our nuclear navy and a wide range of commercial reactors scattered across the planet."

Today the President suspended offshore drilling in a move reminiscent of the nuclear policies of the past decades. The specter of disaster is being used to stifle the legitimate development of energy resources. Indeed, if deepwater wells are more dangerous, then why not allow drilling closer to shore... or from the shore itself. There are ways to exploit our domestic resources safely and it is a matter of national security.

We simply cannot cap off our own resources and put ourselves at the mercy of despots like Hugo Chavez.

We need a president who really is on top of energy policy, not one who says he is but fiddles while Rome burns.

Mr. President, let me help you. Here's what "On Top of It" looks like.

First, get your stinking foot off of BP's neck. It's really not there anyway. No one wants to lose eleven of their best people in a horrible explosion. We have a bad situation but BP is trying to solve the problem. Let's give them some support. Then we can analyze how we'll keep it from happening again.

Second, Governor Jindal asked for permission to build barriers to contain or mitigate the spill. Your correct response would have been: "Governor Jindal, I hope you're already getting your men in place. I'll clear the red tape for you... oh, Governor Jindal, Do you need any Seabee's from Gulfport? Do you need anything from us to do the job?" You know, if you had been a GOVERNOR instead of a 'Community Organizer,' you'd know how to do this.

Third, stop politicizing this disaster. America needs to safely extract energy from the ground. Wind farms just won't meet our needs. You wouldn't stop airplanes from flying because occasionally one crashes? You analyze failures and make things safer. Real leadership is stepping up to the plate and explaining just that.

Update: Augusta Conservative [click to read] brings us This from Reuters [click to read]. The drilling halt may cause more economic damage to the Gulf region than the spill.

Judge Suspends Drilling Moratorium
Jindal Applauds, Obama Vows to Appeal

We didn't shut down tanker transport after the Exxon Valdez spill.

Yes, the President still wants to shut down the entire Gulf oil industry, throwing many out of work in the region, citing 'Concern for the Environment.'

"Wait, what? Concern for the environment? When did that happen? Did Obama waive the Jones Act and let those Dutch skimmers come in? Did I miss that?" -- Pat

Also, what does it matter that shutting down the rigs is actually a process that increases the risk of something bad happening? The POTUS is showing his hand here and it's not about saving the planet... it's about control.

And So it Goes in Shreveport [click to read] has more. ht/SWAC Girl

Government Aggravated Tragedy [click to read]. Walter Williams tells it like it is, futher explaining the folly of legislation such as the Jones Act.

Tilting at Windmills

The one possible exception to the Left's Luddism is when it comes to such developments as wind power. Even though wind is sporatic, large wind turbine farms are on the drawing boards. European speculators are out buying "rights" to build windmills on Pennsylvania ridgetops. The Chicago Climate Exchange is up and running... just waiting for Cap and Trade... I haven't even mentioned 'global warming' until this point.

The Logic of Global Warming [click to read] is about as convoluted as the scripts of some old sitcoms from the sixties.

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