If you listen to these environmentalists you would think that just around the corner, using our latest technology, that there is a “miracle” energy source like the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle or nuclear “fusion” reactors or even solar power.
Unfortunately even the worst eco-cranks are discovering that solar power is an expensive fraud, that the hydrogen fuel cell is grossly inefficient, and that nuclear “fusion” is a technological pipe dream that has consumed tens of billions in research dollars but has produced zero energy so far, with no energy even in sight.
But not to worry. We already have our “miracle” energy sources – oil, natural gas and coal, and then nuclear “fission” reactors which have been producing electricity for 50 years. Yet environmentalists dismiss all of these energy sources and impugn them every minute of every day.
To understand it imagine that we are still using horses and that we dream of a “miracle” liquid that we could carry in a coffee cup and that had more energy than a team of horses. We certainly would want that energy source badly.
In fact we have it and it is called gasoline. You can drive a car up a hill at 50 miles an hour on a cup of gasoline yet a whole team of horses could never do the same thing. The energy in that cup of gasoline is astronomical. But still the environmentalists tell us that we need to find a replacement for gasoline.
Then think about this – gasoline does not freeze or even thicken in the cold like many liquids do, so that you can use it all over the world, even in the coldest climates. It is amazingly versatile and there are huge amounts of crude oil in the world with which to make gasoline. That is how 600 million vehicles around the world today are powered on a fuel that barely existed 100 years ago. But if you had asked an environmentalist-type doubter back then if this was possible they would have said absolutely not. Because environmentalists are pessimists who never see the good side of anything.
In the late 19th century crude oil was refined primarily to make kerosene for lighting. One of the byproducts was gasoline and it was simply thrown away, often dumped into streams because it was too volatile. But when cars started to be manufactured a good use was found for all of that “useless” gasoline.
Now look back again and imagine that we are still using horses. The population theorist Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) projected 200 years ago that mankind was doomed on account of …. horses. He estimated that the ever-increasing demand to feed and pasture horses in a growing population would lead to land simply running out.
Malthus was correct. Unfortunately people like Malthus usually fail to consider that there is a huge X Factor out there, something not yet discovered that will solve the crisis that the alarmist had conjured, something like gasoline and cars to replace horses.
So now imagine that we still used horses. Do you know what our cities and towns would look like… and smell like… if we did? Actually we already know because that is what cities and towns used to look like and smell like. And it was disgusting and very hazardous to health particularly when horse manure dried out on a hot Summer days and became airborne as dust.
Then came cars, thank God. Now think about a car. If you go away on vacation today you park your car in the garage. No problem. If you went away in the era of horses, however, someone would have to feed and clean up after and tend to that horse every day, i.e., you would be paying for “fuel and maintenance” even when you are not using the horse. That is hugely inefficient compared to cars. Yet these enviros are saying that the automobile is somehow inefficient.
It is not. The automobile with an internal combustion engine is the most efficient means of transportation ever while environmentalists have managed to portray cars as a curse on the world. Al Gore even said in his book Earth in the Balance that the internal combustion engine is the worst thing that ever happened to mankind. Then the environmentalists say that we need high-speed trains and more mass transit and that cars make too much pollution.
Nonsense. And here’s a perfect example. If you live in my part of town and need to go to a nearby town, you can drive direct by car and it is 8 miles. If you get on the public bus, however, it is 14 miles because you have to go downtown and then catch a connecting bus. So how do you save energy by traveling 75% more miles as you often do on mass transit, and then spending two or three times as much of your valuable time on that bus since buses make many stops and you often have to wait for your connection?
You don’t. Because all of this anti-car, anti-petroleum, pro-mass transit nonsense is a fraud. Cars get you direct from Point A to Point B. That is the most efficient thing ever.
In most cases these public mass transit systems actually consume much more energy and time than cars do. For instance Amtrak trains routinely run below the passenger load needed to be as efficient as moving the same number of people by car. Amtrak is grossly inefficient as are virtually all of the world’s passenger trains; that is why hardly any passenger train systems in the world make a profit but rely on huge taxpayer subsidies. Yet there are profitable private bus lines in every country. Buses are everywhere around the world. Everywhere.
Meanwhile our private-sector American airline system makes a profit moving 29 times as many people per day as Amtrak does (almost 750 million tickets per year sold) without a penny of taxpayer subsidy. Then our private intercity bus system (Greyhound, Trailways, Bolt Bus etc.) serves travelers efficiently going to many more destinations than Amtrak, without subsidy, and at much lower ticket cost than Amtrak. These bus systems sell many more tickets than Amtrak yet the American Liberal Media ignore them because they are not “European” enough.
By the way, did you ever notice that when Amtrak trains derail or are held up by accidents or bad weather that the passengers are virtually always transferred to buses? Yet I have never heard of Trailways bus passengers moved to an Amtrak train.
On the other hand the public-transit buses in my town often run empty because there are so few riders. And so they are wasting all of their fuel when they run empty. So public mass transit often wastes energy and large amounts of money too.
But here’s the real truth: What environmentalists really don’t like is the fact that we have come to live the way we do, that we use cars and that we often live in suburbs. They have a utopian vision of the world, that we all are going to live in cities or towns planned by intellectuals, or on farms back in the 19th century, when nature surrounded us, when we had never heard of cars… and the average lifespan was 35.
Transportation overall uses only 28% of American energy. So these environmentalists who act like we are going to solve our energy problems by eliminating cars or reducing automobile use are full of baloney. Meanwhile, every time that the government mandates fuel efficiency increases for cars, fuel consumption does not fall, as theory says. Fuel consumption generally RISES. Why? Because when cars are more efficient, people drive more and more miles.
How about heating our homes? For millennia people around the world have used wood fires for heat. But if all Americans used wood today our forests would be gone. We used coal for decades, but now we use something much better – oil and natural gas, which are much cleaner than wood or coal and easier to use. And don’t believe the enviro lie that “the world is running out of oil”. Technology is rapidly expanding our oil supply to the point where the United States may become an oil exporter within 30 years, something enviros said could never happen.
See how these carbon fuels are in fact the ‘miracle’ energy source that we need? Right under our noses. Could we heat our homes with solar energy? Forget it. Windmills? No. Hydrogen fuel cells? Get serious. We need oil, gas and coal and nuclear “fission” power in order to power our economy and give us a high standard of living. We need look no further. They are right under our noses… and right under our feet.
Now here are some facts about oil and natural gas here in the United States to counter the environmentalist hysteria that we are “running out of oil.”
*The Marcellus Shale natural gas field in the Northeastern US is estimated to have 600 trillion cubic feet of gas. It was unknown 20 years ago. In just a few years of tapping a small part of Marcellus we have seen natural gas prices sink into the basement.
*The Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Northern Alaska, which was discovered in the 1960s and which pumps its oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, was estimated originally at 1 billion barrels. By the time it is pumped out in 2015 it will have produced 18 billion barrels. Because original estimates of oil reserves are generally low.
*The ANWR oilfield near Prudhoe Bay may have 20 billion barrels of oil or more. Environmentalists are preventing us from getting it. (America uses about 7.5 billion barrels of oil a year.) ANWR is a pinprick on the map of Alaska. There are many, many ANWRs all over Alaska and the world.
*The Bakken formation in North Dakota and southern Canada is estimated at 40 billion barrels. It was unknown 10 years ago.
*The United States is estimated to have up to 2 TRILLION barrels of oil in shale formations in Colorado and Utah. (Oil shale is a wax-like oil that is trapped in rock layers.)
*Methane hydrates are ice-like methane (carbon fuel) deposits on ocean bottoms all over the globe that may be vastly bigger than even our global natural gas supplies, which have barely been tapped anyway.
*All of these above-mentioned supplies are just a tiny sliver of the world’s known oil and natural gas, and the world is largely unexplored or underexplored. In fact we keep finding more and more oil in places like Israel and in the United States, places that environmentalists have been claiming for decades have no oil, or will never have new supplies. In fact the opposite is true as all of the apocalyptic claims of environmentalism have been proven false over and over. Israel recently discovered that it may have even have more oil than Saudi Arabia in underground shale deposits.
Conclusion: The world has massive amounts of carbon fuels while these environmentalists have been calling oil and gas “finite” resources. In fact they may be virtually infinite, and they are saving us and our economy today with their great energy content.
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