While it’s topical now, it won’t be when the pressures let up. The market driven economy will see that they do, for a short period anyway. The pressing need for more energy won’t end soon as demonstrated in article after article here. The urgency around energy might abate, the import won’t as it hasn’t in the three decades since the first oil embargo.
While the G-8 is meeting over the energy-driven food crisis now, T. Boone Pickens has proposed a plan for energy in the US that makes a great deal of sense. Hybrids sound nice at first glance, however they become problematic in twenty years as we deal with all of those dead batteries. They also cost a great deal, don’t provide the range and performance that the public wants, and they really live on subsidies now. In business you find that processes people adapt are those which are simple, and that are easier than what they are doing now.
A quicker solution to a markedly cleaner environment is more natural gas vehicles, and you don’t have to readjust social habits through legislation to make that happen. A natural gas car is much less expensive than a hybrid, won’t crimp american lifestyles, and it ensures that they are fueled by domestic product. On top of that a family with children can afford a natural gas vehicle and still have room and range for the kids.
The natural gas directed towards vehicles from power generation would of course have to be replaced, and nuclear, solar, and wind can clearly do that. T. Boone’s plan is a quick regroom that will produce pretty immediate results. Of course he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is, and he’s heavily invested towards this scheme. Mr. Pickens has always been a bit farsighted as energy goes in the US and world, and in this case he’s looked far down the road. He sees that eventually oil tankers are going to become as common as ice delivery trucks sometime before the end of the century.
The current crimp in the economies of the world is about energy, and it needs to be remedied. People are starving, businesses are faltering, and the dollar is falling. This is a repeat of stagflation, and cheap, plentiful, clean energy is the quickest way to overcome that. Energy demand will increase, we need to more than meet that demand if we want to prosper. That’s why all energy is good energy, even coal. Some just makes more sense than others in certain applications and niches.