200 Years That Changed the World

200 Years That Changed the World

In this video Hans Rosling demonstrates two hundred years of dramatic world change. This isn’t something to sneeze at but if you want to ask “So What?” then the answers to the “so what” question are manifold. Here is but one:

The world in general trends towards the good – throwing conventional politics and philosophy aside for the moment (colonialism vs industrialization vs education vs capitalism vs. communism etc.) a key thing that occurred to spur the tremendous growth in economies everywhere was the tapping of abundant cheap energy through technology. Given plentiful energy then prodigious leaps were bound to occur, so it’s thoroughly wrong-headed to think of energy itself as being an evil.  Instead view it as a neutral: it’s something we can use well or abuse.

So while everyone is crying doom and gloom right now, I like to view the long term. Every setback in human history has been far outdone by amazing progress through our collective and individual wills toward the good.

I’m not non-plussed or threatened that China is booming, it doesn’t worry me that India is making wondrous progress – neighbors who have wealth are much less of a threat, and much more of a contributor to overall worldwide good than those who are poor.

Watch the video, and pay attention to the countries where Freedom came, and where energy is in abundant use. Conventional wisdom is that we use abundant energy because we are a rich country – I don’t believe conventional wisdom because history proves that wrong. Instead we are rich because we use high energy – we must continue that if we want the world to continue to progress.

The other thing to notice is the pace of change – as energy and eduction increase together, we accelerate that pace. We are on an ever faster trajectory towards a better life for all, but… we have to continue to increase rather than decrease energy use across the planet, and we have to increase the pace of education.

Cap and Tax Shell Game Pushed by Geithner

Cap and Tax Shell Game Pushed by Geithner

This is the worst possible time to be pushing cap and trade – increased prices for energy are not the answer for our economic woes, and a low energy future is not the way to combat pollution. If we want to tackle the problem we should be building clean energy, not penalizing all sources we don’t agree with because bankrupting power companies and decreasing energy supply has dire consequences for the world. Make no mistake about this: it’s the middle class tax hike Obama didn’t tell you about in the election, and it could easily be argued that sustained high energy prices for several years led directly to the mortage debacle which pushed us over the hill into recession.

Terrestial Energy Part 1

This is a new book, and the author explains his book and new directions in the video below.

Just the Shot in the Arm the Economy Needs

Barack Obama again on why your electricity bill must raise…. to paraphrase him ” uh… if you can convince enough people of that, then…”  I have a freaking bridge to sell you. This isn’t what our economy needs, this isn’t what the third world countries need, it isn’t what your children’s future needs. It is what Greenpeace wants. Are we electing Greenpeace, or a president who really cares for the long term future of American, your children, and the world? [ handy reference to what higher energy prices lead to here…. hint: the costs are counted in human lives.] video below the fold

Continue reading “Just the Shot in the Arm the Economy Needs”

Obama: Will Raise the Price of Electricity and Other Energy

This is how the liberal philosopher kings in Washington would tax and tailor your behavior. I’ve pointed out in many past articles how people in third world countries starve when energy prices are high, (Here’s just one) and the killing effect of energy stasis. Yes conservation is a worthy goal, but it will never solve the problem of rising energy demand. In a few short years there will be 9 billion souls on this planet, and to get by at that point energy must not only be cheap, but highly abundant. Here you see in 2007 how Barack Obama is planning a middle class tax hike that’s hidden:

Here’s a hint Barack: the world-wide recession we face now isn’t just because of housing, but also because of years of sustained high energy prices.

Energy and Jobs

As long as energy is expensive and less abundant we will be harming our ability to compete on the world market, and decreasing jobs at most local levels. It’s a steady static downward spiral that we cannot afford to stay in.
One party has blocked new sources of energy steadily for thirty years, and during that time we’ve seen steady offshoring jobs and decreasing expectations in America. It’s time to put a stop to that, it’s time to build America anew. But ignoring reality will not gain us any relief.

There are new technologies for solar, wind, and geothermal that show a great deal of promise, but they are not ready today and cannot do the job. We must continue to use coal over the next thirty years, and we must find ways to make it cleaner while doing so. We must expand our use of nuclear energy as well to fill the gap of burgeoning energy needs.
Remember when energy prices go up, so too do food prices. While that’s a discomfort here in the US, in many countries it’s the difference between having flour or soy protein for a meal, or eating grass or foraging in the woods for food daily in poor countries. We must make energy abundant for our children and grandchildren, as well as relieve this dire pressure for the rest of the world, but we must first immediately increase our energy production capabilities across the board in our own country if we are to maintain the ability to solve the future energy problems. 50-70 Petawatthours of electricity will be needed by 2050, and we are in the 12-15 petwatthour range now. That’s a huge task and challenge, and it will take Americans working together and using an “all of the above” approach to solve.

The other impact to jobs of importing so much energy is that it’s money we send offshore – if we send the money offshore, it’s not here anymore working in our economy, which also leads to fewer jobs. The wealth of the future lies in energy creation, and it’s about time that the US started leading that new wave energy sources as we have all others. Here you see John McCain speaking in Ohio on the extreme import of extending the energy base we have now to create jobs and security while building the path to our energy future.

This topic might seem a bit dry, but it’s actually critically important to our future, especially now in this time of economic downturn. Please give it your attention.

Wind Builds Dependency on Gas

NEI has an update on what happens when you build wind turbines — you end up using gas. I’m an “all of the above” guy, it’s blue sky for all forms of energy for the next two decades, I don’t know why the pundits aren’t seeing that. 50-70 Petawatt hours of electricity will be needed worldwide by 2050, and who fills that need will be the leading economy of the future. So the T. Boone Pickens plan is ok as long as they aren’t opposing nuclear, which both the wind and natural gas lobbies tend to do.

The energy and environmental lobbies need to all put the knives away and work together to meet that growing demand as robustly and cleanly as possible, this isn’t simple and there’s not one solution. That’s why a great deal more nuclear energy capacity needs to brought online pronto.

From the study NEI cites:

Wind power is clearly not reducing the dependence on imported fuel, contrary to the frequent claims of its proponents. In fact the experience from Germany and Spain shows that it is increasing the dependence of imported natural gas. And that’s not energy security.

Who Produces the Oil and Who Uses it

There’s an interesting new Chart at Gapminder of who produces, and who uses world oil supplies. Notice the steady slip leftwards from the US from 1972 onwards, when we were at our peak in oil production. Interim that capacity has been replaced by other sources, mainly coal and imported oil. That is not a good thing, but on the other hand it’s better than what would be if we had not kept our energy use high. Imagine where the economy would be, and where the world would be if we were not using that energy to produce food, goods, cleaner water, sewage treament, medical products, and other assorted boons to mankind.

If we had replaced the oil production shortfall with nuclear energy over the past thirty years our economy, and the world’s would both be in better shape. Another interesting dot to watch: Iran around 1980.

Biden Voted Against the Trans Alaska Pipeline

Sarah Palin is very eloquent and convincing in this argument against the Obama/Biden energy plan, please watch the entire interview — she covers a host of salient points. I also got pinged in email a while back regarding the tagging of energy posts with “Hunger”. Just to bring all readers up to speed, energy prices and hunger are immutably wed. When energy prices go up, food prices will as well. Growing, transporting, and storing food is energy intensive. You can read those articles here.

Catching up

Although it appears that I’ve been slacking lately it’s really a case of over-immersion in work. Apologies to long time readers for all the quick posts of videos, which is really sort of cheating. Blogs are driven mostly by orignal content and perspective, which hasn’t been provided the past two weeks. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but first some quick thoughts on recent events.


Obama’s speech was ho hum and forgettable, people have already stopped talking about it. I expect a bit more bounce out of the convention than the average Republican pundit has predicted, but it’s going to melt quickly as the Republican convention takes off and with the news of Sarah Palin’s selection as John McCain’s choice as running mate.

The choice is being billed as brilliant, and as an Alaskan, I can’t help but be proud of John McCain’s selection. Like most Alaskans Sarah loves the state itself even with its flaws. This is evidenced by the names she has given some of her children; town and place names from Alaska. (Paxson, Bristol, Willow.) Of course they aren’t all named after Alaskan places, but Piper Indy Grace Palin is named for one of the main means of travel and communication in Alaska.

People are going to be surprised by the competency of Sarah Palin. LIke many Alaskans she has struggled with a harsh environment, vast distances, a cyclical boom-bust ecomony, and a business. That makes most Alaskans realists, and no-nonsense people who like to get things done expeditiously. The other thing that Alaskans have in their favor is an outcome of the long winters, the dark, and the cold — they have a lot of time to read, and are generally better informed than the average US citizen on most issues. The press will be trying to catch her out from the get-go, but they are going to have some rough sledding trying to do that.

To sum up on this subject, McCain’s choice was very smart for several reasons: it diversifies the ticket while almost instantly healing some rifts in the party (something the general press is overlooking at the moment,) it has potential to pull some Hillary voters, but most of all it displays McCain’s ability to make a principled decision once again. Sarah is not from a populous state that the Republicans need to pull in the win column, this is a strong blow from McCain against business as usual “realpolitik”. [ For pics of the ground breaking announcement and the McCain and Palin families as well as the great crowd response please see McCain Blogette.com ]

Ongoing things:

In the coming weeks I plan to pick the investigative articles on WE back up, as well as delineate the benefits of high energy environmentalism better than I have. I will also bring you up to date on happenings in Pakistan and the subcontinent, as well as follow the campaigns. If you are real lucky, I will put up a few more pictures of Kasey too.