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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 42 - 5/21/2001
Is There An Energy Crisis?
The United States and the Bush Administration last week announced its new energy policy. Citing that an energy crisis exists, it proposes loosening environmental guidelines, drilling in the Alaska Wildness Preserve and allowing the federal government to take private lands by immanent domain for power or gas/oil lines. Do you think that a real energy crisis exists? Or do you think that the big oil/gas/electric business interests have somehow colluded to misinform the public in order to increase profits while having fewer restrictions placed upon the way that they do business? Would YOU like to see a power plant on the corner of your street if it meant lower energy prices? Do you think that some places such as federal parks and wilderness areas should be off-limits to energy exploration or exploitation? Would YOU pay higher energy costs to help preserve these places? Do you-or would you be willing- to conserve energy or use alternative forms if they were accessible and affordable? Just whose 'energy crisis' IS this anyway? (And if you have a favorite conservation/alternative energy/green activist resource that you would like to share, feel free to direct our readers over to it.)
| Reponses: There are 30 responses posted to this question.
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| Alls I Have To Say Is That Instead Of Saving Money By... ||May 24th. at 4:50:35 am EDT|
|Nick (somewhere, Minnesota US) ||Age: 20 |
Alls I have to say is that instead of saving money by digging up the last of our natural resources for fule, we should be trying to save money through the conservation on these natural resources. We as a antion could save more money and fule by doing simple things like tuning off lights when we aren't in a room, car pooling, walking instead of driving those few short blocks to the market, and in short STOP TAKING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES FOR GRANTED. running more pipes and digging more holes will not increase the amount of oil in the earth. it will eventualy run out. We must break free of our addiction to fossil fules.
| I Would Be More Than Happy To Use Other Forms Of Energy... ||May 25th. at 8:17:24 am EDT|
|Cherie Kirk (San Antonio, Texas US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I would be more than happy to use other forms of energy to conserve what we have now. The problem lies in the fact that the oil companies have Bush in their back pocket. They want to sqeeze what they can out of the market that is in place before they move on to other forms of energy. I would be willing to pay higher cost to keep us from detroying every last piece of land we have. I have been watching the news and the conservationist say that this is not nessesary. We can use other forms of power ie. wind, water and sun with the things we have in place. This will ease pollution and the destruction of national treasure. It will be cost effective. This whole problem was started by the Bush Administation. They saw California having some problems and then they took it so they could get more money for the oil companys that paid for his election. So no I don't think we have a problem in energy I think we have a problems in our society. The peole in the US ( not all ) act like sheep, one person cries wolf and they all start funning. Just one witch and her thoughts.
| My Feedback Comes By Way Of An Article That Read, I Think... ||May 26th. at 12:51:16 am EDT|
|Rob Adamson (La Grange Park, Illinois US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
My feedback comes by way of an article that read, I think it was in the Wall Street Journal. (It would have been from the last week or so, on the front page.) The author's conclusion was that regardless of whether the crisis was "real" or not, and they had issues with how the report had been put together; the solutions proposed by the Bush Administration were bound to fail because they were the same strategies that were used to defuse the "oil crisis" of the early 70's. While the problems that we face today are completely different, the President insists on getting advice from his dad's croneys who are mired in the past, according to this article.
Then we have the absurd idea that the Bush/Cheney administration could maintain an impartial view a solution when their fortunes are entangled with "Big Oil"....yes I think there is some kind collusion or at least a willingness for the President to rely too heavily on information and suggestions from the oil companies. Rather than rip up what little pristine land we have left, we should bit the bullet and really dig into making alternative enery sources work.
And if the folks in Big Oil were smart they would do that themselves, so that they could maintain their monopoly. For all I know, they already are.
| No, This Crisis Was Manufactured By The Big Energy Companies Just To... ||May 26th. at 3:00:02 am EDT|
|Big John (South Amboy, New Jersey US) ||Age: 40 |
No, this crisis was manufactured by the big energy companies just to raise prices and their profits. What scares me it that it was done so blatantly. I'm old enough to remember the gas lines from the 1970's. It was just as big a lie back then, but they were more covert about it. Big corporate energy knows they're not fooling anyone this time - and they don't seem to care. After all, with George Bush in the White House, they don't need to worry. Bush is an oil man just like his father before him. It's a terrible conflict of interest to have him set energy policy - much like allowing the fox to guard the hen house! His policy seems to be "We will steal your land, pollute your earth, and hand you the bill - It's for my ... er ... I mean, your own good!". I'm glad, like most Americans, I didn't vote for him.
I think the big energy industries manufactured this lie now because it may well be their last chance. Americans have become much more environmentally conscious in my life time, new hybrid electric cars are starting to come on the market, fuel cell technology is just on the horizon, and industrial pollution is less and less tolerated by the public. It's not common knowledge, but many of the nuclear plants in the US will have their operating licenses expire in the next few years. Re-licensing is very expensive and the general public doesn't want atomic power. Cleaning up the nuclear waste is going to be expensive - mainly because the isn't any safe way to dispose of it as yet. Without corporate greed energy would most likely get cheaper and cleaner as time passes.
I'm an engineer of sorts and I've been learning about alternate energy over the last quarter of a century. At the risk of getting wordy, I'd like to share a little of what I've learned with everyone here.
The main stream media seems to be focusing on sport utility vechiles as the cause of all our problems (yes, I own one). True, a lot of us drive. We all like the freedom. But there are other fuels than gasoline that you can run a car on, usually with minimal modification. Alcohol can easily be made from plants and it burns cleaner than gasoline. Many farmers used it during WWII for their tractors.
Methane (natural gas) is far more common then we are lead to believe. It can easily be made from almost any organic waste such as sewage, garbage, and manure. There are also vast deposits of it under the oceans (in deep water) in the form of methane hydrate (which looks like ice). Cars run very well on natural gas. Some fleet vechiles, school busses, and postal trucks use it now. It can also be converted to gasoline, but it's a bit more expensive that way.
Solar power is ultimately where most of the energy we have comes from. A lot of research has been done on solar power over the last 30 years. Photovoltaic (PV) pannels can convert sunlight into electric directly. They are still somewhat expensive (thanks to a lack of government funding). The price is about $7(US) per peak watt now, but back in the late 1970's it was $30. Allowing for inflation that a 10 to 1 drop. Solar heating and hot water is much cheaper, and solar pannels for hot air or water can be easily homemade.
Wind power is now at a point that it can generate electricity for about the same price as coal - and it's totally clean. There is plenty of wind on the coasts and in the central US. It's a wonderful technology that public utilities should be using a lot more of.
Saving energy at home is a good idea. Turn off the lights when you don't need them, turn down the thermostat when you aren't home, and turn off your hot water tank if your going on a long vacation (leave the pilot on if it's gas). Actually, recycling saves a lot of energy as well. Aluminum, for example, requires a lot of electric power to refine. So feel good recycling those cans! But don't feel guilty for living, the military and industry still use a lot of the oil that's pumped and they seldom care about pollution.
As pagans we care deeply about the earth. It's both our mother and our home. Energy has always come from the earth and sky. It's one of the greatest gifts the goddess has given us. It's all around you. What makes it clean or dirty, expensive or cheap is how it's used. Don't let anyone fool you, we don't have to choose between sitting in the cold and dark or raping the planet. We just need to choose a better group of people to represent us in Washington DC. Preferably people who have a soul and can see past their wallet.
| I Find Myself Agreeing With The Preceeding Posts. There Is No Real... ||May 26th. at 3:44:12 pm EDT|
|Jen Garon (Cincinnati, Ohio US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I find myself agreeing with the preceeding posts. There is no real crisis, the Dubya administration saw the crisis in California and saw it as an opportunity for oilmen like Dubya and Cheney to make even more money.
Primarily, the entire world does have to consider one problem. What do we do when the oil *does* run out and there hasn't been enough devoted to those alternate sources of fuel? Perhaps it's time to start looking right now, before we are faced with a real crisis. Not a made-up one.
Second, I used to live in Alaska. The land up there is startlingly beautiful. And it needs to be left alone. It's where you get a chance to see Nature at some of her most beautiful. Nothing is uglier than seeing standing pipelines marring the landscape. I'm sure we remember the Exxon (BOO!) Valdez running aground a few years ago. Ten years later the environment was still trying to recover from the devestation. We need to protect what we have, and allow other generations to take in some of the beauty our planet has to offer.
| Of Course It Is A Lie. There Is No Crisis Severe Enough... ||May 27th. at 9:08:51 am EDT|
|Melora Artemisia D'Melissae (Houston, Texas US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Of course it is a lie. There is no crisis severe enough to justify these measures. It is all about the money. I find it humorous that it should suddenly occur after the Bush administration takes office...all of the policies and protections placed by the Clinton administration are destroyed so that the big industries can profit by exploiting the resources of this nation. We already take measures to cut down on our power bills, but the rates keep going up. It doesn't matter how much slack the industries get in their operating...they bills will go up. It is how they make their money. They don't care about the impact to the environment. It has already been stated that the people of the United States are "consumers" which is another term for "Cattle". Think about it!
I am reminded of Comodus selling off the stores of grain in Rome to pay for the gladiatorial games, and the people loved him for it. In two years he would have starved them to death, and they loved him for it.
We have our own Comodus on the throne in this Republic, and I pray to the gods we have a Maximus who will dispatch him!
~Melora Artemisia D'Melissae (Wondering when the barbed wire is going up for witches)
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