So how are we to react to this? The debate over energy sources is already riddled with foolish assumptions and pointless political finger pointing along with an unhealthy dose of fear mongering from both the pro-alternative folk as well as the all-we-need-is-oil folk.
The paper in question (referred to in the article) apparently offers up an unrealistic suggestion. (I have not read the paper, but will assume some things based on the presumed veracity article for the moment). So the conclusion drawn by the author of the paper is full of holes…. so? Does that invalidate everything the author explored or suggested? I don’t think so.
It seems to me that it is time to stop using the methodology of finding a problem with something, and then throwing the entire something out. The debate that is anticipated over what this author said is likely to consume a lot more energy than actually examining the ideas and gleaning what we might be able to use. This throw it all out and ‘drill-baby-drill’ is simply stupid. It is as stupid as the way Sarah Palin presents herself. (Smart lady though, making a fortune yammering on about non-issues and goofyness about real issues).
Additionally, I have always found it to be rather silly to suggest that we can simply switch to all renewables in this country in any short time. Or that we really want to. A diverse supply of energy is simply smart strategy. Oil, coal, natural gas, solar, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric, etc.. all need to be part of the mix. The trick is to get to the point where there is a viable mix. And that is part of the reason I simply reject the arguments of those who have been saying we have been ‘wasting’ money by subsidizing alternative energy research, product development, and production. It is not a waste. It is an investment in learning how to enhance the ‘mix’ of sources of energy.
I think that what scares the hell out of many of the larger energy firms is that they will lose the power of being the only ‘source’ on the block. Much harder to business if one actually has to compete with other sources. Hmmmm…. but then isn’t that capitalism? And is not the government charged with keeping a reasonably level playing field?