Darwin's Paradise Lost.
January 23, 2001 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Darwin's Paradise Lost. I'm really suprised no one's mentioned the oil spill that's threatening some of the most rarest animals in the world right now. With oil spill after oil spill, it really amazes me that we're not experimenting with safer, cleaner fuels. Although I wonder what would happen to wildlife should you spill 144,000 gallons of ethanol or biodiesel....though you can't really spill hydrogen or solar fuel, can you?
posted by bkdelong (17 comments total)
Ok, well I know we're EXPERIMENTING with safer, cleaner fuels but why are national leaders like Bush considering exploring for more Oil when he could put more resources into clean fuels?

Or do I really want to know the answer to that?
posted by bkdelong at 11:14 AM on January 23, 2001

Bush comes from the petroleum industry, his veep comes from the petroleum industry, and a number of his closest advisors come from the petroleum industry. Oil is integral to his way of looking at things.
posted by harmful at 11:23 AM on January 23, 2001

bkdelong, please refer to previous thread under "Does anyone in America even care?" for your (smartass) answer.
posted by donkeymon at 11:23 AM on January 23, 2001

When the question is simple, the answer is simple.

The oil establishment is as much a part of the US government as any other corporate plutocracy. It isn’t profitable for oil companies to invest in any form of energy that they don't already have a strangle hold on. Look, for instance, at the development (non-development) of digital television. The technology to implement it has been around for 10-15 years, but the multi-billion dollar networks fight it, as hard as they can, so the industry doesn’t evolve into something they don’t already control. Since digital television doesn’t have much social impact, it doesn’t get much attention.

An increased use of fossil fuels among a growing global population is changing the planet, to the detrimant of the environment, but it increases oil company revenues and investments. When there is this much outcry to change energy policy, which falls on deaf ears it becomes painfully obvious who the government works for, and who it does not.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 11:53 AM on January 23, 2001

::applauds capt.'s linkwork::
posted by rushmc at 12:08 PM on January 23, 2001

Spotted recently on the bumper of an SUV, in what I assume was an act of guerilla stickering:

"I'm Changing the Weather. Ask Me How!"
posted by Skot at 12:19 PM on January 23, 2001

Oil is cheap if you don't count sea turtles.

I didn't notice any sea turtles voting GOP this year.
posted by dhartung at 12:31 PM on January 23, 2001

Nope, They voted Nader
posted by tj at 12:42 PM on January 23, 2001

Skot -- long thread on the "I'm changing the climate..." stickers
posted by daver at 12:58 PM on January 23, 2001

Golly! I'm an idiot!

Wonder how the hell I missed that.
posted by Skot at 1:38 PM on January 23, 2001

"Experimenting" means, you know, experimenting. As in testing and studying and planning and on and on. It takes years and years for such new fuel technologies to become truly useful; look at solar energy as an example. That's why we're still looking for oil. You can't just say, "Okay, let's not use fossil fuels any more."

Unless you're California, of course. And we're all getting to see how well that's working out.
posted by aaron at 3:43 PM on January 23, 2001

I'm really really sure that California's energy problems stem from less than well thought out deregulation, and not the exploration and implementation of alternative fuel systems.
posted by jennyb at 6:04 PM on January 23, 2001

I liked Jon Stewart's take on this spill on the Daily Show. "Less than three days after George W. Bush was sworn in, South America's Galapagos Islands are being threatened by a major oil spill. Coincidence? ... Most likely."

(I hate to admit that I get too much of my news from that show. They give you the facts -- then make fun of them.)
posted by kindall at 10:07 PM on January 23, 2001

Wow. Now I'm annoyed - that thread on the "I'm changing the climate" stickers was right up my alley, but I was off wandering around SoCal with no 'net connection and completely missed it. Blast and bebotherment.

-Mars, who drives (an instance of) the smallest, lightest SUV ever sold in the USA
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:41 AM on January 24, 2001

There are actually a lot of viable alternatives to both petroleum-burning automobile engines and the four or five best-known electrical power generation methods. It's just that if you don't count the environmental costs, the existing methods are cheaper.

I think it's stupid not to count the environmental costs. They show up sooner or later. I'd rather the people responsible be the ones to pay. But that requires politics.
posted by dhartung at 1:02 PM on January 24, 2001

Jennyb, the 'deregulation' is only half the problem there. Even if the utilities weren't going bankrupt and the price of wholesale energy wasn't through the roof, it wouldn't have changed one bit the current power crunch itself (though it might have made it a tad easier to buy the very little extra power other states and Canada have to sell). There's more demand than there is power, period. The people of California went beyond NIMBY to BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) when it comes to dirty, yucky power plants. Power producing capacity has in CA has gone down about 5% in the last few years, as the demand has gone up 15%. Californians said "no more fossil fuels any more," and now they're paying the price.
posted by aaron at 10:12 PM on January 24, 2001

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