Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Energy Disaster Is Now by Walt Barrett

Who will solve the energy problem, not the politicians! I’ll be seventy-five in May, and have decided to speak out and say what I really think. I also proudly served in the Armed Forces during, and after the Korean War so if you think I’m being unpatriotic, that is your prerogative, but like the man said in the movie, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!” And you should feel the same way regardless of your politics (an ugly business) and begin to seriously look at your energy options on your own, and not be waiting for the government or big business to solve your problems because it’s not going to happen on time. And yes, I am very opinionated, but I call them like I see them!
I am very angry because our grossly neglected energy problem is now killing our economy. We are looking at major serious inflation, increased poverty, and a lowered standard of living. If you think I’m an alarmist then you have not been to the grocery store, or purchased any type of fuel lately. It has finally hit the fan, or should I say windmill! Oil touches and effects the cost of everything!

Well for thirty-five years now we have been hearing a great deal about the energy problem, but what have we really accomplished? It seems to me that the problem has only gotten worse. My opinion about the lack of progress is that the average American has been depending much to heavily on the government to solve the problem. Well to me, the word government means politicians, and spineless bureaucrats more concerned about their jobs, and it seems to me that for the past thirty-five years that all the politicians have done is snipe at each other and constantly, meddle in the internal affairs of other countries, and raise taxes to pay for all of this nightmare! We also cannot depend on big business because until they figure out how they can use the Sun to gouge the most profits out of the working masses in this country, they are not going to touch the problem with a ten-foot pole. It’s kind of like the large pharmaceutical companies that won’t manufacture a wonder drug if there is not enough profit in it because not enough people are dying from that particular disease. So far, over the past years since the energy crisis in nineteen seventy-three there have only been a relative handful of pioneers who have been manufacturing and selling the various solar and wind energy products. In the meantime, China has been steadily plugging away at solar, wind and hydro power and is really kicking our Asses in the energy field from what I can see. Are the Chinese people better off than we are, of course not, but they are coming on strong. They are taking the technology from wherever they can find it, and they are mass-producing all kinds of energy saving products. As the kids say, Helloooooo! Are you getting my message? I suppose some clown will now suggest that I move to China, (that would be a typical attitude for some) but I’m not that stupid. I just want to make things better here for Americans. We can’t just sit idly by while our future is stolen! What’s wrong with that idea?

I think that the problem is that there has been no real strong leadership from our government at any level. Many people have criticized the Carter administration and ridiculed Jimmy Carter in the past, but he was spot on when it came to the energy problems. Unfortunately, he was ignored in the long run. Solar had a temporary flash of glory, and then died a very undignified death at the hands of Carter’s successors.
I have a favorite saying that goes like this. “When you fail at everything else, go into politics.” My experience is that government from the town level up is mostly run by amateurs that just go through the motions, and are more than willing to line their own pockets with inside deals at our expense. That leaves the few who are really dedicated to solving our problems virtually powerless. If you think I’m kidding just take a hard look around your own town, and see whose getting the best land deals, contracts, and the breaks from the zoning and planning boards etc. These are the folks that eventually graduate to State and to the Federal government so you see the situation we are working with here. If you combine that fact with the fact that the American public has always been apathetic, crisis oriented, and never really get concerned or take any action on anything until after the horse has been let out of the barn so to speak. I think that the only way to solve the energy problem is to never depend on the government, or big business to do much of anything. We each have to find our own best solutions to the energy problem. One of the main drawbacks has been the cost of building solar heated energy efficient homes. There is no argument that many of the solar solutions are expensive, but not all of them. One of the most obvious solutions is to build smaller homes. Now that’s a much less expensive solution. If you combine a smaller home design with more energy efficient designs like better insulation, LED lighting, passive solar heating, solar hot water and gray water recycling, composting toilets etc, you are making a very big start. We need more logic and planning in our home designs and factory designs, and should remember that simple is better – period.

Now having owned a company in the past that mass-produced solar hot water heating collectors I can tell you that on a DIY basis these units are not that expensive to build. There are also several designs that you can use depending on the climate that you live in. For instance, in Florida a simple thermo siphoning system that requires no electricity at all to operate is the most effective. It’s not exactly a new idea. People in Florida were doing it in the nineteen thirties. In the colder climates an antifreeze loop is needed. Again, a DIY system is not that expensive.
I think it is very important to stress that in the case of truly solving the energy crisis we cannot depend on some lone genius to stumble out of his garage one of these days with the magical solution to all of the energy problems. It is a major challenge and you cannot defy the laws of the physics of energy. A wise person who lives in a cold climate especially should be considering his or her options now. The main thing is that you have got to do your homework now, and start looking at your options before next winter. You have to realize that the potential for the colder northern states to turn into an energy disaster area is a very real problem. The folks who control the flow and cost of oil in from the Middle East hate us, and could care less how many people in the northeast freeze to death. I’m sure they are sitting there in their palaces right now wringing their hands with glee because they have succeeded in wrecking our economy with their high oil prices and the actions of the terrorists they are backing. So what did our government do? They went after the wrong guys! I will say it again; you can’t depend on the government to solve the energy problem. People who are controlled by oil companies and big business are not going to help you. As a matter of fact at the rate we are going in fifty more years we will be just a gigantic Banana Republic with millions of starving poor people roaming the streets like in Central and South America, except, in our case many of them will be freezing to death from lack of reasonable fuel supplies. This is because that the people who are supposed to be looking after the interests of the American people are too busy feathering their own nests, and working on re-election. As far as I’m concerned, campaign contributions are just a legal form of bribery, and that’s why the average American is getting screwed in this country. Greed and corruption brought down the mighty Roman Empire, and it will do the same to us if we let it. I’m telling you this because I feel compelled to make the point that we all have to work on our own solutions to the energy problem. It will soon assume gigantic proportions as the big guys steadily ratchet up the prices. You better start now to figure out how you will heat your home, hot water and run your vehicles, because by next winter it could be too late. Please don’t depend on the other guy to solve the problem. Now is the time to take the necessary steps to solve your own personal energy crisis that is coming soon to your neighborhood and remember that our pandering, emasculated, failures, out of touch, self absorbed politicians are not really going to help you, and we are far to busy fighting wars in other countries and sending foreign aid to be bothered helping our own poor in this country.
If you think this blog is important, please pass it along to your friends so we can get the message out.
Happy Motoring!


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