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Energy: U.S. Survival at Stake

July 17, 2008

We’ve discussed the importance of energy regarding the continued security and existence of the United States of America. Clearly, the continued existence of this country cannot be taken for granted. Today, the discussion has been brought to a brand new level of concern with the intervention of Al Gore. Al Gore fields himself as “everyman’s political advocate” for the good of the world.

His focus on the politics of climate control has propelled him to the status of legend, even if he has not been able to prove a word that he says. Not a man to mince words, the charismatic Gore stated, “The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk.” The recognition of Al Gore has brought to the forefront what few others have been able to do: direct attention to a new national reality. In this case, his view is more realistic and less esoteric than global warming.

In typical fashion, Al Gore always has an answer in line with his political agenda. His answer to this energy crisis is “to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.” Gore has recently chastised those who have proposed opening new areas for oil drilling as a solution to U.S. energy problems. He prefers a natural approach, the only way that fits his global vision. His short-term vision is that “the United States should be making all of its electricity with renewable and carbon-free energy in 10 years.”

“The way to bring gas prices down is to end our dependence on oil and use the renewable sources that can give us the equivalent of $1 a gallon gasoline.” He seems to honestly believe that this can be achieved. He promotes geothermal, solar and wind power as the way to achieve his worthy goals.

His view is that as the demand for renewable energy rises, that prices will continue to fall.

Al Gore does make one profound point, but for the reason of global disaster if we don’t. Most politicians continually make long-range plans that do little for today’s needs or reality. Projecting or planning for 2025 or 2050 does very little to generate the need for change today. Projections in politics seems to delay the inevitable. Projecting and working to achieve short-term change with short-term action and long-term vision is the key to success. So far, only T. Boone Pickens has stepped up with a reasonable plan to accomplish any vision of energy independence that drives business change, the key to economic progress.

Al Gore is using all the politically wrong reasons while he fails to emphasize the reality of energy independence. Instead, he talks in circles around the issue. This causes many of those that listen to his words to chafe against his ideas of global salvation, especially when the likes of the Chinese have little interest in the same, as they poison their own valleys and rivers with waste and toxins. Al Gore is right that this nation cannot continue to follow the “status quo”, even though most politicians wish this was still politically expedient. For thirty years, politics has walked in the same political quagmire.

The consumate politician, Al Gore even includes taxation plans into his vague plans for energy independence. Why? This is what makes politicians money to invest and spend in make-work projects and political architecture. In fact, that reality is exactly what drive politicians like Al Gore. Political power is always the reach and the goal in the name of a better world. He doesn’t care much about the details, but he will be there to regulate and benefit from the process in a new industrial push for wealth creation.

In his mind, issues of power are about global coalition, about a one-world governmental approach. In his mind, a global coalition is exactly what will solve the problems of the planet and he has built himself into the framework of global success.

He actually has the audacity to suggest that if the nation follows his governance on renewable energy, that gas prices will drop globally to give the nation an equivalent $1 a gallon gasoline price. How he arrives at that figure is enigmatic at best and seems at best a pipe dream without true foundation.

Yet, Al Gore is right in another way. The decision that this country has to make requires boldness. No more twenty to fifty year plans using appeasement politics. We can accomplish a realistic vision in ten years. He badly wants a vision, but fails to demonstrate that vision beyond political governance and suggestion, another John McCain approach to the business world that can never be effective. He is just one more political animal pointing the way while others figure out how to get there. The nation doesn’t need a pipe dream. The United States needs real measures that can and will actually work.

Another problem is being overlooked. Wind power, solar devices and geothermal plants can be just as unsightly as power plants and oil rigs. The idea that renewable energy creates a completely innocuous environment for all is not entirely true. How many fights have already come to pass about the location of modern power-generating windmills in the last few years? The idea that America can create change at someone else’s front door has to go. Putting the prairies of the Midwest to work in the generation of electricity can create profits and independence, but is going to be unsightly to someone’s mind. Destroying our national skylines in the name of energy production depends in large measure on viewpoint. Any political and economic measure requires some kind of sacrifice.

Unfortunately, Americans have failed to understand the impossibility of rigid long-term planning. There is always a kink in the works, especially in governmental ideas. That is why we need a reasonable business plan with some flexibility. So far, only one business-minded vision has been provided. Al Gore doesn’t have enough real details to provide change and he can’t get off of the climate control bandwagon for an instant. He would likely suggest all kind of government subsidies to create an American paradise. Reality has shown that living in the land of government subsidies is not truly cost effective or creative. Instead, it creates more dependency of regulation and little real change. Government has not proved effective at driving comprehensive business change, other than driving business away.

Al Gore floats the idea that if Americans are good enough people by example, the other major polluters on the world scene will see the light and come into the fold. That is a one-hundred year plan, not a ten-year plan. The reality is that government must get out of the habit of regulating and subsidizing business for real change and opportunity to be created. Government is not a fresh fount of ideas. Government is one reason why this nation is where it is.

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