Tuesday, May 11, 2010
An Answer? Neither Quick Nor Easy.
c. David Grim (taken 4/25/08)
Why do so many folks get themselves stuck in an all-or-nothing mentality? Ever since the eruption in the Gulf, I've seen internet chatter exposing the oversimplified positions of self-perceived combatants. On one hand, you have radical environmentalists who insist that we stop drilling for oil now and refuse to ever consider doing so again. On the other, you have those defenders of the status quo who seem to have difficulty accepting that alternatives to carbon-based fuels are possible, or even desirable. What's most ironic is so few in this category have an actual stake in the oil industry, besides on the consumer end.
The reality is that (at least for now) oil is a necessary evil. Until we get many new sources of alternative energy online, we are going to have to depend to some extent on crude. Likely we'll always need oil for the manufacturing process. Some amount of limited drilling can (I think) be done without causing widespread ecological devastation. Still, quite obviously, that's not what we are dealing with now.
When one new technology pops up, many are ready to embrace it as the be-all-end-all solution. But we need not ask new technologies to solve all of our problems immediately. At this point we shouldn't be excluding any option just because it's not meeting its possible maximized potential. The only way for this nation to remain relevant (and for the world to remain habitable) is for it to invest its still enormous resources into alternative energy. In the meantime, we'll just have to get our crude from elsewhere.