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OMG Teh Worldz Ending!

John Scalzi, tongue thoroughly in cheek, has decided to re-inventory his survival gear. He finds the latest news that Bush is 'on top of the situation' (with regards to the economy) to be the "most terrifying headline of the week."

I have to admit, this administration's permanent cranial-rectal inversion (wonder how they get oxygen?) does not suggest that they will be able to fix the problem. On the other hand, this is not quite the End Of The World, or even The End Of Civilization As We Know It. Rather, it's the end of a bubble, which happens once every 10 to 12 years.

Remember the dot-com bubble? Or before that, the bio-tech bubble? Granted, this bubble concerns housing, which is more likely to affect individuals, and comes on top of other bad news (more on that in a minute), but it too shall pass. Not without pain, individually and corporate, and undoubtedly innocent folks will get hurt.

Now, if we had a competent President and Congress, instead of this bullshit mail-everybody-a-check "stimulus package," we'd take that money and get serious about alternative energy. Turning coal into oil is old-school technology - ask the Nazis, they ran a war doing it. Yeah, we'd not be 'carbon neutral' but, news flash, carbon neutral ain't enough - we need to be carbon negative - pull more carbon out of the atmosphere.

At any rate, getting serious about alternative energy would:
1) Stimulate the economy by providing jobs, both directly and in supporting industries, such as mining and factories.
2) Reduce the demand for foreign oil, thus reducing trade deficits and helping the dollar.

Alas, this does not seem to be in the cards, so our response to this bubble will be to try and talk it to death.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Totally with you on this. I have always thought that individuals whining about how alternative energy will be bad for the economy need to step back and take a good look at the situation.
Mar. 18th, 2008 06:21 am (UTC)
Honestly, the US economy stagnating has been great for us in Canada who buy things over the internet. The Canadian dollar has been trading over the US dollar for the first time since 1965. However it's been bad for the Canadian economy that has benefited from high US dollar, because we could undercut anything in US especially since NAFTA came into effect. Even my job has been on the brink since a low US dollar.
Mar. 19th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
Republicans might not, but Democrats just plain won't...
Why the Republicans haven't done anything is pretty simple - the Dems have raised hell every time someone mentions an actual plan to do anything about energy.

It's been my observation that the Democrats aren't interested in actually solving any problem they can use for election sound bites down the line. Energy is one of those problems. We could be drilling in ANWR, we could be drilling off the coasts. We've got oil sands and coal out the wazoo, but they won't let anyone touch 'em. You will not find one serious proposal by a Democrat to actually do anything to relieve the energy problem, aside from raising taxes on oil companies and offering rebates for energy-conserving retrofits. The desire is not to fix the identified problem, but to visibly do something, because being visible is key to being re-elected.

A solved problem is worse than useless two ways. First, you can't use it as election fodder. Second - it creates expectations in the electorate that the politician WILL actually solve problems instead of telling them just how good it'll feel when their problems are taken care of.

I don't expect to see any solutions coming from the Democratic side regarding this semi-recession. Their only solution is to bleed the economy - like doctors used to do. That it would hurt more than it helps is irrelevant - they're doing something.


Mar. 19th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Republicans might not, but Democrats just plain won't...
For six years the Republicans had a majority in both Houses and the occupied the White House. Please show me a Bush proposal to start coal gasification? What exactly is the Energy Department doing to make hydrogen for the "hydrogen economy" that we're supposed to be migrating to?

The silence on both sides of the aisle on this issue has been deafening.

Mar. 20th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: Republicans might not, but Democrats just plain won't...
Oh, I agree - but I can also see the Republicans' point here. Why try anything energy related when the Dems will kill it faster than a polar bear snacking on a seal? If it isn't bad for the environment (nukes) it'll be bad for the environment (oil) or bad for the environment (coal) or bad for the environment and tourisn (wind farms off Cape Cod) or bad for the (fill in the blank). And the media won't help - they go for the sensational and they don't want to be told there's no problem. No problem equals no story - no story means no ratings - no ratings means no income. So they'll find some 'expert' to tell people the worst - and everyone believes that's what will happen. "Hydrogen cars explode! News at 11!"

And any attempt to advance gets stalled.

Remember the stink when Bush even attempted to talk about the problems with Social Security? I'm of an age where in fifteen years I'm going to need to tap it - I want it to WORK, but the Democrats will not tolerate any attempt to fix it. So we've lost about three more years to political posturing, and that's assuming the NEXT President (of either party) will actually bite the bullet and do something immediately, instead of waiting for another 5 to 10 years to address the problem.

It's quite a change from the days when Democrats would do things. Let's take, for example, Hoover Dam - started in 1931, finished in 1935. 4 years for a monumental piece of engineering - and you couldn't get today's politicians to get past the first round of environmental impact statements in that time.

What's the solution? I'm not sure - but I think we've got too many politicians who think their primary job is to get re-elected, not to actually do what's best for the country. Of course, to them "what's best for the country" is for them to be re-elected...

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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