Friday, September 5, 2008

The Cro-magnon Energy Plan

Offshore windfarms on the Outer Contintental shelf? Um, that's not going to work. You might be able to imagine that you can see the shelf from Cape Cod. Outrageous!

In all seriousness, why can we put acres of windfarms out in the ocean but not oil rigs? Are there any objective studies that we can use to compare the enviromental impacts of both? Probably not, since the "environment" is such a squishy thing to measure (unless you want to divvy it up into carbon credits to parcel out for sale). But I can't imagine that there are no costs to sea-borne windpower - what about the migratory patterns of birds and sea life (do plants migrate)?

I was going to try making a joke about putting windmills on the oil derricks, but it was too lame to print. Like CFL levels of lame. Seriously though, how can one even fathom the idea that we'll be saved by a windmill, a windmill - the sad sickly descendant of this squat happy guy. Our future depends on a technology ninth century technology? It's like a steampunk nightmare, only without the steam.

And oil? We'll soon be coming up on 200 years since the 'modern' age of petroleum refining. Even with the advances in refining and energy production, it's still the same old factory stacks belching out energy and rancid smoke of the nineteenth century. And besides: oil, coal, natural gas - we're "making" energy by lighting shit on fire. That's neanderthal-level science. Come on humanity, we can do better than that!

Oil plants and windmills and clever turbines built into cleverer dams . . . I can imagine the actual facility, the gears and wheels. But I can't seem to draw the line between these ancient technologies and the future - the future! - and it's great shining promise to humanity. I can't.

The energy debates - the drill, baby, drill - it all bores me. I want to know about nuclear power, I want to know about what's happening at the edge of science. Forget wind, let's burn all the oil that's left, all of it in one big roaring blaze. Throw it in the Large Hadron Collider, if that's what it takes to advance humanity to the next big leap in human achievement.

In the meantime, I'm selling carbon credits. Drop me a line if you'd like to sponsor a patch of my inappropriately delicious desert lawn.

UPDATE: I guess some people's idea of a lame joke is someone else's good idea!

1 comment:

Roger said...

See that is what is wrong with this country, we allow the smallest minorities to make policy. All the NIMY's want us to quit using fossil fuels, because they affect the environment, yet when it affects their "view" it's a bad thing.

Nuclear Power is cleaner and safer than most, and is also pretty efficient and inexpensive.

Maybe we should just let the government take over and take away the voice of the people... Naw, where would the fun be in that. :)