Saturday, February 01, 2014

Halfway there!

I'm going to be like TV and do a re-run here.

Back in '08, some bright spark wrote a letter to the local catbox liner, hoping that the junior senator from Illinois would get elected president so that he could give us a rational energy policy that would do away with the use of fossil fuels in ten (10!) years' time.

I replied:

My fellow Americans...

...why are so many of you such idiots?

Some bright spark in the Letters to the Editor section of today's cat box liner was opining that when the Messiah leads us to glory come November, a rational energy policy could be passed that would...

...are you ready for this?

..."[end] the use of fossil fuels in 10 years".

May I suggest that you, sir, are a bleedin' idiot and should keep your piehole respectfully shut when grownups are talking?

Are you seriously suggesting that in the space of a decade we could replace every moped and chainsaw, every combine and bulldozer with their equivalents from the Segway catalog? That the coal-fired powerplant that provides the juice to run the refrigerators in the organic produce section of your local Tofu-Mart be supplanted by some solar cells? That the big diesel generator that provides the emergency backup power for your Aunt Millie's respirator down at Sisters of Mercy General be replaced by pink unicorns farting moonbeams through the blades of wind turbines?

What about air travel? Are we just going to shut that down? After all, solar-powered jetliners are nowhere near ready for beta testing, and you couldn't get anywhere by human-powered flight unless you look a lot more like Lance Armstrong than I suspect you do. How about the trucks that deliver your hemp clothing to the head shop? What do you think those should run on? At least the Navy won't be too badly impacted; after all, most of their really important ships don't run on fossil fuels at all, unless there were some really strange glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs we don't know about.

Of course, you don't mean "doing away with fossil fuels" at all, really, do you? You mean "doing away with icky fuels that don't make you feel all smug and green", right? Because otherwise you'd be begging your Congressman to bring home a nuke plant in the next pail of pork from Washington. After all, a nice reactor has about the carbon footprint of a Prius and is as friendly to photogenic Arctic critters as can be, plus it has the added advantage of actually working, unlike all the fantasy technologies touted in the badly mimeographed handouts you got at your last Earth Day rally.

Probably someday fossil fuels will run out, and maybe they won't; to definitively make either claim is to be, as scientists put it, "talking out your butt without all the facts", but I think our best bet to prepare for the former eventuality would be to come up with a technology that converts stupidity and self-righteousness into kilowatts. You could run a small town off the average newspaper editorial page.
It's been six years now. How's that plan working out for you, sparky?

34 comments:

rremington said...

Heh. Far from ending the use fossil fuels, we are becoming even more awash in it. I love it.

Scott J said...

Such a shame we as a nation haven't put the effort into improving nuclear power as was poured into reaching the moon.

Instead most of our nuke plants are mired in 70's and 80's technology.

Sure, control systems are greatly improved but there haven't really been any great strides forward.

og said...

Sparky is off getting his legal dope, Ma'am. He won't be capable of a coherent thought not involving Little Debbie for a while.

John Hardin said...

How's that plan working out for you, sparky?

The Republicans are thwarting it, of course.

Paul said...

Wow. I missed that one.

Sparky is still looking for the hot chick that he can take back to his basement and then switch on a dime back to the caveman he always was. Birkenstock and Starbuck do not civilization make.

Library-Gryffon said...

Is Sparky the same guy holding the protest sign reading "I don't use fossil fuel, I ride the bus"?

Anonymous said...

He and his ilk are working hard to made "Idiocracy" a documentary.

Robert Fowler said...

They can have my 81 Chevy pickup when they pry it from my cold dead hands.....

When I replace the rust box with a newer model, it will be a black smoke belching diesel. Every time I start it, a liberal will faint.

Stephen said...

You do so make my day....get 'em.

rickn8or said...

Wow.

I never realized how much exceptionally fine snark improves with age.

tailwind said...

If Iran manages to progress much further with their nuke program, sparky may realize his wish. But not in the way he envisioned.

KM said...

pink unicorns farting moonbeams

Well of course they won't all be pink. That's just silly.

pdb said...

One thing these geniuses never seem to consider is that there's more product in a barrel of oil than just gasoline, and since there's more demand for the lighter hydrocarbons than the heavier chains, the sales of fuels like diesel, gasoline and jet support the production, and depress the effective price, of all the others.

Heavy hydrocarbons are used in the production of *everything*, from clothing to consumer goods to fertilizer.

So even if you could just wave a magic wand and convert all internal combustion powerplants to run on hopes and dreams, the price of *everything else* goes up dramatically as the refineries are suddenly unable to rely on the huge income from light fuel sales. Not to mention that they're now stuck with a hojillion barrels a day of light fuels they can't sell and can't crack into something more useful without massive energy inputs. What do you think they're gonna do with that stuff?

This is the trouble of prescribing massive sweeping social change without having more life experience than having to complete college courses and serve up coffee.

Kristopher B. said...

I still favor converting hippies like him into Soylent Diesel.

You get about 80 gallons per metric ton of dead hippie.

global village idiot said...

One word: Plastics

gvi

The Jack said...

Now, now, our later-day Nostradamus did his part.

*He* wrote a letter.

It's not his fault those wrench-handed semi-skilled engineer Morloks weren't able to enact his vision.

No doubt they were bribed by Big Fossil to goldbrick and layabout.

Ed said...

So, instead of unicorn farts powering windmills, we now have more methane produced from fracking powering turbines. Isn't that just as good?

Joe in PNG said...

Sadly, all of Sparky's science classes were about how globalwarming was going to kill the poley bears, or how polution was really bad, or George W Bush is the debbil.

Thus, Sparky never learned about actual boring science stuff like friction, thermodynamics, and the rest of it. Plus, much is just boring math anyway, and Sparky doesn't like math. Math being a cismale gendernormitive faschist construct of the patrichaial white power structure.

mikee said...

Does diesel from algae count?

How about running used vegetable oil in my GaiaHumper Pickup?

When can I get my solar powered house heater, and will it come free with my current house and cost a total of $19/month to run, like my natural gas heat here in central Texas?

I used to think that all the hot girls in 9th grade would be mine, if only we got rid of the football and basketball teams. I grew out of that illogical thinking, but apparently some still think that way. And always will.

Ancient Woodsman said...

"If you like your Tofu-mart, you can keep your Tofu-mart. If you like your hemp clothing, you can keep your hemp clothing. If you like your rainbow-farting unicorns, you can keep your rainbow-farting unicorns."

Why do you think folks like Sparky voted for the liar? Promises made to kindergartners are always taken seriously by the audience, 'cause it's the troof! He said so!

Meanwhile, having gone well beyond kindergarten, I will be having a big fat steak (cut from some methane-farting beast, so I'll be doing my part to save the planets) tonight, cooked on LP, with a beautiful stout (Shipyard's Blue Fin stout) driven down to NH from ME in a diesel-powered behemoth that no doubt belched a unicorn-killing and rainbow-obscuring little black cloud at every stop. Yum. Just the thought warms me to the toes.

For every Sparky espousing environmentalism and tolerance or else!! from the keyboard in his mom's basement, there has to be one of us. Nature is all about balance.

Borepatch said...

If people are mooting a carbon tax to reduce smog levels, perhaps we could have a SWPL tax to reduce smug levels?

Anonymous said...

It's all the Rethuglicans fault. If it weren't for their obstructionism of every Brilliant Revolutionary Obama Brainstorm, we would have already met the no-fossil-fuel target probably sometime last month. And then we wouldn't be having all this arctic cold in Hoosieropolis.
Alath
Carmel IN

Anonymous said...

Aren't these the same folks who view solar and wind as a renewable resource, but not hydroelectric? Guess I'm to old and worn to understand or GAS.

macvs2

Anonymous said...

< Aren't these the same folks who view solar and wind as a renewable resource, but not hydroelectric? >

There is some species of mud slug whose habitat is disturbed by turbines. Therefore, Evil Nazi Planet-Destroying kiloWatts.

Alath
Carmel IN

Joe in PNG said...

Alath- turbines that kill rare mud slugs are bad, but wind turbines that kill rare birds are good, but pesticides that weaken rare bird eggs are bad.

Clear?

Anonymous said...

I see what you did there Alath, you alluded to POLITICIANS!!!

macvs2

Greg Tag said...

These folks are also led by brilliant and eco-sensitive pols who are in favor of windpower, unless the wind turbines will spoil the view from the beach at Camelot; the same people whose leader ( the guy who invented the Internet) jets about the planet calling for corbon emission reduction while creating a personal carbon footprint the size of Bryan, Texas.

Sadly, these folks never took thermo, or physical chemistry, or academic stuff in which you cannot feel and emote the way to success.

Not knowing how to actually DO anything, they merely want to rule over us.

Regards
GKT

Old NFO said...

As usual, you were right... :-)

Buzz said...

Pink unicorn bacon, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

DJ said...

So, six years ago, did he respond?

leaddog said...

GKT,

Sort of sorry to make fun of your inadvertent spelling error, but I fully intend to make my Corbons do as much emitting as possible this afternoon at the range. Lead, carbon, H2S,water vapor, and what ever else the byproducts of detonating a Corbon might be.

Thank you for the idea!

Gus said...

You can power a jet plane with a wind turbine on top, you just have to fly it faster.

farmist said...

leaddog, I thought GKT was just trying to phonetic-spell the Goracle.

Michael Z. Williamson said...

Time to burn a few more tires. They keep me warm, but hippie hate keeps me warmer.