Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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.


Anonymous said...

We may be missing the sleight of hand, here.

In 10 years, it's entirely possible that the abiotic hypothesis of hydrocarbon formation may have proven out.

IWC, "fossil" are allufasudden not "fossil" anymore.

And one-two-three, where's your breakfast?


theirritablearchitect said...

Next time, could you please throw a bit more hip into your wind-up, as you swing your arm from the shoulder, laying the back of your hand upside the dolt's head?

I'm just not quite sure you're getting enough into those bitch-slaps.;)

Tam said...

"And one-two-three, where's your breakfast?"

While I remain agnostic as to the actual origins of the petrochemicals in question, it's not their "fossil" nature that offends our hippie, it's their "icky" nature.

There's plenty of petrochemical plastic in a Prius, and uranium was never a critter.

Anonymous said...

I already posted this on several other blogs before, but my theory is that petroleum production is a naturally occurring process of the Earth, using heat (thermolysis) and pressure to recombine water (H2O) and carbon (along with other elements) into petroleum and pushing it back out into the already-established oil-wells around the earth. How else would you explain the oil wells in the Plains states that now have an estimated 10 billion gallons of oil in them, when they were once tapped out?

Canthros said...

Here's another question for the fossil fuels are bad crowd: do you like plastics, like the ones in your cellphone, Prius, computer, coffee mug, desk chair, shoes, pants, underwear, etc?

Earl said...

I like the idea that if we all concentrate and work on the problem we can find a lot of solutions that will work - at least those of us that work on the problem. The author of "no fossil fuels in ten years" isn't a worker on problems and aside from firing up Tam and making more folks vote his/her way on energy, because they aren't really thinking as they charge their lives away to get a new gadget to text message...

Frank W. James said...

Considering that two of the three cab tractors I employ on the farms are 31 years old, I want to know WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THIS REPLACEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY IN TEN YEARS?

No, it won't be Uncle Sugar.

What an idgit!

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of petrochemical plastic in a Prius, and uranium was never a critter.

Good point. I work in the polymer industry. Most of our raw materials are petrochemicals. No petrochemicals, no plastics (though, in all fairness, one CAN make some plastics from "green" plant oils, though one has to have electricity - LOTS of electricity - to do it).

Anonymous said...

I spent a couple of winters, about 30 years ago, drilling holes in the Athabasca oil sands for the geologists at Suncor. There were lots of theories about how a significant percentage of the world's oil ended up there, but no one knew for sure, and no one knows now.

NotClauswitz said...

Shut it down, shut it all down.
No more plane, trains, boats or automobiles.
Under Obamasocialism everybody gets a stuffed rainbow unicorn for a pillow, a balloon-tired bike, twenty meters of burlap for clothing, and a big jar of peanut-butter. And a kite.

Anonymous said...


I folla. But we're talking about a leftist, here. Slippery critters, giving Sino/Japanese eels a run for their money, they are.

Dun't matter about the "ick." It's about parsing the statement for its own internal ... er ... logic. (What a Bizarro World concept: left logic.)

Now, a ten-year prediction uses a long enough timescale that one can rely on its going to the memory hole before the prophet in question has his prophecy called into question.

But even if somebody does remember and think to ask, he can say -- as honestly as that sort ever does -- that we're NOT using "fossil" fuels. And, as we now know, never were.

It's never the hand you're watching. Always the other one.


Adrian K said...

Thank you Tam!

This post is a perfect example of why I read your stuff.

alath said...

USDA Grade A-1+ Prime Snark there, Tam.

Given this was inspired by a letter to the editor, did you consider sending it in? I think the dolt who wrote the original gibberish needs to be aware of the dolt-slapping you have administered.

Craig Thomas said...

Absolutely hilarious; and spot on! I loved this part:

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?

perlhaqr said...

There's plenty of petrochemical plastic in a Prius, and uranium was never a critter.

Pfah. Clearly you don't know about the Acturan MegaDonkeys. They used liquid uranium for blood.

Anonymous said...

It'd impact the Navy plenty. We've got nuke subs, and nuke carriers. All our cruisers and destroyers use DFM - Diesel Fuel Marine. Planes (the only reason the carrier is there) use - yep - hi grade kerosene, and subs don't project power worth a toot, unless 'nuke 'em to ash' counts as projecting power. Not to mention that by and by when the food runs out (because the DFM-fueled resupply ship isn't coming) those carrier Sailors are gonna be mighty unhappy.

Tam said...


Forgive my poetic license. :)

Anonymous said...

Re; the "memory hole".

Does anyone remember back about 1992 that Algore's predecessor, Ted Danson, predicted "All the oceans on earth will be dead in 10 years"? Seems that time period was not "chosen wisely".

John A said...

Want to be scared? According to a Rasmussen (yeah, I know, self-selecting, but still) one in three US citizens actually believe we can do away with "non-renewable" power in ten years. Worse, this is reported as being only 33%, obviously Rasmussen thinks more of us should believe in All Gory.


Parallel said...

Al Gore killed clean nuclear power 15 years ago. I know because I was there, working for the National Laboratory developing the technology.

Now here he is, 15 years later, saying we need electricity sources that don't make greenhouse gases.

Which is scarier, Al? Clean nuclear power or global warming?


Anonymous said...

10 years to no fossil fuel?

I can deal with it. I plan to retire from the icky oil industry in about 10 years.