Power

Power

You wake up in the morning and there it is. It seeps through the walls and comes out in unlikely places. Its tentacles reach far and deep into the very bowels of our homes. This miracle stuff called electricity. Then we get into a 2 or 3 ton steel and plastic bubble and click a small piece of metal and it springs to life and takes us where we would go. It consumes this miracle liquid called gasoline. We encounter hot water from some odorless, colorless gas that comes to us through a strange network of pipes hidden deep beanth street and garden. All of this is power. Nowhere on earth, where humans are, is without power, (except of course, North Korea.) This is the crux of our modern society. Anyone wishing to return to some “nature” driven environment doesn’t seem to realize that we are already in a nature driven environment. No matter what, there is this need for power to drive society.

We have oil, coal, natural gas – and all the variants. These heat us, light us, propel us – and there is scant evidence of anything else much more efficient and abundant and usable that we can use.

Then too we have this idea that wind and sun will power us. Except missing from the ideal is the fact that the windmills are scenic blights, they must be far from where the power is useful, they don’t operate when required, they interfere with wildlife – and because they are made of steel and plastic – they require significant natural resources that must be mined and pumped out of the ground and processed in smelters – with just as much environment disaster potential – and no net gain of any sort except fuzzy navels to skritch by people who won’t have the beasts in their backyard.

Then too there is solar, in which vast swaths of the land must be put under mirrors. Thousands and thousands of acres – a wildlife inhibitor if ever there was one. And where the people are is not often where the sun is. Nor does that golden orb shine so brightly everyday (and especially not at night.) In fact, in winter, when power is required for life, then well, the sun is low on the horizon for a lot fewer hours. So then what? And again too there is mining and processing of all sorts of things to put tens of thousands of acres under the knife of environmental nirvana.

Supposedly batteries of some sort will save our world. Except the metals that must be mined and smelted for them – oh my. And once allowed and stewed together, those metals will not part, but they will go bad, and so we must dispose of those metal-combos. Oh my, what a mess. And they still won’t get us more than a 100 miles.

The problems of energy, of power, are not lessened by so-called “green” methods, anymore than by “dirty” ones. Indeed, the record of accomplishment, safety and the most minimal environmental disruption of the modern power generating system is phenomenal. When you think about it – these well blowouts of the kind in the Gulf of Mexico right now are as rare as airplane crashes. It’s one reason we react so much to these sorts of things.

Of course, the blame is being hurled. The evil mean oil companies of course lobbied the saintly politicians who did not put the perfect safety rules in place because their arms were twisted, or tied back from penning the words, or perhaps the blanket of dollars did hide the place in the law written a while ago where new technology must go to prevent this very thing. Both foresight and hindsight is required, and everyone has it except, most definitely, the oil company who was doing the drilling. Every person on earth is now qualified to give opinions on each aspect of the matter – except, of course, the oil company on the scene. No matter what they say they’ll be guilty of lies and everything else. Oh, if only the politicians didn’t take the money from the evil businessman after the politician threatened all manner of state interference or else to get the money in the first place.

So the lobbyists paid the legalesque bribes and the politicians took the money and ran. Though the press will attempt to rile up the people for government to stop these companies! Weird that anyone thinks the politicians are innocent of whatever in this. But still, when one thinks about it, the record of safety is impressive. So whatever the companies have been doing has been quite good enough so far. That’s why oil wells aren’t in the news everyday. Unless of course, the price of oil goes up – then the 197 or so sovereign government oil companies are innocent of anything, and the five to ten private American oil companies are guilty. It’s always Exxon’s fault somehow. And George Bush, for he owned an oil company of some kind. The price of ketchup made by John Kerry’s billionaire wife goes up and it’s Bush’s fault!

So too there is talk about Brazilian wells being oh so fine – but they have not only the same safety record we have – they have the same technology. But they’re allowed to drill, and we are not. Brazil is drilling, baby, drilling, like there is no tomorrow. They are investing in the most modern and latest because it’s all new. But here we are faced with a Department of Energy(Limits) Still, Petrobras, which is the Brazilian Government’s oil company – and the only one in the land – is of course doing exactly what BP did – but now we will hear endlessly of how BP is not good enough. Jindal, our governor has said now: “BP doesn’t have the resources.” Some other wags have already filed this or that lawsuit. They’ll be coming by the dozens soon enough. Blame is being thrown. For no reason than a different sort of power.

If there’s one thing that the eco-loons and the socialists would love to do, it’s nationalize the oil industry. For the people of course. So it can become as corrupt as Mexico’s or Brazil’s, or Russia’s, or as eco-filthy as China’s. So we can lower our standards of living to that of the fine folks south of the border who work so hard at escaping just that. What do you think illegal aliens are doing? They are escaping the wonders of poverty driven by socialism, by big government. In fact, that’s why all the immigrants who ever came here came here for – to get away from the very sort of government we are getting right now. This oil spill will only encourage the socialists to call for even more government and more oversight, and more nationalization – and oddly, by default, more reliance on foreign oil which is drilled with a lot more disrespect for the environment than Exxon ever considered.

We can of course be like France in oh so many ways, say our socialists, except for one – we will not do nuclear like they do. Nope, we shall keep that industry stunted – the energy of the cleanest sort – because of one accident once a long time ago of which there is no more evidence to be found beyond a dozen feet of the epicenter of that problem. A problem from a technology that’s been long superceeded by safer sorts of reactors developed directly from what the engineers learned by looking at that long ago problem. These are the people who will drive after an accident. They will fly after a crash. They will live in a house after a fire or tornado. They will go to work even after a blizzard. They will continue to take unimaginable risks in their daily lives, polluting and despoiling the environment (and their own bodies with drugs legal and illegal, alcohol, tattoos and junk food, et al,) along the way in a myriad of ways. All so that we might remain pure among the world’s people and not have nuclear. We dropped a bomb once, and I think that’s the real reason. For we are atomic mis-users, while France, and Italy, and Japan and Argentina – hell, even Iran and Pakistan – – are pure and innocent users of atomic energy. So no nuclear.

Now, drilling for oil is dangerous. It’s dirty. Mistakes can be made because unpredictable stuff can happen when you punch a hole in the earth. Oil blowouts of this type happen – they have happened. They will happen. No matter who owns the wells and rigs. It’s pointless to even argue that private companies are at fault automatically because they are driven by profit. For even state owned oil companies are driven by profit.

Indeed, all economic entities must be driven by profit – no matter what they may want to call it. All economic entities must bring in more wealth then they part with in their comings, goings and doings. It makes no difference what the particulars are, not the details. It’s holistic – if you make or produce, ship or sell, store or even wreck something – then whatever it costs you to do so you must make a little bit more than that.

Price must always exceed total costs. This is the thing missing in socialist thinking – they do not seem to see that you have to make more than you spend. It’s one reason even governments never stop growing. All of life is growth. But somehow socialists have decreed profits bad – and then amazingly try to bring in more money into their organization than they spend on agitprop against this very thing – profit – excess – the difference between the price higher than the costs.

So much driven by profit are state oil companies that they really only follow the price of oil in three places on earth. Chicago, NY and Rotterdam. Oh, sure, OPEC tries to set a price, and fails. And all sorts of sovereign oil companies claim this or that is their price. Any government can decree a price. Not that it reflects reality, it’s just one that any particular government would like. Then the oil is bought and sold on the world market – that’s why the news channels concentrate so much on the price of a barrel of oil – one price — it’s all they talk about. It’s the same everywhere on any given day. Because it’s only set in those three places. Two, those in the US, are for contracts to buy oil. Usually there is far more oil bought then there is to sell. No biggie, it’s just part of the financial world. Then in Rotterdam anyone with a boat load of oil can sail on in and sell it to whomever would pay the price. It’s all very well run, and not by governments either.

So too the press will bewail every blade of grass despoiled, and will chop down acres of trees, spread pools of oil-based inks, and push their CO2 limits of their delivery trucks and cars to the far ends of environmental sanctity to make sure I have deadtree news on my front walk in time to excoriate the oil company that ensures I can do just what the newspaper and its perfectionists desire to do – Live Life to the Fullest.

Hence: drill, dig, mine, refine and split that atom as much as is humanly possible, do it as cheaply and safely as you can, clean up after yourself, and get me to the church of human progress on time.

But the mush that is thrown about now by the politicians and the press is poppycock piffle pushing so that they might accrue power of a different sort. Oh I’m sure the pontifications of congress-critters are being polished right now for the hearings that will be held to demand of the oil industry an explanation, that we the people supposedly need to know or the Republic will flounder. The chest primping from men and woman who gladly took campaign contributions from these oil companies will now pretend to have had no idea of anything the oil companies mischieviously pushed into the rules and regulations that congress and its agents did promulgate. Sadly, the oil companies will play the game, take the blame, pay off the preening peacocks for peace in our times from the ever pining for power of the federal government. The feds will not only declare themselves innocent of any part in this, their rules, but they will blame anyone else for having slipped into the office in the dead of night and put in provisions which just allowed oil companies to pound the environment into submission. A fine will be levied that will serve no purpose other than to scare other oil American companies from daring to poke a hole into a pool of oil and gas so rich, so ripe, so prime for development, that it literally erupted into their faces with a force unknown and all hell breaks lose because Gaia would not cooperate.

In the rest of the world, the state owned oil companies will continue to drill with wild adandon by using the tools, expertise and personnel of the big private American oil companies, because due to their understanding of the profit motive they are the only purveyors of the skills and equipment needed to drill for the oil. The profits that the state oil companies make is of course funneled off into the pockets of the most deserving politicians, families and cronies – all of whom excoriate America for having the audacity of having the only big oil companies capable of keeping the graft running. It’s an astounding world of mush and hypocrisy. Sit back and enjoy the show. How it will all play out is anyone’s guess. We are in the fog of enviro-war right now. The arms are being readied for the battle.

About the only thing we know for sure – There’s plenty of oil right there!

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