Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The economy thing, and the end of the world as we know it

I hate economics. I never took it. It begs us to accept that, in the end government can do something other than screw it up.

Yet as we look around amid the incredible stories about the dollar, and the price of oil and gold, and the actions of Chavez, the Iranians, the OPEC we are all about the dollar, the Chinese who can't decide if they want out of the dollar, or if doing so would destroy their holdings before they could act completely we can see two threads which twine together into a world spanning cable.

  1. The USA remains completely dependent on oil.
  2. The world no longer has confidence in the actions or fortitude of the American people (take that any way you want it)
This past week, the Honda commercial hit the air. GM apparently has a concept vehicle. I will probably buy the first to market vehicle. It looks to be Japanese technology.

There are many who think that this doesn't matter. But it does.

Japan can solve that issue, but they cannot instill in this world the renewed confidence it needs (for reasons of its present military, history and national policies today), for despite the anti Americanism RAMPANT on this planet, beneath all is a realization that whatever it is individual nations and groups want us to do or not do, only WE can do it, or make it better without doing it, in the end.

Russia is, well, they will be Ivan IV. China won't, despite a freer economy, let people bring 2 bibles to the olympics, and Japan just wants a low profile and economic success. Europe despite economic might has neither the military will, the political stability, the resources, or the UNITY to carry out a coherent future plan right now.

Despite all our faults, and by process of elimination, that leaves us. Like it or not, for all.

Since 1973 the handwriting has been on the wall for the USA (and the world). Oil is done. That's it. There IS no argument. The arbitrary nature of where it is, is found in the future, and can be retrieved eliminate it as a force for economic or political stability or predictability. More, there's got to be a better way.

The failure of first, the commercial system here to generate the momentum for the inevitable, and then the govt to tax break and demand, and fund and CREATE the research to create the FEASIBLE technologies is a manifest and COMPLETE failure of the both American economic and political system.


Anonymous said...

In the long term the dollar will triumph over the euro.

Both Europe and the United States are equally dependent upon imported oil, but the US has huge accessible coal reserves whereas Europe's are mostly worked out.

America could reduce its dependence on oil by switching freight from road to rail and by building high spped rail lines to replace short haul air travel.

Rail has two advantages:
1) The rolling resistance of steel wheel on steel rail is a fraction of that of rubber wheel on road, so other things being equal rail is a far more energy-efficient mode of transport.

2) Railways can be relatively easily electrified and can thus run on any fuel. It might even be possible with modern technology to design efficient coal-fired locomotives.

Although new technology is obviously important, there may be a case for reviewing some older technologies. For example, within the space of about twenty years from 1890 to 1910, a huge network of electrified interurbans sprang up.

These lines rapidly dissappeared with the development of the internal combustion engine, but maybe some reinstatment might be considered as a response to the oil problem.

Apart from energy considerations, unlike Europe, the US doesn't have massive welfare commitments to a huge aging population and rapidly growing parasitic, hostile and unemployable Ummah.

The economy of Europe will go into meltdown before that of the United States.

Epaminondas said...

American will never leave their cars, najistani. Therefore something besides oil will have to power them.

That's why the fuel cell is the only answer. Canada's Tar Sands in Alberta/NW Territories have ooodles of oil product but that only delays the inevitable.

It's time to move on from fossil fuels. Only endless trouble and (I predict) outright wars in competition for seized resources are coming.

Think the US and China wouldn't get into it? We've already seen what the Chinese will do for Sudanese oil over Darfur.

We've seen Russia planting an underwater flag on the Lomontsov ridge at the bottom of the sea in international waters beneath the ice cap.

We have to invent our way to all that being an irrelevant vestige of industrial development, and we have already missed our first opportunity.

Fusion powered electricity, and fuel cell transportation.

That means cryo-science, magnetics, battery technology, and electronic motor technology.

Beats a new refinery in the neighborhood every time. All we need is hydrogen and oxygen, and all it all makes is water vapor.