Friday, July 11, 2008

T. Boone Pickens Is on the Right Track

Gee, you mean we could get a lot of our electricity from wind, solar, nuclear, and biomass power and thereby free up our natural gas to fuel vehicles instead of costly oil? And do it in ten years? What a novel idea! You'd think it would come from a giant government organization with a name like "Department of Energy", but instead it's coming from one man who's on a crusade.

How long will it take for the majority of Americans to understand that our government sucks at most of the things we have given it authority to do? Anyone with a brain knows that the hard things have to do with preparing for the likely future rather than reacting to a present that's beset with problems that should have been anticipated. But our governments mostly deal with the latter, and we let them get away with this shoddy performance.

Visionaries like President Carter have been ridiculed by eminent politicians who laughed and said things like "Carter thinks the sky is falling, but there's hundreds of years of oil in the ground!" Soon we'll realize that that nutty old Perot was right about a lot of things, too. If we fail to change our expectations for elected leaders, then we deserve the problems they fail to address.

Even at this late stage of crisis in oil supply our government has little to say and seems to be moving at a snail's pace. Then, along comes Pickens with a pretty simple substitutionary plan that could have been initiated years ago. I hope he riles up a lot of conversation and forces our lead-footed governments to facilitate a rapid migration to alternative energy sources and innovative substitutions. Better late than never.


ThomasLB said...

Jon Stewart has suggested a "Manhattan Project" for alternative energy. That sounds like a good idea to me, for two reasons:

1) Getting all of the best minds together in one spot, working together, will get us better results, faster

2) If the government owns the new technologies, it will take power away from the energy cabal and return it to the people.

I really liked Ross Perot, until he told the story of how he single-handedly drove off a platoon of attacking Black Panthers with nothing more than his trusty sidearm. After that it was hard to take him seriously on anything.

Ron Davison said...

Richard Branson has also decided to donate the profits from Virgin air for the next decade to climate change issues. There are some cool efforts underway by some visionary folks who are trying to make a difference. I think that one of the problems with government is that it has to build consensus out of public opinion and current donors.

Lifehiker said...

You know, Thomas, that we don't have to be right about everything in order to be right on some things.

I've found that virtually everyone I have admired and befriended also has a weakness or two, and maybe a wrong opinion or two (according to me).

Perot created a small business and grew it into a worldwide corporation that is still successful. OK, so he was wacko about something...aren't we all? But I guarantee you, when Perot looked at numbers he had no problem making the obvious conclusions. We'll be sorry we didn't listen to him.