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Comment Dated Aug 2, 2007


SEND IN THE CLOWNS

There is not, nor will there ever be, a shortage of energy. The universe is made of it. The only shortage lies in access to it, which is achieved through human ingenuity and advancing knowledge, and translates into better living in the form of abundant food and other resources, longer and healthier lives, and greater opportunities for richness and variety in all their forms. A good indicator of the general quality of life of a culture is the energy used per capitum. But exploiting scarcity his always provided a means for a few to enrich and empower themselves at the expense of the many, and it is not uncommon to find artificial scarcities being invented and maintained when Nature refuses to cooperate.

The "energy" bill recently consigned into the legislative labyrinth commits $6 billion to paradigm-shifters like more energy-efficient snowmobiles for ski resorts, and subsidies for politically correct "alternative" energy projects that wouldn't survive without such aid, but doesn't increase the nation's energy supply by one drop of gasoline or one watt of electricity. It lifts no bans on oil and gas drilling, and does nothing to ease regulatory impediments to pipelines, transmission lines, refineries, or coal generating plants--let alone nuclear, which is ultimately the only viable way to go. Expanded bureaucratic power over energy and economic decisions is the only kind that it generates. Paul Driessen goes into detail in his piece Climate Ethics on Capitol Hill, posted at Enter Stage Right.

The circus is running the town. But when things seem not to be making sense, the reason often lies in accepting that the aim of the exercise is actually what everyone assumes it should be.