Drill baby, drill...for efficiency

| 6/11/2010 9:18:22 AM

Tags: oil spills, ecological disaster, gulf of mexico, energy efficiency, energy conservation, sustainable energy,

Oil gushing out of the damaged pipe in the Gulf of Mexico could spawn an ecological and economic disaster of epic proportions. It is one of the many prices we in America, indeed all world citizens, pay for our addiction to oil. Global climate change, acid rain, urban pollution, oil spills, environmental damage and costly wars to protect the flow of oil to our country are the main symptoms of our never-ending addiction. 

It is my hope that citizens, public officials, and even the business community will be motivated by this disaster to help wean our nation from oil and other fossil fuels. The first choice should be energy efficiency — dramatically improving the efficiency of everything from cars and trucks to airplanes and ships to refrigerators and televisions to homes and offices. 

I encourage all of us to redouble our efforts to drill deeper and deeper to tap into the generous potential of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is far cheaper that developing new energy supplies and should be our highest priority. It allows us to have our cake and eat it to ... to live well with a lot less waste. In the process, we reap huge economic savings — individually and as a nation. In doing so, we reduce the costly threat of global warming and acid rain. We can clean up our air and waterways and help reduce the potential for other major oil spills. 

Dan Chiras
6/15/2010 10:10:53 AM

Texas Jack makes a good point. Oil is much more than a raw material from which human society extracts hydrocarbons to make gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and jet fuel. Oil is a complex mixture of over 2000 organic chemicals from which we make all sorts of products. From the chemicals in oil, for intance, we make plastics, synthetics used to make clothing, over-the-counter and prescription medicines, pesticides, asphalt for highways, and much more. Even mothballs come from napthalene extracted from crude oil. Replacing oil with clean, renewable energy resources is truly only part of the challenge as Texas Jack points. We need to find ways to replace oil's contribution as a chemical feedstock. Fortunately, thanks to modern chemistry, everything we extract from oil can very likely be made from plant material. Lactate from corn, for instance, can be used to make a very durable plastic that can be used for coffee mugs and pens. I have no doubt that all the chemicals extracted from oil could be synthesized in the lab from chemmicals derived from plants.

6/14/2010 4:23:56 PM

While the rush to rid the nation of petroleum use is a noble cause, you peeps concerned so much with that ideal need to come up with a way to produce the products and feedstocks that come from oil and gas, e.g. plastics, synthetics, lightweight materials, etc that are derived from oil and natural gas. Until you do come up with alternative sources of substances that replace petroleum, you're just spit in the wind..!!

6/14/2010 3:47:29 PM

I have a bicycle, a bus pass and an 80 cc for when I am feeling lazy.

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