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Vagabond's plan for getting America off Mid East oil

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posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 06:25 PM
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While participating in threads about America's need to protect the Persian Gulf from Iran, it occurred to me that we could save ourselves a fortune on avoided military adventures by just getting off of Mid East oil as early as practically possible, not to mention the fact that as oil becomes increasingly expensive, nations whose industrial capacity is least reliant on oil will enjoy a significant advantage in producing and exporting alternate energy technology (such as electric vehicles).

So here is what I believe America needs to do to gradually move away from oil, if we were to begin immediately.

A. We need to push public transportation and alternate fuel while we are making the transition. What this will do is take away some of the profit motive that prevents industry from embracing alternate fuel. It will also help American consumers save up money for to capitalize on some of the new technology we will be offering and in some cases mandating.

A1. I would introduce a full rebate on gas taxes for the first year of ownership of a Hybrid vehicle.

A2. I would mandate the commerical transportation fleets (cabs, rentals, company vehicles, etc) other than pickup trucks buy only hybrid vehicles.

A3. I would require gasoline franchises owning over a certain number of stations to have at least on station capable of recharging electric vehicles in ever city over a certain population, and at within 500 miles of any other station of their franchise, to be accomplished within 10 years.

A4. I would make it illegal to destroy or decomission an electric vehicle which had not either been in a major accident or been returned early due to major defects. (This is because many automakers which lease electric vehicles will not sell them, because repairs/warantee sales make up 50% of their revenue, and electric vehicles need less maintenance, hence they destroy them after lease rather than sell them).

To compensate potential damage to the auto industry, I would contract out maintenance of army vehicles to automakers and institute a program where a certain pecentage of these mechanics had to be army reservists in order to be eligible for employment, so that they could be go with their units and do their jobs if the forces for which they performed maintenance were deloyed. This partially compensates lost maintenance business to the automakers and reduces military manpower requirements and expenses for enlistment, training, etc.

A5. I'd pass a law requiring highschools to institute parking permits which could not be obtained by students who either lived within 10 miles of the school or within 2 miles of a bus stop, except for students who participated in early classes or afterschool activities which prohibited bussing.

A6. Federal student aid for college students would be increased for families which owned electric or hybrid vehicles, and a very small bonus to acceptance considerations to state schools would be mandated as well. (this targets low income families and presents a type of incentive that a mere tax break can not.)

A7. A large tax penalty would be imposed on automakers whose total production did not consist of a certain percentage of Hybrid vehicles, and a seperate certain percentage of purely electric or fuel cell vehicles. This law would take effect 5-10 years after passage, to give the companies time to comply.

B. We need to put a large amount of federal funds into expanding this countries hydro-electric, wind turbine, and nuclear energy production, and offer large grants for developing efficient ways to access deeper or otherwise harder to process oil reserves (as Canada and Australia each have larger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, which are simply harder to access). We will need to modify the federal budget to make this possible.

B1. The Congressional Budget Office proposed a budget option for scrapping the DD(X) and LCS programs (but continuing the related R and D) and fielding 22 new frigates with this technology instead. (the technology would also be later applied to future carrier and cruiser designs, as well as the Virginia class submarine, and therefore the Navy advises against cancelling the research and development). This would save 29 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
www.cbo.gov...

I would go for a lower number of the new frigates- maybe 16, and would seek to sell the others to trustworthy allies who have naval concerns and can't afford to undertake that level of R and D for themselves. Japan and Australia come to mind. I think we could pull 30some odd billion out of our budget like this.

B2. The OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) is a planned "super rifle" intended to be integrated into Infantry squads. In is an amazing weapon which plans to serve a number of functions in one package, but does not particularly add capabilities which can not be achieved through the use of a number of task-specific weapons. 40,000 units are intended for the initial order, and the target cost (if they can get it as cheaply as they hope) is 10,000 dollars. That's 400 BILLION dollars.
I would like to say scrap this, but I don't have enough info. The research is done and contracts have been awarded. The first units were supposed to be equipped this year according to globablsecurity.org, and the weapon does have impressive capabilities.
www.cbo.gov...
IF it's not too late to implement a 10 year moratorium on the project, it should be done. We can field it later, after the urgent necessity of getting away form mid-east oil can be accomplished.

B3. Missile defense. We are spending 10 billion dollars a year, and plan to continue this budget for the program for at least the next six years. The feasibility of the technology is the subject of strenuous debate. I'd cut the funding back down to the 4-5 Billion that Clinton was spending on it, so that we could work on our energy crisis and other problems. This is more than enough to continue our current budget on the Airborne Laser, Aegis, PAC-3, and ground-based midcourse. God only knows where the rest of that money is going, but if it's not EXTREMELY promising we'd be better off waiting.
Nuclear danger is at least somewhat checked by deterrence. The economic threat posed by rising oil prices is utterly unchecked. Of the two, I believe oil is the more clear and present danger.

B4. Other expenses: This post is getting long, so I'm going to condense several ideas into one item with less detail here, which we can discuss later if anyone has questions. I believe that we can reduce tensions in the Koreas and save a lot of money by pulling out troops out of South Korea. Closing our bases in Germany can ease retention problems and save us money as well- Germany isn't going to allow us to operate from those bases when we need them most anyway.
I'm not all about cutting the military budget anyway. It just so happens that we spend a great deal of money on it, and that if we have to make hard choices, many of them will naturally affect the military.

Other areas I would cut include the following: We need to phase out NASA and usher in private investment, to GENERATE revenue rather an suck it up. What is this business where we pay a company in tax dollars to develop a new technology, we put it on the space shuttle, then they keep the patent and make even more money elsewhere than they did in the NASA contract. If we started gradually reducing NASA and contracting out to private space companies, rich investors would gladly pick up the tab by buying stock and the companies would do just fine. We spent 16 Billion on NASA this year- and they want another 23% by 2010!

Fines collected by various enforcement agencies need to start going into the general fund. Organizations like AQMD and CARB are writing tickets to ashpalt plants in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars- and they've got more money than they can jump over. They use that money to hold huge conferences out of state and put up the guests at their classes in great hotels, etc. I know because I worked in that industry, as does my father, and we've attended classes/seminars put on by them.

C. Once we've begun to transition off of oil, especially oil from the mid east as harder to access reserves in more stable nations become accessible, we need to start allocating funds to more exotic methods of generation. Even if zero point, cold fusion, and other such ideas turn out to be pure fantasy, it is a fact that our planet is a massive dynamo. I would be shocked if there is no way to generate efficient renewable energy when you live on a huge spinning magnet under immense gravitational influence, covered in shifting fluid, with a super-heated core and a massive hydrogen reactor shining down on it. Once we've unseated King Oil from its throne so that the economy and government need not resist change, with enough funding and ingenuity, I believe we will find a way to use this huge dynamo we live on as a power source- if Tesla hasn't already got a way to do so locked away in a safe somewhere in the Pentagon that is.




posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 02:57 PM
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Oh come on guys. SOMEBODY has to think I'm nuts, right? Call me a genius-call me a lunatic. Just don't ignore me. I'm lonely!

Let's see some activity PTS



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 04:13 PM
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Well it sounds nice and interesting but we all know that the only reason that we depend on the middle east oil has to do to the relationships of our government with the Saud Royal family and occurs the financial and business interest of our own oil base companies in the US.

So don't expect any changes anytime soon, as long as the oil barons can squeeze the money out of us and we let them, and make a profit they are not going to change their business dealing or even stop.



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 04:20 PM
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But then American fatcats only get cozy with the Saudis because the Saudis control this highly valuable resource- a highly valuable resource that just won't be economically viable anymore in 20-30 years.

It's time for the fat cats to find new friends (I recommend General Electric) to make corrupt deals with. Maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but maybe you can convince an old rat to get his cheese elsewhere?

In 50 years the Saudis will be in no position to line anybody's pockets. Oil just isn't going to last. I really think harnessing tide and current are the way of the future. You can only dam up so many rivers, but what limit is there on building a generator driven by waves, or on putting up wind turbines, solar pannels, or sterling motors?



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 04:33 PM
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It's an interesting post, and yes America does need to break the oil habit. Genius or lunatic, at least you are trying to think of solutions which seems to be more than most people do.

If you go into politics, you may have to watch your back because you will cost many powerful people a lot of money. I wouldn't want your assasination to become a topic on ATS.


You could also consider run-of-river hydro in some of the mountain ranges. Hydro power does not have to involve dams. My co. has three of these projects in the works right now. I also like the tidal generation and am hoping we build one.



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 04:43 PM
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You are right Vagabond the Saudi oil will not be there anymore in a few more years, perhaps sooner than we think.

But remember the next vast oil reserves even bigger than the ones in Saudi and better quality because their sweetness, meaning sweet oil is easier to refine, are located in Iraq. Saudi oil is becoming sour due to the fact that they are now almost to the botton of their wells, so the oil is harder to refine.

US is making sure that it will tap into those oil reserves with or without Iraq approval.

Even if the Iraqis are against the Privatization of their oil US and the oil barons will get their hands in their oil, Iraq is divided into two the nothern oil will go to the Kurds, US is friendly with them, and the south belongs to the Shiites, US liberated Iraq and gave the power back to them.

Sunnis are to dominate the middle of the country but they are not friendly under Sadam rule they were the ruling class and with the oil nationalized US oil barons could not get their hands on the oil.

Times change, Shiites and Kurds owns their liberations to US.

So US is just cementing its relations with the new Iraqi government to ensure unlimited future oil access.

Now its this going to benefit us the consumer? No in a million years we will still be paying top dollar at the gas pump.

The goal to get the hands on the Iraqi oil was not for the benefit of the American consumer neither the Iraqi. but for the benefit of the corporate power.

It will be a new ruling class in Iraq that will be more than glad to give the US their oil as long as their ruling group stays on the top. Just like the Royal family in Saudi.



[edit on 28-8-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey
If you go into politics, you may have to watch your back because you will cost many powerful people a lot of money. I wouldn't want your assasination to become a topic on ATS.


I've already started telling friends that I expect to be murdered. I've even proposed an ATS contest- 1,000,000,000 points to the first member assassinated for political reasons (posthumously awarded, of course, strictly as a matter of last respects).


As for Marg's point about Iraqi oil- we may get a few more years out of that, but at what price? As the supply goes steadily down, and demand continues to grow exponentially, the prices will become impractical long before the wells go dry. If the United States knew what was good for it, it would declare peak oil to be a national emergency and would aim to reduce oil dependence to only those industries where practical alternatives do not currently exist. There is no good reason why even one volt of electricity in America should be generated by burning fossil fuels as opposed to harnessing renewable sources. All we have to do is invest in the infrastructure. We will eventually see a return on investment. It's worth it. It's always been worth it. It's getting more worth it by the day, as our future is circling the drain as we speak.



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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Don't worry Vagabond when our friends on the "Corporate levels" realized that is not more money to be make on oil, then they will make sure that is money to be made on the alternative choices.

They probably have a plan but they still have to drain that oil all the way to the bottom.



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 06:55 PM
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If they want to get it to the bottom they better get a move on, because I'm tenatively expecting my first run for office to come in 2012 or 2014, and one way or another I'm gonna make life more than a bit hard on some people. Remember to send flowers when somebody shoots the big bald congressman from California.



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 08:43 AM
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Normally I'd just edit the original post instead of reply- but I have recognized an extremely humiliating error and I'd hate to just leave it and let everyone think that I'm some kind of retard. The OICW project, at 40K units at 10K per unit is not 400 Billion. It's 400 Million. I guess because everything else I dealt with was in the billions I just threw a B on there without even thinking. I can do basic multiplication though- I swear.

Also, since I'm adding to this, another ridiculous example of government waste has come to my attention just today. I was watching a show on the Science channel about how they develop highway guard rails for protecting construction zones and such. I kid you not, they were crashing nice chevy pickups with flawless paint into these barricades at a testing facility which, if I understood correctly, is run by the state of Texas. How nice is nice? late 80s-early 90s 3500 series pickups. Depending on what year the show was shot, i'd guess the bluebook on them somewhere between 3 and 8 grand a pop if they were in anywhere near as good condition as they looked.

Naturally they have engines in them, or the data would be completely invalid, and if the rest of the truck is in pristine shape, I'll bet you the engines are too (they don't have to be- they can't have a driver in the truck, so the truck is not crashed under its own power).
I used to work in a towing yard, and I like cars. I know a thing or two about crappy ones and how to get them, because that's pretty much all I've ever owned. Towing yards take wrecked cars and cars that can't be fixed and sold at a profit, strip them for parts, crush them or have them crushed, then truck them out to recycling centers for something like 50 bucks a car if memory serves. There's no reason you can't take one of those dead cars, patch and inflate the tires, and crash it instead. 300 dollars worth of material instead of 3000+! I mean WTF!?



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 03:01 AM
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These policies are good as ideals, but aren't realistic. We are in a war economy and pushing for any defense/troop reductions with the US marching towards a global hegemony isn't going to happen. Powering down (i.e. ersatz) would be a hard sell to any geopolitical leaders, transnationalists or conglomerates.


American leaders have responded to this systemic challenge to stability in oil-producing areas in a consistent fashion: by employing military means to guarantee the unhindered flow of petroleum. This approach was first adopted by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations after World War II, when Soviet adventurism in Iran and pan-Arab upheavals in the Middle East seemed to threaten the safety of Persian Gulf oil deliveries. It was given formal expression by President Carter in January 1980, when, in response to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the Islamic revolution in Iran, he announced that the secure flow of Persian Gulf oil was in "the vital interests of the United States of America," and that in protecting this interest we would use "any means necessary, including military force." Carter's principle of using force to protect the flow of oil was later cited by President Bush the elder to justify American intervention in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91, and it provided the underlying strategic rationale for our recent invasion of Iraq. source


Military budgets now approach Cold War levels. War production resuscitated the economies in capitalist countries in WWII, so who says they are not planning doing it again?


The main set-up on the game board of the War of Resources at its start is this: the six major economic powers will be vying to take and maintain control of any or all of the six major battlefields through economic warfare (combined, the six powers’ 2004 GNPs were about $50 trillion, or nearly 75% of the world total) and by military deployments (the six major powers’ military spending combined is presently about $1 trillion, representing about 92% of total world military spending. source




The Weimar Republic printed trillions to help pay off its debts and we all know what manifested as the result of it. The present US nation debt is approaching $8 trillion with unfunded obligations of $43 trillion and rising, so where do you presume this fiscal nightmare is leading to? War is capitalism with the gloves off, so what do you suggest to derail the war-train?

Something else to be considered:



Conventional heating and air-conditioning systems are by far the greediest of all power pigs. They account for more than half of the energy slurped up in an average U.S. house. So what if climate control, or ``engineered air,'' were less a part of our lives? What if we had to go back to letting the climate control us somewhat more? source


"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -Albert Einstein



[edit on 26-9-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 02:09 PM
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So here is what I believe America needs to do to gradually move away from oil, if we were to begin immediately.

A. We need to push public transportation and alternate fuel while we are making the transition. What this will do is take away some of the profit motive that prevents industry from embracing alternate fuel. It will also help American consumers save up money for to capitalize on some of the new technology we will be offering and in some cases mandating.


Sounds GREAT to push Public Transportation in large to midsize cities. But would not work everywhere in the country..



A2. I would mandate the commerical transportation fleets (cabs, rentals, company vehicles, etc) other than pickup trucks buy only hybrid vehicles.


Uh huh.. ok now were approaching mandates. Where in the Consitution where you get that power to dictate to private companies? Are you suggesting that the Commercial Transportation Industry is going to be Nationalized?



B2. The OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) is a planned "super rifle" intended to be integrated into Infantry squads. In is an amazing weapon which plans to serve a number of functions in one package, but does not particularly add capabilities which can not be achieved through the use of a number of task-specific weapons. 40,000 units are intended for the initial order, and the target cost (if they can get it as cheaply as they hope) is 10,000 dollars. That's 400 BILLION dollars.
I would like to say scrap this, but I don't have enough info. The research is done and contracts have been awarded. The first units were supposed to be equipped this year according to globablsecurity.org, and the weapon does have impressive capabilities.
www.cbo.gov...
IF it's not too late to implement a 10 year moratorium on the project, it should be done. We can field it later, after the urgent necessity of getting away form mid-east oil can be accomplished.


Actually this development has been shoved back.. the Army is now considering the H&K XM-8 weapon system instead. Cheaper by about half.



I'm not all about cutting the military budget anyway. It just so happens that we spend a great deal of money on it, and that if we have to make hard choices, many of them will naturally affect the military.


Uh huh.. your talking about taking out or reducing two different weapon systems. But thats not important right now.


C. Once we've begun to transition off of oil, especially oil from the mid east as harder to access reserves in more stable nations become accessible, we need to start allocating funds to more exotic methods of generation. Even if zero point, cold fusion, and other such ideas turn out to be pure fantasy, it is a fact that our planet is a massive dynamo. I would be shocked if there is no way to generate efficient renewable energy when you live on a huge spinning magnet under immense gravitational influence, covered in shifting fluid, with a super-heated core and a massive hydrogen reactor shining down on it. Once we've unseated King Oil from its throne so that the economy and government need not resist change, with enough funding and ingenuity, I believe we will find a way to use this huge dynamo we live on as a power source- if Tesla hasn't already got a way to do so locked away in a safe somewhere in the Pentagon that is.


All of these ideas were fun to read so do not take my comments wrong. I agree that there must be Some technology that can be explored to reduce Oil consumption out there somewhere. But its NOT up to to the Government to Mandate the expediture of funds to research it. IMHO



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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Regenmacher- I know why they haven't solved the problem- most of what you say is dead on. I'm just suggesting that the problem isn't as unsolvable as the military-industrial complex wants John Q. Public to think. There's no reason that with either a little kick in the butt at the polling place- or god forbid a little prod of the bayonett (if Diebold decides that we must have voted against them by mistake), that they can't be made to get off their fat corrupt butts and pay a little attention to the future of this nation and its citizens.


Originally posted by kitanis
Uh huh.. ok now were approaching mandates. Where in the Consitution where you get that power to dictate to private companies? Are you suggesting that the Commercial Transportation Industry is going to be Nationalized?


The constitution clearly states characterizes one aspect of orginal intent as being "to promote the general welfare". While the urgency of such problems as this could never have been foreseen at that time and thus the allowance is not specific, such action is covered by the spirit of the consitution. If congress can not impose such restrictions, they are equally without the right to stop most acts- for example the buidling of an unsafe nuclear facility.

More to the specifically, and perhaps more comepellingly, Article 1, Section 8 explicitly gives the congress the power to regulate interstate commerce and to pass all laws necessary and proper to that end. No limitation on the scope of this regulation is either enumerated or implied, leaving one with little choice but to conclude that the federal government can set standards to be met by any entity operating on an interstate or international level, especially where said regulation meets the criteria set in the preamble- in this case by serving to promote the general welfare by protecting us economically and environmentally.



Uh huh.. your talking about taking out or reducing two different weapon systems. But thats not important right now.


Two specific ones, and indeed there are probably others we could do without as well. I was a US Marine and believe me it'd be a cold day and hell that I thumbed my nose at an idea that could kill more enemy for less loss of Marine blood, but what we do must be practical. You don't build a multi billion dollar ship like the DDX just to carry a two long range artillery systems, especially at a point when scramjet missiles are threatening to make large vessels designed to operate in coastal waters utterly obsolete.

I've got a big problem with this tech worship in our military the emphasizes equipment over proficiency and discipline. I think something is backwards when a bomb costs more than the bunker complex it is designed to destroy. The military exists solely to defend and advance the safety and interests of our society. Feeding the military-industrial complex at the expense of society, especially at a time when the most clear and present danger is not a military one, but an economic one, is foolish beyond measure or compare.




All of these ideas were fun to read so do not take my comments wrong. I agree that there must be Some technology that can be explored to reduce Oil consumption out there somewhere. But its NOT up to to the Government to Mandate the expediture of funds to research it. IMHO


I generally believe in small government. If you've read much of my stuff you've probably seen me argue that the government is utterly without constitutional authority to take any position on most "hot-button issues", such as abortion, gay marriage, even certain aspects of the gun control debate, and many other things.
I believe the government is here as the coordinating and enforcing entity for those necessary actions of such scale, scope, and sensitivity that they must enjoy the perfectly synergystic support of the several states and their populations. What a man can do for himself, he should. What a state can do for itself, it should. What everyone must do together however falls under the federal government's authority. Protecting the viability of our country in the long term in a situation that individuals under free market forces have failed to respond to (or been stopped when they tried) requires minimal regulatory moves.

By typical standards I'd say my plan is pretty solid. Half the time the government makes ineffective new rules with loopholes for those who've paid enough then expects business and individuals to comply, when given nothing specific to do and no fiscal way to do it. I on the other hand am proposing workable answers- particularly in the move to expand the use of renewable energy sources and using the energy generated in that way (as opposed to produced by burning fossil fuels) to power the production of hydrogen and to charge electric vehicles, thus solving one of the common problems with proposals to go electric, and am planning to actually make the money available to actually make it doable.

Rather than raising taxes to do it, I prefer to cut or delay expenses which yield the least in terms of results. At the risk of side tracking this conversation (i know i'm gonna catch hell for bringing this up) we could pay for a good deal of what needs to be done if we'd stop handing things out to people who can't provide for themselves- especially people who aren't in this country legally to begin with.
A little restructuring of the prison industry (to make it... well, not an industry) would also go a long way towards saving money. Libraries could be written on the various little or no return expenditures our government is running through when it ought to be providing incentives, enablers, and enforcement of necessary regulations designed to preserve our economy.



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 08:33 PM
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posted by The Vagabond

Threads about America's need to protect the Persian Gulf from Iran, occurs to me that we could save ourselves a fortune on military adventures by just getting off of Mid East oil as early as possible,

A. Public transportation and alternate fuel
A1. Rebate gas taxes for the first year of ownership of a Hybrid vehicle.
A2. Commercial transportation fleets other than pickup trucks buy only hybrid vehicles.
A3. Gasoline franchises have one station capable of recharging electric vehicles
A4. Illegal to destroy or decommission an electric vehicle
A5. High schools to institute parking permits not available to students who either lived within 10 miles of the school or within 2 miles of a bus stop,
A6. Federal aid for college students for families which owned electric or hybrid vehicles,
A7. A tax would be imposed on automakers whose total production did not consist of a certain percentage of Hybrid vehicles, or pure electric or fuel cell vehicles.

B. Put federal funds into expanding this countries hydro-electric, wind turbine, and nuclear energy production, and grants for developing efficient ways to access deeper or otherwise harder to process oil reserves
B1. [How about we try Peace Instead?]
B2. [How about we try Peace Instead?]
B3. [How about we try Peace Instead?]
B4. [How about we try Peace Instead?]


C. Even if zero point, cold fusion, and other such ideas turn out to be pure fantasy, it is a fact that our planet is a massive dynamo. I would be shocked if there is no way to generate efficient renewable energy when you live on a huge spinning magnet under immense gravitational influence, I believe we will find a way to use this huge dynamo we live on as a power source - if Tesla hasn't already got a way to do so locked away in a safe somewhere in the Pentagon that is. [Edited by Don W]


A good collection of ideas that would have a great impact if all were adopted. Look back to the 1980s when a lot of our medium size cars were powered by 2 to 2.4 liter 4 bangers. Recall the Cadillac Cimmaron? I admit I do not want less than a 3 liter V6, but it is also true that the 4 bangers worked. I have owned 2 new English Fords, 3 new VW Beetles and 1 new Nissan Sentra. Proof you can drive a small capacity 4 cylinder car and still live!

I have often thought we needed to tax cars by weight, more steel equals more environmental damage, etc. By size, by the square foot pattern, more space is more costly especially in crowded urban centers. Parking. The number of lanes, etc.

I thought 1 liter per 1000 pounds weight would be a tax-free point to start from. More of either costs you extra, like the gas guzzler tax. But who gives a hoot if the gas guzzler tax is $3000 on a $400,000 Roller? Make the tax 50% of MSRP and you’ll get their attention. And not deductible on corporate or personal tax returns. Just the cost for the privilege fo mucking up the environment and taking more than your fair share.


As for Part B, why don’t we emulate the Russians who now spend $19 Billion a year on defense (war). I heard today that Boeing is shutting down the Long Beach plant - the oldest continuously operated airplane plant in America - because the US will not buy the C17s. I guess that means we are going with Airbus?

Finally, I am not in favor of giving money to corporations. I am afer all, a Democrat, and I want to give money to people who can then buy competitive products from corporations. Kill two birds with one stone. Let’s put “enterprise” back in private enterprise and help the disadvantaged at the same time.



[edit on 8/18/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 09:03 PM
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I like your idea for a tax break for buying a hybrid, so you got my vote.

I agree we should even be messing around in the Middle East, and reason why we do is because of oil. We should be moving away from oil not only for the reasons you stated but also to reduce CO2 output, which contributes to global warming.

We should all be looking for ways to conserve, but conservation will only go so far, and we will need even more energy as the population increases. The way I see it, is at this point in time this is an opportunity to become the world leader in alternative fuel technology, but unfortunately other countries like Brazil are kicking our buts.

I think alternative energy should be the next space race and if we go after it with the same attitude, we could be the leaders and sell the technology to other counties and make a bundle.

I think fuel cell cars are the best long term approach, but will need the most research, and which I think the best opportunity resides.

Just my 2 cents.



posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 10:07 AM
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Or, where is our Martin Luther?

Vag
We really are facing demanding times. Not just us in America, but people around the world, especially the 2 billion who are very poor. By very poor, I mean people who do not have tomorrow’s food in the house today. Subsistence types. Very vulnerable to climate, disease, and even criminal exploitation by their own governments. Meanwhile, we debate whether to go to very expensive hydrogen fuel or to ration gasoline, while those people worry how they can afford to bury the next family member who perishes.

Peak oil. A very important event we all know will come but no one wants to see. Crossing peak means the beginning of the decline in worldwide oil production. If peak occurs in this decade, then it will be around 150 years since the 1859 well in Titusville, PA. (Note: some argue a well furnished oil in 1820 in Wva.) Because of the rapid rise in usage and the great increase in population over the past century and a half, the post peak oil supply will be exhausted in 20-25 years. After peak. This does not mean all the oil in the world will be gone, all at once. It does mean that productoin will fall orders of magnitude short of filling demand.

Continued private ownership of such a valuable and scarce commodity or natural resource will not be possible. All the oil still in the ground by 2030-2040, IMO, will be nationalized. People will be allotted fixed amounts. We did that in the 1941-1945 period. 3 gallons a month. Gasoline may rise to $15 or $20 a gallon. Copying the reverse tax Earned Income Tax Credit, the poor will be subsidized. But worry not, only people after 1970 will have to deal with the NWO. New World Order.

It would be dumb not to do all we can to alleviate the impact passing peak oil will have on our economy. We need to be smart though, and not to become suckers for the Archer Daniel Midland types. Taxpayers subsidize corn growers. Taxpayers subsidize ADM to process grains into ethanol. 1960s science. And Jack Abramoff type lobbying. Gasoline companies are forced to buy ethanol from ADM, then in our role as consumers we pay for ethanol a second or third time. Under socialism you only pay one time. But that’s for another thread.

We have learned that dams are not good for the environment. Or the rivers they are built on. As they grow older, the dams need more maintenance than the electrify produced can pay for. Already there have been many dams taken down in America. Sure, nobody notices most of the time but when we get ready to take down Hoover Dam, we’ll hear the screams from Las Vegas all the way to Portland ME. We need to build 50 to 150 nuclear power plants around the country, at “investor” expense, not at taxpayer expense.

If they - the R&Fs -don’t want to do risk it, then let the taxpayers build the plants, as they did with the Manhattan Project. Once the investors learn they can’t pilfer the US Treasury, they will do it, believe me. OTOH, investors may believe they own Congress and don’t need to consult with taxpayers. CFR could cure that. Campaign Finance Reform. The public pays for public ejections. We’ll see how it goes. How can you talk about conservation without talking about politics? Geez. It seems everything is inextricably interconnected.

Now I am hearing a lot about bio-diesel. Methinks this is the replacement boondoggle for ethanol. Yeah, if we are getting the ‘bio’ part of ‘diesel’ from the upper Amazon basin, then you’re talking economic sense. But if the bio is to come from the corn fields of Iowa and the wheat fields of the Dakotas, then you’re not talking anything that is economically viable in the current energy market.

And more, since we can predict the world’s population will grow to 8 billion people even if we issue free condoms - which the various religions are determined to prevent - and food is already scarce with just 6.5 billion souls on spaceship Earth, which will get priority, food or fuel? “And Jesus said, feed the poor . . . “

Public transportation. Sadly, it works well only in the most densely populated areas. Here in Jax persons over 65 get a picture id and free bus rides. Where I live the bus runs every 30 minutes. I do not ride in the moving rush hour, but by 9:30 AM I can tell you, not 10 people will ride a bus into downtown. Yet, if you run buses less often than each half hour, ridership will stop altogether.

We have another boondoggle called the “sky train.” it was Jax’s answer to the Seattle monorail. We built an overhead track system in which 2 car trains run automatically. No operator. For me, it costs 10 cents, for regular riders, it costs $1 to ride. It crosses the St. Johns River from the flourishing South Side into the old part of the city. Again, I have not ridden it in the rush hours, but in off hours, you mostly can ride by yourself.

Please let us stop taxpayer funding of every hair-brained scheme that comes down the pike, and let’s face reality. Anything that is likely to be a financial success will get investors lining up to buy in. It’s mainly scam artists and people who have clout in Congress who want public funding. Ford, my favorite car maker, is cutting back 21% of capacity. The days of the F150, America’s most popular vehicle for 37 years, are over. The Expedition and Explorer are passe. We must get smart and stop driving dumb.

As much as I love our 1787 Constitution, I’m am convinced the archaic system of governance created then have been so successfully subverted by “special interests” that nothing short of a Constitutional Convention can give us a system that can be both quick to act and capable of making unpopular decisions. As I wrote on another thread, America has just one political party, and it has two right wings. Is it possible we are facing an insurmountable problem? Sorry to end on a sour note, Mr Vagabond.



[edit on 8/19/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 05:33 PM
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Thought provoking as always DonW. It's a shame I can't applaud in this forum.

I think I'll start off with a quote from the Cato Institute's Archer Daniels Midland:
A Case Study In Corporate Welfare
which reminds me of my own way of phrasing your view on America being a one party state.


Andreas has exerted his influence in Washington to ensure that the U.S. form of "socialism" resembles 1930s' Italian corporate statism: the government plunders the citizenry for the benefit of politically connected corporations.


I am fond of saying that America has one party in two halves. The Republicans are nationalists and the Democrats are socialists. Put 'em together and what have we got? (I'm sure plenty of people see more than a few holes in that, particularly if they've read Mein Kampf, but it makes a nice soundbyte none the less.)

Anyway...
I'll start with ends and move on to means, so we'll start with the constitution, private ownership and investment, then get on to boondoggles and public transportation schemes.

Government
People are older than government, people created government, in a manner of speaking, the people are God to government. The guiding principle of government ought to be that it enhances the lives of the people who constitute it by facilitating things that cannot be done by individuals or lesser organizations.
In that sense, our constitution is fine: its heart is in the right place.

It does however need defenses against subversion. The constitution has achieved durability through a lack of specifics, but this has enabled the development of an economic government in parallel with political government. This wholly undemocratic economic government, running unchecked by politics, has gained substantial power over the political process. The government must be insulated against financial influence. Public campaign funds are without a doubt an important part of this, but not necessarily all that needs to be done.

Private Ownership
We can't get into how to protect politics from economics without addressing private ownership and investment, and by implication the opposite (socialism). The government makes very large financial decisions for the benefit of the people. How to confront peak oil is a perfect example. These decisions must be made in the best interest of the nation as a whole, not simply for the company the VP is in with or the company that manages the biggest bribe (which it seems will invariably be ADM).

The underlying problem here is that necessities of life are made the objects of profit. This is only necessary in the free market because profit motive is the organizing principle of the economy. When the government acts an organizing force on the principle of national interests however, profit motive and even private enterprise are superfluous.

Take ADM for example. Our taxes are paying for the ethanol. On the government's order and funding, the ethanol we need is produced. At this point we're exactly where we want to be: the people have bought ethanol. But we don't take the ethanol we bought. We leave it with Archer Daniels Midland, who sell it to the gas companies, who sell it to us. Two wholly unnecessary profit transactions have taken place. Where is the need for profit motive here? The people provided the initial capital for material rather than fiscal profit and that got the job done.

According to Cato Policy Analysis No. 241 (dated 1995 mind you) it costs $1.60 to
produce a gallon of ethanol versus $0.60 wholesale on gasoline. This is outdated though. Retail-Wholesale Price Spreads recently have averaged about 10 cents. In other words, wholesale on gasoline is now well above the cost of ethanol.

So, why not stop calling it a subsidy and call it a purchase? We bought our ethanol from ADM and it's ours: pay the oil companies for handling it to get it to the pump but don't let ADM sell it to them at a profit so they can sell it to us at another profit when it already belongs to us thanks to the subsidies we paid for production.

In so many words, what I propose is that our constitution authorizes the socialism of this vital industry and that the economic situation we are facing demands the same. All we need to do is get the reigns back on our government through some constitutional amending and use that government to implement the socialist move which I believe is necessary here. I'll catch hell for that I'm sure, but let's see if any of it rises above the usual "you can't butcher the sacred cow even if you're starving".

Boondoggles and cornbread
I've never seen the sense of paying people to grow less in a starving world, among other things. I mean hey, if you're gonna buy corn that hasn't been grown, why not insist that they grow that corn you bought and give it to someone?
But I'll shy away from that tangent: the point is that you're right, people need to eat. If we use corn, we'll get to Peak Arable Land in no time flat and be right back at square one. Luckily, not all organic matter tastes good, or is even worth much as food, yet it is all composed of carbon and hydrogen, aka ethanol waiting to happen. So God bless algae and our miles upon miles of empty, unfarmable desert. Come to think of it, human beings excrete organic matter too, and if you don't think that stuff will vaporize easily enough to be used in your gas tank why don't you and me go out for Mexican food so you can rethink that. (kidding obviously)

The other nifty thing about separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of boondoggles is that when you go socialist and take out the motive to arficially create industries, you can suddenly discover the ability to believe the government's findings on which idea is most economical.

Public transportation
I've never been to Jax, so I'm not the best person to talk to about what works and what doesn't in a metropolis except that the more you allieviate the rush hour problem the more appealing mass transit gets. The problem, which if solved becomes a sustaining principle however, is that mass transit is probably the key to reducing traffic congestion. So getting people to ditch their cars is a keystone to surviving the transition, but a very difficult keystone to place. One thing I wonder about is utilizing the wasted hours of the day by encouraging non-service industries that don't operate 24/7 to shift production to nights.

Public transportation is probably the easiest area in which to phase out fossil fuels. It'll be years before I own a new car- they could abolish the production fo fossil fuel vehicles tomorrow and I'd probably still be driving one in 2010. Now on the other hand, if you could get me onto a bus or a passenger rail not only would I not burn fossil fuels, but I'd probably be able to afford a newer, cleaner car sooner. (As a matter of fact they ARE about to get me onto the bus courtesy of gas prices but thats another story)


Well, this is getting windy and I've got 30 bucks worth of fossil fuels to burn to get home. I'm sure we've got more to cover but I'll wait till you get back to me.

[edit on 20-8-2006 by The Vagabond]



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 07:44 PM
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posted by The Vagabond

Thought provoking as always Don W . . I am fond of saying that America has one party in two halves. The Republicans are nationalists and the Democrats are socialists . . [Edited by Don W]


Thanks. You’ll get no argument on this one, although I have argued there was nothing social about the Nazis. Despite the name.



Anyway, I'll start with ends and move on to means, so we'll start with the constitution, private ownership and investment, then get on to boondoggles and public transportation schemes. The constitution has achieved durability through a lack of specifics, but this has enabled the development of an economic government in parallel with political government. The undemocratic economic government, running unchecked by politics, has gained substantial power over the political process.


Exactly. Well put. I like that. Our FFs could not have foreseen the world we live in today. After all, whale oil provided the best source of light in 1787. Mr Crapper’s flush toilet was a half century and one continent away. Recall the swearing in of the president was set for March 4, to allow time to make the trip to the capital at New York City, after the January 3 tally of the electoral votes.



Why not stop calling it [ethanol] a subsidy and call it a purchase? We bought ethanol from ADM and it's ours: pay the oil companies for handling it to get it to the pump but don't let ADM sell it to them at a profit so the gas companies can sell it to us at another profit when it already belongs to us thanks to the subsidies we paid for production . .


Actually, I have read that ethanol is no longer useful for emissions control. That what was thought OK in the 1970s is not any longer. Also, there is the critical problem that ethanol takes more btu’s to make than it delivers.



In so many words, I propose our constitution authorize the socialism [nationalization] of this vital industry [hydro-carbon energy] that the economic situation we are facing demands. We need to do get the reigns on our government through some constitutional amendment to implement the move which I believe is necessary here. I'll catch hell for that I'm sure . .


Again, Mr Vag, I have to agree. The petroleum is under the ground. None of those who are collecting royalties on its extraction “own” it in any sense other than having the good luck to “own” the land over which the oil resides. Or coal or natural gas, shale or tar sands. So it is common property. If the principle of private enterprise and free markets is true, then I’d think dividing the process into extraction, pipelining to the refinery, refining, pipelining to the distributor and trucking to the retailer ought to be broke up into separate endeavors.

Three years contracts open to bidding. No common ownership of the various divisions. No inter-locking boards of directors, and etc. Penalties for breaking the economic guidelines made into laws? Exclusion from the industry for a period of time on the first offense, then banning for life on a second offense. Recoupment of any unlawful profits. That’s enough, IMO.



All organic matter is composed of carbon and hydrogen, aka ethanol waiting to happen. So God bless algae and our miles upon miles of empty, un-farmable desert. Come to think of it, human beings excrete organic matter too, and if you don't think that stuff will vaporize easily enough to be used in your gas tank why don't you and me go out for Mexican food so you can rethink that . .


Do you have a Pablo’s in your neighborhood?



The other nifty thing about boondoggles is that when you go socialist and take out the motive to artificially create industries, you can suddenly discover the ability to believe the government's findings on which idea is most economical.


Yes. I recall back when reports of the Corps of Engineers got the same respect the King James Bible got.



Public transportation . . I've never been to Jax, so I'm not the best person about what works in a metropolis except that the more you alleviate the rush hour problem the more appealing mass transit gets. The problem is getting people to ditch their cars . . One thing I wonder about is utilizing the wasted hours of the day by encouraging non-service industries that don't operate 24/7 to shift production to nights.


Here’s the problem as I see it. I lived in Louisville - 550,000 - and now in Jacksonville - 750,000. After War 2, we invented the suburbs which killed public transpiration except tin places like NYC. I mean a train every 3-4 minutes in rush hour, every 10 minutes in off hours. Both L’ville and Jax use the every 30 minutes scenario. That is the far edge of staying alive for a bus company. In L’ville, the transit authority gets some money from the Feds - not much since block grants were killed - and a pittance from the state.

The L’ville system’s main source of revenue is the 0.2% Occupational tax on all earnings and gross profits made inside Jefferson County which includes Louisville. As much of a socialist as I am, I don’t like what has happened. The people who run the company seem disconnected and unconcerned with the bus riding public. The 0.2% money is a given and rises each year with inflation. OK, I don’t know what other source of tax to use. I’m not in favor of a property tax for this purpose.



Public transportation is probably the easiest area in which to phase out fossil fuels . . on the other hand, if you could get me onto a bus or a passenger rail not only would I not burn fossil fuels, but I'd probably be able to afford a newer, cleaner car sooner. I'm sure we've got more to cover but I'll wait till you get back to me. [Edited by Don W]


Yes. Large old style and cheap lead acid batteries located where the bus’s engine and transmission is now, powering electric motors in each wheel for all weather traction, and recharged at conveniently located bus depots around the community, could put us into electric buses quickly, if we were serious. If the bus could run for 4 hours on one charge, and recharge in 2 hours, it could give good service on a city route. See Note 1. Someday nuclear power plants will provide the electricity. And we’ll rocket our spent fuel into space. Whew! I am tired and I dropped half your stuff. Sorry about that.


Note 1. If you take a small 2 cylinder 2 cycle diesel engine designed to run at one speed, like 2000 rpm, you could use a ½ liter engine to run an alternator to re-charge the bus batteries on the go and still reduce EPA emissions by a heck of a lot; I’m thinking by 90% per bus. Hmm?



[edit on 8/20/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
Thought provoking as always DonW. It's a shame I can't applaud in this forum.

one step ahead of you, and has been done



posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
While participating in threads about America's need to protect the Persian Gulf from Iran, it occurred to me that we could save ourselves a fortune on avoided military adventures by just getting off of Mid East oil as early as practically possible, not to mention the fact that as oil becomes increasingly expensive, nations whose industrial capacity is least reliant on oil will enjoy a significant advantage in producing and exporting alternate energy technology (such as electric vehicles).

So here is what I believe America needs to do to gradually move away from oil, if we were to begin immediately.

A. We need to push public transportation and alternate fuel while we are making the transition. What this will do is take away some of the profit motive that prevents industry from embracing alternate fuel. It will also help American consumers save up money for to capitalize on some of the new technology we will be offering and in some cases mandating.

A1. I would introduce a full rebate on gas taxes for the first year of ownership of a Hybrid vehicle.

A2. I would mandate the commerical transportation fleets (cabs, rentals, company vehicles, etc) other than pickup trucks buy only hybrid vehicles.

Hybrids are not as efficient as what was first reported. You'll see the new fuel efficiency rating and realized fuel efficiency is much less than what we believed a few years back.
Even if hybrids realized the efficiencies reported, and if all light duty vehicles switched to hybrid, we'd still be dependent upon foreign oil in about 15 years.



A3. I would require gasoline franchises owning over a certain number of stations to have at least on station capable of recharging electric vehicles in ever city over a certain population, and at within 500 miles of any other station of their franchise, to be accomplished within 10 years.

A4. I would make it illegal to destroy or decomission an electric vehicle which had not either been in a major accident or been returned early due to major defects. (This is because many automakers which lease electric vehicles will not sell them, because repairs/warantee sales make up 50% of their revenue, and electric vehicles need less maintenance, hence they destroy them after lease rather than sell them).


The reason for the end of electric vehicles is the demand that they would put on the power grids. It takes incredible amounts of energy to fuel a vehicle, it doesn't matter whether you're getting it from gasoline, hydrogen, or your outlet. If the average person plugged in to fuel their vehicle their electric bill would shoot up by about 350 dollars (given that it cost 10 cents per kWh). This would be OK but the amount of power that would have to be added to the grid to supply 5 percent of any regional fleet is too much for what our grids were designed. The rule is that the maximum power a line can carry is equal to the square of its voltage rating.



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