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Political Courage… And That Energy Thing

Interesting questions from Victor Davis Hanson [1], this morning…

Why is the U.N. holding conferences about rising food prices, but not spiraling oil prices that in various ways account for them? Somehow in the globalist mindset the agricultural producing world is more culpable than the non-productive OPEC world. But we should remember that it requires skill, ingenuity, and a certain craft to produce enough food to feed one’s country and export the surplus, and none of the above to pump oil, an accident of nature that it is beneath one’s feet, and, in the case of most of OPEC, a commodity and infrastructure that someone else found, developed and currently mostly maintains.

The left.. and in this I include the UN, whose bias toward socialism knows few bounds has always had an anti-oil bias… a self-destructive anti-oil bias.  No, perhaps that’s wrong. I wonder if a case can be made, that the left actually has an anti-energy bias? It might explain why alternative energy progress has never been all that great. Perhaps it’s as I’ve been saying all along; If problems are actually solved, Democrats have no more to run their campaigns on.

And why are Republicans, who voted in overwhelming numbers for off-shore drilling, ANWR, nuclear, shale, tar sands, liquid coal, etc—and were opposed by Democrats on grounds of wanting to enrich energy companies—not appealing to the country to develop domestic supplies on the basis of fairness (the poor have the least access to energy efficient homes and hybrid, fuel efficient new cars), the environment (the US can extract oil, in a fungible market, far more cleanly than Russia or the Middle East), and national security (most of OPEC, Russia, Venezuela are belligerents and becoming more dangerous the more trillions of dollars the West, China, and Japan transfer to them in their hard-won national wealth)?

It is a ready-made issue for them, and with skill can appeal to Americans of every persuasion who are starting to snicker when Obama soars in pie-in-the-sky sermons about wind, solar, and millions of new jobs in green energy. Maybe—but back on planet America until we get there the working class is going to be paying a day or two per week of their wages to fuel their second-hand cars, while the environmentalists will buy new Priuses and an on-demand water heater for their tasteful homes. One would have thought the President, who was on right side of these production issues, would give a national address calling for a bipartisan effort to produce energy to get us through these hard times, or Republican senators would now be reintroducing energy legislation almost daily.

Yeah, well, about that. These are not conservatives, these Republicans you question, Victor, are centrists, and are thereby too eager to get along with their opposition, at the expense of actual progress.  Long-time readers will recall I issued a warning about Bush 43 over just this, even prior to the 2000 election. Similarly, I issued similar warnings over John McCain. However, then as now, the prospect of the Democrat gaining office was even more  gruesome to contemplate.

But given the current conservative ineptness, $5 a gallon gas will be blamed on the war, or lack of federal subsidies to solar, or the oil companies, and not the elite agenda of utopians who were not willing to do what was necessary for the collective good to help us transition through to new fuels.

Hanson is slipping here, I think. He does not allow for the idea that the transition is not needed for at least another 100 years, given recent finds, at least insofar as transportation is concerned. There is comparatively little, after all, in fixed energy use that is directly derived from oil, save for those homes still on oil heat. So the biggest focus is, and should be, on energy for transportation, which is the lifeblood of our economy.

There is something to be said for the war causing some  of the increase. But this is as Hanson suggests,  a fungible market… and had we had the foresight and political testicular mass to tell the Gaia worshipers to grab the cone hat and sit in the corner and shut the hell up, we’d have had ANWR online by now… and the world market would have had a balance against the problems if middle-eastern oil, and the politics and religion tied to it. However, political courage is a thing we have lacked since Reagan left office.

And let’s consider the national security angles of all of this. If someone wanted to cripple our economy, one could hardly do it better, than doing exactly what we have done by limiting our sources of transportation energy, both by forbidding ourselves to drill for it domestically, and by allowing those with large sums of money to invest, to manipulate the remaining oil markets against us.

George Soros, anyone? Does anyone happen to recall that this is exactly what he said he’d do, given the chance, all to make Republicans look bad?