The Problem with Going Green by David Owen
The main effect of additional engineering improvements will be the same as for all such improvements in the past: to make travel easier, cheaper, more convenient and more attractive—thus encouraging us to do more of it. That's a good thing for those of us who love to play golf on other continents, but it doesn't move the world closer to resolving a long list of energy, climate and environmental challenges. In fact, it pushes the solutions further away.In other words, Making engineering improvements to reduce energy consumption will just enable more conspicuous consumption like rich people flying off to play golf on other continents so in the big picture it will do nothing to help resolve environmental challenges in fact they will make matters even worse.
I say Hooey seventy times seven. I am disappointed but not all that surprised that the WSJ has become more concerned with selling ads aimed at dumb people than it is being a lighthouse for capitalists who need expert analysis in order to make a buck. And by the way, does anyone even remember where the word conservative came from? Conserve. Yet all the modern day Tea Party GOP wants to rally around is their inalienable right to waste as much as they can afford, leverage, or mortgage. Maybe they should call themselves Wastervatives.
Here is my take from Downriver Detroit. America needs to conserve fuel as in "use less by wasting less" in a thousand ways great and small. It is a national security issue and its not that daunting a task. We don't need to make a huge reduction in gasoline consumption to have a huge effect to the market. I estimate a 5-10% reduction in domestic consumption would soon result in a glut in oil production, storage and refinery markets and significantly lower the market price. When the price drops, it doesn't just enable rich people to fly off to play a round of golf. When gasoline is cheaper, every single American benefits by having more dollars in their pocket to spend on other things like paying their bills or going out to eat or save for a vacation. Most people will take the money they don't need for gasoline and spend it on other things besides just more gallons of gasoline to drive around (or fly) more miles.
Energy conservation should be a key strategy for our economic recovery. I have pointed out in previous posts how cheap gasoline is the key to economic recovery and how there are a lot of straightforward ways government entities could be the key player in a variety of fuel saving initiatives such as reducing US Mail delivery to 3 days per week, promoting 4-day weeks for schools and getting road crews to time all the stoplights in town. I have pointed out that perhaps gasoline ought to be treated as a public utility like natural gas and electricity seeing as gasoline is just as important to our economy as the other utilities but far more prone to middle-man speculators whose only aim to get rich by taking advantage of jitters in the market.
But to the enlightened conservative authors like David Owen employed by the Wall Street Journal there is no point in all the little people conserving any fuel because it will just end up giving the rich people more reason to fly around the globe and party.