Saturday :: May 3, 2008

We’d All Love to See The Plan

by paradox

I’ve had it with declarations that energy independence from Middle East oil is a childish fantasy in a world where the US invaded Iraq to make the world a better place—now that’s a childish fantasy. America can this day go to Mars, re-build every school in the country, implement a totally credible plan to never burn coal for electricity again or become independent from Middle East oil—if one can think and dream, knowing humans can accomplish almost anything if they collectively decide to.

The plan is already on the books: CAFÉ, Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Right now United States standards are laughably low, but some adjustment to the numbers could easily get America independent from foreign oil. Not only in miles per gallon, of course, but vehicle weight too, for every automobile produced (the industry never gets away with averages again), resulting in a family car that looks a lot like this.

That’s well over 100% of the average fleet efficiency now, and with the SUV regulated to oblivion with new CAFÉ standards—combined with light truck regulations that make all of them 40mpg hybrids by 2012—and oil independence becomes very real, very quickly.

Switching from oil to other energy sources is often couched in a purely technical accomplishment frame of reference, but there are profound ecological and moral implications to the issue too. Global warming must be addressed, and that will only be done when humans stop burning fossil fuels.

There’s a plan right on the shelf to do that with solar and nuclear, but that could only be a childhood fantasy, right? It could save the existence of the human race but it just could never happen, Americans can’t change.

Not only can Americans change their energy habits, but as Digby has often noted Americans are notorious dreamers and thinkers, they like the opportunity to collectively build or accomplish a great thing. Funny, but saving the biological environment seems like a great thing to me, along with extricating ourselves from the dependence hell of the Middle East.

It’s not hard to do, one day America will have to face up to burning no more oil at all, and those who permanently shackle America with aged gloomy regression won’t be listened to.

paradox :: 4:39 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!