Today I am Going to Fly

Some men are born posthumously. ~Nietzsche

Archive for November, 2009

It tolls for thee

Posted by penuruloki on November 9, 2009

I’m used to the fact that many of those around me don’t want to listen to my political rants, and probably regard me as a crackpot alarmist. Depending on the time line of the prediction, I usually get a grudging admission later that I was right. It’s frustrating sometimes because I don’t really want to be right. I want the warning to be useful, but it rarely is.

I’m not right about my predictions because I’m smart, or psychic, or lucky. I’m right so much of the time simply because I’m careful about what I say, and I’m usually paying attention. If you really look around, dig up the appropriate information, and suspect anyone who tries to hide their sources from you, it’s really not that hard to figure out what’s really going on, and you don’t have to resort to conspiracy theories to make sense of developments in the world.

People who were paying attention last year during the campaign remember when Obama promised AGW inspired legislation that would bankrupt the coal industry and drive up energy costs. This isn’t something worked out by looking at his proposed policies, this was a stated goal in a political speech.

Right now, his cap-and-trade bill, the centerpiece of this policy, is making its way before the Senate. It was forced out of committee by the majority Democrats over a Republican boycott. I could talk about what this policy will do to America, but I don’t have to sound warnings about the future this time. It’s too late for me to sound any warnings about what this bill represents for the future.

The future is here. Right now.

For those not paying attention, I’ll summarize where we stand. Our economy is driven by energy. When you limit energy, you limit the ability of our economy to do work. When you kill power plant construction, you cut off productive industry, and industry closes its doors. Jobs are lost, less work is done, and society loses the fruits of that labor. This time it’s an aluminum plant. What’s next?

The environmental movement has spent the last 40 or so years killing off any expansion of our energy supply. They fought power plants using nuclear, coal, and even wind and solar power. They fought against both oil refineries and biofuels when they started to look effective. They have been fairly successful. Now America’s largest Aluminum plant has closed. Consider it the first of many. The question isn’t if we were warned. People have been raising the spectre of energy shortages for decades, but obviously we haven’t been paying enough attention.

The lesson here is simple and obvious, but many will ignore it. I still expect things to get worse before people finally get motivated to make a real change. Odds are, this isn’t your job lost, it’s someone else’s. It is, however, a sign of things to come. Your turn may yet come. If you’d like to be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem, I have one small suggestion:

Start Paying Attention!


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