Alternative Energy: It's Time To Move On

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by: Jeffrey Todd

Much has been written about the President's state of the union address in regards to alternative energy. The press on alternative energy will only increase, especially since the release Friday of the UN Global Warming warning. But let us focus on things we can do now and not dwell on the speech. Sure he outlined goals and policy, but as a guide line. Let's take the ball and run. Move forward and discuss the issues as they warrant and not keep falling back and using his speech like a gym wall during a dodge-ball foray.

Also there has been much criticism aimed at big oil and its effort to promote alternative energy technology. Recent commercials and monetary incentives handed out by BP (NYSE:BP) have been looked at askance. It is in big oil's best interests to proceed in this direction. When looking at the very long run, they are involved in a waning industry. If we had looked at IBM in the 1950's with this same attitude, maybe we still would be communicating with an IBM Select and using message runners.

Much critique has been dealt to the use of corn in the production of ethanol. World hunger is not in jeopardy nor will we run out of cornflakes and hush puppies. The market will sift out the weaker links here as well as drive motorist to their fancy. Who cared about the droughts in the past and waning water tables that affected corn futures. Nobody in my neighborhood.

I read about motorist complaining they can't get the same fuel economy with ethanol. OK, so what. One guy wrote that he travels across state to get away from his local gas mixture so his mileage will improve. Figure that one out. One stately newspaper wrote about the use of pesticides for use in growing corn. If we had a breakthrough in more comfortable underwear would we complain about spraying for cotton aphids?

Let us concentrate on the bigger issues such as the reduction in carbon particle emissions. If we compel our government to mandate stricter emission standards, the market will work itself out. Survival of the species isn't restricted to the iguana. Give government the chance to become forward looking. And it will. Incentives given towards our technology base will allow the information flow to propagate and become integrated into industrial solutions. We also need independent oversight, and not a dot.org, but a dot.commission. If we look upon that report on global warming, as we did on bank failures in the early 1900's, we would immediately form a body of stewardship, much like the Federal Reserve, for our governance of progressive energy solutions.

So it's time to move on. I will.