Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oil Bad on Many Fronts

It's no secret that oil is bad for the environment. It hurts it when exploration takes place. It hurts it when drilling takes place. It hurts it when it is refined. It hurts it when it is transported. Finally, it hurts it when it is burned. This doesn't take into account the Foreign Accounts imbalance from such a one-sided import. With this many strikes against it, we've nearly accounted for two outs in a single inning. Sure, the world society benefits from the commerce and mobility that comes with this "easy" and "relatively inexpensive" form of transportation, but I would argue the environmental costs outweigh them.

Now let's look at the socio-economic impacts to a country like the United States who imports most of its oil. We depend on countries whose political climates are at best, not much like ours and at worst, very unstable and dangerous. Then, add the sheer financial impacts of a current balance always in the negative by being a heavy net importer of oil and you have a financial model that can not and should not be sustained indefinitely.

There's a sound case for the negative impacts oil has as a commodity and the manipulation of its pricing that occurs in world trading markets. It can never be a stable condition when a commodity is needed by everyone and is provided by a few. Greed, power, control, and more come into play and causes unrealistic effects on pricing.

What's the true cost of a barrel of oil?
  • Environmental: Lots
  • Economic: Plenty
  • Investment: Too Much

So why expound on a topic that for most everyone who is reading this would be a "no-brainer?" To reinforce the value of a long-term investment in renewable energy education. We didn't get into this oil mess overnight. We won't get out of it by tomorrow, either. But with the forward-thinking concepts brought to bear with Energication, and with the great work that is already taking place in our schools to prepare our students to "change the world," we will indeed "change the world."

Dave

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