Like it or not, we are a technological civilization. We rely on high technology for our very survival, and this depends on high energy utilization. Our current energy sources are fossil fuel based, with some minor exceptions. Nuclear could have been a part of it, but when the 3-Mile Island incident happened, we stopped building new nuclear plants in the U.S.
Now, we’ve got the BP Oil Crisis.
Since humanity appears to be incapable of making a perfect system, screw-ups will happen. That doesn’t make it less painful, but it is the truth. The BP Oil Crisis is such a screw-up. Any technological civilization is going to have these type of incidents occasionally no matter what the power source; all we can do is to try to prevent them as best we can. And it is an effort doomed to failure, in the sense that humans make mistakes, and sooner or later those mistakes catch up with us.
As far as alternative energy sources go, there might be enough solar and wind power generation capacity to power one or two towns here or there. Hydrodynamic power might power a few more. Other sources are negligible.
Obama and a bunch of environmentalists want us to quit using fossil fuels, for one reason or another. Obama is using the BP oil crisis as one reason to do so. But no workable alternative exists at present. This presents a problem.
Fossil fuels run our economy. They make modern farming possible, without which literally 70% of us would starve. Fossil fuels move that food to where we are. All at a reasonable cost. Almost everything we do is powered by fossil fuel.
Without fossil fuels, not only would we have less; in point of fact, the majority of us would be dead. Period, full stop.
Obama & company want to catch a rainbow. They want alternate energy sources, right now, and they will apply economic forces to try to get there. This is tantamount to holding a gun to the head of an engineer until he can produce a time machine.
Given enough time and resources, we actually probably can transition to alternate energy; and I think we must invest that time and those resources, if for no other reason that ultimately we will run out of oil. But the main thing to realize is that we can’t do it right now and all at once. It is going to take time.
And I very much resent Obama’s approach of trying to get there by using an economic whip; because that is what his cap and trade proposal is.
I would prefer that we create prize incentives for companies that demonstrate practical alternatives that can actually compete economically with fossil fuels.
You might call this the no-pain approach to green energy.
As opposed to Obama’s plan, which will badly hurt millions of people.