“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Replacing Oil Should be Number One US National Priority

The Pelamis, Here for an interactive model.

Energy dependency by the United States on foreign oil has an incalculable affect on all aspects of the US economy, military planning and foreign relations. It is so obvious a problem and yet it can be solved with foresight, planning and a conviction for change. It has been neglected by all US Administrations since Carter. A presidential candidate and party that credibly commits itself to real action and change over energy could ignite a coalition of support that would win an election, ignite an economy and change this country. This incremental step is being taken by the British:

World's first major wave farm is set to get green light off Cornwall
By David Langton Independent
Published: 17 September 2007

The world's first large-scale wave farm will be given planning approval today. Wave Hub, a £28m project off the Cornish coast, is expected to be in place and producing renewable energy by 2009.

Funding for the scheme – described as a giant electrical socket on the seabed – has already been approved by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA).

The wave farm, which has been on the cards for four years, will boost the industry worldwide and become a centre of research.

Generators attached to Wave Hub's infrastructure by other developers will produce enough electricity for 7,500 homes, directly saving 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 25 years. This will support the South-west's target of generating 15 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2010.

Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and contribute £560m to the British economy over 25 years, according to an independent economic impact assessment, commissioned by the RDA.

It will include an onshore substation connected to electrical equipment on the seabed 10 miles off Hayle via an under-sea cable.

Companies developing wave energy technology will be able to plug into Wave Hub to test their devices on a scale never seen anywhere before. Four have already been chosen to use the system.

Jason Clark a spokesman for Wave Hub, said: "It is rather like a 10-mile extension lead plugged into the National Grid. So although we will be supplying energy to the South-west, the real advantage of this project is in allowing other experts to plug in their equipment to see if it can be developed commercially."

The Wave Hub project will cover an area of sea measuring 2.5 miles by 1.25 miles and each developer will be granted a lease of between five and 10 years in an area of approximately 1.3 square miles. Up to 30 wave energy devices are expected to float on the surface of the sea above Wave Hub.

Engineers from Ocean Power Delivery recently helped build a smaller wave farm off the Portuguese coast after deploying a prototype off the Orkneys.

Wave farms have not proved as popular as solar and wind power because of the great expense of equipment and installation.

However, environmentalists point out that wind power has reduced its cost by 80 per cent since the first commercial farms were built more than 16 years ago.


  1. 'Replacing Oil Should be Number One US National Priority'

    Indeed, it should be! However, special interest avarice is our 'Number One US National Priority'

    BTW, the word 'National' is outdated according to our Pols. We now have 'Inter-National' priorities.

  2. on our way to trans-national with hints of metro-national.

  3. Ah, yes, Tiger:
    And Amnesty worms it's way around DC once more, even in the nightmarish form of the Dream Act.

  4. It's in our Inter-Trans-Metro-National avarice, uh, interest, Doug!

  5. Only if there were "Wars for Oil" would the idea of Energy Independence be of first priority.

    Since Energy Independence is not the first priority we can assume the Wars are not for oil.

    Seems simple enough.

    Onward to Democracy!!

  6. How does one reconcile "Replacing Oil as National Priority" with a laisse fare (ugg what spelling) free market approach to the economy? - with an adversion to Big Government and all that stuff?

  7. I agree, DR. The War is not expressly for oil.

    It's for the support and maintenance of the cheap oil regime. Why else would we continue to support a terrorist nation like Saudi Arabia?

    The primary motivation here is greed, not "Democracy". Democracy and Islam are incompatible. It may very well be that the seed planted in Iraq may eventually help to drive out and/or change Islam, though. Even if our primary goal is to keep the machine greased.

  8. So long as our foreign policy dedicates ourselves, in part for fear of global economic shocks and resulting political effects, to protecting "our allies" oil supplies, getting ourselves off oil is only a first step.

  9. "Independence", like "Nationalism" has become a dirty word, methinks. It implies isolationism.

    Ash and Cutler make a valid point - the goal is also too find a money-making replacement in the true, good capitalist fashion.

    It brings up the question: When does National Security override Capitalism?

  10. Nationalism, another "dirty" word.

    National never triumphs over Capitialism in the New Worldd Order.

    Because the National numbers are great. Whether manipulated to appear that way or truthfully so, it is the Standard.

    The Globalists are winning, the flatteners. At least for now.
    But, it seems to me, the foundation is shakey, like it was built of a bluff in Malibu, overlooking the Pacific.

    Seems sturdy but evey once in a while, annually it seems, the ground moves or the fires rage, all around.

  11. It does not reconcile, ash.

    There are a variety of ways the Federals could promote Energy Independence without owning the infrastructure.

    Tax policy is the simplest way to promote or discourage activity.

    It is used all the time, to discourage smoking through high taxes, promoting dependent children, through deductability.

    Could work out a series of tax holidays, rebates and accelerated depreciation schedules, you'd have alternatives in agbased energy out the ass.

  12. I wouldn't give the government that much power, DR. That's big government "speak".

    Some smart lad with the right invention at the right time would blow all this out of the water.

    One of you guys have a great invention? I hope?

  13. "Some smart lad with the right invention at the right time would blow all this out of the water."

    This is what I'm praying for, every damn day.

  14. Me too, brother Cutler, 'cause we're not gonna get any sense out of D.C.

  15. That's how it's done, cutler, we have "Big Government", that amigo is a reality.

    To pine for a garage solution to producing 10 or 12 million barrels of oil, per day. 44 to 50 million gallons. That is a "Big" challenge.

    Requiring an appropriate level of systematic solutions. Whether the system suits you fancy, or not, it's the system we've got.

    If we need to reinvent the wheel, the trip will not start, soon.

  16. I agree that the government need not own the infrastructure. In fact it is best if they don't. The government could tax oil thus partaking in the profits generated from it and making competitive products and conservation more viable. If the US government wasn't in such a deficit position it could steer the revenue toward research or reducing taxes on other items. The War for Oil is essentially a tax but we've just disguised it and spread its cost out over other non-oil items.

  17. You know my mantra,so I won't repeat it.

  18. “Democracy and Islam are incompatible.”

    True. But, democracy and nominal muslims are not. And there are lots of those (nominal) “muslims”/“arabs” waiting to breakout from their islamist cultural and political prison.

  19. yawn,

    i keep telling everyone the secret is using veg oil for diesel...

    soy, rape, corn oils..

    we need to approach this from all angles

    geothermal heat exchange, if you dont know about this, you should..

    we should have solar panels on every strip mall...

    wind turbines....

    tax energy credits for insulation, old refrigerators trade in's, old car trade ins and more