Month: June 2008

New Energy vs. Old Oil

As for many fellow Americans, I suppose you have been inundated by the news shows offering various points of view towards the direction of our country after the upcoming fall elections. I have listened to all of the candidates express their views on our energy policy and ideas of what we can do to ween ourselves off dependence of foreign oil sources.

I have listened to John, Hillary and Barrack tell us that they want “New Energy” resources such as wind, solar and bio-fuels. Actually, my family has been in the alternative energy field for over 28 years! Solar was “new” in the 70’s, windmills have been around for hundreds of years and bio-fuel has been around for centuries too. Bio-fuel was most commonly used in the early beginnings of man when he realized that he could distill grain into alcohol to burn in lanterns. Windmills have been used around the world to pump water for centuries, especially in Holland. Man has used “solar” heating or convection heating since the early American Indian used fire and rock ovens to bake various breads.

Although the technologies are new, the basic concepts of using our earthly resources to heat our homes, cook our meals and convey water are basically centuries old ideas. It has been the oil companies such as ARCO, Shell, Exxon-Mobil and others who have funded research into various “solar” ventures in the past 20 or 30 years. The primary “ingredient” of photovoltaic (electric) solar panels is silicon. Silicon is made from what else, OIL. It is about time to remove the wolf from sheep’s clothing and reveal who really controls the alternative energy market. Do you really think that we don’t have the technology to make a better photovoltaic solar panel? We can send rovers to Mars, build a laboratory in space but we can’t make a less expensive, more efficient solar panel?

I can remember as a kid that our first VCR cost over $1,000 dollars. Today, VCR’s cost less than $20 bucks if you can find one and DVD players cost around $40. LCD TV’s cost over $10,000 when they were first introduced 10 years ago, yet you can buy one today for a few hundred dollars. Why is it so expensive to equip a home with solar today?

The world market has complained that the United States is using all of the remaining grain used to feed the world to convert to E85 fuels! Really? Show me a gas station that readily has E85 available at their pumps! Where are all of these places that sell E85 or any Bio-Fuel? The US government should stop paying farmers not, yes I said NOT, to grow wheat and start paying farmers TO grow more wheat. Wouldn’t this ease the world demand for wheat and other grains? Wouldn’t more grain in the world market bring down the price so poor countries could eat?

My last thought is the price of a barrel of oil. Doesn’t the United States supply a majority of the world’s grain? Don’t we ship hundreds of containers a day of our precious vegetables, fruit, grain and rice to other countries around the world? Why can’t we grow more? Why can’t the United States flood the world market with our commodities? What does this have to do with the price of a barrel of oil? Well, when the middle east wants some of our precious food, we can raise the price of potatoes to $10 dollars a pound. Do you want some apples or cherries from Washington, that will be $20 dollars a pound. Oh, you don’t grow wheat or other produce in the desert? You can’t afford our prices? Hmmm, well than I guess we can make a deal, cheaper food for cheaper oil!

I am really sick and tired of buying a fruit cup or salad at McDonald’s only to find that the lettuce is from Honduras, the tomatoes are from Chile, the watermelon is from Brazil and the orange slice is from Mexico?!!?!?! What?!?!?! I can’t single out one fast food establishment, because they all do it. I purchased a watermelon from WalMart last week and found that it was from Central America. Where has our country gone? We have outsourced everything including the food we eat. I am tired of buying crap from China that is poisonous, falls apart or can kill me after prolonged use.

If I have to hear John McCain lumber through another agonizing speech and listen to how things “might be” at the end of his first term, please put me out of my misery. I can’t bear another 8 years of failed policy and selling out the United States of America. As far as I am concerned, we need a young, vibrant leader who can direct the US in a direction of a friendlier nation to the rest of the world. Senator Obama has my vote!

Advertisements