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Getting off oil as a strategic move

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
I'm no friend of Greenpeace, but after all the crap we've been through with the middle-east I'm convinced more than ever that we need to get off of our oil addiction.

In my mind the cost/benefit questions come down to this- Will it cost more to swtich from oil to alternatives (most likely hydrgoen based) than it cost us to wage the gulf war, the current war, and the future wars that must inevitably occur when you give immature, societies enormous wealth? And even if it would cost more, how much more would it have to cost to negate the benefits of neutralizing the middle east?

Seriously, if anyone thinks they have some idea of the numbers involved here, pipe in.

Perhaps I'm too much of a techno-optomist, but it would seem that the technology is ready to go. Sure, fuel cell cars will take a little more development, but consider this... I think I read once that we could put enough wind turbines in a few hundred square miles of the Nevada desert alone to supply the entire country's stationary power needs. Next, we put a threshold tax on gas, keeping it at say $1 or above, so that OPEC can't bribe us back with cheap oil, and have all the funds go to developing a hydrogen distribution infrastructure and fuel cell cars.

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post #2 of 60
It'll be expensive but we ARE the richest country in the world and we can set the example. The advantage would outweigh the disadvantages, like less polution, more research on alternative energy sources, less interest in middle East... We have in our grasp now viable fuel cells. We can use fuels made from corn (ethanol) and we know we have a huge supply of that. How much better for the environment is harvesting corn than making an oil well. And the middle east would do well to use all that empty space to grow some crops to not only compete but feed their people! But corn is only one way to produce ethanol or methanol for fuel cells.
post #3 of 60
I do think that much of our friction and unending involvement with Middle East nations boils down to money. And that money is tied into oil. Short term cost is more anger towards the US for not supporting those nations through their oil industries. The long term benefit is a little more of our own self-determination, a lot more freedom from dealing with otherwise unsavory governments and other conflicts of interest.

It's one of those "damned if you do do, damned if you don't" situations. If you leave the oil, taking the money elsewhere, people will hate us for abandoning those nations financially. All the same, people hate us now for tying our interests with our investments.
post #4 of 60
I agree. I don't have any numbers, but my gut tells me that the US oil and gas industries will be a huge barrier to alternate fuel sources. I'll bet the Bush plan of opening up Alaskan preserves to drilling in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil has a powerful special interest lobby behind it.

But I also think that the technology does exist to reduced our oil dependency. About ten years ago, the US Army was field testing a truck with an engine lined with ceramic composites. It still ran on diesel fuel, but needed no engine oil at all to lubricate it. Since engines that size take gallons of oil to replace, not quarts, something like that would have been a great way to reduce oil consumption. I think they put over 100,000 miles on that truck, and it was still going strong. Don't know why it was never adopted (cost?).

The technology to change and the reasons to change are out there. What we need is a way to make it happen.
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I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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post #5 of 60
Any oil from ANWR will be sold to the highest bidder, namely industrial nations without oil reserves such as Japan; Alaskan oil exploration will be of little help to the US people, the beneficiaries being the multi-national oil companies (and their chief share-holders).

Re. the middle East, now that Afghanistan is returning to a semblance of normalcy with the defeat of the Taliban and ongoing operations against Al Qaida, at some point in the near future Afghanistan be stable enough for that much-vaunted oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to be constructed. Kazakhstan has the worlds largest oil reserves, an underlying but seldom mentioned reason in the West's great effort to persist with Afghanistan, instead of just clearing out of there once Al Qaida have been routed. Kazakhstan oil may start coming online within the next few years, giving further "justification" for this administration's short-term based get-rich-quick energy policy of "invest in fossil fuels now", concurrently with "renewables are a waste of time and effort".

Our addiction to oil is increasing exponentially, as is world energy demand, and at some point in the future, the cost of extracting the remaining oil will make it a commodity unaffordable to most people. Industrial nations depend upon cheap energy; without it, it's all over. Our reluctance to invest in the future, re. alternative energy resources and technologies represents the ultimate in irresponsibility and short term greed. There again, considering that over 50% of the entire Wall St. portfolio is energy-based (directly or closely related), then the dragging of heels is hardly surprising..
Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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post #6 of 60
Some of the renewable energy stuff is coming directly from oil company's that want to make sure they have less dependence on outside sources (OPEC). Plus with the huge amount of resources oil company's have they could easily distribute such a method. Some companies don't use the research immediately so they can make the most $$.
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post #7 of 60
Hydrogen is the way to go. I've seen the hydrogen fleet at the munich airport.. incredible. you can literally breathe straight out of the tailpipe.
post #8 of 60
the U.S. should be working right now to become the next energy barons. figure out the next way to make energy for people, and get your hands on the technology, and licensce it out the wazoo.

look how rich the middle east got from this. why don't we work to take their place when their natural resources inevetably run out.
post #9 of 60
When America was founded, the whole purpose was to become independent, self-sustaining and not take sh-t from anyone, especially not a bunch of camel-humpers across the ocean.

Why should Americans kow-tow to those spoiled brats/terrorists/scum in the MIddle East?

The American thing to do would be to become independent from the Middle East for oil, develop new methods of harnessing energy, let those crazies kill themselves, and let Allah sort them out.
post #10 of 60
Has hydrogen power managed to avoid the "Hindenburg" factor?
post #11 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:
<strong>Has hydrogen power managed to avoid the "Hindenburg" factor?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't think it ever had it. It seems people make too much of that. Let's say your H2 "tank" ruptures. Where does the hydrogen go? Floats right up into the air faster than any other gas. If your gas tank ruptures where does the gas go? On the ground under your car. I think I like the first one better.
post #12 of 60
i thought the hindenburg was more a problem with the skin of the craft.

although the image is a tough one to shake, no matter what was to blame.
post #13 of 60
Thread Starter 
Wow, here I expect to be accused of being some unrealistic tree-hugger and every single response seems to be in support.

I'd still welcome any good arguments for why we should continue to support the middle east through oil purchases, but barring that I suppose the next question is why aren't we getting off oil? It would seem that public disgust with the middle east is so high that even a conservative like Bush could successfully sell a moon-mission style project for converting to alternative energy. So why isn't it happening and how do you think it will happen?

[quote]Originally posted by Outsider
<strong>
We can use fuels made from corn (ethanol) and we know we have a huge supply of that. How much better for the environment is harvesting corn than making an oil well. And the middle east would do well to use all that empty space to grow some crops to not only compete but feed their people! But corn is only one way to produce ethanol or methanol for fuel cells. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I think the benefits of ethanol are a little more debatable. I live in Iowa where ethanol is very popular, but I seem to recall some stats about how it takes more energy to make ethanol than it provides. I think the only reason it makes fiscal sense is because we make too much corn due to farm subsidies (which don't make fiscal sense in the first place).


[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>
Let's say your H2 "tank" ruptures. Where does the hydrogen go? Floats right up into the air faster than any other gas. If your gas tank ruptures where does the gas go? On the ground under your car. I think I like the first one better.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Right you are Scott, I've even seen some people seriously talk about converting commercial airliners over to hyrdogren. The advantages? - 1. If the planes that hit the WTC had been this way the hydrogen would have burned away so quickly it wouldn't have had time to melt the structure and 2. Spilling hydrogen has exactly zero effect on the environment as opposed to spilling jet fuel.

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post #14 of 60
yeah, the hydrogen BMW's and MINI's have all sorts of quick-bleed valves that empty the tank completely within milliseconds of any impact... no time for an explosion.

The cool thing about the hydrogen IC engines that i've seen is that they can also run on gasoline, and they produce monumental levels of torque and acceleration, while the only thing that is decreased while running on hydrogen is horsepower: e.g. the 745HL has a 4.5 litre V8 that makes 325 HP on gasoline, 180 on Hydrogen.


However, torque is still about the same, I think...
post #15 of 60
When i say hydrogen I hope you're not talking about converting IC engines to H... that is very inefficient and heavy. The best use for H is as a fuel-cell fuel and convert the electric power directly to mechanical power in one step via an electric motor. 3 phase AC motors make an unbelievable amount of HP and torque for their size. I'm into RC cars as a hobby and exclusively deal with EP. All the fastest dragsters use EP. The fastest land record for an RC car was made by an electric (111mph). Electric has fast acceleration and awesome top end. Nitro is great for long runtimes and a flatter powerband.
post #16 of 60
OT:

[quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:
<strong>i thought the hindenburg was more a problem with the skin of the craft.</strong><hr></blockquote>

True. Hydrogen will "explode" in a quick flash, here and gone, no flames, no time to spread the fire. The Hindenburg (berg?) was coated with aluminum sulfide or something like that. Anyway, the stuff was basically solid rocket fuel, and that's what made a really big mess.
post #17 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Nordstrodamus:
<strong>I'm no friend of Greenpeace, but after all the crap we've been through with the middle-east I'm convinced more than ever that we need to get off of our oil addiction. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I'm with you all the way on this one, brother. I don't pretend to have all the answers or to be an alternative energy source expert, but the mere fact that we have to ask ourselves "what other sources could we use" (either in terms of manufacturing or in terms of fuel) speaks to the fact that we've put ourselves in an unenviable position and are nowhere near to getting out of it.

The last thing we need is to still be dependent on anyone (including ourselves) for oil 20 years from now. ANWR isn't the answer, the other 95% of that area that's already been mined obviously isn't the answer...oil wells in general are not the answer. Solar, Wind, Hydro-cell engines (or whatever they're called)...those kinds of things are the answer. We need to get our asses in gear and start making all these technologies not only feasible, but inexpensive enough to earn the label "practical."

If Bush is smart he'll realize that investing R&D in this problem is actually more important than whatever missile shields, advanced aircraft and other military programs are on the make. That is not to say we don't need any military programs, but rather it is likely we will greatly decrease the probability of future conflict with middle-eastern countries if we cease to be dependent upon them over the next ten years or so (or become much less dependent). The less we have to interact with any of them (Israel included) the better off we'll be. The cultural barriers are far to great IMO to be overcome by simple diplomacy or student exchange programs or whatever other tired ideas the politicians might have.

The idea is to isolate ourselves in so far as not needing to get oil from countries we otherwise would have no relationship with (good or bad). Let's put the proverbial dogs to sleep and let them stay that way, as it were.
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post #18 of 60
The thing that always gets me, and I know everyone will refute this and tell my about grand oil/auto company conspiracies, is that no one has done it yet.

Japan is VERY dependent on just about all raw materials including oil. Their engineers are as good as any other country. Why haven't they come up with some uber engine that can run on H2 or sunlight or piss? Europe is working on this stuff too. So this problem can't be easy.

Also where do you get the H2 from?
post #19 of 60
Hey guess what? OPEC cut oil production by another 1.5 million barrels of oil last night! This goes into effect on December 31.

We need to get off of oil and find something else to use as fuel, because there is not enough oil up in ANWR to sustain the US. Plus, our own oil companies don't want to use US oil because it's more expensive than foreign oil.

Hopefully Russia will continue to provide cheap oil and we can at least side step OPEC for a while.
post #20 of 60
Scott, you get H2 either by taking water and seperating the H2 from the O (the hard way) only to combine them again in the fuel cell to produce negative and positive charge. Doing it this way would have to be done out of the car in a reforming facility. It would also be more expensive.

Or you can use a fuel like methanol or ethanol or anything with H2 in it (H2 is more stable than single H atom) that can be relatively easy to extract the H2 from. You do this in a reformer and it pumps the H2 in one end and O from the air or other source through the other end. they combine to form water (H2O) and in that combination electricity is produced by chemical means. You don't need much fuel because liquids are dense and there is alot of H2 in any of those fuels. i think you can even extract H2 from gasoline although I beleive it's harder.

I'm sure there are other ways to get H2 on earth. but one contriversial way is to mine it.... from a gas giant planet. Jupiter has more than we can shake a stick at. Imagine robotic mining. This would create a whole new induistry and we'd actually have a reason to go out into space besides scientific research.
post #21 of 60
Reducing environmental impact and dependence on oil are the focus of an ambitious program in Iceland as well - an interesting read:

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1727000/1727312.stm" target="_blank">Iceland Launches Energy Revolution.</a>
post #22 of 60
Wow that's awesome. Using things like Solar, geo-thermic, hydro-mechanical, and wind power to produce electricity is like getting free electricity in a sence. I know nothing is free (you can't create energy from nothing) but it is free monitarily. And sadly today, money is the root of all decisions... even environmental ones.

Also, I posted a topic about this a while back but no one replied. Take a look at this:
[quote]MEG= Motionless Electric Generator

Lots of info and links on this page. <a href="http://jnaudin.free.fr/html/meg.htm" target="_blank">http://jnaudin.free.fr/html/meg.htm</a>

There have been article in Scientific American and other physics rags. Some prototypes have been made and shown to work. If this is a hoax then it's a very elaborite and clever one. Anyone know or have first hand experience with a MEG? I've been doing research on how it works for several months now and the theory seems sound but there are some obsticles in the way. But it would solve huge issues with powering portible devices like electric vehicles, laptops, well basically anything that can benefit from portible power generation. Even you home. Maybe the 'man' (oil companies) are keeping it down. <hr></blockquote>
post #23 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>Hey guess what? OPEC cut oil production by another 1.5 million barrels of oil last night! This goes into effect on December 31.

We need to get off of oil and find something else to use as fuel, because there is not enough oil up in ANWR to sustain the US. </strong><hr></blockquote>


The understatement of the year. ANWR's reserves couldn't fuel this country for 10 months, let alone 10 years. Yet another reason not to drill there.

Scott, I agree that getting some of these new concepts and technologies to work is difficult, but that is all the more reason to pour some serious R&D moolah and brain-power into the pot and see what we can come up with.
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post #24 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs ?:
<strong>.

Scott, I agree that getting some of these new concepts and technologies to work is difficult, but that is all the more reason to pour some serious R&D moolah and brain-power into the pot and see what we can come up with.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Bah. I find that to be the "well if only we'd spend the money we'd have the solution" argument. Look at cancer research. There's been A LOT of money spent on that and still no "cure". I'm just not convinced that it's a "if only" situation.
post #25 of 60
Yes but what is the alternative? Not to try? I'm not necessarily suggesting spending money only on existing technologies, but also perhaps funding some of the more promising startup groups that have entirely new concepts. I read something in Business 2.0 (a mediocre magazine to be sure) about this old fellow who has designed [a concept engine] that could -- in theory -- completely displace any internal combustion engine we are currently involved with. Granted this particular guy is wealthy and has set up a group of people to take over when he dies (i.e. doesn't need our tax dollars), but you get the idea.

And no, I don't think the Segway is the answer...right process, wrong result (for this particular problem).

[ 12-28-2001: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #26 of 60
[quote]Bah. I find that to be the "well if only we'd spend the money we'd have the solution" argument.<hr></blockquote>

Where there's a will, there's a way. Human ingenuity deserves a little more credit, and it definitely helps when $$ are available. Regarding weapons and the means to deliver them, the funds and enthusiasm are always more than available; now the entire human race can wipe itself out 1000s of times over in numerous different ways. Wow, aren't we clever?. (Big weapons have some kind of attraction to certain folk who 'run' the world. Call it the "Corvette Factor"). It's sad that we continue to cower away from putting equal effort into developing alternative energy technologies to sustain our way of life, and the planet we all live on....no apologies to the anti-environment contingent.



[quote]Look at cancer research. There's been A LOT of money spent on that and still no "cure". I'm just not convinced that it's a "if only" situation.<hr></blockquote>

You picked a poor analogy. There is no single "cure", as you put it for cancer, and there probably never will be. Cancer is a generic term for a class of diseases, with many forms, affecting any part of the body, with many probable causes (environmental, dietary, hereditary, lifestyle/substance abuse, stress, etc., including infection. Many people diagnosed with cancer have a very good chance of survival, and many are 'cured'. Actually the human body, when given a chance, is extremely effective at healing itself.
Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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post #27 of 60
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>
If Bush is smart he'll realize that investing R&D in this problem is actually more important than whatever missile shields, advanced aircraft and other military programs are on the make. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I think there are several ways to view Bush's (or more broadly the Republican's) appearant resistance to alternative energies.

Giving them some credit...

1. They believe that the technology just isn't there and that the best approach is just to keep the economy working at full steam to ensure that R&D in the private sector proceeds as quickly as possible.

not giving them credit...

2. They know we could switch the majority of our energy demands to alternative energies, but the costs (even though less than the military costs in maintaining oil dependency) are too politcally expensive in the short term.

or the conspiracy theory...

3. They are owned by big oil interests who (as businesses properly should) are only concerned about maintaining their profits and have no concern about fighting future wars.

One can blend aspects of the above together, but I tend to believe that #2 is more accurate. Of course, I don't give the dems much credit either, it just so happens that they have less to lose politically by promoting alternative energies because they've cultivated the tree-hugging crowd into their voting base (not so much now that the green party has come along).

In response to some of Scott H's points- I admit that the fuel cell thing is gonna take some work, but that doesn't mean that we can't already switch to alternatives in supplying stationary power demands. Europe is certainly less dependent on oil in these areas because they pursued nuclear power a lot more than we did. I'm not a big fan of nuclear simply because wind tech seems to beat it out when the additional costs of disposal are factored in, but I'd still welcome nuclear over oil.

I think the second step (weaning mobile energy demands off of oil) would take a lot more political will. The less oil is needed, the cheaper it would become. And putting a threshold tax on it would be a constant political football. Everytime the economy dipped their would be calls for lowering the gas tax. Keeping the gas tax revenue dedicated to fuel cell development would require even more political willpower and then, once fuel cells arrived their would be arguments about whether we should regulate car makers into providing cheap fuel cell cars or, instead, give them tax credits.

I'm a bit of a politcal pessimist in that I don't think either dems or pubs think about anything other than getting elected. I suspect our citizens will also quickly forget about the consequences of oil dependency once the current crisis has died down.

[quote]<strong>
The less we have to interact with any of them (Israel included) the better off we'll be. The cultural barriers are far to great IMO to be overcome by simple diplomacy or student exchange programs or whatever other tired ideas the politicians might have.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Moogs, I totally agree. Without oil the average middle-eastern society would be indistinguishable from the bare-footed tribes featured on National Geographic. They need another century or two to catch up with the rest of the world. Just as with a spoiled, rich brat a little "tough love" is needed (even with Isreal).

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post #28 of 60
Well, we may not have a "cure for cancer" in general. However, research has done tremendous things for cancer victims. Many children w/leukemia now DO get to live out their lives.

Many women now get treated for breast cancer. Many brain cancers are treatable. As well as lung and throat cancers.

A lot of people have been cured of cancer. The money has helped. I'd rather get cancer in 2002 than in 1982, or 1902. Wouldn't you?

Anyways, regarding the Oil Addiction.The chances of Bush doing anything about it seem pretty slim. Judging from his track record on these things anyways. For example.

Kyoto Treaty - didn't sign becaus it was "too expensive" for American Businesses. Yet...

Star Wars satellites - Bush is willing to spend 10s of billions of dollars to shoot down nuclear missiles from...who again? These satellites were conjured up during the cold war. Russia isn't going to shoot any Nukes at us. Who else? China? They aren't gonna shoot any nukes either. India, pakistan? They may have nukes but no missilies - that I know of. What a waste of money.

Oil Companies - well, he's obviously got some stake in how well these companies do. Gotta make sure they keep making money.

So, his priorties seem, to me, to be:

Making money.
Finding more oil - and making money.
Not the environment.

I'm not an expert on these things, but has he ever done anything good for the environment? Just curious - if anyone knows.

For the record, I'm not trying to pick on Bush or turn this into some crappy political debate thread. The democrats haven't done much better. None of the politicians seem to concerned with more than keeping their jobs.

Another angle that is important is the consumer angle. People like cars. People like fast cars. Just look at the "Car Thread" over yonder. Hell, I like cars. Never drive mine unless I have to. My bike, public transportation and walking work for me - for the most part. Granted most cities have crappy pub. transport. That was one of the reasons I moved to this city.

Nonetheless, I'd sure like to see our country be less dependent on other countries for our energy.

If Kennedy can get us whipped up into a patriotic frenzy about 'putting a man on the moon first', then a president should be able to get us worked up into a patriotic frenzy to 'free ourselves from foreign energy'. Or something like that.

[ 12-28-2001: Message edited by: seb ]</p>
post #29 of 60
Of course if Kyoto killed the economy then you'd call it the "Bush Recession".
post #30 of 60
Somehow I knew my last post would draw one of those ingenious one line responses. And somehow I knew it would be made by you Scott.

Look, I already said I'm not trying to turn this into a political debate. I really have no desire to make anything look like it is Bush's fault.

I'm simply suggesting that the government, as it is today doesn't seem to interested in alternative fuel sources. If you disagree, show me why.

As it is, your post says nothing.

How about alluding that money spent on cancer research is wasted money again, that was entertaining the first time around.
post #31 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by seb:
<strong>Look, I already said I'm not trying to turn this into a political debate. I really have no desire to make anything look like it is Bush's fault.

I'm simply suggesting that the government, as it is today doesn't seem to interested in alternative fuel sources. If you disagree, show me why.

As it is, your post says nothing.

How about alluding that money spent on cancer research is wasted money again, that was entertaining the first time around. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Oh please. You rant on and on about Bush and his "connections" them try to claim you're not trying to make it political. Pull your head out of your ass.
post #32 of 60
When did I say cancer research money was wasted? For the most part the war on cancer is a lost war. After 50 years and who knows how many trillions of dollars there is no cure. Not a good return. But that doesn't mean it's wasted. Idiot.
post #33 of 60
You're right Scott. You pegged me. I'll never suspect you of seeing things the way you want to see them again.

/Damn that Bush. If it weren't for him we would never have gotten so used to having cars and powerplants that worked off of fossil fuels. Heck, if it weren't for ol' Bush and his dad, I bet Henry Fords Model T never would've taken off in the first place.

Damn that guy./

Like I said, our current government does not seem too intent on working out alternative fuel sources. If wonder boy Gore was president we wouldn't be seeing much more support of it either.

Other than the fact that the billions of dollars spent on star wars could be used a lot more effectively to help get off the oil, that's pretty much the extent of my political beef.

There seems to be a consistent way of dealing with things in this country though. That is, we prefer to clean up messes rather than prevent the messes from happening in the first place.
post #34 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by seb:
<strong>Other than the fact that the billions of dollars spent on star wars could be used a lot more effectively to help get off the oil, that's pretty much the extent of my political beef.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Prove it would be "used a lot more effectively". How can you say that when you don't know what the outcome will be?
post #35 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>When did I say cancer research money was wasted? For the most part the war on cancer is a lost war. After 50 years and who knows how many trillions of dollars there is no cure. Not a good return. But that doesn't mean it's wasted. Idiot.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Does:
"Bah. I find that to be the "well if only we'd spend the money we'd have the solution" argument. Look at cancer research. There's been A LOT of money spent on that and still no "cure". "

not sound as though you think "A LOT" of money being spent was not the correct course of action? You don't exactly endorse the money spent on cancer research there.

btw, love the sig. You capitalized the "i" too. How nice.

Well, I'm out. (knew I never should've brought up the "B" word - offensive defensive people and all).
post #36 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>

Prove it would be "used a lot more effectively". How can you say that when you don't know what the outcome will be?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Bottom line (regarding this particular subject of this particular thread):

It seems, to me, that working away from giving our energy business, hence billions of dollars, to countries which breed our current enemies (terrorists, etc.) would do more good than working towards building satellites to shoot down missiles which our enemies don't even have.
post #37 of 60
Scott, do you think we're just plain stuck with fossil fuels, or is it just the hydrogen power you have issues with? (Trying to sift through the responses here...)
post #38 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:
<strong>Scott, do you think we're just plain stuck with fossil fuels, or is it just the hydrogen power you have issues with? (Trying to sift through the responses here...)</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't know. Did I say that? Like I've been saying over and over in this thread. I'm just not convinced that spending research money on it will lead to a solution in any of our lifetimes. Also if it's so super great why hasn't anyone else done it?

Everyone wants to pretend that if Mean Old Bush would just spend the money we'd have it. Well it doesn't work that way.


edit to add

Defending the country is the job of the government. Read the constitution some time. In there it does not say that paying for alternative energy research is the job of the government.

[ 12-28-2001: Message edited by: Scott H. ]</p>
post #39 of 60
[quote]It seems, to me, that working away from giving our energy business, hence billions of dollars, to countries which breed our current enemies (terrorists, etc.) would do more good than working towards building satellites to shoot down missiles which our enemies don't even have. <hr></blockquote>

actually, the best way, IMO to get countries to stop hating us to to help move them forward and tie their economy to ours. if you notice, most of the countries where we're really, really hated are countries that have jack squat. they have nothing to lose, so they can hate us all they want.

now make it so that 1/2 of that countries population works for or with american companies, and suddenly we're not so bad. first, 'cause they get to know real americans, secondly 'cause going after us would, in the long run, be going after themselves as well. where's the logic in that?

the thought that by having absolutly nothing to do with a country will make them hate us less is baloney. most of these countries hate us because we have what they don't, and they're jealous. we have a lot. they have nothing.

if we went and invested in some of these places and tied their well being closely with ours, suddenly we wouldn't be so bad.

and as for the missle thing being a waste of money, i'm with Scott H. on this one. defending the nation is one of a very few things our govt. spends money on that they're actually supposed to. besides, if nothing else, there are usually a lot of great gains from military research for every day life.

look at things like barcodes, internet, highways, etc. lots of stuff there that had military intent and ended up helping out a lot of average joes.

[ 12-28-2001: Message edited by: alcimedes ]</p>
post #40 of 60
I agree that spending money or weapons etc. can have positive technological side effects.

However, just because the constitution doesn't demand that the govenment do something doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. The constitution doesn't say anything about building space shuttles or putting people on the moon either, but the space program has paid off rather nicely, I think - lots of cool stuff comes from that.

I see what you're saying about going over and being buddy buddy with the countries where terrorists come from; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen etc. However, most of them already have quite beneficial relationships with us - at least the governments. Problem is, the (Islamic) terrorists don't feel having us, including our troops, on their soil is a good thing. They hate us simply for being there.

Sure, their governments may get along with us, heck they might even act like they like us. But in the OPEC countries the governments don't represent the people in a democratic sense. I read a story in the NYTimes which talked about how most of the Egytpian and Saudi Arabian citizens approve of Osama Bin Laden and don't even believe he is responsible for the attacks.

The theory that if the terrorists could get to know us they wouldn't hate us just doesn't wash. The 19 that flew the planes on 9-11 had been in the U.S.A for up to 5 years. They worked, ate, travelled, went to school, and learned how to fly planes with and by Americans. Just because we shake their hands and they smile back doesn't mean they don't hate us.

When we get in good with their governments, the people often accuse them of being our puppets. Which, in a sense, is true. If people want to spend big money making laser satellites thats fine. I hope there is some cool side effects, but working towards building a better shield won't stop your enemy from making a better sword. The only way to stop your enemy swinging a sword at you is to take away the sword or take away the enemy...

ah..it's past 5:30!
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