Bob's Links and Rants

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

The times they are a changin'

Kerry from last night's debate:
This president has taken a $5.6 trillion surplus and turned it into deficits as far as the eye can see. Health-care costs for the average American have gone up 64 percent; tuitions have gone up 35 percent; gasoline prices up 30 percent; Medicare premiums went up 17 percent a few days ago; prescription drugs are up 12 percent a year.
Now Kerry was making a valid point about how costs have gone up while wages have gone down; successfully suggesting that Bush fails on Reagan's question: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

I'm glad that Kerry doesn't seem to be making gasoline prices an issue, because gasoline prices are still WAY too low, believe it or not. A web site that Cyndy linked to provides some of the scary details, much of which you've read here before. Here's an excerpt:
The problem with these alternatives is not one of technical feasibility. They do work. The problem is they do not work anywhere near as well as oil. Even in the best of circumstances, they cannot produce anywhere near enough net energy to fuel even a fraction of our current oil-powered economy.

The world currently uses 30 billion barrels of oil per year. To keep the economy moving along, we need about an additional one billion barrels per year.

If we get tremendous political will, unprecedented bipartisan and international cooperation, massive financial investment, and a dozen or so major technological breakthroughts, we might be able to get the energy equivalent of three to five billion barrels per year from alternative sources by 2025-2050.

Three to five billion barrels of oil is a tremendous amount of energy - about the amount the entire world used per year during the early years of World War II.

Unfortunately, because of our massive and constantly increasing demand for the stuff, the energy equivalent of three to five billion barrels of oil is just a "drop in the bucket."