Oil Too Costly

I was surfing the Internet today, bored in my unemployment, and came across this story on Yahoo! News: “Large China oil spill threatens sea life, water”.  Apparently a pipeline burst and has spilled hundreds of thousands into the ocean.  Worse, China doesn’t have the equipment to clean it properly.  The article reports that some workers are using rubber gloves and chopsticks to clean the water.

Seriously?  How is it that China, of all places, a major hub of production for countries around the world, doesn’t have any better means of cleaning up oil?  Maybe they got bad advice from BP…

We should have learned our lesson in the 80s with the Exxon Valdez spill.  Our oceans are now ruined, probably beyond repair, because of what we’ve been dumping into them, and oil is the worst of it.  Sure, eventually Mother Nature will sort it all out herself, but not if we keep dumping oil into the water.  We should have known back then that oil is going to have a high price, and I’m not talking about the price at the pumps.  Oil is killing our environment because we’re too stupid to learn from our collective mistakes.  If we can’t collect oil safely, we shouldn’t use it at all.  Hybrids are becoming more of an option for more people, and cars that are powered by alterate energy are being intensively researched and developed.  But oil isn’t used only for cars, it’s used to heat homes and businesses as well, and for other things.  What we really need is some way to make people understand that solar energy, wind energy, water energy, etc., all are more viable long-term options for power and better for the environment than oil.  One of my professors from my first college built his home with a bunch of solar panels as well as some means of using the water soure nearby for power.  Now he produces so much energy from the solar panels and the water that he has the power company paying him to take the excess energy off his hands!

Slight ranting aside, I think the oil spills that have happened recently are a sign that our dependence on oil must end, and must end now.  We can’t afford the cost for accidents like these to keep happening, not only in terms of the affect on the economy, but the affect on the environment and also on ourselves.  Polluted water equals polluted animals and plants equals polluted humans.  We’re a very self-absorbed and self-serving race–the danger of polluting ourselves with contaminated water or food should be more than enough reason to take action against oil.

Because this is a pagan blog I should probably relate this back to paganism–but I should hope that it’s obvious how this relates to paganism without me having to spell it out.  If not, let me know.

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4 responses to “Oil Too Costly

  1. I agree, Many Great Points.
    How do you wish to proceed?
    Unless you wish to follow structure that is the government builds and/or pays for the construction to via contractors, then you must get the private sector to build it independently.
    The cost, as Derrick points out, is very high and for many companies is prohibitive for them to do so, much less make a profit.
    But since it would not be politically viable in today’s atmosphere in the United States for the government to own or build, say enough power plants to provide enough energy that is needed right now ( though in other part s of the world it could be down, say in England or in the European Union ), the government of the United States could make incentives for further research in to the development of alternative energy technology (which, surprisingly is something that Obama is doing in combination with increasing standards and restrictions for the level of pollution, see CAFE standards, that is allowable, though the whole idea of allowable pollution is a little disgusting for me ).

    By making it cost effective for companies to invest in the research (via tax incentives, grants, etc… ) the hope is that the actual technology will become cheap enough for it slowly enter the consumer market. Then once the technology is accepted in the market and there is an infrastructure being built for it, it will trickle down from the first acceptors to the common consumer (electric cars, example the Tesla is really expensive but the technology will be further refined and become cheaper. Already sort of seen with the Chevy Volt).

    @Derrick – I’m a fan of the Pebble bed reactor, since I believe it to be safer then breeder reactors. Also I believe that the US would be more likely to allow other nations to build them. But the problem with reactors are they at some level still create waste that has to be dealt with, and that is a problem that no one has been able to solve adequately, in my humble opinion.

    I personally agree with you statement that they oceans are ruined beyond repair ( aside from Mother Nature fixing it herself ), I believe that we will reach a point where we will not being doing anymore more damage and maybe be able to undo very small percentage of the damage done. But I fear that, the point will be too late to save the human species from being able to live on this planet. I believe that we are working not to save the planet at this point, though we are hurting her significantly, but we are working to save us from ourselves. I don’t mean to belittle the damage we are doing to Mother Nature, the damage to her is large and horrific. It is too much for words.

    China achieved it level of production by developing fast, without concern for worker and environmental safety. It is playing catch-up with regard to these issues, but nor really. There arrangement is the the global west developed without these concerns why should they be constrained by them.

    • I didn’t figure that in today’s horrendous recession and global economic turmoil that alternative energy would be on anyone’s top priority for spending. I just think that when you have one disaster (Exxon in ’89), then you should really start thinking of alternatives to prevent further disasters. Now, true, we didn’t have the technology back then that we do now, but something perhaps could have been done to promote the idea in public opinion to gain public support earlier. Now we’ve had two disasters and a third in another country, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

      As I said in my reply to Derrick, I knew alternative energy was expensive, but I didn’t know how expensive. If only a way could be found to make the alternative sources less expensive. I believe that in the long run oil will cost us much more than alternative energy will, especially if more disasters like the Gulf spill happen, which isn’t entirely unreasonable to expect more since China just had its own disaster.

      I think you and I have debated before about the damage to the environment and what humans are doing about it, especially the point that we are losing somewhat the perspective of saving the environment in favor of saving ourselves, because if humans died out of a sudden, Mother Nature would restore herself within 5 years and there would be no trace of our civilizations left at all. Given that perspective, it does seem that we work more to save us from ourselves instead of save nature from humankind.

      I know China didn’t pay much attention to worker safety or environmental safety, but I am surprised that they don’t have any means of cleaning up oil. That just seems like a common-sense thing to develop, you know? Especially since I’m sure this isn’t their first accident. And how they treat their workers is abominable, and the fact that our companies take advantage of those conditions is deplorable and disgusting.

  2. I agree with your main point here, but the issue is much more complex then that. Effectively using Solar Energy and Wind in many places also requires a top notch way of storing it – ala, not using regular batteries which lose voltage at a ridiculous rate. There’s also a high overhead cost to it, and in many areas these simply aren’t reasonable.

    I’m a big fan of “FAST” nuclear reactors (it’s an acronym, not a description) which can use their own nuclear “waste” and simply can not meltdown (the way the physics behind the reaction works, it simply can’t happen. ) But I do realize there are inherit downsides even with this.

    I agree with your point here, I just think alternative energy is much more expensive and complex then you may make it seem.

    • I sort of figured that alternative energy is expensive, but I suppose I didn’t realize that it’s that expensive. I know I don’t know a whole lot about the subject of alternative energy and most of my post was more rant and opinion than actual fact, but I still think we should have worked a lot harder to make alternative energy sources a priority sooner.

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