a hop, skip and a jump away from the end of the world?

November 9, 2004 — Leave a comment

almost everyone i know seems to be caught up in the furore George W. Bush and what he`s going to do for the next four years.

but i`m thinking the power that`s wielded by the Republican party may not last that long. currently the Republicans control Congress, the Senate and the Presidency, there are however, mid-term elections in two years, that means to maintain this control something needs to be done about the things people are concerned about; even the people who touted moral values as their reason for re-electing GWB, may be unwilling to let the Government run roughshod over their social security, healthcare and sending their children off to die. but even this too will pass, i`ve stated before that there seems to be no middle ground in the US, the pendulum swings from extreme to the next and in the mid-term elections there may be a swing back to the left. but all of this is secondary to likely events 10 – 20 years down the road.

i`m not psychic, but i do like to keep informed; China is an emerging industrialised power, they`ve just signed multi-billion dollar deals with Iran and are hoping to do the same with Afghanistan to provide them with oil and natural gas. China was also the only power that even pretended to be interested in the problems in the Sudan, not because they really care, but there are large oil reserves there.

China`s oil and gas consumption is growing exponentially and since there are finite reserves there is going to come a point, the largest consumers in the world are going to face off over the remaining supplies. i expect as China`s consumption begins to exceed what can be afforded they are going to expand westward and northward and take what they need and there is nothing that can done to stop them short of a nuclear solution.

what`s fascinating to note is the Chinese seem to be planning for a day when the wells run dry and working on alternative fuel sources, it may not be an environmental picnic but there is the Three Gorges Dam and there are plans afoot to build 30 nuclear reactors by 2020 but there are still likely to be great demand for fossil fuels.

the US is still consuming fossil fuels like there is no tomorrow, there are more cars on the road everyday; and although with inflation to consider gas prices are not as high as they were in the 70s, they are close and show no prospect of dropping. there are few hybrids on the market and no national interest in  alternative fuel sources. every year corn is subsidised in the US to the tune of billions and then left in silos to rot, producing what is possibly one of the cleanest burning fuels; ethanol. in Iowa, ethanol is added to mid-grade gasoline making it cheaper that low grade gasoline without the additive. how long is the rest of the country going to have to wait for a solution like that? with oil prices high, heating costs this winter are going to be exorbitant and still there are no alternatives in sight.

drilling in Alaska is not a long term solution. at this stage we need to be looking for alternatives to a resource of which there is a finite amount. this is not a problem for another generation at our current rate of consumption, we are likely to run out in our lifetimes. things need to start happening now.

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