Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Comments on the State of the 2008 Union Address

One year ago, CARE’s Blog was launched when we asked various energy experts for comments on the 2007 State of the Union Address. We’d planned to use the comments received as an article for CARE’s Newsletter—and we did. But they also seemed to perfectly fit the vision we had for the Blog, so it was started ahead of schedule. Since then it regularly has visitors from an average of 12 different countries each month.

In celebration of this anniversary, we again asked our Energy Counsel for their comments. Below you will find their responses:

“It was a little disappointing to hear the President pander to alarmists on the subject of carbon dioxide. Despite the huge effort those people have made to present anthropogenic global warming as ‘settled science,’ the inconvenient truth remains that the scientific foundations of the hypothesis are very shaky indeed. There are serious grounds for doubt that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are a problem. On the other hand, there is no doubt at all that efforts to reduce those emissions will be very expensive, and will divert our limited resources from other things which are much more important—such as education & health care.

It was also disappointing to hear the President once more making offhand remarks about reducing US dependence on oil. This is not a simple subject. It would have been better to say nothing than to make statements which could be misconstrued.

In the long run, there is no doubt that the US (and the world) will have to adjust to declining supplies of oil as we approach the finite limits of resources. However, in the next few decades, the world needs oil exporting countries to invest very large amounts of capital into oil field developments to ensure that oil supplies do not decline precipitously. European nations have foolishly been sending a very dangerous message to oil exporters by claiming that they intend to reduce their carbon output dramatically or even totally. Why should an oil exporting country invest $Billions to produce oil that customers say they won't use? It would be very easy to end up with a premature major shortfall in oil supplies, decades before the required infrastructure has been built to make modern society possible in a post-oil world.

It would have been better for the President to have criticized the Europeans for their dangerous shortsightedness, and instead to have reminded us that we all live in an inter-connected world. The oil exporters are as ‘addicted’ to the food & manufactured goods they import from us as we are to the oil we import from them.”

Gavin Longmuir

“I don't think I have missed a state of the union address in 25 years. I am a political junkie. Even when I lived in foreign countries I tried to tune in by TV or radio. I even bought cable in a country just so I could see it. But I did not see the one this week. This president has become the lamest of the lame ducks. Could he possibly say anything of consequence?”

Michael Econmides

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