Monday, September 08, 2008

Translation services - energy

From Obama's website (http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy):

  • 1. Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump
  • 2. Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
  • 3. Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
  • 4. Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
  • 5. Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • 6. Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Translation:
1. Use tax money to increase profits of oil companies. How will he provide relief? "an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills." Isn't that nice, he's giving us some of our own money back, but only if we use it for energy (i.e. profits for oil companies).
2. Any time you see the word "private" you have to be on alert. Here he's saying that he will use $150 billion, which is no small amount, of our (tax payer's) money to invest in "private" business (read Exxon, etc.) to "build a clean energy future." What does that mean? Shouldn't the voters have a say in where this money gets invested and which technologies look the most promising? Bush invested in Hydrogen which may or may not be useful and is a long way off, while helping to destroy the electric car which already existed and already demonstrated enormous beneficial impact to reduce the consumption of resources.
3. Within 10 years, with the resources at your disposal, we could be almost completely off of oil! HELLO!!!! He also writes on his website "Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas. " What does "responsible" mean? It's environmentally destructive any way you look at it!
4. What is the point of this? Why not electric cars that don't need any gas and get even better mileage? It's not like they don't already exist.
5. Why 10% by 2012? Why not 50% by 2012? Why not education programs that help people reduce energy usage instead of finding ways for people to continue to consume more?
6. Not soon enough.

Solution:
1. Short term solution would be a public campaign to encourage people to carpool and use public transport. Also increase public transport options. Long term, there are thousands of solutions.
2. Use the funding to support the National Laboratories and government programs with clear objectives and oversight to produce energy solutions.
3. We reduce our use of gas and use gas-free products when or if they become available.
4. Use electric cars, air cars, whatever it takes to reduce our need for oil.
5. We learn to live with less electricity and build houses that don't require any energy input more than what the sun, wind, rain can provide.
6. We can only reduce emissions by doing it on an individual level. We can start now, we don't need Obama.

1 comment:

darren v said...

hey, great to see this on your blog! you are raising important issues here. i think you did a great job in parsing Obama's language.
I just have one substantive comment. you focus mostly on transportation whereas the industrial sector is the largest energy consumer in the US. and while i agree that the population is an important factor in energy use/carbon emission, a massive shift in the way our good are produced and processed is necessary to avoid (fill in the blank) so imo, individuals need to organize against these "private" interests you speak of and the "politicians" that they finance.