August 16, 2012

Horse 1347 - An Idea That Will Save the World (Reply)

Dan Norcross of Test Match Sofa has appeared on the 24hrLondon Tumblr blog (which describes itself as a snapshot of London, its culture and identity etc.) and made some rather interesting comments. The distinct problem with them though is that for the most part they make sense and articulate; both of which are rare in the supposedly modern 21st Century.

His point about going to war to defend a resource which had the money been properly spent in the first place wouldn't have required defending so voraciously, represents the classic economic question of "opportunity cost", that is what was forgone in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Suppose Britain hadn't gone to war in Iraq (illegally and under the premise of a lie), then they collectively would not have spent more than 20 billion pounds and not wasted the best part of ten years. Further suppose that money had been spent on researching alternative fuels and energy technologies, what would we be driving around in now? Moreover, what sort if other energy solutions would have been found?
As it stands already, Britain should in theory be completely self sufficient when it comes to oil, because so much if the North Sea oil reserves lie within its territorial waters. Curiously it is reluctant to defend this claim and readily sells rights to which ever supermajor happens to court the government of the day.

The idea of harnessing wind and wave power seems sensible to me, given that it is at least as I can work out for all intents and purposes limitless. Physics does suggest that there should be a loss of momentum of the planet but given that the earth is so very big, it surely borders the negligible. The reason why such a plan won't happen is that this would require actual investment, and since the British Government is so anti providing any services at all these days, it's not going to happen.
Private firms won't do it unless there is a profit in it and no firm is going to invest in something where the date for the return on investment is probably later than their investment cycle.

The thing is though that oil is in fact something worth defending even if not for the purposes of energy or running our motor cars with. Crude Oil and in singularly Middle Eastern crude, is where we happen to get our greases and more importantly, plastics from. Owing to the vagrancies of carbon chemistry, it is easier to crack long chain carbon chemicals than to add together short chains; these two broad product categories are the main drivers for the price of oil.
Plastics in particular are almost ubiquitous in modern society. Where once wood and quite possibly metals were used to build things, plastic has found its way into virtually every manufacture that isn't edible and provides many of the packages for products that are. George Carlin suggested jokingly that that's the reason why the earth allowed us to be created and why we're going to be phased out, the earth wanted plastic for itself.

The last point about buying up the Australian coast to be somewhere warm reflects a very British outlook. However by following a very simple plan, Britons needn't worry about this at all.
If we assume that global warming is a real thing and not something that "Lord Monkton" and his bonkers pals repeatedly shout down as a giant mad hoax, then all the people of Britain need to do is buy British and get Range Rover Smogmaster 6000s (I'm sure the name can be worked on later). If global warming is used to proper advantage, then maybe one day, Skegness will need to change its slogan from "Skegness is so bracing" to "Skegness is lovely and toasty".

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