Archive for the Gas/Fossil Fuel Category

Seeding Pollution From The Heavens (February 2, 2009)

Posted in Aviation, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Global Climate Change on February 2, 2009 by e-commentary.org

Geopolitical changes opened the northern polar routes to regular commercial air travel.

Commercial aviation cross-hatches the northern skies and deposits exhaust particles from on high.

Exhaust particles create a black shroud on the white snow and clear ice.

The black exhaust particles absorb the sun’s heat and melt the snow and ice rapidly.

The next day, planes fly over and do it again.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Better to be on the ground and wish you were in the air

Than to be in the air and wish you were on the ground

Deflation? (November 24, 2008)

Posted in Depression, Economics, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Inflation on November 24, 2008 by e-commentary.org

Deflation seems to be the current concern.  Oil, copper and aluminium prices are down dramatically.  When the raw materials go down in price, the finished products should go down in price.  In theory, sort of.  The price of a 250 foot section of Romex wire is now almost what a 100 foot section cost a year ago.  However, prices often are sticky and ratchet down slowly.  Lower prices sound appealing, although deflation does create economic problems among debtors and consumers.

However, the old economic models may not work.  Demand is down because no one has any real money and no one will loan any real or unreal money.  However, credible reports indicate that people need to eat, house, drive, acquire plasma tvs, etc.  The system is awash in unreal money.  However, those who produce goods and provide services are not standing by ready to respond.  They are collapsing.  The world‘s economies and the world Economy are splintered and increasingly disconnected.  If you build it, they may not come.

Gas did not hit $6 a gallon by Halloween; it hit $3 a gallon.  [See the e-ssay dated May 26, 2008 entitled “$4 in June, $5 in July, ….”.]  The momentum for fuel-efficient vehicles has abated and investment in oil-producing equipment and fields has declined.  When the demand for aluminium declines, bauxite is not mined.  In the near future, everyone will compete with pockets full of unreal dollars for scarce goods and services.  Bread at $100 a loaf?  Inflation still seems to be the hidden monster.  The new Weimer Republic writ large.

Bumper sticker of the week:

WIL

Whip Inflation Later

Pass The “Terrorist Tax” (December 18, 2006)

Posted in Gas/Fossil Fuel, Global Warming, Taxation, The "Terrorist Tax" on December 18, 2006 by e-commentary.org

Tax terrorists.  By taxing gasoline.  The tax should be implemented incrementally to allow adjustments to spending and driving habits and raised enough to reduce demand purposefully.  Americans are directly financing hostile political activities because dinosaurs made the unfortunate decision to die in regions that sprouted unfriendly regimes.  Profits from the sale of gas profit some terrorists.  That must stop.

The consumption of much gas in America really does not result in the production of any goods or services; other countries consume gas to produce goods and services.  Consuming gas while driving to work results in the production of some goods and services, yet driving alone is inefficient.  Gas must be used more efficiently.  The market is the answer.

The market will respond in particular if there is certainty that the tax increase is permanent.  The higher resulting price for gas alone will spur research and investment into other sources of energy without the need to create any additional specific tax credits and deductions.  (There should be a concensus that the Terrorist Tax is not to be coupled with any specific tax credits or deductions.  Otherwise, a lobbyist will grab a representative’s ear and obtain an earmark for some pet technology that may not otherwise be marketable.)  The tax revenue can be used to address our obscene national Debt of almost Nine (9) Trillion ($9,000,000,000,000.00) dollars or for other purposes.

To his credit, Bush spurred debate by noting in his State of the Union address that America is “addicted to oil.”  “Addicted to Oil” is a documentary narrated by Thomas Friedman addressing the world’s competition for a decreasing pool of crude oil.  “A Crude Awakening – the Oil Crash,” a recent film directed by Basil Gelpke and produced by Ray McCormack, explains why the collision of insatiable demand for oil and the “limits of geology” is producing dire consequences.  Others have written about the problem; see the Internet.

Others have made the argument that taxes must be increased.  Mr. Friedman has championed the cause for years.  Dispensing credit for the idea is less important than selling the idea to the public.  Implementing the tax is economically and politically painful, yet failure to implement the tax is economically and politically fatal.  Paying a substantial tax on gas is one of the most patriotic sacrifices each one of us could make.  Convincing the American public to accept the “Terrorist Tax” will require astute and bipartisan statesmanship.  Those Americans who believe that taxes should be raised during a time of war may be the first to enlist in the campaign.  Present it as a tax that provides a double punch.  A single dollar provides a double return because we keep it and the terrorists don’t get it.

There is only one person who could pull it off in the short term.  Bush could shock the world by announcing the Terrorist Tax as a means to 1) deny funds to Terrorists, 2) confront global warming, and 3) generate much needed revenue.  The sales campaign requires an observation that some sympathetic countries provide oil to the United States; this country does not need to generate more enemies.  “Tax Terrorists Today.”