Saturday, September 27, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I can haz research staf now?

First, thanks to Paul for the quick and informative answer to my question about what the hell John McCain was getting on about with that whole nuclear power-plant reducing our dependence upon foreign oil statement. As Paul commented in the previous entry:
During 2004, 05, and 06 the USA generated almost 2.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity through the combustion of petroleum and natural gas, about 21% of the total national power generation for those years. In addition to reducing American reliance on foreign oil, increased nuclear power generation would contribute to a significant drop in greenhouse gas emmisions. Of course, in that arena, oil isn't the problem. Coal is, representing almost half of all electrical power generation in the country.
The Google-fu is strong with this one!

The thing is, they lumped petroleum and natural gas together to come up with their numbers, and I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say that if you split those two, you'd find that the number of oil-burning power plants to be really, really small. In fact, as Buckoclown (aka Ken) on my AOL Journal points out, that number is so small, it hardly constitutes what I would call a "dependence":
You are correct that a small percentage of our electrical generation is produced using petroleum in the US, about 2%, mostly in California (they do not allow coal in CA).
So, is our country dependent upon foreign oil? Yes. Very, freakin' much so. In fact, we're dangerously dependent, and that has got to change somehow.

However, would building nuclear power plants lessen this dependence? Not really.

Anyway, I just thought it was a very strange thing for McCain to say. Personally, I have no problems with building nuclear plants. I think today's technology would make a Chernobyl-level event improbable. On the other hand, the nuclear waste is a different story, and until a safe way of disposing of this crap is discovered, nuclear power will not be an altogether viable alternative to coal or petroleum.

Nonetheless, thank you very much Paul and Ken for the information. I totally owe you guys beers next time you're in Milwaukee.

Now, McCain and his confusion about our addiction to oil isn't really one of my biggest worries. In fact, it's actually kind of small in spite of how he's got the lobbyists in his pocket, and both he and his running mate are a little too chummy with, and probably willing to act in the best interests of, the oil producers in this country.

The thing that really concerns me is best demonstrated with this:

I don't want any more fucking wars! I don't want to "bomb-bomb-bomb. Bomb-bomb-Iran" no matter how melodic it sounds. I don't want to pick fights with Plain's arctic nemesis "Pootin" when he "pears his head into our airspace" (whatever the hell that means).

I think we should go back to fighting those responsible for attacking us and stop dicking around in countries that had nothing to do with those who attacked us. To treat war so cavalierly as though it's a game which will bring some level of glory to you if you are a leader, is foolish beyond words. That is the action of bully desperate for respect and taking the most misguided route to gain that respect. War is, and it should always be, a last resort. Respect is earned, and it is not something attained through fear. There is a difference between fear and respect, and these days, it seems a lot of people don't understand that.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 9/27/2008 11:52:00 PM


  1. Glad we scratched the itch on oil :o)  Looking forward to that beer.

  2. I'm more than a little sick of the warmongering attitude myself. It seems that many have forgotten the existence of that little thing called diplomacy. One of Obama's best lines in the debate was the one about "singing songs about bombing Iran." Good one.