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How can you have a market for something that is virtually infinite?

[rant by Mike Stanfill, reprinted from The Far Left Side]

Let’s play a game. Suppose you were a carbon-based energy company and you’re starting to feel the pinch in the old pocketbook, even a very minor one, from renewable energy resources. What would you do?

Well, you could glut the market with natural gas. This would cause electric rates to fall below those that renewable enegry could deliver, resulting in the failure of both producer and manufacturers of green equipment, thus leaving the energy field once again in your control.

That, unfortunately, is pretty much what’s happening now. The energy companies are sucking massive bonanzas of natural gas from the ground using their nifty little “fracking” technique. Sounds too good to be true, and it is, as it also poisons the local water supply with any number of noxious chemicals.

As a bonus, China is happily swooping in to take up the slack in solar panel and wind turbine production as domestic manufacturers shut down.

As usual the American consumer, the American worker, and the environment all take it up the keister for the benefit of our pals down at Big Oil.

It’s clear that a healthy renewable energy industry would benefit us all but it will never happen in America, and the reason is you can’t speculate on the wind or the sun. Prices for finite energy resources, like coal and oil, vary at the whim of the Market. The reason the cost of gasoline, in particular, fluctuates like it does has nothing to do with demand and supply. It’s the result of Wall Street tossing petroleum futures back and forth like a hot potato, and while they’re raking in millions in manufactured profits with each catch their media arms give us the old “trouble in the Middle East” song and dance.

Wind and sun are not subject to such speculation and Wall Street HATES that. The Simpsons episode in which Mr. Burns blocks the sun is their wet fever dream.

It’s a race now to see which gives out faster; oil or the environment. But where I live it’s 75 degrees in January so I think that question is being answered.

(The above also explains why we don’t have thorium reactors yet.)


One Comment

  1. Jeff wrote:

    The part that really frustrates me is that renewable energy from sources that are infinite like solar, wind, and hydro will inevitably be the only solution to our energy needs. We have a limited supply of oil, and without that we are left without many of the things we use now. Consider plastic, which is a petroleum based product. Without oil, we can’t create more, and will be forced to either recycle what’s already been made, or make do with something else.

    But when it comes to energy, it makes sense to start incorporating renewable energy sources as soon as possible. The more time we have to develop the technology, the better it will be when it’s our only option. But like the electric car, which was stopped when Ford bought out it’s creator in the early 20th century, big money and special interests are crippling innovation. And as long as there is money for big business in crushing green energy solutions, trashing our one and only planet, and stifling technological advancement of our society, that is what will continue to happen, no matter the consequences.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink