Saturday, April 5, 2008

DiCaprio sets good example living as he preaches; and the cost of ideal fuel may be $25 a gallon

I've been on a nice kick lately about the environment lately, so why stop now. I just read over at the environmentally conscious Leonardo DiCaprio has purchases an environmentally condo in New York City.

The only reason I bring this up is because there are a lot of people who preach to us on a daily basis on how to be environmentally conscious, but they do not practice what they preach. You have Al Gore out there preaching environmentalism, for example, and he still flies around in a gas guzzling jet, and works amid stacks and stacks and stacks of paper.

I could go on and on with examples like this, but you can see why I would respect someone of the stature of Leonardo, who practices what he preaches. He also drives around in a hybrid car.

I think it would be great if we all could afford to live completely environmentally friendly, but the truth is that the majority of us simply can't afford to live this way. Even if most of us were environmentally conscious in our thinking, we would have no choice but to fuel up at the local gas station, and to fly a jet now and again.

Now, here's a thought that I bet people have not thought of, and I heard it first on the Rush Limbaugh program on Tuesday. Granted I disagree with Rush on a lot of things he says, but still I think he is great at getting people thinking about things before they come to a conclusion; to not just look at something from the angle provided by the media, politicians, teachers, etc, but to analyze it and come to an educated conclusion.

That's what I like about Rush, and is pretty much the theme of this blog. The general opinion of the world right now is that global warming is a fact, and that we are destroying the planet because we are not environmentally friendly enough; that we need to regulate businesses and force them to be environmentally compliant; to force the search for alternative fuels.

Here is a quote from Congressman Markay: "These unjustifiable profits are reflected in how little some of these companies put into renewable energy resources to find an alternative to oil, and the incredible profits which the companies report and it's time for them to come to explain to the Congress, but more importantly to the American people, what they plan on doing on alleviating this enormous attack upon consumers and upon the American economy, which oil prices represent."

Personally, I think it's a great idea to search for alternative fuels but, the fact is, we do not currently have alternative fuels. Our government has spent billions of dollars in search of this alternative fuel, and we have not found it yet. So what if we did? Rush stated this on his Tuesday, April 1 program:

As long as we have a free market, we will find it, but I'm going to tell you, folks, let's say, as an example, that today, ExxonMobil, BP, whatever, any company, some little XYZ widget company puts out a press release, "We have developed an alternative source of energy. We have come up with an oil substitute. We have to test this, but we had our preliminary testing, it's fabulous, it works really, really great, it's going to initially cost $25 a gallon." "What? Twenty-five dollars a gallon?" Yeah, you remember when the first VCR came out, 1,200 bucks. After the affluent and the rich went out there and wasted their money on them, brought the price down for everybody else. Do you think if somebody announces an alternative to oil today it's going to be cheaper than oil? Where is the thinking on that? What about all the R&D that it's going to have cost people to do this, what about all the testing? Do some of you in this audience actually think that we are going to be able, even in our lifetimes, to come up with a replacement for oil, in the quantity that we currently use oil? Because if we don't, the whole thing is academic. We just can't wipe oil out. We just can't get rid of it. But think of what the process is going to be to manufacture that much. Where are the factories going to be? Where are the warehouses going to be?
Now, you don't have to agree with Rush here. I don't know if I agree with him. But he makes a lot of sense. Congressmen, Senator McCain, the President, presidential candidates and the like can say anything they want to appease an audience, to cater to the environmentally conscious crowd, but can we really do what they tell us? Is it really beneficial? Or is it a bunch of political rhetoric?

Honest to God I don't know. You guys know by now that I am totally in support of alternative fuel. I am all for appropriate regulations or incentives that will not harm businesses, force them to not hire workers or to lay off those who are working, or otherwise harm the economy.

If I could afford an environmentally friendly house or a hybrid I would, but it's simply not economical for me to do so. And, unfortunately, if the government forced my hand on this matter, I think I would be forced into poverty and I'd no longer be able to afford the house I live in or the car I drive.

And, I think, the same is true of many businesses who's hands are forced by regulations and high taxes. That is why I think it is important that we be careful when creating regulations and in raising taxes to pay for government programs and budget policies aimed at improving the environment.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do it, I'm just saying we need to be very careful. This issue on the environment, not unlike the economy, is like walking on a tight rope. On the one side we want a clean earth, on the other we want a solid economy. We can, if we are careful and responsible, have both.

I could spend my time on this blog being an Ann Coulter or Al Frankin clone and tell you about all the stupid things liberals or conservatives do. But what good would that do other than make my site a little more popular. Our goal here is to look at both sides of the issue, and to come up with a solution that works for the benefit of all people.

In the mean time, we can continue to live as best we can by the examle set by DiCaprio to the best of our ability. While we don't have a hybrid, I will walk with my son later this week and pick up trash alongside the road. We recycle. We conserve water and try to keep the lights off. It's not much, but I suppose every little helps.

I'm curious to know what you guys think about this. We're not being partisan here, we're looking at the big picture. We're being realistic, not being political or partisan. And, it is via debate in the arena of ideas where this issue will be resolved.

Let me know what you think.

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