President Obama recently spoke about weaning the country off of fossil fuel dependency from foreign countries. Liberals, me included, seem to get all misty eyed when we talk about electrical power from wind mills, tide and solar.
There is a basic flaw in my character, however, that always has to take things one step further – beyond the ideal – and look at the practical.
My first thought was that for the cost of the
Iraq and Afghanistan wars (one trillion when you add in
all the peripheral spending) the government could have outfitted every home in with
wind and solar power. America
Using numbers from Understanding the Market web site, there are 316,000,000 (three hundred and sixteen million) people in the
and approximately 125,000,000 (one hundred twenty five million) private
homes. This works out to about $8,000
per private home that could have been applied to home energy production. United States
Outfitting every home with solar and wind power would cut the national electrical consumption at least by one third. This means that the country would have to produce and supply less power, consequently using less fossil fuel.
Aah, there is the rub.
If we drastically cut our electrical consumption, thus our fossil fuel consumption, massive layoffs would occur. Companies that produce, transfer and refine the oil products would experience layoffs; likewise companies that manufacture and support the fossil fuel companies would slow down; there would be less need for tanker truck and fuel transporting trains; power companies would have to downsize and power grids would shrink. Many sectors of our economy would experience lay offs and down sizing. The unemployment would skyrocket and the economy crash.
There might possibly be a temporary construction boom in the production and installation of alternative energy equipment, but once it was on line that sector would decline.
Another scenario: instead of channeling the money to individual homes the government could have channeled the money to power and energy companies to produce more alternative energy for the grid…what could possibly go wrong there?
But this is all conjecture – what if… The reality is that when given the choice of prosperity for the people or war: the government politicians will choose war every time.
Government likes the status quo. It works for the rich - and what's good for Colonel Bullmoose is good for the USA.