SEARCH BLOG: GOVERNMENT and CLIMATE
From The Detroit News:
Bush defended his budget proposal, saying Congress must take steps to reign in the growth of entitlement programs. "Our budget protects America and it encourages economic growth," he said.
The Energy Department proposed flat vehicle research to $221 million, down from $223 million this year, but funding for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle research will take a significant hit, dropping from $211 million to $146 million. Hybrid systems research would be boosted to $103 million, up from $94 million.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would add $2 million and double its staff dedicated to writing new fuel economy regulations in the wake of the energy bill passed in December that requires automakers to increase fuel economy to an industry-wide 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
Just a few comments and observations.
First of all, anyone who has read my blog knows that I am highly critical of the politicization of climate science and the potential economic havoc that it may cause; I'm not alone in those concerns.
While I believe the dramatic concerns about global warming are incorrect and of minor concern... especially as population trends show that people are actively seeking warming climes... I do believe that some long-term good may come of it.
The fact that there is so much effort and money being spent to develop alternatives to fossil fuels is a good thing... not because of any inherent climate change, but because it will move U.S. energy sources away from politically unstable and undesirable energy sources... and that change may well cause those political realms to shrivel in importance.Now that brings me back to the Bush budget proposal. Going from last to first,
- spending $2 million dollars to create more bureaucratic red tape while
- increasing research funding for technology already in the marketplace that still relies on petroleum products and, at the same time,
- reducing research funding for technology that could eliminate dependence of foreign producers of oil... simply
- does not support the assertion that the budget protects America and it encourages economic growth
ASIDE: Astute Bloggers ran a post about why the U.S. has to continue to buy some of its oil [now less than 20%] from the Middle East so that we can retain influence in that area.
I agree, but that doesn't mean we should reduce our efforts on research that could eliminate the need to buy their oil at all... especially since it seems unlikely that our Congress is going to expand our own fossil fuel resources...
Europe can continue to buy Middle East oil. After all, it will be an Islamic continent within 100 years given current population trends.
By then, U.S. focus will return to the Western Hemisphere as the Hispanic population approaches a majority. [note the change in absolute and percent of U.S. population between the 2000 and 2006 tabs]
The choice may not be entirely ours to make.