Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

So, Why NOT Drill More?

The election season has begun to bring the usual set of invented issues chosen by the candidates and their handlers to differentiate them from their opponents. My view is that the call for opening the arctic and offshore areas for more drilling is really more about that than about “solving the energy crisis.” Why?

  1. The oil companies are not now using all of the oil exploration and drilling areas that are currently open to them. If they aren’t using those that they have access to now, why would we expect them to expand their extraction to even more areas?
  2. As has been pointed out many times, if the areas under discussion were “opened” and the oil companies actually did begin the process leading to oil extraction, it would be something like a decade before any of this oil actually entered the market, and the decrease in oil costs would likely be a few cents per gallon… and a time when the price of fuel will undoubtedly be much higher than it is today. In other words, “too little and too late.”
  3. And even then the supply of oil is finite. We can put off the time when we must develop alternatives, but that day will definitely arrive.
  4. Our energy problem is not simply a problem of “not enough oil,” and the increased price of oil provides a good old fashioned free market incentive to move towards making better use of the alternatives, which will now be more financially viable in relationship to oil. Government incentives for developing these alternatives would do us far more good in the long term.
  5. If waving of a magic wand would suddenly produce an unending supply of cheap oil, we would still have to deal with the very serious problem of increasing CO2 levels from burning that oil. In other words, even with plenty of cheap oil available, we would still need to greatly diminish our use of it… and soon.

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Commentary | 3 Comments

Young Lakes Information

I just replied to an email from future European visitor to Yosemite who wanted to know a bit about visiting the Young Lakes region in the Yosemite National Park high country, and I thought it might be useful to share the message with others who may want to go there. Here is the text, slightly modified: Continue reading

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Trails | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Young Lakes Information


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