Readers Respond

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Waste not, want not

From LARRY M. ADEN / Nemaha

Grandpa drummed it into our heads, "Waste not; want not!"

In 12 years working throughout Latin America, I found that we are far from the most wasteful Society, as the "Greens" would have us to believe. In fact, I found that poverty in every Society appears in direct relationship to its own wastefulness.

Prudence dictates that we make the most of our every resource! Conserving energy is an important facet of our struggle to solve our energy problems. As we have already established that capital is just stored energy, conservation of our capital is just as important! We have much to do, and no time, nor money, to waste!

The Government rarely does the right thing. In fact, outside of the most economically depressed areas in our country where government jobs are the best paying jobs to be had, most of those stuck in public service are of such mediocre intellect that they are rarely capable of discerning right and wrong.

Remember, these are the same nitwits that thought it would be a great idea to take every city's greatest energy resource, build huge mountains of urban-dweller's trash over vast areas of our productive farmland, and cover it with very expensive dirt, so it could never be recycled and wouldn't break down in a thousand years.

When they spend our money, they like to buy $900 toilet seats and such things.

Private enterprise would never allow such outrageous waste!

In the past 35 years, the US has spent Billions on targeted "tax credits", "research", "feasibility studies" and "pilot projects" in alternative energy, energy storage, environmental remediation, and carbon sequestration schemes.

In all that time, I have rarely seen any "research" paper that came to any firm conclusion and did not end with "more research is needed?" University researchers are extremely self-serving in that regard.

Our universities and industries have often conspired to tie up any real advances in self-serving exclusive contracts that have brought little or no benefit to the taxpayers, who paid the bills!

The "Production Tax Credits" (PTC's) targeted for certain alternatives, but not for others, has distorted the market, caused unsustainable development of inefficient technologies, and served only to further enrich those who were already gaining undue profits from the preferential treatment given them by our present tax code.

The "feasibility studies" have done little but enrich a few engineering and marketing firms for producing a lot of worthless copies in triplicate of useless documents.

Nearly every last "pilot project" was dismantled and scrapped at the end of the trial!

Most of the "energy storage", "environmental remediation" and "carbon sequestration" schemes were pie-in-the-sky technologies that any decent student of freshman general science could have predicted were a ridiculous waste of time, money, and resources.

Most of the "alternative energy" technologies they "researched" were invented and developed into commercially viable products over 100 years ago - we had a successful ethanol industry, alcohol-burning, flex-fuel and electric vehicles, hydrogen electrolyzers, hydroelectric and wind turbines long before our present petroleum-dependent systems.

University Doctors and the Captains-of-Industry have rarely been the source of truly great advancements in the human condition. They are too far removed from the real needs of the grassroots of society.

We never know where the next great inspiration will come from, as God deals out gifts to man in a mysterious manner! Many times in history the most creative inventors were poor, uneducated, eccentric, inept salesmen, and abysmal accountants.

Thomas Edison was expelled from the 1st grade for being addled and could not have equipped nor kept his laboratory going for the thousands of experiments it took to invent the lowly light bulb, if he had not had the capital of others to run on!

Nikola Tesla had no formal training in electrical engineering, yet gave us the Alternating Current motors and electrical system we all use today, but not without the money and business expertise of George Westinghouse.

Henry Ford was no mechanical engineer, just a farmboy shy of an 8th grade education, yet he changed the way we travel, farm, move freight, and make nearly everything, but only with the investment of other's.

If we wish to make the greatest progress, in the least time, at the least cost, we need to use tax breaks to stimulate unlimited private investment in the work of thousands of private inventors to solve our energy problems.

Tax breaks must apply to all people and comparable alternatives equally. We must not dictate which persons, alternative energies and conservation technologies get tax credits, as has been recent tax policy.

Which alternatives best serve the needs of the People is for them to decide.