Thursday, May 10, 2007

Obama Stumbles - and Stays in Limbo

Presidential candidate and current Illinois senator Barack Obama has to be in two minds about dirty coal. He wants to get rid of it but he also wants to keep it. So now he is in limbo. With a little Bushism, Obama wants to "cleanify" the tainted coal. Via

To do justice to the man, he is senator of the state that is already among the biggest dirty coal producers in the US. Not to mention that her yet unmined reserves would offer untold riches in energy production for Illinois. So how could Obama not support the good people of the State that gave Lincoln to the US. Would be unfair, wouldn't it.

The name of the game of course is clean coal, just so long as coal is still part of the plan. So Obama promptly proposes this course of actioan - he and others want call it coal-to-liquids - just as any sensible man in his place would do. He proposes a legislation in the senate to promote turning coal into liquid fuel for vehicles. He figures it is a win-win and who wouldn't.

"Obama wants to cleanify
tainted coal...?"

The problem it seems lay not with the assumption, but with the calculation. You see what it would do is keep dirty coal mining alive and well. And on the top of that a little other thing. That is the reminder of the process, the actual turning coal into liquids and then burning it to get from A to B would produce much more CO2 than the current processes for petroleum based fuel.

Why liquid coal is not the answer:

Though the proposed amendment has been defeated once in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Obama still has the chance to introduce it again in the Senate. The proposed Act is called the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007. And to be true to its intention it would give federal loans for the planning and permitting of such processing plants, federal guarantees for construction loans, and tax credits.

The intention is novel. The problem is once again, a key lawmaker lacking the acumen and discipline of a scientist. Not his fault though.

We now live the time of Governing Certainties. See the consequences of it and the premises here and here. Politicians in government and aspiring for government are Lawmakers or at the very least folks trained in handling adversary, which is what the human nature.

Problem is, Nature is NOT adversarial, it is simply uncertain. It always has been. And very few scientists are actually trained in listening to the rapidly evolving uncertainties of today. I stress uncertainties, not facts or statistics. Even less from the current breed of lawmakers can handle the advice of such scientists in a truly constructive manner.

The Path to Changing Climate Back is Nature's Republic.

Obama still has the chance to do something remotely like that. And if he wants to give a bigger role in solving environmental problems and possible downpours of fortune to his home State - So be it, right ... ? Only it seems if the report by the Natural Resources Defense Council is anything to go by, transport and coal has to be separated, not linked.

So to sum up ...

Obama doesn't run away from responsibility. He just running in the wrong direction.

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