Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Oil, Oil Everywhere: I disagree. I think drilling for oil is the answer -- at least the short-term answer. First, technology will supply cars that are cheaper and cleaner, and that oil will go farther and farther. Second, I'm not sure what options we have. Solar cars? Not in our lifetime. Hydrogen? Great, but mass producing hydrogen isn't necessarily more efficient than my Honda. I'm a big fan of the hybrid engine; a couple more years will bring enough innovation that it will be a more marketable concept. And that's the correct direction, too: to extract more and more from each quantum of pollution. Third, air quality has been greatly improved in America (despite what the anti-SUV crowd tells you) because technology has allowed us to do more work with fewer polluting byproducts. So why go bonkers about petrol pollution just as we're learning to use it cleanly and efficiently?

Will we someday bid farewell to the internal combustion engine? Perhaps. (Who knows, maybe the Amish will take to gasoline engines about then.) But when the day does finally arrive, the benefit to the environment will be negligible, because engines will use oil, as gasoline, so damn efficiently.

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