A Sweet Synergy Between Health and Energy Policy
Dr. Robert Lustig and his colleagues at UCSF, and other institutions are showing that sugar, and specifically excess fructose (present in sucrose, HFCS, Agave syrup, etc.) are likely responsible for a substantial amount of disease in the US and the world, both amongst adults, and the young. Realization that this is the case is spreading through medical and popular circles. As the truth on this matter spreads, one question is 'what will we do with all the sugar produced' as informed people stop consuming it. The sweet solution is simple- we turn it into fuel to burn in our automobiles, and internal combustion engines in general! Rather than having large conglomerates like PepsiCo and Coca Cola go out of business, they need to figure out how to leverage their sugar resources for energy use. What to do with all the tree crops used for juice production (as these are as bad as soda since they contain concentrated fructose also), is not as simple. They could be turned into energy, but there are ethical concerns about displacing food for energy. Perhaps they could move to nut crops or other non-sugar producing tree crops. Please watch the video below to understand the problem.
The United States Needs Energy Solutions Now
The United States need energy solutions. Petroleum, as currently extracted, is a limited resource. We end up in needless wars to secure the supplies that we and our allies require. Because of restrictive legislation, we are not able to exploit the resources we have in the US and North/South America. In addition to petroleum in liquid form, we need to exploit our coal resources, various oil shales, oil sands (Canada), etc. We need to find ways to use these fuels in a cleaner manner, but we should be able to do this.
In addition to current technology, we need to develop, exploit, and deploy next generation technologies, including solar, wind, wave, bio-fuels, clean coal fuels, hydrogen, etc. We need to invest in development and incentivization for these technologies. We also need to remove regulatory roadblocks to developing and deploying them.
A note on anthropogenic carbon dioxide climate change: research needs to continue in ths area to determine if it is a real phenomenon, and what its magnitude is. In the midst of a financial collapse, wars and threats of wars in the middle east, and a time of need for energy development, we cannot let the computer generated possibilities impede our progress in energy development. Now is the time to exploit existing domestic sources to get us out of wars, while developing future energy sources to secure an energy independent future.
A Proposed Overall Plan
SHORT TERM (0-20 years): Develop domestic sources of energy with minimal, but reasonable standards. This incudes petroleum (onshore and offshore), coal (with reasonable standards), natural gas, biofuels (with consideration of food supply). We need to start removing our nation from ties to foreign nations immediately. We will continue to purchase from them, but let's start giving ourselves more flexibility.
MEDIUM TERM(5-50 years): Continue developing existing resources, but start adding new forms of energy in significant ways. This includes solar, wind, bio-fuels, nuclear (new facilities), etc. By the end of this period, we should make up at least 50% of our domestic energy deficit.
LONG TERM (0-100 years): Develop plans, develop technology, and deploy electrified transportation systems, including privately owned vehicles with electrical pick-ups (i.e., electrodes, antennas, inductive, etc.). Develop and deploy new clean portable fuel sources such as clean coal, biofuels, hydrogen or hydrogenated fuels, etc. Develop and exploit renewable fuel cycles.