Barack Obama: "Why are you so stubborn?"

Barack Obama today accused President Bush of a "stubborn refusal" to attack the causes of climate change, and said tougher fuel standards, stricter curbs on oil imports and more investment in cleaner energy are essential to avert global catastrophe.

WaPo article can be found here. (This continues a theme of his we've discussed a few times here at TOD).

"Saying that America is addicted to oil without following a real plan for energy independence is like admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the 12-step program,"

Ouch.  I assume Obama knows that Bush claims to have beaten his alcoholism without either rehab or AA.

I like Obama a lot, but he has made some pretty unrealistic comments on ethanol. I have read some pro grain-ethanol comments, and then he has this to say about cellulosic:

I think cellulosic ethanol is probably our best short-term solution. The amount of energy required to produce cellulosic ethanol is a significant improvement over corn-based ethanol. The technology exists. We don't have to change distribution systems; essentially it pumps just like gasoline. It only costs $100 to retrofit any vehicle out there. And if Brazil can do it in the span of three or four years, while cutting their transportation-gasoline use essentially in half, there's no reason we can't do it.

Link: Obama Chats With Grist

A couple of problems there. Cellulosic, if it is a solution at all, is not a short term solution. It is probably going to be another 10 years before it starts to make any impact, if it ever does. Second, Brazil "can do it" because their per capita energy usage is a fraction of ours, and they grow sugar cane which is far superior to grain or cellulosic as far as ethanol production. He needs to preach conservation, CAFE standards, and he needs to hop on the Biodiesel Bandwagon.


Politicians generally belong to the class of people who major in political science and then go on to law school. Obama is no exception: bio

The poli sci curriculum does not include real sciences like chemistry, physics, etc. People who do not do real science believe that they know what "technology" and science are even though in truth most have only the most superficial of understandings.

A poli sci major can gloss over the glorious "history" of all the grand successes that science and technology has achieved.

But big hint about human nature: people do not advertise their failures and most are never recorded into the history books. A politician can easily fall into the trap of beleiving that "technology" always comes through for the human race, the markets always provide, if we can go to the moon why heck we can do anything we put our minds to. Why we can even declare a war on poverty, a war on discrimination, we can have a Great Society and win the war in Vietnam, and get to Mars and have hydrogen cars whizzing Geaorge Jetson all around the Washington Beltway. It's as easy and do-able as merely using our "free will power" to say so. Make it so, is the way Captain Pickard utters it on Star Trek Next Gen.

Second big revelation though: Mother Nature does not obey our sound bites.

His stubbornness comes from the state he represents. Illinios is a corn and coal state.