Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ignorant, Hypocritical Columnists

Kristof seems to think that electricity comes out of the wall. It doesn't. It comes from a fossil fuel burning power plant. Kristof bull$hits about a 1000 mpg car because it draws its power from an electrical outlet. He does not understand that it's more efficient to burn the fossil fuel in the car's engine than to burn it in the power plant and transmit the electricity to the car driver's home and to charge the battery in the car. It requires more fossil fuel drive an electric car than to drive a gasoline powered car. Kristof just doesn't understand that.

Another blooper: Kristof and Friedman and many others don't understand that burning ethanol or "biomass" in a car engine releases just as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as burning gasoline. Furthermore, if the production of ethanol or any other fuel requires fossil fuels (which it does), it's a losing proposition regarding petroleum dependency.

A hypocritical blooper: Recommending higher taxes on gasoline. Raising gasoline taxes is impossible. The US simply does not have adequate public transportation. Millions of low income people must drive to work - they have no alternative and they don't have the money to pay higher fuel taxes. Of course the columnists with their $300,000 salaries and outside incomes from books and speeches can afford their gas guzzlers and the higher fuel taxes. Let's consider instead a 100% tax on all gas guzzlers or on all cars priced above $20,000, rising to 200% on cars priced above $30,000, and 1000% on all cars priced above $40,000. Let's also consider doubling real estate taxes on homes above 2,000 square feet. If we want to reduce petroleum dependency through the tax laws, we sure can. Lets put the burden where it belongs, on the conspicuous wasters, not on poor working people.

Disclosure: I am far from poor, but I am not a conspicuous waster. My house is 2,000 sq. ft. and I drive a mid range Camry.


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