So... I'm feeling a little unambitious so I'm going to fall back on the old "expand on a comment you made on another blog" gambit. This time, it's a comment I made at Vixen Strangely's blog. VS, who is not to be confused with VS (can't have enough VS's in your blogroll), posted on Romney's flip-flop on the coal industry. Recently, Mitt, in rather asinine fashion, accused President Obama of (wait for it... wait for it) waging a "War on Coal". Shya, how can Obama wage a War on Christmas if he doesn't wage a war on the very coal which will be placed in the stockings of naughty children?
First off, coal production is up in Ohio, so Obama is not hampering the coal industry in any way. More importantly, Obama should be waging a war on coal. Coal extraction is destructive to the environment and dangerous to workers. The burning of coal releases toxins into the environment and contributes to climate change. As Gene Wolfe put it in a passage I've quoted here before:
"That's coal smoke, the technology of the Nineteenth Century brought into the Twenty-First and hard at work. They could have conquered the solar system and harnessed the sun, but they did this instead, because there was no fun involved. Their great-grandfathers had done it, and they knew it would work."
Fossil fuels should be regarded as energy start-up capital, the basic pool of relatively easily obtained energy sources which can allow us to make the transition to renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, tidal, biomass, biofuels, hydroelectric, and geothermal. Once again, Gene Wolfe is the go-to guy here, referring to our inaction on the environment as the do nothing future, the one in which humanity clings to its old home, the continents of Earth, and waits for the money to run out.
We've known that reliance on fossil fuels was a problem since the 1970's but Carter was ridiculed for asking people to turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater and Reagan ripped the solar panels from the White House roof. We've had an ass-backwards energy policy for the past thirty-odd years and still fucking idiots are wasting time and resources making sure that nothing is done.
Mitt Romney's energy policy is basically the Bain Capital model of energy policy- use up all the resources you have until you've extracted all the value out of your "investment" at the expense of its long-term prospects... the one hitch is that, when you've burned through (literally) all of your fossil fuel "startup capital", there's no possibility of a bailout.