Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spending all that money might be tough

After yesterday's excusing of whatever faults of fossil fuels by Tom Dennis in a Grand Forks Herald editorial, today we get another editorial pushing the idea of a "Commission on the Future" to tie North Dakota even more tightly to oil and figure out how to spend the decades-long jackpot oil is supposedly going to provide.

I have heard that all energy sources have risks, so maybe this commission should consider the risks that the oil fields will not pay off as much as dreamed. There is a chance through some combination of lower usage, greater energy efficiency, intelligent transition away from high oil usage, a forced rapid shift away from high oil usage, and other possible factors that the goose will not lay as many golden eggs as hoped. Ah, that is no fun. We want to just fill out the Christmas list. Hey, maybe there will be tons of coal in our stockings too!

The Herald mentioned tax cuts, university funding, road-building, even direct payments to residents - so many possible stops for the gravy train! What else might we want?

A private island. Considering the Devil's Lake issues and the Red River, we know waters can be unpredictable. Add in the effects of climate change, and there is no telling what land may be covered or emerge. Let's table this for now and see what we might get that way.

A refinery. Then we could take advantage of the local oil and turn it into gasoline right here nice and cheap, so that... Yeah, right! Who wants a nasty refinery in their back yard? Leave that to some poor saps in poor states.

More bug spray. A warming climate figures to mean pests migrating poleward as conditions suitable for them exapnd.

Fancy foreign foods like cavier, cheeses, wine, etc. The changing climate may mean a much less robust America's breadbasket, so we may be looking for something new to eat. Then again, some of those imports may not fare so well in the future either. So we better stock up soon on everything we can that may not so available much into the future like fish and seafood.

There is one more thing we really should try to remember if we can. Somebody should stop by the grocery store or somewhere and pick up a card. Just a 99-cent something with like flowers or whatever on the front and blank inside. Then at some point one of of us can jot down some sort of little "sorry" note for future generations for the altered climate and environmental damage. We have to show them we cared, right?

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