Will Blog for Experience: Ashley

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Fat Guy In a Little Coat

Remaining response to Ms. Fisher's question, "...Some wiley character will figure out a way to create a shortage to make his fortune. Would widespread use of BD require more government oversight and regulations?"

The current American oil crisis resembles Chris Farley's phrase, "Fat Guy in a Little Coat." As the late comic has taught us, if you put a fat guy in a small jacket, the jacket's days are numbered. Hilarity ensues, and the jacket tears. Just as a little coat can not bear a fat man's girth, the remaining amount of crude oil can not satisfy the rate of American consumption. Something has got to give, because this ill fated consequence will not be nearly as funny.

Tommy Boy clip

Fat Guy in a Little Coat Clip
-WARNING: Adult language

The current rate of American consumption guarantees a shortage of several natural resources, and if the American people are to continue in the lifestyle of blind consumption that the vast majority of us are guilty of, we must find a way to combat this dearth. Alternative fuel sources have the ability to alleviate this eventual crisis.

I do not doubt that some profit hungry nut will discover a way to exploit American vulnerability. Our capitalistic system, by its very nature, and for better or for worse, provides incentives and opportunities to profit. Even more upsetting is the thought that this nut will be a visionary of sorts, and overzealous corporations will find a way to improve upon his scheme. Hopefully, such corporations will be too busy to make contributions to political parties, and their actions will not go unpunished. Hell, maybe they will even be careless enough to break some sort of patent law. However, we can only weather that storm once the front moves in.


The widespread implementation of biodiesel, as well as any alternative fuel source, will require stringent government oversight and regulations. Oil dependency is a crime committed by much of this country. For that reason, the funding for and the study of alternative fuel sources has fallen short.
As mentioned in my previous post, biodiesel has significant drawbacks including premature engine failure and the emission of dangerous levels of NOx. The government currently regulates biodiesel production, and such regulation will continue to increase with the use of the product. The Environmental Protection Agency is one of many outlets charged with the responsibility to ensure that the use of such fuels does not do more harm than good. In this case, regulation would not serve as a setback, but as an engine for environmentally friendly safety and success. Government measures may slow the process down a little, but they will improve the quality of alternative fuel sources and worsen the odds of the above mentioned profiteers. Simply put, government regulation and oversight must correlate to the level of use if any product is to serve as an efficient and reliable petroleum substitute and meet our future energy needs.

If the ongoing OJ Simpson scandal has taught us anything, it should be that one glove will not fit every hand, and you do not always acquit just because the glove don't fit. Energy conservation and the study of alternative fuel sources will face many challenges. Some of these challenges will further our goals, while others will set us back. The energy issue is not a "one size fits all" solution, and we should not approach it as such.


12 Comments:

  • At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Lynne Stanley Fisher said…

    Thanks, Ashley. You make a tough subject palateable. I enjoy your use of various media and pop culture parallels.

     
  • At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love this entry, Ashley! Not only are you really informed, but you are also super funny!

     
  • At 10:23 AM, Anonymous bentley said…

    Great job!!!! Nice info and great expressions...

     
  • At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ashley, you made the information easy to understand. Thanks so much. I didn't know a lot about the topic, and you opened my eyes. I appreciate it. -Jessica Fay

     
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