Thursday, November 20, 2008

Action, Reaction, And No Action

“More often than not the government does things that I don’t want them to do, and they don’t do the things that I want them to do.” Paul Thoreau

“Inactivity strikes us as intelligent behavior.” Warren Buffett

"First, do no harm." Unknown

Sometimes it is better to be inactive, rather than active. Sometimes it is better to step back and take some time to assess the situation. Sometimes decisive action is necessary. Knowing whether a situation warrants inaction or action is the hard part. Obviously Warren Buffett does something.

Two recent inactions are pleasing to me. And in both cases I believe I am taking the side of Republicans. That is unusual for me. I believe New York State needs to do something about the fiscal problems it is facing. However, I do not agree with David Paterson’s proposals to cut education and health-care spending. He should find other places to cut spending. Recent opposition to Paterson’s proposals actually pleased me. Recent opposition to a bailout of the big three automakers also pleases me.

Here is an example of some positive activity by General Motors:

It seems like the struggles of the automobile industry have been in the headlines everyday - and General Motors is no exception. Now, the work of GM researchers right here in our backyard may signal better times ahead.

A car developed in Honeoye Falls may be one of the solutions. It's the General Motors Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Car. There are only 100 in the United States. Zero gas; zero pollution.
GM know this car works. But O'Connell says it can't be put on the market until the country builds more hydrogen fueling stations. "We've calculated that you need about 12,000 stations in order to put a station within 5 miles of about 75% of the population."
I would hope for some positive activity on the part of the federal government in regards to the building of more hydrogen fueling stations. So far all I see is inactivity on their part. Once upon a time we had automobiles without good roads to drive them on. Dwight D. Eisenhower took action when he championed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. Who benefitted from this? Nearly everyone, including the automobile industry. In fact the automobile industry lobbied for it. Now we have non-polluting automobiles with no place to fuel them. There should be a Federal-Aid Fuel Station Act of 2008 that would retrofit existing gas stations and/or build new stations to service alternative energy fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, and bio-fuels. This would be government activity that I would whole heartily support. Government activity that would help General Motors, as well as consumers and workers and the economy. And the planet, too. It’s such a no-brainer, is that why the government isn’t doing anything about it?

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” Mark Twain

1 comments - Post a comment :

Brian Carnell said...

"There are only 100 in the United States. Zero gas; zero pollution."

This claim is so wrong it is absurd, and I hope we don't run out and commit to hydrogen.

See Technology Review on the problem with hydrogen fuel cells..

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