August 25, 2005
Yes, I know, it's been a long time, my friends.
So, just to recap what's happened since I last spoke through the 'Scope:
- I saw premium gas the other day for $3.30/gallon here in Los Angeles.
- Terrorists have attacked my sweetheart's home city of London. Twice.
- approaching 2000 dead American soldiers in Iraq
- did I mention that Iraq is about to become an Islamic Fundamentalist satellite of Iran?
- the President has completely dismissed the Kyoto accords for climate change because he falsely believes it will hurt America economically
In other words, the world's in a bit of a mess right now.
But, as usual, I have imminent faith in the genius of humanity to ultimately get us out of this mess.
Case in point - Brian Schweitzer is a former rancher who was elected the governor of Montana last year as a Democrat in a state where Bush beat Kerry by 20 points. Clearly, this dude has a bit more on the ball than most.
Now, Montana happens to be sitting on top of 120 BILLION tons of coal - nearly 1/3 of all the coal in the entire United States. Looking at ways to jumpstart the post-acrigultural economy in his state, Schweitzer may have just uncovered a potential gold mine.
In the 1920's, a couple of German scientists invented a way to make synthetic petroleum out of coal, called the Fischer-Tropsch process. It was impractical to use in a large scale as long as crude oil cost under $30/barrel.
At the close of business today, crude oil hit an all-time high of $68/barrel.
And Schweitzer is calling everybody who'll listen to say, for $1.5 billion to built a Fischer-Tropsch processing plant, Montana can make 22,000 barrels of synthetic oil a day, for $32 a barrel - and could meet the fuel needs of the entire United States for 40 years.
Did I mention that the process appears to have no negative environmental side effects?
I've been saying for months now that it will take a technological breakthrough to alter the geopolitical framework of the world, i.e. if we didn't need Mid East oil so bad, the Saudis & Co. wouldn't have the money to finance militant Islamic fundamentalists, among lots of other things.
U.S. foreign policy for the last 50 years would be radically different.
And, thus, the world becomes radically different (i.e. war on terror, religious fundamentalism, Israel v. Palestine, neoconservative collapse, global warming, etc.).
Personally, if I was Schweitzer, I'd be having a sit-down with George Soros & Warren Buffet RIGHT NOW.