The perfect is the enemy of the good

Di Fi writes an op-ed that is a perfect example of liberal think:  let’s not do something that’s not a perfect solution, despite the fact that it is a partial solution.

Her column explains correctly or incorrectly (and it really doesn’t matter for purposes of my post), that the off-shore drilling Bush just authorized will not, without other steps being taken as well, solve the energy problem and that more needs to be done.  In my world, the one doesn’t preclude the other:  just because offshore drilling isn’t the ultimate fix doesn’t mean it’s something that should be shelved.

In Di Fi world, because it’s not the ultimate fix, it should be disregarded entirely, as we drag our feet perpetually towards some distant energy nirvana.  Anything short of this perfection is just a “distraction.”  And this from someone who represents the community that claims to be “reality based.”  Well, I guess it is reality if you live in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

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  • Gringo

    Nobody who knows anything is claiming that we can drill our way out of this. I say this as someone w experience in the biz. The good Senator is not telling us anything we didn’t know already. I suspect that she views herself as possessing special knowledge on the matter.

    It is a partial solution. We all know that the solution to our energy problem will be a whole number of partial solutions.

    Also note that the recent $15 drop in the price of oil was in part led by the Feds opening up a lot of acreage in Alaska. One argument made for drilling more here in the US is: would you prefer that the $ go to a Wahabi or Hugo or to one of your countrymen?
    OTOH, many liberals view oilmen with as much rancor as they do Wahabis.\ or Hugo- perhaps they view oilmen with more rancor.

    On land, the time to production is a lot faster. A well on a relative’s land was producing gas within 2 1/2 months from “spudding in”- commencing drilling of the well- and the well went down 13,000 feet.

  • suek

    You know…if we were magically make it possible to substitute alternate forms of energy so that we could stop all use of oil tomorrow, what would you be able to run? Do you have a vehicle that runs on electricity? Would the plant that produces the electricity be able to function on the new forms of energy? Think about all the places that use oil and coal today…how long is it going to take to shift them over to be able to use alternate energy forms? That’s assuming we _had_ the alternate forms of energy!
    Wishful thinking just does not make it so. And being well aware of the need, we still need to function in order to get to the solution. You’re right….I used to think DiFi was a pretty smart person even though I disagreed with her. Now I’m not so sure.

  • Ymarsakar

    Their reality is one that consists of the strong exploiting the weak and the rich deciding what reality consists of via money and power.

    The Left intends to usher in a new wave of human crime and misery, in order to motivate the lower classes into finally supporting the Perfect Solution. Mass death, executions, and political oppression will be necessary, but first we must have the demand for it. And in order to have the demand, we must have problems so huge that partial and imperfect solutions will no longer satisfy the public.

    Then, Book, is the time to strike and make our New World Order.

  • David Foster

    Of course. More drilling will lead to some direct increase in supply. Expansion of nuclear power will reduce the demand for nat gas as a powerplant fuel, thereby making it more relatively economical and reducing the oil consumed for home heating and certain other applications. And so on. It is folly to reject every improvement on the grounds that it can’t, all by itself, solve the whole problem.

    The depressing thing is, there is NOTHING we can do to build large-scale infrastructure for energy production or conservation that won’t be blocked for years by the League of the Perpetually Indignant(tm). Right now, building of a transmission line–running from Mohave Desert wind & solar facilities to San Diego–is being blocked on environmental grounds. So is the Burlington Northern’s projected intermodal transfer yard in LA, despite the fact that rail is (correctly) viewed as an energy efficiency technology.

    One of the inventors of radar remarked that Britain won WWII with third-best radar…the theoretical best being practically unbuildable at the time, the practical best being buildable but taking too long. I guess our present leadership would rather see our economy destroyed and our national security harmed, rather than go with less-than-perfect solutions.

  • tomc

    “Nobody who knows anything is claiming that we can drill our way out of this.”

    Anybody who knows anything *is* however saying that any delay that can be gained for oil is critical to the economy and bring large long-term benefits by delaying the collapse of energy, which will be felt first in R&D.

    “Liberals” (talk about a misnomer, these people are using state control to directly block a hell of a lot of individual decisions, if that’s liberal then dr. mengele was a humanitarian) ignore the obvious truth that we cannot replace nuclear power and oil at the current time.

    Nor will solar and/or wind ever be a significant factor. It just doesn’t compute. And wait until greennuts realize the obvious fact that nothing grows below solar panels.

    Then we’ll be back to their 1930’s screams “we need to reduce the population”. The only real question is whether they’ll add “especially the population of Jews” for the second time.

  • Al

    I think it was Cornelius Ryan who mentioned that Erwin Rommel considered Hitler to be living in “Fulkenkukuklandt”. Or whatever the proper German spelling is.
    Di-Fi is living in the same land as Al Gore and the rest. There is no way in this dimension that the darling renewable energy sources would provide even one forth of our current energy needs, let alone future needs. That current item is oil, maybe supplamented with nuclear.
    Once we crack the physics of the photon, we’ll have arrived at the next level of social/economic evolution.
    So, do the libs know this. The power hungry ones do.
    These are the people who would rather “Rule in Hell than serve in Heaven”. And they are happily heading in that direction.

  • Tiresias

    Why is anyone listening to this woman on any subject at any time? Why is she not in jail?

    Randy Cunningham is – he only stole a million or two: she’s steered BILLIONS to her husband’s company.

  • Ymarsakar

    It is folly to reject every improvement on the grounds that it can’t, all by itself, solve the whole problem.

    If you look at the Left’s policies towards minorities, they don’t actually apply that standard of perfection. To the left, an inch in the door is a mile of utopia in the future.

    They are not hypocrites so much as they are ruthless destroyers. Let us be clear on that. They have no principles, not even the principle of “perfection”

  • David Foster

    Ymar…I think we need to distinguish several categories of motivation among the “progressives.”

    A very large number of them are “word people” whose professional lives revolve entirely among words and images. Writers, journalists, lawyers, some types of professors and consultants. Many of these people just don’t understand the inherent tradeoffs of life in the way that a farmer or a machinist or a factory manager or an engineer does.

    Another category involves people who have led extremely privileged lives and are essentially lifetime spoiled brats. Anything less than perfection–however they define it–RIGHT NOW is viewed as an offense by them.

    In Walter Miller’s novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, a character muses about the human race:

    “…children of Merlin, chasing a gleam. Children, too, of Eve, forever buiding Edens–and kicking them apart in berserk fury because somehow it isn’t the same.”

    I think a certain part of what is going on now is the attempt to kick our civilization apart in berserk fury because, whatever its accomplishments, it isn’t the Garden of Eden.