A Review of Energy Victory by Robert Zubrin Winning The War On Terror By Breaking Free Of Oil
If you're looking for a great gift for someone, give a copy of Robert Zubrin's latest book, Energy Victory, Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil, Prometheus Books, 2007
Most people might recognize Robert Zubrin for his contributions to space exploration programs, particularly for his clever concepts for missions to Mars. Many will know Zubrin as a best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction, contributor to various highly regarded news and science publications, and one who has made numerous television appearances on programs ranging from the Science Channel to the BBC. Holder of a doctorate in nuclear engineering, Zubrin is president of an aerospace engineering R&D firm, Pioneer Astronautics. Zubrin is a clear thinker with a talent for finding elegant solutions to complex problems.
In Energy Victory, Zubrin has applied his considerable talent to a complex of global problems (to name a few: Muslim terrorism, OPEC price gouging, poverty in developing nations, American farm subsidies and protectionism) and come up with a solution that is both brilliant and elegantly simple and which would almost immediately yield massive benefits to both developing and developed nations while cutting the jugular of international Muslim terrorist operations.
Like to stop the Muslim terrorist operations for good without firing a single bullet? Like to see the U.S. permanently free of the need to import a single drop of OPEC oil? Like to fuel your automobile with a less expensive, virtually non-polluting, easily renewable fuel whose purchase doesn't fund Muslim terrorists? Like to see an end to the need for government subsidies to American farmers? Like to provide poor developing nations with a market for their farm products that would not adversely impact American farmers and that would help eliminate poverty in those poor nations? Then read Energy Victory and insist your representatives in Washington do the same thing and act accordingly.
Zubrin's latest book provides a simple roadmap to achieving those objectives almost overnight. All it takes is clear-thinking action by our government leaders in the form of a simple mandate to the automobile and truck industry. Understand that we already have mandates in the form of CAFE standards for automobiles sold in the U.S. Zubrin demonstrates that all we need to achieve far greater benefit at considerably less cost is a mandate that all new vehicles sold in the U.S. be "flex fuel" vehicles (vehicles capable of running on alcohol, gasoline, or any combination of the two). According to Zubrin, the technology for flex fuel vehicles is already in hand. It's simple to add, and it costs very little compared with the benefits it yields.
Zubrin addresses the benefits of methanol vs. ethanol as an alcohol fuel. While the latter requires considerable energy to produce and competes with the food and livestock industry for raw materials, the former is obtainable from any biomass (waste included), can be produced from both our huge national coal reserves as well as natural gas that might otherwise be wasted by flaring. In short, methanol is virtually a miracle fuel. We possess an inexhaustible supply of materials to produce it. It can be produced at less cost than ethanol. Even plastics can be (and are being) produced from alcohol rather than petroleum.
What good would it be to own a flex fuel vehicle when the only fuel service stations offer is a choice of gasoline grades? Yet, with the price of gasoline reflecting OPEC's artificially high price for oil, alcohol fuels could be produced at much lower cost from readily available biomass that would more than make up for any lower efficiency in mileage. With drivers clamoring for the much cheaper fuel, pumps for alcohol fuels would quickly appear at any service station wanting to remain competitive.
At the heart of Zubrin's proposal is an alcohol energy standard. Along the way to making his case for alcohol as the energy standard, Zubrin's book provides insights into a variety of equally important related issues. While an alcohol fuel standard is the elegant solution, worldwide Muslim terrorism, third-world poverty, and global oil dependency are some of the major problems Zubrin tackles in Energy Victory.
Exposing Saudi Arabia as the real terrorist state, Zubrin reveals how the Saudi oil pipeline (supported by obscene OPEC pricing) feeds a money pipeline to international Muslim terrorism. You will begin to understand why, despite public pretensions to the contrary, no meaningful energy policy emerges from Washington, D.C. Partisans will be disappointed to learn that corruption in Washington is widespread, involves well-regarded personalities, and infests both political parties with equal virulence!
Having laid the groundwork for an immediate imperative that we wean ourselves off OPEC oil dependency, Zubrin devotes the rest of his book to a discussion of alternate energy proposals -- which are viable (nuclear), which are not (hydrogen), how Brazil's alcohol-fueled economy is working, how a switch to alcohol fuel could defeat South American drug production/distribution, and alcohol fuel's implications for global warming (a topic Zubrin addresses clearly and rationally).
Energy Victory has a lot to commend it. It is clearly written. It contains revelations about the real roots of terrorism, energy production, and political shenanigans. It provides a clear picture of the alternatives for our future (OPEC dependency vs. OPEC irrelevance). It is a book everyone should read, particularly those elected officials with a Washington, D.C. office and anyone entertaining thoughts of running for federal office. Zubrin's energy solution is so powerful and easy to understand, if any of the presidential hopefuls made Zubrin's simple approach to energy independence a keystone of their campaign, that candidate would emerge a formidable opponent.
It's time our politicians stopped playing politics with our national energy policy -- a political game that helps Muslim terrorists and their Saudi financiers, harms developing nations by continuing global oil dependency and farm price supports in developed nations, and wastes billions on scientifically unviable schemes (hydrogen as an energy source, emission reduction schemes for greenhouse gases at huge cost and little benefit) while starving funding for research into a truly inexhaustible and clean energy source, nuclear fusion. We have a short-term solution to a long-term problem and Zubrin provides all the powerful evidence that all we need is leadership with the political backbone and resolve to set partisan politics aside and actually serve the people.
This book is so compelling that I urge you to consider buying copies of Energy Victory for yourself and your friends and relatives. A link to Amazon.com where the book can be bought online is provided below:
Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.