Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 2:39 PM
Subject: Common sense and boycotts
I was pointed in the direction of World Without Oil on about April 25th or so. I thought it was an ARG, so I left it alone. Part of me is still convinced it's an ARG. Either way, oil has been on my mind since, and so I payed attention when an appeal to not buy gas on May 15 came my way. I let some of my friends with cars know. But I didn't think it would do much good. Plans that contain the phrase: "if everyone in America simply did without..." fill in the blank, generally do not work. Then I came across this article at Urban Legends: http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/nogas.asp It basically says the same thing.
Unfortunately America is not going to change any of its habits until it is profitable to do otherwise. This is why I propose a new X PRIZE. The Ansari family sponsored the X PRIZE to be given to the team that could achieve private spaceflight. The important point and what makes the prize different from a grant is that the money is only given to the first successful team. However, this caused competition and several of the "loosing" teams are also well on their way to developing commercially availible space flight (of course this takes fuel; no historic event occurs in a bubble). They are now sponsoring a prize in genomics to the first team to completely sequence 100 genomes in 10 days, and and automotive prize. The goal is to build cars that have high gas mileage and low emissions of pollution. Making oil reserves stretch out is good, but not enough. There needs to be a new energy source. The X PRIZE site has a "propose an X PRIZE" page. http://www.xprize.org/xprizes/propose/
If one person suggests a prize for innovations and development of new energy sources, they might care, but the more people suggest it, the more seriously the foundation might take it. But the new energy source cannot just be possible, it must be cost-effective enough to revolutionize industry, and to a certain extent, the world, if it is to compete with oil. So I suggest that if you propose this prize, make sure to state that it should require a plan to implement the technology into society in a cost-effective way, either with system dynamics or some other prediction tool.
From Netizen jalathewinged1, ZIP 01609