“RE: Oil,” by Mark Krikorian, The Corner, http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/05_02_06_corner-archive.asp#055967, 10 February 2005.
John, while I generally share your sentiments on Iraq, I’m afraid Ramesh is right that even if we don’t use a drop of oil, it matters a lot to us if Europe and Japan (and China) do. But this is something that can’t simply be left to the market to solve — the solution (making oil economically irrelevant) needs to be accelerated by the government, through much higher gas taxes (preferably offset by eliminating other taxes), nuclear plants powering electric cars, and a Manhattan Project level of commitment to alternative fuel research. This may sound like populist hooey, but we’re going to harness fusion power before we’re going to be able to bring democracy to the Middle East. And there’s an obvious name for this effort: The Vasco da Gama Project, after the explorer who rounded the Cape of Good Hope, finding an alternate route to the Orient and rending the Middle East economically irrelevant for centuries.