COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama's suggestion that the solution to America's energy woes can be found in algae might well be his "lunar base" moment. Like Newt Gingrich's lunar base, algae derived biofuel is something well founded in science that is a target for ridicule.
The idea of algae based biofuel, while real, is something that just cries out for satire. Algae is, after all, green slime or pond scum, so the idea of putting it in our gas tanks, at least for the scientifically challenged, is something that is pretty funny. This is especially true considering the fact that there is a considerable amount of hydrocarbon fuel still in the ground that only needs tried and true refining to make it into useful things.
Will "Saturday Night Live" create a skit around the idea? Will Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert roll their eyes, mug for the camera, and mock Obama for proposing pond scum fuel? Will there be headlines in the mainstream media along the lines of, "Obama and the Attack of the Green Slime!" Don't hold your breath.
In the current world of politics and the media, lunar bases - something NASA has been looking at for over 50 years and the military even before that - are "zany." Using pond scum to create gasoline and aviation fuel is an idea that -- well -- we might not want to talk about too much because people might agree with Gingrich that it's "weird."
Mind, if Obama had approved the Keystone XL pipeline and was opening up America's vast oil and gas reserves for production, his mention of biofuel would not have been so remarkable. Of course research and development of alternative energy would be a good part of any sensible energy policy.
But as laugh inducing as green slime gas is, there is a serious side to Obama's fixation on alternative energy to the exclusion of and not along with more conventional energy sources. Everyone who has to put gas in their cars or pay an energy bill every month knows this. We don't have time to wait for algae biofuel. The energy crisis is almost upon us now.