Democrats & Liberals Archives

McCain's Energy Gaffe

Republicans took to ridiculing Senator Obama over a remark he made about making sure our tires are inflated by passing out tire gauges. Really. Are Republicans that stupid? It’s a fact that properly inflating your tires will save you about $800 per year — and America about 50,000 barrels of oil per day.

It's a sad day when someone proposes a way to take personal responsibility -- with no help from the government -- to do something good for the country, and the so-called 'Party of personal responsibility' rejects it. Obama is right when he says "It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant." They really do.

It's so bad over on the McCain side that even Paris Hilton is making fun of the "wrinkly old white guy". It's pretty sad when someone John McCain dismissed as a mere celebrity comes off sounding more knowledgeable and reasonable on a issue than he does. But it does make for good entertainment!

Posted by American Pundit at August 6, 2008 9:37 PM
Comments
Comment #257942

The point is that we cannot inflate our way out of the energy problem.

McCain (and the other Republicans disputing Obama) did NOT disagree with Obama about properly inflating tires—in fact McCain bolstered the argument, saying “And could I mention that Senator Obama a couple of days ago said that we ought to all inflate our tires, and I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it, but I also don’t think that that’s a way to become energy independent.”

Properly inflating our tires is obviously a good idea, but it’s not a substitute for other good ideas… such as offshore drilling, expanding nuclear power, and increasing our oil refining infrastructure.

The ridicule of Obama arises from his attempt to attack the necessity of offshore drilling with a non-comprehensive energy solution. It’s like offering a health plan that recommends eating an apple a day. Not a bad idea, but not a real solution.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 6, 2008 10:25 PM
Comment #257943

Oh, please, LO. Obama has a comprehensive energy plan. Don’t try to feed us that kind of crap.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 6, 2008 10:46 PM
Comment #257947

AP, what Obama said was “We could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups.” The implication here is pretty clear—that inflating is somehow a better energy plan than drilling.

Of course he’s going to offer and post on his website something he calls “a comprehensive energy plan.” But just LOOK at that plan. It’s nothing but gimmicks, subterfuge and evasion. It contains absolutely nothing about actually getting and making use of EXISTING sources of energy.

He wants to tap our strategic oil reserve. He has NO plan for how to replenish it. He wants to invest in alternative energy sources—fine, but that’s a scientific problem, not an “energy plan.” It’s like telling a cancer patient today that a miraculous cure might appear someday that could cure him—a nice thought, but it doesn’t solve the problem NOW.

He calls for hybrid cars which can get 150 miles per gallon. Is he going to invent this thing himself?

Increase carbon fuel standards? That is an ENVIRONMENTAL plan—not an energy one.

And he’s going to “creat jobs” with all of these initiatives too! FANTASTIC!!! GREAT PLAN!!! The only thing missing from Obama’s glorious energy plan is any actual energy.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 6, 2008 11:23 PM
Comment #257948

L.O.

Inflating tires - sounds silly. The moment I heard it, I knew that no matter how much sense it would make, how much it would help RIGHT NOW unlike almost every other part of either candidate’s energy plan, the Cons would ridicule it.

Proper tire inflation was never meant to BE an energy plan, for Pete’s sake! But if you listen to your right-wing pundits, it is! It was ONLY meant to be PART of a comprehensive plan, and something that can be done RIGHT NOW.

THAT is the important thing - it’s something that Americans can do RIGHT NOW - not seven years from now which would be the first drop of oil from any new drilling.

Has McCain put forth anything that would help America save money on their gas bills RIGHT NOW? Other than flip-flopping and suddenly agreeing with Obama, that is?

No.

Carter tried to lead the way for America to be less dependent foreign oil…and was ridiculed for it. Sure woulda been nice if the Cons had listened instead of laughed…..

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 6, 2008 11:38 PM
Comment #257951

Is the $800 and 50,000 barrels based on every car tire on the road being improperly inflated?

Here in middle-class land, miles away from elitistville, our fathers taught us at a young age the importance of properly maintaining your vehicle. So I guess your personal responsibility angle doesn’t work, but if you think real hard you might figure out why the statement was so ignorant.

Also, I’m sure McCain is working overtime trying to figure out how he can save face after not getting Hilton’s endorsement.

Posted by: andy at August 7, 2008 12:21 AM
Comment #257956

Yes, proper tire inflation WILL help. Lots of things will help in the aggregate. Maybe people should just walk or bike more. Maybe they should have flexible schedules.

McCain wants to look into ALL opportunities. Obama’s worldview is more limited. Evidently he thinks if you explore for oil you cannot also inflate your tires.

I suppose if inflating your tires is the kind of change you can believe in, go for it. I tried to keep my tires properly inflated before Obama told me it was a good idea and some of us want to do that and some other things too.

BTW - We know Obama wants to copy Jimmy Carter’s windfall tax and we see him with those same homely ideas like tire pressure. Is Obama going to give us back the 55MPH speed limit?

Posted by: Jack at August 7, 2008 4:56 AM
Comment #257959

AP, it is also a fact that when oil had risen to $35 a barrel a couple years ago, the oil Execs sat before a Congressional Committee and testified to the person, that they did not need federal subsidies to afford to drill for more oil with prices at $35 a barrel.

So, tell me AP, why did Congress authorize billions in subsidies to the oil corporations last year to drill for more oil? Looks to me like Democrats in Congress have hands as black and oily as Republicans on this issue.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 7, 2008 5:56 AM
Comment #257964

wow
Jon Stewart showed most of Obama’s comments that included the inflation statement, and he joked about what would be commented on — and listed all the RELEVANT points that Obama made, but then, sure enough showed the clips from Fox news and all the CNN “pundits” that focused on……
Tire pressure.
and now all you right wing bloggers are doing the same stupid thing
and you make it sound like that was ALL he offered — “inflate your tires”
No, Obama has a comprehensive engergy plan that was NOT written by the Oil companies — unlike the current and future Republican plans.
We cannot inflate our way out, we cannot drill out way out (McCain’s plan) nor Nuke our way out.
(by the way, McCain’s call for 45 new reactors in the next couple of decades — the people involved in the industry have indicated that not only would 45 reactors in that lenght of time be impossible, it would be stupid)
This is one Senator that should take advantage of his inflated Senate Retirement fund.

And shame on all of you for perpetuating this stupid focus on one small statement out of a complete speech — but then — that’s all you know how to work with — the inconsequential.

Posted by: Russ at August 7, 2008 9:57 AM
Comment #257966

Good point David - this Congress has been a disappointment for sure. They came in with a lot of promise but the leadership has fallen flat and done little to reign Bush in or to propose real solutions to problems. Granted it’s hard to accomplish anything with the GOP filibustering and W still in the White House - but anyone who voted to give a subsidy to the oil companies should be ashamed of themselves.

As to the solutions for the energy crisis - more drilling isn’t going to solve much long term or short term. It takes about 7 years to build one of those platforms and by that point we had better have a better solution to our energy needs than that. It will produce a drop in the bucket and the oil companies won’t even sell the oil to the US - it will wind up on the world market and most likely go to China or India.

We do need some comprehensive energy plan and considering what McCain has done in his 25 years in Congress (nothing) I’ll throw my lot in with Obama.

Posted by: tcsned at August 7, 2008 10:05 AM
Comment #257969

tcsned

You know that Obama voted FOR the Bush energy bill with those subsidies. McCain voted AGAINST.

In the 5-7 year term, pretty much nothing will work except the high prices, which have already brought down demand (and lowered emissions BTW.)

If we set that unreasonable criteria, we may as well just forget about it. You have to plan today for the future.

Posted by: Jack at August 7, 2008 10:40 AM
Comment #257971

LO, et al.-
The technology to go green exists now, and the technology to go even greener will exist in the next ten years.

The main questions at this point are ones of economics. McCain’s 45 Nuclear power plants are not feasible on the time scale he wants, not if we want them safe (the consequences of an unsafe reactor are unacceptable) With temporary subsidies and tax breaks, we may be able to quickly bring online plenty of renewable power.

And renewable power is a good thing. There isn’t an infinite supply of good Uranium ore, much less of fossil fuels, and both nuclear and fossil fuel methods of generations have serious potential blowback. Solar, wind and, biomass, and ethanol energy have the virtue of the most externalized fuel costs imaginable: the sun powers all, with a 5 billion year supply.

All that’s in the way is a lack of leadership.

This is essentially about learning to live within our means, something that years of oil, gas, and coal supplies have spoiled us about. These hydrocarbons are excellent at storing energy, but at the price of releasing long stored CO2 in the process of releasing that energy.

We need to put aside childish things, a love of ancient fuels that burn, and use our immense technological prowess to mature our infrastructure out of the industrial age.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 7, 2008 11:04 AM
Comment #257984

John,

What an interesting take on Paris Hilton’s ad. I thought it was hysterically funny but why anyone would try to say it means more than it does is beyond me to comprehend. It was a joke nothing more nothing less and to try and interpret all kinds of hidden meaning and to try and figure out what kind of point she was trying to make-are you serious? you have got to be kdding me!!! IT WAS A JOKE!!!

Posted by: Carolina at August 7, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #257989

Obama was quite serious in his statement about inflating tires and tuning engines saving more energy than new drilling would produce. Now folks, that’s just plain stupid. His plan to steal enough from private oil companies to give American families $1000 each is as far as one can get from the intentions of our founders.

Government can not regulate our way to energy independence nor can they tax our way out. These two failed prescriptions by liberal politicians have been tried in the past with total failure.

As I understand it, there are two reasons why liberals do not want new drilling for oil. 1. they fear that cheaper oil will reduce the pressure to develop alternatives and 2. they worry about man-made global warming. If #1 is not true, then why subject the American public to the dire consequences of high oil prices in an effort to preserve and hoard a natural resource that will be declining in value as new energy sources are developed?

Does anyone really believe that OPEC and other oil producing and exporting countries are pumping at near capacity because they love their fellow man? In reality, they want to sell their oil at today’s high prices rather than keep it in the ground and see its value decline. World oil giants are being accused of not drilling for oil on land already leased. How does this make business sense? $4 oil is about as good as it gets and I doubt they are not drilling in hopes of $10 oil. What company does not produce more of what is selling well and making them huge profits?

Perhaps Obama should advertise free tire gauges on his website for those who can’t afford one. Of course the gauge will have to come with clear instructions as many of those ordering the gauge can’t even figure out how to use a voting machine.

Reason #2, man-made global warming is a handy excuse for all kinds of thievery for liberal politicians. This nonsense will last another five or ten years and then fade much like global cooling and the hoola-hoop. But in this time frame, libs can do a lot of damage to the world’s economy and our personal freedoms. Energy users will become the new pariah’s much the same as today’s ill-fated tobacco users. First will come the castigation and then the regulations, fees and taxes levied on a legal, but despised proclivity.

We can save a huge amount of oil by subsidizing rail and discouraging long haul trucking. We can retrain truck drivers as border security, rail employees or some other useful occupation in emerging energy technology. The point is, many innovative ways are available to conserve energy while at the same time increasing supply and using government to encourage new energy technology.

As usual, government is the problem and not the answer. The red-tape and legal hurdles involved in building a new refinery or nuclear power plant is enormous, time consuming and costly. Government does not encourage a solution to the problem, but rather places obstacles in the way.

T. Boone is selling shares in his windmill endeavor and no one listening begins to understand the existing obstacles in getting that energy to the end user. What the hell good does it do to produce gigawatts of electricty if it can’t be delivered and requires nearly 100% redundancy with oil and coal backup. Are liberals ready to petition congress with new laws and regulations to make this feasible? Has Obama said one word about helping to make this possible? No! It’s the same problem with our solar farms, how do we distribute the energy produced?

It just words, and more words folks. Pander to the believers and other idiots without a thought to will it work and how do we implement it? While all the legal challenges are being discussed in congress for the next 10 years we can be pumping and using new oil now.

Posted by: Jim M at August 7, 2008 2:22 PM
Comment #258002

tcsned, your reply sounds eminently reasonable to me. Pretty much the same rationale I have about the choice presented us voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 7, 2008 4:19 PM
Comment #258004

“His plan to steal enough from private oil companies to give American families $1000 each is as far as one can get from the intentions of our founders.”

Of which intentions do you speak Jim M?
“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” Thomas Jefferson, 1812 Source:Liberty Quotes

The private oil companies you speak of are actually multi national corportions that set the energy policy with this administration and have already stolen enough of the taxpayers money through subsidies havent they? Or did the founding fathers intend to subsidize corporations at the expense of the taxpaying people of this country?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 7, 2008 4:34 PM
Comment #258005

John-
Obama’s numbers, as of recent polls are about 5-7 points higher than McCain’s. Virtually all predicted claims of problems he would have with certain demographics turned out to be unsound. Obama’s not in any serious trouble.

And your interpretation of Paris Hilton’s ad is almost as laughable as the ad itself. Unfortunately for you, I get the sense you wanted to be taken seriously. Just so you’re clear on this, the ad starts out targeting McCain as old as dirt, even going so far as to show an image of the Crypt Keeper. If she was wanting to disparage Obama, she would have essentially piled on with McCain, probably saying something like he was worse than her. She made McCain the butt of the jokes instead.

Jim M-

Obama was quite serious in his statement about inflating tires and tuning engines saving more energy than new drilling would produce. Now folks, that’s just plain stupid. His plan to steal enough from private oil companies to give American families $1000 each is as far as one can get from the intentions of our founders.

He gave actual numbers. Such measures have the virtue of saving money and reducing demand NOW. Many organizations and industries have essentially said he’s right.

As for stealing? Nice rhetoric. Look up the definition of theft. Has to be unlawful. If congress taxes oil company profits, it has the authority of the constitution to do so. Perhaps you think its a misinterpretation of the constitution to go in that direction, but that’s your opinion.

And would most Americans consider this undeserved? Virtually every industry and every American is being held hostage by their gasoline prices, and they’re measuring their profits with eleven digits. Was this kind of economic bondage envisioned by the founders? I think not.

There is no simple plan to gain energy independence. But it certainly won’t come from more drilling. It’s naive to think that we’ll get any immediate relief from it. We’ll burn through the new supplies in months and still be dependent on a environmentally harmful fuel that’s in ever more limited supply.

Reason #2, man-made global warming is a handy excuse for all kinds of thievery for liberal politicians. This nonsense will last another five or ten years and then fade much like global cooling and the hoola-hoop. But in this time frame, libs can do a lot of damage to the world’s economy and our personal freedoms. Energy users will become the new pariah’s much the same as today’s ill-fated tobacco users. First will come the castigation and then the regulations, fees and taxes levied on a legal, but despised proclivity.

If you want to play political games with science, expect to get your butt kicked on the facts. First, Global cooling was one hypothesis, and Global warming was another. The climate question, three decades ago, was not all that settled. This, though, is normal. However, such situations do not last forever. There has yet to be a scientific study that conclusively demonstrates the probability of global cooling.

Hell, the evidence doesn’t support it. But you know, they had to consider it first. It wasn’t that everybody ran to one side of the ship and then to the other. This was a gradual filtering of proponents from one side to another, as the evidence mounted.

But plenty of evidence shows a warming trend, shows that the characteristics of this warming (where it warms and by how much) are consistent with CO2 forced warming. They show an undeniable rise in the concentration of it, and the isotope profile is not consistent with a huge natural release of it, but rather a fossil fuel release, which only we’re doing.

In science, you don’t get to challenge explanations for free. You have to demonstrate conclusively that folks are missing something critical, and then, come up with a better explanation, and neither of those demonstrations can be done with any credibility without the evidence, observations, and scholarship to back it up. Personal disbelief and personal dislike is not enough, and every scientist who has successfully challenged the status quo has realized that, and countered the old ideas with the research to justify their radical revisions.

For the time being, the best supported science should direct our policy. It’s time to stop stalling, and start taking some actual action.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me address your alarmism. Right now, we have the capacity and the technology to get our current energy from renewable sources. It might be a tad more expensive to start with, but advances have made it competitive. Energy users won’t become pariahs. They’ll simply be getting their power from other sources.

And that power will be carried like any other power is: by long distance power lines, which, contrary to your alarmism, are a well understood and technologically feasible means of power transmission.

Any other baseless fears you wish to invoke?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 7, 2008 4:57 PM
Comment #258013

Stephen Daugherty says; “Right now, we have the capacity and the technology to get our current energy from renewable sources.” with no cited legitimate sources and then has the audacity to criticize me for not naming my sources for not believing the man-made global warming myth. I tried listing and attaching reports by leading world climatologist in the past and the usual response was to deride the source. If the source isn’t hawking your position the author isn’t accepted. So I no longer cite my sources.

Perhaps I misunderstand Stephen. Are you saying that we could satisfy all our energy needs today with existing technology and delivery systems using only renewable resources? Pardon me, where do I fuel my Lincoln Town car, and to what do I attach my natural gas furnace? Park the oil tankers, close the coal fired electric generation plants and shut down the refineries boys, we have achieved nirvana.

Now here is a real jewel of a statement by Stephen, “As for stealing? Nice rhetoric. Look up the definition of theft. Has to be unlawful. If congress taxes oil company profits, it has the authority of the constitution to do so.”

Wow…that is a revealing statement that sheds lots of light on typical liberal thinking. It sort of resembles the theory that if we make murder legal it won’t be a crime. My friends, some only believe in man’s law and many believe in God’s law. Stephen finds it unobjectionable to rob and steal providing it has the imprimatur of congress.

We hold these truths to be self-evident…stealing, even if done by congress, is wrong and abominable. But then, they have been robbing us for years in their slimey and underhanded ways, why not come right out and do it in the daylight. Right Stephen?

Posted by: Jim M at August 7, 2008 7:04 PM
Comment #258015

I believe it is everyones responsibility to conserve energy, even doing the things that BHO suggested. But to have the nerve to compare that to new drilling is totaly assinined. And congress going home on vacation and not even attempting to vote on an energy bill is dispicable. I applaud the Republicans for what the are doing in congress. This just shows the american people the ture color of the Democratic party. All Nancy Pelosi is worried about is selling the book she wrote, she don’t care if us poor folk have to scrip every week to get money for fuel and food, she has plenty. We need to get energy independent NOW, and we need to take whatever steps needed for that process , if it takes drilling on the White House lawn SO BE IT. Better yet Al Gore’s back yard.

Posted by: KAP at August 7, 2008 7:24 PM
Comment #258016

Jim M and KAP,
Big Oil consists a group of huge multinational corporations. They seek profits. They do not act in the interest of the United States. That has nothing to do with their goals. They do what they do because it is in their self-interest, NOT because it is good for you or me.

Offshore drilling is estimated to have the potential to contribute 200,000 bbl per day by 2030. Currently the US uses 20 million bbl per day. So, offshore drilling leases give Big Oil the option to drill in places most Americans would find objectionable. The concerns are real. Oil spills off Florida or Virginia would have disastrous economic consquences for the coasts. The GOP is merely taking advantage of panic to rake in the Big Oil money donations, in exchange for delivering leases on marginal fields that would otherwise be politically unpalatable.

It sounds good to a gullible, frightened public, but in reality offshore drilling is not much of an answer for cutting down on imported oil. Not even close.

And what the GOP are doing in the House is a joke. If they didn’t want to adjourn, they shouldn’t have voted for it.

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #258017

phx8
How many oil spills have there been in the Gulf of Mexico? How many oil spills were there when Katrina went through the Gulf? Technology has advanced even in oil drilling and weather it be 200,000 or 200,000,000 every little bit helps. But I do like the Republicans way of doing something then the Democrats way of doing NOTHING!

Posted by: KAP at August 7, 2008 7:52 PM
Comment #258019

KAP,
The GOP merely proposes doing more of the same. What needs to happen is a sea change in what we are doing- conservation today, radical changes with means of transportation, development of alternative energies.

There have been many spills in the Gulf. Katrina spread a lot of toxic waste in NO. And McCain cancelled his visit to an oil rig recently just as a huge fuel spill closed the Mississippi.

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2008 8:01 PM
Comment #258020

I don’t understand how Republicans have all of a sudden jumped on the “energy indepedent” bandwagon in the last few months of the Bush Presidency. The rest of us have been talking about this for years, especially after 9/11, that we needed to get off of oil and move to home grown renewables. This will do three things: stop directly funding our enemies, improve our own economy, and improve the environment. Right after 9/11 Bush should have asked for Congress to raise CAFE standards, and put us on a track to get off oil. In one of his state of the union adresses he said that America was addicted to oil, and his solution has been more oil. That doesn’t even make sense.

Republicans had complete control of our government and did nothing on this issue, they didn’t even bother extending the offshore drilling, or opening up ANWR when they had the chance. Now that they see the writing on the wall that they will be out of power for the next generation due to their incompetence, they are trying to secure those areas for future drilling. FUTURE DRILLING. Oil companies are not about to drill these areas and flood the market with oil right away, dropping the prices and their profits for the “good of America”. What dream world do Republicans live in if they seriously think that will happen?

Domestic drilling will not make us energy independent. We peaked domestically in the 70’s just as predicted, and supply will continue to drop as demand rises. There has been no major new oil discoveries in years compared to the discoveries of the past. It’s now time to make the transition off of oil and towards increased efficiency and renewables, and not waste time and money in order to feed our addiction. We need tax breaks for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles. Plug-ins can charge overnight during off-peak hours without impacting the electric grid at all, and hybrids can extend the car mileage by regenerating the electricity lost to braking. These cars can be made now, we just need to give an incentive in the form of a tax break to offset the higher sticker price.

Posted by: pops mcgee at August 7, 2008 8:10 PM
Comment #258025

Pops mcgee,

“In one of his state of the union adresses he said that America was addicted to oil, and his solution has been more oil. That doesn’t even make sense.”

Excellent succint summary of the Republican energy plan.


Posted by: Rich Harrington at August 7, 2008 9:25 PM
Comment #258027

Jim M-
I put forward requirements for what your sources would have to do. You believe its sufficient to raise doubts, but anybody can raise a doubt, even if there’s no substance to raise it over.

People continue to suggest that solar radiation increases might be responsible. But scientists have found stratospheric cooling and strong differentials between warming in the polar regions and those in more tropicial regions. Such warming is not characteristic of increases due to increases in solar brightness. It is characteristic of greenhouse gas forcings.

Still, they use it, so that the media picks it up, so the rank and file pick it up, and use stuff that sounds convincing to stall whatever it is the industries are afraid of from happening.

The trouble is, things can sound convincing, and yet be untrue. That is why the claims of those trying to cast doubt on theories and hypotheses must also be assessed scientifically. You can’t have it both ways. If you claim it’s solar radiation increases that are causing the warming, that it’s things like the Milankovich cycles, your claims must be put to the test as well. Or, if evidence already indicates the falsity of your claim, people have every right to bring that up to refute what you say.

But are you really interested in establishing scientifically what’s going on, or are you seeking to justify a pre-determined set of policies?

I have been quite willing to cite sources to back up specific scientific points. If you’re not willing to do the same, if you’re not willing to offer us evidence to back your controversial statements, then why should we take your disagreement with the science seriously? If it’s the intensity of my arguments, you have only to tap your passion and and your willpower. If it’s the scientific points I make, you have only to do your own research and figure things out. It’s not my fault if your sources get unreliable, peddling outdated or incorrect information.

The Replacement of infrastructure is a concern, but the fact of the matter is, it gets done every day. We update computers, go for newer and better equipment, trade in our old TVs for new ones. You’ll probably replace your car at some point, but if you don’t, somebody else will in your place. The natural gas in your furnace doesn’t have to come out of the ground. You can get methane out of any number of renewable sources.

We’ve moved on from previous infrastructure before. We went from a morass of state highways to an efficient interstate system. We replaced Copper in much of our communications backbone with fiber optics, changed out switches and routers. We are not obligated to merely stick with the energy infrastructure you’re comfortable with. It won’t be nirvana, it’ll be hard work. But that’s what’s required to avoid negative consequences sometimes.

Wow…that is a revealing statement that sheds lots of light on typical liberal thinking. It sort of resembles the theory that if we make murder legal it won’t be a crime. My friends, some only believe in man’s law and many believe in God’s law. Stephen finds it unobjectionable to rob and steal providing it has the imprimatur of congress.

I find taxation, in the Constitution, to be a lawful power of the congress.

Have you any evidence gainsaying this, or are you just flinging loaded words at the audience, which the people feeding you your talking points have focus grouped as particularly effective?

I find authority over interstate commerce, an accurate description of the oil business, to be a power of the Congress within the constitution. Do you have anything but a personal opinion to gainsay that?

Now, you may not like a tax, but the argument that it’s theft in the eyes of God is the least of your arguments, because Jesus took one look at the coin paid to the Romans in taxes at the temple, and said, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

If we don’t like how much they’re taxing us, we can argue that the tax is excessive and punish politically those who favor it.

To argue that any taxation is theft is just self-indulgent. There are excessive taxes, but we live in a Democracy, and can do something about getting such laws changed.

Right now, though, we have little voice in the effective energy tax that the oil companies are imposing on us. From our food to our ability to seek and keep jobs, our civilization is paying the price for an increasingly expensive energy source, as well as the corrupt choices of this administration, in how energy is sold and distributed. As much as you fume and vent over the injustices that the government imposes on us, you seem less inclined to complain about even more unaccountable corporations robbing us or cheating us out of that same money.

Me, I think Government can sometimes be a problem, and corporations can sometimes be a problem I don’t have this ideological bent which requires me to think that if one or the other was put in control, the world would be a happy place and we’d all tip toe through the tulips with ukelele music making us all frolic. I don’t think there’s a fire and forget solution to running an equitable economy.

KAP-
It’s not asinine. If we can make a bigger dent in our problem by being more efficient, is that not a legitimate argument?

The energy bill is a joke. So is any idea that we’ll become energy independent now, much less from drilling. The survey work takes time. The drilling takes time, and there are no guarantees on what you’re going to get and what quality you’re going to get out of it.

The trick is, we have plenty of renewable energy coursing through our country all the time. There’s our energy independence. Sunshine, wind, etc, all to ourselves.

The Republican’s way out of addiction is to seek more supply, but there will always be a finite supply of oil and other fossile fuels, and the more we take out, the more we become beholden to whoever has the most of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 7, 2008 9:50 PM
Comment #258030
The trick is, we have plenty of renewable energy coursing through our country all the time. There’s our energy independence. Sunshine, wind, etc, all to ourselves.The Republican’s way out of addiction is to seek more supply…

It is NOT a “Republican” idea that we need to seek more supply—it’s a fact.

And no Republicans that I’m aware of have any problem whatsoever with augmenting our energy supplies with wind and solar. The problem is that solar power and wind energy—even if you could depend on the wind to always blow and sun to always shine exactly where you want it to—are not sufficient for meeting our energy needs.

Also, using “renewable” sources on the scale that they’d have to be used to make a real dent in our energy needs would require environmental damage on a massive scale.

For example, we would need to install 4,883 square miles of solar panels to substitute for our use of fossil fuels. This would mean covering an area of the United States larger than the state of Pennsylvania—and then hoping for the sun to shine! With windmills it’s even worse—we’d have to cover up to 20% of the country with windmills. Even a combination of these two methods would be an environmental and logistic nightmare—and for energy sources that simply aren’t predictable and dependable.

The environmental damage of not only covering such large surfaces of the earth with solar panels and windmills is only one part of the problem. There is also the environmental damage and massive expense of MANUFACTURING these solar panels and windmills on a huge scale.

Too many Democrats apparently refuse to even deal with such realities and instead offer unrealistic pie-in-the-sky schemes that won’t work because they can’t. Not really a surprise—utopian dreams that do more harm than good are a pretty intrinsic feature of modern leftism.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 7, 2008 10:57 PM
Comment #258034

It just words, and more words folks. Pander to the believers and other idiots without a thought to will it work and how do we implement it? While all the legal challenges are being discussed in congress for the next 10 years we can be pumping and using new oil now.

There are currently viable alternatives available for implementation on a large scale level. It is possible to supply electricity to every home in American 24/7 with one huge solar thermal plant. This is fact. It can be done. Of course not over night. But like drilling it can ease its way across the country. All that is required is the infrastructure to get it to our homes. Are you telling me that we can put a man on the moon, a working robot on mars etc. But we are not capable of building a transmission grid in the desserts to tie into existing grids. The only obstacle to this beginning is political will. A will that is clouded by fossil fuel influences.

Anything we do at this point is going to take time and will bring no immediate relief from inflated costs. From my standpoint pursuing alternatives has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with a responsible and logical direction simply because we can and we should. You are correct in saying that there are many things we can do as individuals and as a nation to conserve energy in the meantime. However I fail to see how putting the emphasis on an expansion of pursuing more of what is ultimately the crux of most of this worlds problems as being responsible when we clearly have better choices.

It is my opinion that republicans are hammering this issue in payment for the financial support of the fossil industry. Quite simply republicans owe them big time. This is a fight to decide which direction is best it is a fight that will ultimately decide which energy source ends up being the big winner. I as you can probably figure out would prefer that cleaner renewable products win out. Simply because in the long run we and the world will be way ahead if we can wean ourselves off a debilitating energy source. If oil wins out alternatives will once again take a back door to oil. Prices will not drop significantly and we can go through this whole process again in a few more years. We have procrastinated too long. It is time to do what is best, not what is easiest.

Posted by: RickIL at August 7, 2008 11:40 PM
Comment #258035

LO

Your statements are ill informed, totally partisan and lacking credibility. Do the research you will find much that is viable and can be done. That is if we can move beyond oil and find the political will to implement a beginning.

Posted by: RickIL at August 7, 2008 11:49 PM
Comment #258036

Comment# 258034 was meant to be directed at JimM

Posted by: RickIL at August 7, 2008 11:51 PM
Comment #258037


Ok, I’m ready to lease the off shore oil to the highest bidder, which will be the Chinese government oil company. We can trade the leases to them for the debt we owe them. The Chinese will get some oil, we will get some oil (they will probably sell most of it to us and save shipping costs by buying Iraqi oil). Our country’s credit rating will go up and the value of our dollar will to.

If refineries haven’t been built, in many years, in the U.S. because of cost prohibitive environmental regulations, one would think that there would be quite a few of them just south the Mexican border if the lack of refineries wasn’t just a red herring. Perhaps the Chinese will build a few there.

Could it be that the great increase in the price of oil is a result of the oil boys seeing the writing on the wall and decided to get thirty years worth of profits in ten?

Posted by: jlw at August 7, 2008 11:54 PM
Comment #258040
There are currently viable alternatives available for implementation on a large scale level. It is possible to supply electricity to every home in American 24/7 with one huge solar thermal plant.

That is what we call—in the American vernacular—BULL CRAP. That is, unless by “one huge solar plant” you mean constructing something larger than the state of Pennsylvania.

Yeah, that’s “viable,” all right. Right on!! You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 8, 2008 1:00 AM
Comment #258042
utopian dreams that do more harm than good are a pretty intrinsic feature of modern leftism.

How hilariously typical!
For how often throughout American history have people on the Right side of the political aisle said the exact same thing to those of us who stand on the Left?

The truth is, the dreams of the Left and our fight to make those dreams a reality are what have always made this country a good, morally upright, and decent place to live.

And naturally, the majority of those struggles, accomplishments and advancements lead by the Left in America have been adamantly opposed by the braying naysayers of the right during the past hundred years.
People on the Left know that the dream, and our ultimate advancement toward environmentally sound energy independence will be a struggle no different than any other fight we have already lead and won before — as those on the right stand by with that perpetual sneer, insisting that our goals are “unrealistic pie-in-the-sky schemes that won’t work because they can’t.”

Yes We Can.
Sure, that may be our presidential candidate’s campaign slogan, but what it also happens to reflect is the mindset of the majority of people who stand on the Left.
In fact, to finish the thought, that should actually read:
Yes we Can. We Always Have Before. Now Just Stand Aside Righties, And We’ll Show You How It’s Done!
:^D

Take a look at the cartoon of a Republican candidate they’ve chosen to hold back American Progress for four more years:
Mr. Dazed and Confused. Good Heavens, is this really the man America wants to lead the country? After the idiotic presidency of George W. Bush? And over someone as intelligent and well spoken as Barack Obama is?

Call me a starry-eyed optimist, but I find that really hard to believe.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at August 8, 2008 1:11 AM
Comment #258044

Here’s another link to a much longer list of liberal accomplishments. Also gives a link to the negative views conservatives held toward that progress.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at August 8, 2008 1:41 AM
Comment #258046

VV,

I had to laugh at this one…

The Internet

era: 1960’s-present
Not a liberal program per se, but rather a government one, which many equate as the same thing. The internet is a good example of what a government program can do when allowed to work.

It is really an example of how the government taking a hands off approach is a big success, not the other way around. It was after the commercial aspects of the web, along with private inventors, like Cisco and Netscape, started using the fledgling interconnection of computers that gave us what we have today.

And it also is a prime example of where ‘liberals’ get it wrong, by trying to show it as an example of government success.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 1:53 AM
Comment #258048

Oh, and the highway system is another example of the PROPER use of government. Laying a interstate infrastructure supported by user fees. Those using the system are the ones paying for it.

Title II of the Act - entitled the Highway Revenue Act of 1956 - created the Highway Trust Fund as a dedicated source for the Interstate System.

Revenue from the Federal gas and other motor-vehicle user taxes was credited to the Highway Trust Fund to pay the Federal share of Interstate and all other Federal-aid highway projects. In this way, the Act guaranteed construction of all segments on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, thus satisfying one of President Eisenhower’s primary requirements, namely that the program be self-financing without contributing to the Federal budget deficit.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 2:25 AM
Comment #258049

Rhinehold,

If it weren’t for the government there never would have been an internet. Nobody could have foreseen the impact it would have, and the amount of money to be made from it back in the 60’s. The fact that no private business was successful at creating their own private internet during that timespan proves it. You have to thank the US government working in conjunction with US universities for laying the groundwork for the internet, and the generosity of Sir Tim Berners-Lee for inventing and giving away the world wide web for free.

Posted by: pops mcgee at August 8, 2008 3:10 AM
Comment #258051

Applause to pops!!!

Posted by: janedoe at August 8, 2008 4:25 AM
Comment #258063

Well I just read that oil is down to $116 a barrel, and without drilling, go figure. The $147 high earlier this year is down to $116 without a special session of Congress to pass asinine repub laws to “fix” the problem, go figure. Supply isnt nor has it been the problem yet the repubs and conservatives wanted more supply to fix the problem of this false crisis. I guess we can now say the Dems lead “do nothing Congress” was right by not falling victim to another false disaster and by them doing nothing we have watched the crisis abate somewhat.

There comes a point in time where the braying naysayers, as VV so accurately describes the repub/conservative followers, will have to come to grips with the reality of the situation. Face it guys oil addiction is a disease which needs to be treated. Your devious plan to open offshore drilling and ANWR to the oil companies will not be successful as it is without merit. The W administrations/oil company energy plan is the past not the future. Why is it so hard for you guys to not see the obvious? The time for alternatives has come, if you cant agree with this cant you at least get out of the way so others can move forward. Instead of blocking progress on EV’s and Hybred’s as well as Wind and Solar power now why not invest in an answer to the nuclear waste problem so that nuclear can move forward in the future? But to continue to hinder progress is only assuring that our energy dollars are going to continue to support terrorism around the world and serve to keep us economically enslaved to the multinationals and China.
Perhaps if the repub/conservatives could look at the energy problem as going to war it would be easier to move forward. By that Im saying that most of you supported Rumsfeld and his “we have to go in with what we have” approach to Iraq, yet when Energy is the subject it seems all things have to be perfect before we can move ahead. Im sure we can all look at the vehicle we drive and realize that it is what it is now because in the early 1900’s someone did something and then others followed until the automobile evolved into what it is today.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 8, 2008 1:05 PM
Comment #258065

I find j2t2’s comments above interesting. He applies a simple answer to a complex equation regarding the movement of world oil prices. Without any recognition of how markets move, including the market in world currencies, why traders react as they do, the EU economy in decline and much more, j2t2 simply says; “I guess we can now say the Dems lead “do nothing Congress” was right by not falling victim to another false disaster and by them doing nothing we have watched the crisis abate somewhat.”

If only j2t2 would apply that same logic to MMGW I would agree.

Conservation of oil products around the world has certainly helped on the demand side of the equation. How much more conservation can be accomplished without a complete failure of the world’s financial structure is not known. To date, the U.S. and much of the world is using less oil without the intervention of lawmakers except for a few instances. So, I agree that when the U.S. congress does nothing it is mostly a good thing.

What I fail to understand is why liberals insist that American’s can not walk and chew gum at the same time. Why must our energy policy lean only in one direction? If abundant renewable energy is the “Holy Grail” one must still have a horse (oil) to seek it.

WE can and should both increase the supply of American oil for all the obvious reasons and continue our search for the new energy renewables in supplies sufficient to meet our growing needs.

High world wide energy costs, among other factors, is a leading cause for economic decline nearly everywhere. Do we really want more decline by refusing to use the resources available to us so we can feel good? Why do we continue to hoard and place off-limits a resource that so many are desperately trying to make obsolete?

Lowering demand and increasing supply is the only logical strategy that will keep the world working at new solutions. Can we not lower our energy costs and also continue the quest for renewable sources? Are American’s not intelligent and strong enough to do both?

Posted by: Jim M at August 8, 2008 1:43 PM
Comment #258066

I still love this drive to “increase domestic supply” i.e. open up more drilling
when that will not
a) increase domestic supply sooner than 7-10 years
b) increase domestic supply at all as most of it will most likely be sold to foreign markets anyway (look at current Alaskan Crude Oil)
c) increase domestic supply by ANY measurable amount even If and when it were to come on line and come into the market.
More smoke screen, but it makes for a nice chant/mantra/soundbite/talking point — what it doesn’t make is — any sense.

Posted by: Russ at August 8, 2008 1:47 PM
Comment #258070
If it weren’t for the government there never would have been an internet. Nobody could have foreseen the impact it would have, and the amount of money to be made from it back in the 60’s. The fact that no private business was successful at creating their own private internet during that timespan proves it. You have to thank the US government working in conjunction with US universities for laying the groundwork for the internet, and the generosity of Sir Tim Berners-Lee for inventing and giving away the world wide web for free.

Bull.

First, you say that no one in the 60s could envision the internet as it is today. That is remarkable that books writting during this time describe just that type of situation.

Cyberpunk stories have also been seen as fictional forecasts of the evolution of the Internet. The virtual world of what is now known as the Internet often appears under various names, including “cyberspace,” “the Wired,” “the Metaverse,” and “the Matrix.” In this context it is important to note that the earliest descriptions of a global communications network came long before the World Wide Web entered popular awareness, though not before traditional science-fiction writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and some social commentators such as James Burke began predicting that such networks would eventually form.

Additionally you say that no private enterprise was successful in creating their own version of the Ineternet which is again wrong. Between several competing visions of the goal of connecting computers were AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, THOUSANDS of BBS systems, other connected networks, etc. It was the fact that the groundwork was laid with public funds, avoiding startup costs for private companies that made using the APRANET attractive for businesses. But other companies were working on doing just that type of thing, the notion that they wouldn’t have done so simply because the publicly funded version is what we ended up using is removing yourself from the reality of how the world works.

Finally, while the initial groundwork of the APRANET was laid down by government for research and military/university use, it was private interprise that made it what it is today instead of a rarely used or known entity. Betweek Tim Berbers-Lee, Cisco, Microsoft, Netscape, Compuserve, AOL, private standards organizations and others, the Internet is a great example of why government is NOT needed. There have been no governmental mandates on how the internet is organized or implenting standards, the users of the internet came together and agreed upon them without the rule of force. In fact, it is why so many internet users are libertarian in their views, because they see day to day that people can get together and interact without having every aspect of that interaction mapped out in oppresive laws. Only in the case of violating rights, such as slander, theft and molestation, does the government get involved in the day to day workings of the Internet.

Well, until recently when they have decided to block behavior it doesn’t approve of… And further bolsters my point.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 2:13 PM
Comment #258076

Rhinehold -

Gotta call you on this one. What books were written in the 60’s (or even the 70’s) that envisioned the internet as it is today?

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 2:57 PM
Comment #258077

And I just wish they’d poll likely voters on how McCain would do against Paris Hilton. I really, REALLY wish they would….

Come to think of it, with few exceptions (notably her fellow celeb Ah-nold), I can’t think of any Republicans who would to a better job as Commander-in-Chief than she would!

Yes, that comment’s probably beneath the dignity of this forum…but I just HAD to throw it out there….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 3:01 PM
Comment #258080

Glenn Contrarian, keep throwing out the nonsense and we’ll keep reading it for chuckles. I wonder how many liberals in love with John Edwards are faring today as the news of his infidelity is being released on all the broadcasts.

OH, well, one more name to scratch from Barry’s VP list. I look forward to hearing the defense of Edward’s actions by the left-wing liberal talking heads. Frankly, I always thought Edwards was a sleezy ambulance-chasing scum-bag and once again I have been vindicated.

Posted by: Jim M at August 8, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #258082

Rhinehold,

Without the government and universities doing the research, and finally agreeing upon a network standard, the internet would not exist today. Many technologies start out as government funded university research because businesses can’t see the potential, or aren’t willing to spend the money on something that might not pay off. It wasn’t until all the hard work of inventing and establishing a standard network protocol was finished, that it was opened up to the private ISP’s you mentioned. Many of those ISP’s had been around for more than a decade prior to the release of the WWW, with very limited success among the computer geek culture, but they all came after most of the networking research had already been done in the previous two decades. And it wasn’t until they opened their networks to the government/university created internet that they started to really take off.

Posted by: pops mcgee at August 8, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #258084

the ‘metaverse’ was described in detail in 1981 with the mention of avatars and virtual reality, which was built upon already written descriptions of worldwide computer systems appearing in science fiction in the years before. Arthur C Clark, for example is one such writer that had discussed it in the 50s and 60s. He was more famous for actually inventing the idea of a satellite system providing communications, a bit ahead of his time to say the least.

Most references to them were as ‘set pieces’ in short stories and novels, I’ll see if I can find a consise list for your perusal, but the fact that virtual reality networks, including the term avatar, was thought of in the last 70s and published in 1981 should help enlighten you about science fiction writers and the vision that they, and others, have about the future.

In fact, a quick listing of things that Science Fiction thought of before they were invented can be seen here:http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/science/2008/06/from-aliens-to-atom-bombs-scie.html

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:04 PM
Comment #258085

Jim T,
Early in the primaries I supported Edwards. It is disappointing, no doubt. He had an affair, and he lied about it. There’s a good possibility he fathered a child with the other woman. He should not be considered as a VP. No question.

Do you apply the same moral standard to McCain?
When his first wife, a model, had a bad car accident, she was severely injured. McCain cheated on her. He divorced her and married a blonde bimbo heiress.

Who is worse? Edwards, who cheated, lied, and probably fathered a child with his mistress? Or McCain, who cheated, and divorced his crippled wife in her time of need in order to marry a pretty heiress?


Posted by: phx8 at August 8, 2008 4:08 PM
Comment #258086

Glenn Contarian:

Come to think of it, with few exceptions (notably her fellow celeb Ah-nold), I can’t think of any Republicans who would to a better job as Commander-in-Chief than she would!

Yes, that comment’s probably beneath the dignity of this forum…but I just HAD to throw it out there….

I wouldn’t worry too much about dignity, Glenn. Especially not after seeing McSame’s latest television attack ad.

Aside from the base desperation and blatant dishonesty of the ad, it’s more than a little bit humorous to listen to an old geezer worth 100-300 million, who has been flying around the country in his Liquor Heiress wife’s private jet, who owns eight mansions, and who has been sporting 520.00 limited edition Ferragamo calfskin loafers on the campaign trail, using the word “grand” on Obama and telling us he approved that ad.
Rather than become president, McCain needs his own TV show: Life Styles of the Rich and Hypocritical, yet Transparently Jealous and Mean Spirited.

Btw, here’s the Obama campaign’s response (emphasis mine):

This ad is a lie, and it’s part of the old, tired politics of a party in Washington that has run out of ideas and run out of steam. Even though a host of independent, nonpartisan organizations have said this attack isn’t true, Senator McCain continues to lie about Senator Obama’s plan to give 95% of all families a tax cut of $1,000, and not raise taxes for those making under $250,000 a single dime. The reason so many families are hurting today is because we’ve had eight years of failed Bush policies that Senator McCain wants to continue for another four, and that’s what Barack Obama will change as President.”

PS. Thanks for making your points, Pops Mcgee. I appreciate you doing so since I’m not really interested in having an argument with Rhinehold about the history of the internet.
PPS. Go ahead, Rhinehold. Laugh your head off for all anyone cares. The simple truth is, Republicans (or your own party, the Libertarians) have no list of similar progress or accomplishments achieved that they can point to.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at August 8, 2008 4:11 PM
Comment #258087

Rhinehold -

The first instance of which I’m aware of anyone describing anything like cyberspace is the one who first coined the term - William Gibson. I’m sure someone probably did think of it - perhaps Von Neumann or any of those who were working on the original ARPANET, but as far as being in popular fiction, I’m not aware of any before the late 70’s.

Yes, Clarke (whom I’ve always admired since he teamed up with Kubrick for 2001: A Space Odyssey) was the first to envision global communications via satellite…but that does not compare to global access to written information via a computer network.

But this is all just splitting hairs (and I do love discussing history) and I hold myself responsible for diverting the discussion away from this particular forum thread. Thanks for the knowledge and the link.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 4:13 PM
Comment #258088
with very limited success among the computer geek culture

Now I know you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Compuserve wasn’t successful among the computer geek culture?

Interesting….

Many technologies start out as government funded university research because businesses can’t see the potential, or aren’t willing to spend the money on something that might not pay off.

That is sometimes the case today, definately. But to say that it wouldn’t have been invented because Government didn’t fund it is ignorant of the reality of how the world works. It takes individuals, these people can be working for the government, working on their own or working for private industry. It happens with our without government funding, contrary to your opinion.

Yes, when the ARPANET removed their restrictions to private businesses in the early 1990s, they jumped on it. But business was developing alternatives long before and they were successful. They could just not compete with the massing funding that WE paid for (by force) so they didn’t have to. But they would have because they obviously had seen the benefit (as did science fiction writers, et al) and WERE developing them. If the internet had stayed private, we would still have a worldwide connection of computers because it was inevitable. The shape and nature of that environment will remain unknown, it could have been better, it could have been worse. But there are a lot of industries that would debate you on your initial statement AND that they needed the government…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:14 PM
Comment #258089

VV -

“Rather than become president, McCain needs his own TV show: Life Styles of the Rich and Hypocritical, yet Transparently Jealous and Mean Spirited.”

LOL! (and very true considering what he publicly called his wife)

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 4:15 PM
Comment #258091
The simple truth is, Republicans (or your own party, the Libertarians) have no list of similar progress or accomplishments achieved that they can point to.

yeah, they (republicans) only have things like ending slavery, civil rights legislation, ending the cold war, etc…

And us old Libertarians, just sitting around defending human rights and liberty and being one of the largest block of swing voters in every election… Well, we are only a generation old, if you ignore the fact that the Democratic Party, pre the progresive takeover in the 1930s (after the attack on the supreme court got them to destroy the Constitution), were libertarians themselves…

Sure, believe what you want, if it makes you feel better about yourself somehow.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:24 PM
Comment #258092

Do we REALLY care of Edwards had an affair? Sure, it’s a crappy thing to do, but he’s also a human being living through a very stressful situation who proved to everyone that no one is perfect. Seems to me like we should be giving him a bit of a break…

But, the Democrats will fall in line and block him from being at the convention, partisanship is more important than principle I suppose.

Is a person’s private life private or not? Please make up your minds. We already know the Republicans are hypocritical wags who like to stick their noses into everyone’s else business and judge them unfairly, I had thought that the Democrats were somehow different. I keep getting reminded that they aren’t often enough though, I suppose.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:27 PM
Comment #258093

phx8:

Early in the primaries I supported Edwards.

Me too. Damn it.

It is disappointing, no doubt.

Yes, Disappointing, and Sad As Hell. I feel absolutely terrible for Elizabeth Edwards.
Maybe this is why Obama has talked about using Elizabeth to work with him on healthcare, and conspicuously left out mentioning her husband as someone who would play a role in his administration?

He had an affair, and he lied about it.

Idiot. And then he runs for the presidency, knowingly jeopardizing our chance that a Democrat can win in November. This fact pisses me off no end.

He should not be considered as a VP. No question.

Do you apply the same moral standard to McCain?

Of course the GOP hasn’t and won’t apply the same standards to members of their own party. They never have, and they obviously have no conscience about that fact.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at August 8, 2008 4:33 PM
Comment #258094

Rhinehold,

“with very limited success among the computer geek culture only.”

Outside of computer geeks in the 80’s and early 90’s most people had never heard of compuserve or AOL.

Maybe some business could have come along at some point and created a network comparable to the internet in its success, but it would have required alot of foresight, and the willingness to spend billions of dollars on something there wasn’t really a large demand for.

Let’s say the internet was never opened to the public. Would we have a network similar to it in its success, and at the same level of usage today, or would we be 10 years, maybe 20 years behind where we are now without the government and universities getting things started?

Posted by: pops mcgee at August 8, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #258095

Rhinehold,

“with very limited success among the computer geek culture only.”

Outside of computer geeks in the 80’s and early 90’s most people had never heard of compuserve or AOL.

Maybe some business could have come along at some point and created a network comparable to the internet in its success, but it would have required alot of foresight, and the willingness to spend billions of dollars on something there wasn’t really a large demand for.

Let’s say the internet was never opened to the public. Would we have a network similar to it in its success, and at the same level of usage today, or would we be 10 years, maybe 20 years behind where we are now without the government and universities getting things started?

Posted by: pops mcgee at August 8, 2008 4:39 PM
Comment #258096

BTW, I appear to have forgotten to include the name of the book in 1981 that predated Gibson on a virtual reality (contrary to popular opinion, Gibson did not describe the internet, he described an advanced version that had already been discussed previously that created a virtual visual world inside). The name of the book was True Names.

Heck, Philip K Dick references large video and computer networks (albeit a little rougly) in the mid 70s, used mostly for police spying, but the general idea is the same.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #258098
but it would have required alot of foresight, and the willingness to spend billions of dollars on something there wasn’t really a large demand for.

No, even if I were to agree with your premise the Government didn’t have that foresight either. It was a single person having a single simple idea and putting it out there for people to notice before it was a success. Had HTML and the Mosaic browser not been developed and used there was NO way that a large clunky network like the Internet would have had large general appeal. In fact, Compuserve was a much more successful network system than the ARPANET until the web browser was developed and pages started appearing on the internet. The internet was seen as a geek playground, real business was done on Compuserve.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #258099
Let’s say the internet was never opened to the public. Would we have a network similar to it in its success, and at the same level of usage today, or would we be 10 years, maybe 20 years behind where we are now without the government and universities getting things started?

I don’t think it was opening it to the public itself that made it popular but what private enterprise DID with it when it was available that made it popular. So yeah, it would still have happened (and was happening) once the right applications were developed for whatever network was created. Sooner, later, better, worse, those are things we can’t say for sure, only speculate. But we can say for sure that it would have been popular…

Apparently you don’t remember a company called AOL that had lots of general users using email, long before the Internet was available to them?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 4:56 PM
Comment #258100

Then why aren’t we on the compuserve network right now instead of the world wide web? It was a researcher (Tim Berners-Lee) working at a European government funded research center (CERN) who developed html and the world wide web and gave it away for free that lead to the internet as we know it. Mosaic was built upon his ideas, and those guys went on to form Netscape, and the bull rush of the tech bubble began. Where would we be if Time Berners-Lee wasn’t able to spend time doing the government funded research for CERN throughout the 80’s? Would the internet be where it is today, or would it still be a bunch of small networks for computer geeks?

Posted by: pops mcgee at August 8, 2008 5:07 PM
Comment #258101

Jim M -

At least Edwards’ illicit affair (and every Dem illicit affair I can think of since Barney Frank back in the 90’s) was with the OPPOSITE gender…unlike those of several Republicans in recent years. And how many scandals have we seen among the holier-than-thou televangelists who rail against those evil, evil Democrats? In fact, there’s an investigation into fraud going on right now against several televangelists including Benny Hinn, who I understand is the one that started the “Hillary’s the antichrist” thing (and inadvertently started the Conservative tradition of attacking the candidate’s wife (which they continue to do with Michelle Obama)).

And if you’ll think about it, other than offending someone’s high-and-mighty sensibilities, do affairs really mean someone is unable to govern? If so, then we’ve had a LOT of presidents who were unable to govern….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 5:11 PM
Comment #258102

Glenn & VV,
It’s up to John & Elizabeth Edwards to work out their marriage between themselves. But like you said, VV, the condemnable thing is that Edwards concealed this while running for president. If it had come out in late November, it would have handed the presidency to McCain.

I don’t like to even imagine how bad off the country would be if McCain were handed the election. Another four years like the eight we’ve just experienced? Shudder.

Posted by: phx8 at August 8, 2008 5:16 PM
Comment #258104

Correction: if it had come out in late October…

Posted by: phx8 at August 8, 2008 5:37 PM
Comment #258106

LO-
It’s funny how your argument comes to the same conclusion: we can’t rely on renewables.

Two points on photovoltaics: one, they’re constantly improving. The technology that’s used to engineer them is directly related to the technology we make our microchips with, and improvements in engineering for one have yielded improvements in the other. There will be new photovoltaics that make use of infra-red radiation as well pretty soon, and that will yield even more power.

Two, neither technology has to be all in one place. You can distribute them thousands, if not millions of rooftops that are otherwise just absorbing solar radiation and having winds pass by passively. Distributed generation will help bring down costs for consumers.

The figure I’ve heard regarding surface area necessary to replace the fossil fuels is one tenth of one percent. That’s a small sacrifice.

As for manufacturing the solar panels and windmills? Solar panels tend to last some time. While traditional generators have tons of moving parts, Solar panels just sit there and work by absorption. And once they start working, you really don’t have to pay too much for them, while regular generators constantly eat up literal trainloads of coal, which as a consequence will grow rarer and more expensive.

On the subject of windmills, as I understand it, they’re building larger windmills that have more power generating capability. There are ideas on the table for raising them even further, where winds are both higher and more constant.

And have you considered fuel cells for the home? There are tons of ideas out there, and just a casual perusal of today’s technology magazines yield much in the way of possiblities.

But while we’re talking pie-in-the-sky, let me be plain with you: this will not be painless, nor effortless in every way. No such transition ever is. The longer we wait, though, to make this inevitable transition, the more expensive, difficult, and painful it will become, and the higher the chance that we’ll trip up and experience an economic collapse on its account. Already, Americans are feeling the pain from our failure to increase fuel efficiency during the last decade or two. I’ve read about the technology, and trust me when I say, we’ve had the technology to do better than we have been doing for quite some time now.

The real problem is getting the cost of manufacture down, and that takes a certain degree of production. As the market picks up on it, though, it gets cheaper. This has already happened with solar panels. If you look on the street, you’re likely to see a solar panel on streetlights and other electricity dependent remote devices.

jlw-
The oil companies used to have more oil refineries going, but then they consolidated under the Bush administration, and they shut down plants. Aren’t you glad Bush was so enthusiastic about giving them what they wanted?

Rhinehold-
It’s one thing to write about such things, but to get them working as a business model, much less a reality, is a much more difficult thing. Government has its role to play.

One part of that role is making sure that intellectual property is properly regulated. It can serve to help enforce patents, but it can also discourage frivolous patents, and help arrange the framework for IP sharing, so that innovation doesn’t grind to a halt in either a free for all or a gridlocked patent grab.

Another part of that role is generating knowledge for public consumption by funding research. Many important innovations have first been funded by the government. No doubt, private innovation is a cornerstone of science and research in business, but if all the good innovations are private, it bogs down the rate of diffusion of knowledge, as companies jealously guard their advances.

And yet another part is doing research and making expeditions that private enterprise just doesn’t have the money or the guaranteed profit to attempt. It’s a good reason to lament the failure of this nation to step beyond low Earth orbit in manned spaceflight. We’ve found many uses for rare elements here on earth, but of course, being rare, they are both expensive and hard to find. This mainly happens because most of the heavy elements sunk to the core. However, among some asteroids, we can easily find more of some element than we have ever mined on earth.

What we’re looking for here is a paradigm shift. Some may have seen it coming, but nobody will have fully understood it before it comes. It won’t always be easy, but it may represent, as time goes on, our only real alternative for continuing a decent way of life, sometimes even our species’ survival.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2008 5:52 PM
Comment #258108

phx8 -

You and VV are absolutely right. Edwards very nearly did screw the country by hiding his illicit affair while running for president.

I was reading too quickly and missed that in your posts as I began to type my last post here.

However much I may feel that what goes on with a family behind closed doors is nobody’s business, running for president while hiding an illicit affair when that affair could sink his whole party’s chances is blatantly irresponsible and removes him from any further consideration for POTUS or VP at any time now or in the future.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 5:58 PM
Comment #258110

“And if you’ll think about it, other than offending someone’s high-and-mighty sensibilities, do affairs really mean someone is unable to govern? If so, then we’ve had a LOT of presidents who were unable to govern….”
Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 05:11 PM

Glenn, I actually agree with you on this. Illicit sexual affairs don’t mean someone is unable to govern. Lying about it says much more. I’ll take a horney President any day over one who lies.

As much as I think Edwards was unfit to be president it certainly isn’t because he had an affair that he at least conducted away from his home and family. Clinton couldn’t even keeps his pecker off the payrole at home. Both lied about it and Edwards has had his political career ended while for Clinton it was a resume enhancer. Go figure.

Posted by: Jim M at August 8, 2008 6:22 PM
Comment #258111

Jim M -

You called Clinton’s affair a ‘resume enhancer’?

Hm. He was dragged through impeachment proceedings, castigated in the press, howled about all over the airwaves by the Con attack pack (not to mention what it did to his marriage)…and you call it a resume enhancer.

See what we did about a president who had an affair.

BY THAT YARDSTICK, then, what should we do with a president who quite literally lied us into an aggressive war against international law and the Geneva Convention, cost us over 4,000 American lives, and tens of thousands (by the most conservative estimates) of innocent Iraqi lives…not to mention our worldwide loss of prestige and influence and a further loss of hundreds of billions of dollars spent there instead of here?

Simple - we’ll do absolutely nothing. Why? Because the conservatives say, “It’s all done and over with, let it go already!”

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 8, 2008 7:16 PM
Comment #258113

Jim M.-
The trouble with so gleefully talking about Edwards’ infidelities is that your candidate is married to the woman that McCain cheated on his disabled wife with. I’d say those who try to set themselves up as superior parties of morality are typically setting themselves up to be humbled.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2008 8:45 PM
Comment #258115

Glenn,

Clinton didn’t get it because he had an affair or that he lied about it. Well, yeah he did anger a lot of people when he wagged his finger and then we found out he was lying through his teeth. But the real issue was his perjury in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Denying someone a fair trial because you lie under oath is a pretty despicible thing, especially when it was a law you signed into effect…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 9:28 PM
Comment #258116

LO

My claims are not fictitious, I tempted to post links backing my claims this morning. There was some sort of problem so they did not get posted. You are mixing up photovoltaic solar panels with non photovoltaic solar thermal heating plants. The key difference is the word thermal. These plants use freznel mirrors to concentrate heat from the sun on water moving through pipelines to storage tanks. From these storage tanks the steam is led to above ground turbine towers. Such plants are currently in use in the southwest where there are only a few cloudy days a year. Underground storage tanks contain enough steam to power the plants overnight. It has been determined that one plant 72 miles on a side would be capable of providing electricity to every home in the US 24/7 at a rate commensurate with today rates. It is possible that the cost could be a bit more initially but in the long run they are estimated to be cheaper than current methods. There are no fossil fuels used in this process. The only obstacle at the moment is congress and the influence of big oil.

I am too lazy at the moment to re-post the links. If you are truly interested just google “solar thermal power”. NPR also has quite an array of interesting topics on the matter.

Posted by: RickIL at August 8, 2008 9:31 PM
Comment #258117

Stephen,

I agree with much of what you said about government protecting IP and blocking monopolies. Can’t have a free market when fraud, theft and monopolistic practices are in place. I am even not too concerned about funding the development of new technologies, I only have a problem with how those funds are collected. Collecting on income is immoral IMO, placing a usery fee or tax on a good or service makes more sense to me. I just have a problem with foricbly taking money from someone to give it to someone else, seems wrong to me.

But we have to be careful and this is why I think we have gone too far. If the government starts getting their hands into too many things, they push private enterprise out of the way because they don’t have to earn a profit and have unlimited wealth raising at their hands. Government should be providing protection and oversight to for profit and non for profit organizations, encouraging the type of discoveries we see all of the time from private industry. Think the telephone, microchip, transistors, organic photovoltaics (www.konarka.com), etc…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 9:36 PM
Comment #258122

Here is Obama’s latest TV ad that came out just today.
Contrast this ad with the link I put up earlier, which was the TV ad that McCain came out with today.
There is simply no contest here, folks.
Obama is talking about substantive issues (in this case alternative energy, and the new jobs that will be created) and his ideas and vision for America. McCain is pushing fear and prejudice of Obama, and nothing else — in three consecutive television ads, and counting. I guess because he’s got nothing to say on any issue of any real importance?

The talking heads on TV keep implying that Obama maybe acting too much like he’s already our president, and is therefore “too confident, too arrogant”, but looking at the enormous differences between these ads only points up the fact that putting confidence in Obama’s ability to lead this nation is entirely justified. While McCain’s trashy attacks are clearly geared to the nutjob End Timers, and some of those Sturgis Biker dudes, and the trailer park crowd in general: truly a series of campaign ads as completely empty of substance as any we are ever likely to see.

Of course, it’s only August, but for now, it looks like Swiftboating and character assassination is the only ammo Rove and Company have got.

I wonder if that will actually work in 2008 the way it worked back in 2004…

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at August 8, 2008 10:57 PM
Comment #258124

Good replies Stephen, and Glenn.

Rick, I’ve been reading a lot on the subject of photovoltaics lately — very exciting, and rapidly developing. The technology you’re describing here is indeed already capable of furnishing a large percentage of our energy needs.
I also agree that all we’re really lacking is the kind of leadership that doesn’t put Big Oil and their yearly record-breaking profits before the needs of American citizens.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at August 8, 2008 11:21 PM
Comment #258125

The Obama ad looks like the first 30 seconds of one of those videos a huge multi-national corporation would produce to show at a shareholder’s meeting. Or one of those Archer Daniels Midland ads before the Lehrer Report on PBS. If you’ve ever seen such a video, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s not badly produced (it’s actually pretty slick) but it’s incredibly bland.

On substance, it’s sort of silly. Hands that do one thing can also do something else? I suppose that’s true, but it’s not really the government’s or Obama’s job to decide what we do with our hands. The things discussed in that ad are the business of private industry, not the government. We don’t live in the Soviet Union where the central government comes up with five-year plans and decides what direction industry should be taking. I’d add this one to the script: “Hands that go into American’s pockets are hands that need to be slapped! Hands off America, Barack Obama!”

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 8, 2008 11:38 PM
Comment #258126

VV,

So, why no outrage for the profits that the movie industry is making now? They are a lot higher percentage than teh oil companies are making and I think energy is more important than entertainment, don’t you think?

Intereting I haven’t heard Obama decry these profits and call for a windfall tax for them…

And if the economy is really that bad, how are they making so much discretionary funds? The rich seeing a lot of movies over and over again?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #258128

Rhinehold-
On the first points, the trouble is, many have conflated “free market” with “unregulated market”. With such sensibilities, even the slightest of government constraints can be made into an interference with the free market system.

These have been the justification for repealing and rolling back laws that once prevented things like Enron, this Mortgage Crisis, and other debacles from occuring. It gets to where even if the industries prove entirely incompetent at policing themselves, we’re supposed to sit back and watch these things happen.

The truth is, not every value that matters in an economy is a financial one. Not every important economic phenomena can be dealt with in strictly financial terms. There are real world priorities that we should and sometimes must face that are not always favorable to participants of the free market or even the market itself.

Market oriented philosophies over-emphasize both the reality of the markets and their value for decision making. The market doesn’t deliver up a fair value for anything, just a value. The advantage of a market system is the speed with which that value is arrived at. That speed, though, relies on people properly understanding the problem. If they don’t, then you will see “corrections” all over the place.

Individual judgment goes further than any faith in the market. In fact, “market forces”, when they do work, are merely a bunch of people imitating somebody else’s good ideas if they can. However, if the industry as a whole is resistant to certain changes, even despite the necessity of those changes, how does the market compensate for that? Sometimes, to put a bad practice to an end, a big damn foot has to be put down. Americans should have the right to do that, and not merely wait for what might be an unwilling market to do what’s necessary.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2008 11:57 PM
Comment #258129

Rhinehold-
Nobody forces you to buy that DVD go see that movie, go download that album on I-Tunes. The video game you buy of your own free will.

Nobody who owns a car, though, can avoid having to pay for gas. Huge profits aren’t the problem. The problem is, those profits are undermining people’s economic ability to survive. They’re coming at the expense of people being able to get to work, go out and buy things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2008 12:03 AM
Comment #258131

Compared to other industries, the oil industry actually works on a very small profit margin.

Their large profits are only the result of high demand for oil in the global market—which is largely the result of developing economies requiring huge amounts of oil which they didn’t previously. All of the many, many, Congressional investigations have found this to be exactly the case… despite the din of accusations about supposed price gouging by politicians who are either ignorant of the basic economics behind oil or who grandstanding for their equally ignorant constituents.

A 7.4% profit margin is actually very small. Very few of us work—or would work—in industries with smaller profit margins than that if the sheer volume of sales were not as high as they are for oil.

Oil companies are making a greater profit than they used to for exactly the same reason Coca-Cola would make huge profits if there was a sudden and insatiable worldwide appetite for Coke. And Coke’s profit margin, incidentally, is 21.08%. Nearly three times greater than any oil company’s.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 9, 2008 12:42 AM
Comment #258132

Also, as a further illustration, the Microsoft corporation works on a 26% profit margin.

Aren’t computer operating systems and software just as necessary to the modern world and American economy as oil?

Seems so, but for some reason, we hear absolutely nothing about Bill Gate’s “obscene profits” and the need for “windfall taxes” to punish Microsoft and other technology companies for profiting as a result of filling consumer needs.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 9, 2008 12:53 AM
Comment #258133

LO,
MS faces constant lawsuits intended to break up their monopoly. If you not hearing anything about MS, you’re not paying attention.

The great difference between MS and the multinationals of Big Oil is that Big Oil involves land. It involves drilling for the natural resource where ever it is found, and shipping the oil from where it it found, to the market where it will be used.

Many countries do not want their oil exploited by foreign multinationals, or consumed in foreign lands. That means the military needs to force the issue…

By the way, good comment on the most recent Obama add, and a possible counter add for McCain. Obama is trying to keep his hands clean with his advertisements. It’s admirable. But will it work? Can a candidate win the presidency by taking the high road & addressing issues, and more or less ignoring the negative advertisements produced by McCain?

I think McCain’s adds are ham fisted and over the top, and assume people are stupid. His add aired during the Olympics is a real downer. It just comes across as mean and sneering and not very believable. But, what the hey, fooling the American public… never mind.

Posted by: phx8 at August 9, 2008 1:28 AM
Comment #258136

I see that some conservatives on this forum thread are busy taking up for those poor, disadvantaged oil conglomerates.

Sure wish they’d show the same compassion for the dead and wounded and all the other innocent victims of this illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq that we’re continuing to wage.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 9, 2008 3:49 AM
Comment #258140

“Compared to other industries, the oil industry actually works on a very small profit margin.”

Compared to other industries, regardless of their profit margin, the oil industry is actually subsidized by the federal government.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 9, 2008 4:47 AM
Comment #258142

LO-
If you do the math from your percentage, the quarterly earnings of ExxonMobil come to about 148 billion. multiply that by four, and you get a rough estimate of yearly earnings of about 600 billion dollars. Which is to say, ExxonMobil is taking almost two thirds of a trillion dollars out of the world’s economy, the bulk of which is likely coming from our pockets.

There will come a point not long from now where such expenditure becomes more necessary than it is cheap. We’re already on the edge of that happening. As it is, the amount of money people are forced to use to fill up the gas tank merely for necessary travel is going higher and higher. Screw gas tax holidays. The real gas tax is all we have to pay to fill up a tank.

There is no economic happy ending to the story of our dependence on oil, and we’re not going to break that dependence by just getting more enthusiastic about getting oil from our own shores, which won’t gain us much supply in a short enough time anyways.

There’s no reason for optimism with oil in the long term, even if oil costs turn out to be a partly a ghost in the machine of the speculation markets. Whatever supply we have left is limited, and the only thing making some exploration more economical is that oil has become expensive enough to justify it. But that can’t last forever. Sooner or later, people will say “screw it.” Or they’ll try. If they can only try, what then? Do our cars become vehicles just for special occasions? Does America’s freedom of transportation become a thing of the past? Do our communities and economic units collapse to suit the new average travelling distances.

If anything, the call to conservation is about preserving our way of life as much as possible against the inevitable rising costs of oil and other fossil fuels. We can pretend like the reckoning hasn’t already started, but the fact is, we’re already a little bit late. If the government had led on this, trouble and cost could have been saved.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2008 9:18 AM
Comment #258143

I am curious about the logic of checking tire pressure as a replacement for oil exploration. Does this assume that all tires in America are low? Does your oil change facility check yours? Isn’t a tire that you have to constantly check the pressure… defective?

Rhinehold:
1984 by Orson Wells had two way communication through a monitor screen. Big brother had monitors all over the place.

Carbon in hydrocarbon fuels originated in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide at one time. Vicious polar bears displaced the gentle mastodon in the arctic. Elephants don’t eat seals….Let’s make the world a rain forest!

Posted by: Kruser at August 9, 2008 9:18 AM
Comment #258145

VV

Thanks for acknowledging my response on the solar thermal possibilities. It is rare that any on the conservative side ever respond to the reality when it is presented as argument for alternatives over oil. I guess the revelation leaves no room for argument. In all honesty I sometimes find myself dumbfounded in wonderment as to why we as a nation of innovators would rather argue over practical solutions than implement them. Especially when they are just sitting there in the open waiting to be taken advantage of. As I understand it the main obstacle is infrastructure to move it around the country. No one can convince me that we are not capable of building that infrastructure. It is procrastination by way of wealthy influence that has not allowed us to proceed. I can not imagine a better time to begin the process.

Posted by: RickIL at August 9, 2008 9:53 AM
Comment #258146

Kruser

You are acting incredibly naive. No one has stated that checking tire pressure will replace drilling or the need for alternatives. It is merely one of the little things that if done regularly and on a large scale will have a big impact on the amount of fuel we as a nation burn on a daily basis.

It is something that would be effective immediately. The idea has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative. It is fact that exists in reality and is a step that responsible people who are concerned about saving a few bucks can do on their own. It is something that I and I am sure many others have done on their own for years. Not only does it save fuel but it makes your tires wear longer. I think for all you blowhards who are attempting to turn this simple statement into an inflammatory negative, perhaps a bit of common sense is in order.

Posted by: RickIL at August 9, 2008 10:08 AM
Comment #258147

I know that oil and cars are sacred subjects among Americans, but it is kinda silly to blame oil companies for the prices when most of the cost comes from crude, which most of them no longer own.

It is also silly the way people pretend to be victims when the prices rise. Drive less. That works to save money.

It would be better if people walked more anyway. So many fat people. Maybe we can make a law against that.

Posted by: Jack at August 9, 2008 10:19 AM
Comment #258148

phx8

But, what the hey, fooling the American public… never mind.

Fooling the American public has become a favorite past time of our politicians. They bank on gull abilities. Nobody uses the gullible tool better than republicans. When you have nothing but failed policy to back up an agenda, the creation of confusion among the gullible is a viable campaign tactic. After all a misinformed supporter is better than an informed non supporter at the polling booth.

Posted by: RickIL at August 9, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #258149

RickIL

There are two types of power plants, base load and peak power. The base load keep the grid steady by producing a constant determined amount, night and day. Peak plants are fired up for peak load times such as hot afternoons etc.
Solar and wind are not viable because there is little application without vast amounts of storage for calm, cloudy days and also nights. Another problem is transmission to the heavily populated areas. Hot windy areas generally have little for population density.
Nuclear power and coal operate the base load twenty four seven, near consumers, with little problem. It isn’t a matter of price per kilowatt but keeping power readily availiable for consumers.
Thermal solar may be more effective and cheaper than other alternatives but the major foundational problems are glossed over as being slight.

Posted by: Kruser at August 9, 2008 10:28 AM
Comment #258151

Kruser-
I’m sure they have some kind of statistic they’re going by, maybe a survey answer or something. But the point is, there are ways to increase supply that we can employ right now, and see the benefits of right now. And if you’re not using gas, you’re not having to pay for it.

You treat climate change as if it’s some big party. I guess that’s what you get for listening to people who have a vested interest in confusing people about fossil fuels so they don’t shift to other energy sources.

Truth is, we don’t know what kind of world will result, but it won’t be the one our civilizations and even ourselves were adapted to for all these years.

But even if that never happened, there would be yet another adaptation that fossil fuels will require in order to rely on them continually, and that would be the adaptation to its rising cost and dwindling supply.

We have the chance to kill two birds with one stone: switch to energy choices that are sustainable in the long run, and avoid what problematic side effects of using fossil fuel we would be faced with, continuing that dependence on oil.

Jack-
Drive less. Great suggestion as long as you have that option.

Why are we having to continually adjust our lives to this industry? Isn’t it time the energy companies adjusted to us? That our society quit kidding itself and start considering energy policy like adults?

The decay of societies often begin with the reliance on easy but unsustainable practices. Efforts meant to promote survival and growth do not necessarily reach that goal. The Romans, trying to grow as much grain as possible, silted up their harbors with the dirt from deforestation. The Mesopotamians ruined much of their growing lands unwittingly, when their irrigation practices, through evaporation. left salts in the soil.

We, unlike many societies in history, have the capability to look at what we’re doing and catch mistakes others might not have been able to. There are societies that have learned to live stably in environments, like the Japanese with their forests and the Icelanders with their farming practices, even after they screwed things up the first time around.

I would agree that we need to be more efficient about how we move things and from where. At the same time, though, we need to be more efficient about what we move it with. We need to be compounding one efficiency on another. But that can’t be done by market forces alone, even assisted by taxation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2008 10:58 AM
Comment #258153

“1984 by Orson Wells” LOL, thanks for the laugh.

RickIL, the tire pressure thing assumes that a large percentage of drivers are kinda dumb, but maybe they are. I always bought oversize tires, and overinflated them when carrying extra weight. I guess a lot of people don’t understand something that basic.

“So many fat people. Maybe we can make a law against that.” ITA, besides anything else, they occupy too much space.

On the Romans and grain, they mostly just got it from Egpyt. Almost everything that came to Rome had to go through the port of Puteoli, in the bay of Naples, and was transshipped from there on smaller vessels, or overland on the Appian Way, creating an extra expense to keep the capitol where Jupiter wanted it to be. Later Constantine had a better idea, but it required changing their religion a little.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 9, 2008 11:20 AM
Comment #258156

To be fair, not even McCain seems to understand the basics of the energy industry and has parroted the leftist line in chiding oil companies for not investing more in developing alternate energy sources.

This is a really odd idea—like saying that it was the job of the railroad companies to invent the airplane or the job of the typewriter companies to invent computers. It is is the job of the oil companies to drill for oil and sell it. That’s all. If they want to diversify—if doing so is profitable—they will. If they don’t, and there’s a demand for alternative energy, others will step in and reap the profits.

All American politicians can do is make it more difficult for our domestic oil companies to do business—which only increases our dependency on foreign oil ad gives foreign companies not subject to US government meddling a competitive advantage not only in the US but worldwide.

On one hand, Democrats constantly complain about “outsourcing”—but on the other hand, they advocate policies that make it more and more impossible for domestic companies to do business in the United States.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 9, 2008 12:28 PM
Comment #258157

Kruser

The solar thermal plants will provide base load 24/7. Night time energy will be stored under ground in huge tanks in the form of steam. There are only a few days in certain areas of the southwest desserts when clouds are present. This technology relies only on the sun as its energy source. The sun and energy it emits is constant. This technology is currently functioning at smaller levels in California and I believe Arizona. It is an energy source that can be put on line quickly and incrementally expanded to serve a larger and larger area over time.

It does not take a genius to realize that a combination of currently viable innovative energy gathering technologies can work to ease us off our seemingly ridiculous penchant for being held hostage by the fossil industry.

Posted by: RickIL at August 9, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #258158

“the job of the typewriter companies to invent computers”, like IBM, who decided that they would like to stay in business? You don’t hear much about Olivetti and Underwood anymore, or Smith Corona, or was that a cigar company?

Posted by: ohrealy at August 9, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #258160

I am sick and tired of hearing about energy independence. Richard Nixon called for energy independence when I was young. We were importing 40% of our oil then. We are importing over 70% of it now. Listen people; Texas is empty, so is Pennsylvania. There’s some oil off shore and in Alaska. But not much.

There’s only one way we’ll ever be energy independent. We have to get away from Oil! What we need is a lot of leadership. After 9/11 George (corporate profit is all that matters.) Bush told us to go shopping. President Gore could have declared war on energy. If it was patriotic to save energy, and unpatriotic to waste energy, that would change everything. We could save 30 to 40% of the energy and still do the same things. —- live in the same places, work in the same places, and shop in the same places. The only difference would be the mindset we use with energy.

Of course there would be morons attacking their neighbors’ SUV “ cause he supports terrorists”. But at the same time we could be the leaders of the world in efficient use of energy. Which has to be the next big industry.

As far as using wind and solar energy, we have the technology to do it now. But did anyone see what a professor at MIT came up with? It’s a new kind of solar collector. It uses chemistry sort of like photosynthesis to make hydrogen from water. WOW! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-crandell/solar-energy-breakthrough_b_116343.html

There are a lot of things we can do to move past fossil fuels, but our dinosaur corporations don’t want to change the business model. So we get 20th century answers to a 21st century problem. No don’t tell me all we have to do is drill off shore or any other place and we’ll have energy independence. THAT’S A BUNCH OF BS

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at August 9, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #258161

Like I said many times before, the student body of MIT could do a better job running the Dept. of Energy. It’s just in the vested interests of some people to keep us using the same sources of energy, but it is certainly against our own national interests, and has been for 30 years.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 9, 2008 2:52 PM
Comment #258162

There is a role for some degree of central planning when it comes to energy—nobody is saying otherwise.

But many not only seem to want the central government to not only take control but implement science-fiction fantasies of nonexistent technologies.

Our “dinosaur corporations” will go the way of the dinosaur if they fail to keep ahead of the technological curve—that’s the punishment for not supplying an existing demand with an existing product.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 9, 2008 3:35 PM
Comment #258165

LO-
You keep on bringing the political point back to this notion of somehow putting domestic oil into overdrive, and that solving the problem. The trick is, such sources are too few, hold too little oil, and will take years to bring into the country’s supply, by which time, it won’t matter much.

There’s an actual 300 MPG vehicle on the road, though not in current production. There are modified hybrids and plug-ins in development now with models fully capable of 100+ miles per gallon. This stuff isn’t science fiction. It’s just not mainstream yet.

But that could change.

However, change is a problem for your people. You see the good of the economy primarily in terms of “more of the same”, and dismiss the notion of collapse by saying that the market will work things out.

Trouble with that is that the Market is mostly mindless herd behavior. Nice if what you’re trying to do is establish a price for something, but when it comes to actual judgment, personal competence and knowledge does much better. Too much of business behavior today is built around market manipulation, trying to stampede investors in one direction or another. That’s a significant part of our current oil crisis, of the Enron Scandal, and of Enron’s manipulation of energy prices in California.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2008 6:37 PM
Comment #258166

S.D.
The technology you are talking about has been around for 50 or so years. But due to the fact that the auto industry and oil giants bought up the patents, those discoveries never went into production or the government at that time didn’t allow them to go into production.

Posted by: KAP at August 9, 2008 7:21 PM
Comment #258167


L.O.: Space travel was a science fiction fantasy, so were telecommunications satelites and many other things that we take for granted.

Soon, home based energy systems will be taken for granted. The only thing needed from the centralized government is to expedite the research and help make it a reality for most if not all of us.

Posted by: jlw at August 9, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #258172
You keep on bringing the political point back to this notion of somehow putting domestic oil into overdrive, and that solving the problem.

Solving the problem? No one is saying any such thing. But until the problem is solved, we need to at least alleviate the problem. And the case for more oil drilling is not—I repeat, NOT—an argument against developing alternative energies or more fuel-efficient vehicles. We can offer tax incentives for research and the rest of it, but the fact remains that for the foreseeable future we WILL keep using fossil fuels.

The only question is where we’re going to get it and how much we’re going to pay for it. The left attempts to make this into a simplistic either-or choice (oil-drilling or alternative fuels) but the result for now and for the forseeable future is only that we buy more and more foreign oil in proportion to domestically-produced oil—and at increasingly high prices.

One irony here is that the environmental left often likes to say “think globally, act locally.” Ever heard that one?

But when it comes to oil, they do the exact opposite. Because they have a problem (as do plenty of us) with the effects of carbon-based fuels, they exert pressure to put up roadblocks within their little sphere of influence (the US) that prevent extracting oil here. This just allows foreign companies to corner the market—and drill for more oil with few or none of the environmental protections that WE would demand of our companies.

Do you suppose that the Russians, Mexicans, and Venezuelans are worried about endangered habitats and environmentally sensitive practice? Please.

The trick is, such sources are too few, hold too little oil, and will take years to bring into the country’s supply, by which time, it won’t matter much.

So when—precisely—won’t it matter much? Nobody actually knows. We need to be forward-looking and plan for any contingencies. Not simply act on the blind faith that in a couple years from now we’ll have abundant and inexpensive sources of alternative fuels. If you’re right and that’s true, then we won’t need that oil after all and we can leave it in the ground. The point is to be prepared and to have as many options open to us as possible… options which don’t rely ENTIRELY on buying ever larger quantities of foreign oil.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 9, 2008 11:37 PM
Comment #258179

The 24/7 baseline power claim follows the reasoning of most lib programs. Speculation toward technologies that jump over facts. Even if there were enough storage to serve the need of the US, (and that is a big given) transmission to population centers in the north where there isn’t enough sunshine is impossible. Electricity takes loss due to friction and heat over power lines. It is substantial when you work the formulas.
Another assumption is that carbon dioxide is bad. That is also a giant leap into fiction.
Americans and the business associations they form are not ignorant and if the technology was available they would invest and develop it (and are at present). Government associations exist to maintain order and although the military branch is responsible for numerous technological advances, pontificating politicians are a bad source to get energy. They chase pet fantasy programs to increase their power, limit our freedom and assure their reelections. Feasibility isn’t factored in.

Posted by: Kruser at August 10, 2008 7:27 AM
Comment #258180

How does checking your tires save everyone 800 per year? What if my tires are all up? This assumes that all tires in America are leaky and low; that is faulty logic.

Posted by: Kruser at August 10, 2008 7:39 AM
Comment #258181

Kruser wrote

“pontificating politicians are a bad source to get energy. They chase pet fantasy programs to increase their power, limit our freedom and assure their reelections. Feasibility isn’t factored in.”

You’re so very right. Also they tend to think what ever their contributors are selling is what America needs. This makes it hard to solve any of our problems.

You also said.

“How does checking your tires save everyone 800 per year? What if my tires are all up? This assumes that all tires in America are leaky and low; that is faulty logic.”

If you drive a car for a year and never check your tires. You will have four low tires, and you’ll not be getting the mileage you could. This is one very small part of what we could do to save gas right now. But for some reason the “right” has tried to use this to make conservation seem silly. I’m sure there’s some Rush Limbaugh fan out there who refuses to check his air pressure, because only liberal wimps check their tires. Not only is this bad for his mileage, but it makes an unsafe car. WE NEED LEADERSHIP! Like I said before If it was patriotic to save energy, and unpatriotic to waste energy, that would change everything. We could save 30 to 40% of the energy and still do the same things. —- live in the same places, work in the same places, and shop in the same places. The only difference would be the mindset we use with energy.

Yes we need to keep our tires inflated, but we also need to combine trips , car pool, get away form a lead foot, and a whole series of other things. We’re already driving less just because of the high price of gas. If we consciously thought “how can I save more gas?”
We could find more ways. It’s up to us. We just need a different mindset.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at August 10, 2008 8:38 AM
Comment #258182

Kruser,

“How does checking your tires save everyone 800 per year? What if my tires are all up? This assumes that all tires in America are leaky and low; that is faulty logic.”

Fact of life; tires leak air and there is nothing you can do to stop it. When you drive your tires expand and contract with the friction caused by contact with the roads we drive on. Expansion and contraction of the tires will cause air to escape.
This is not some vast conspiracy to bilk you out of your change 50 cents at a time, it’s simple physics.
Checking your tire pressure regularly not only saves you money on gas, it also saves you money on tires, and keeping your tires in proper alignment, front and rear saves money on both.
If you find this so hard to believe, ask your tire guy, or your mechanic.

Will we inflate our way out of this mess?
Absolutely not, and no one, other than the right wing talking points guys has even suggested that we might.
That said, small things together add up to big things.

We are a wasteful society.
“He who dies with the most toys wins”, could only have been thought up by an American

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 10, 2008 9:33 AM
Comment #258184

LO-
It’s not blind faith to say that we’ll have renewable energy sources. Where’s the technology? Why, we already have it over here. We just need more of it. Where’s the power source? It’s all around us, has been here forever and will be here forever. We just have to have the guts to pursue them aggressively.

The blind faith is believing that several years hence, that these wells will make us energy independent, that competition for the resource abroad and the increasing scarcity of the oil won’t make whatever effect the new drilling has on price meaningless. There’s a reason we import most of our oil: we don’t have enough here. Even if we add ten percent to our domestic supply, we will still import most of our oil. We’d have to raise our production by two thirds just to equal what we get from foreign lands.

However, if we became increasingly more reliant on renewables generating electric power, we would use less oil, and because of that, be able to cut our thirst for its import. Bring that number down low enough, and you can cut out imported oil altogether. Conservation and eventual obsolescence of gasoline as a fuel source is the only effective way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

The Republicans see things only in terms of doing more of the same, but we simply don’t have the oil in America to compensate for our addiction to foreign oil. It’s a dead end. The time has come to stop pandering to the fossil fuel industry, to commit ourselves to change.

Kruser-
From what I hear, if you can see your hand in front of your face, a photovoltaic cell can draw power. It’s not going to draw as much power, but even so, would even a person like you complain about a reduction in your light bill? Additionally, Photovoltaics are in production that can convert infrared light, which vastly increases the power these things can draw.

Electricity takes losses due to resistance, but not friction. The resistance is what creates the heat. The loss is substantial. replacing the power grid will be important, as will be the re-regulation of power companies to stop wasteful, speculation-driven rolling of power through the grid.

Carbon Dioxide isn’t bad. It’s just a very effective heat absorber and re-radiator. I mean, a car isn’t bad, but the fact that it’s a massive machine that converts chemical into mechanical energy well becomes very apparent if you run in front of one without giving it time to stop. The laws of physics have a poor track record for sparing human life when we get in the way.

The feasibility of maintaining our current way of life if we continue to raise CO2 concentrations is low. The seas will not care how they inconvenience or endanger us as they rise, nor how much it hurts our economy. The climate won’t care much either.

Let’s quit dallying in fantasy-land here, or indulging paranoid suspicions at the expense of our best interests. We need to change our ways if we don’t wish our reckoning with mother nature to be particularly humbling.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2008 11:00 AM
Comment #258186

In the article our friend mentioned earlier they admit, at present, thermal solar costs much more to produce than carbon based power. The only way they mentioned to make it feasible would be with a carbon tax on the latter. Therefore carbon taxes will be paid by the consumer in a per kilowatt charge.
What I always see when checking this site is highlighted in red “Obama was right” and the assumption that checking tires “will” offset drilling. Is this a fallacious statement or not?
The argument presented by me is that most tires in America don’t leak and are properly inflated. Since this is correct, then Obama was wrong and the data given to support it was a fallacy or “a lie”.
Thanks for the correction on resistance.

Posted by: Kruser at August 10, 2008 11:42 AM
Comment #258189

Kruser-
Thermal solar means aiming a bunch of mirrors at a vessel of water or some other substance and boiling it. What I’m talking about are photovoltaics that can absorb infrared radiation and directly convert it to electric current.

Checking tires and keeping them inflated is necessary. Tires are not perfectly impermeable, and air can gradually leak out. It’s not only a matter of efficiency, but safety and return on investment. Maintaining decent tire pressure not only saves on fuel, but prevents flat tires and damage to the car resulting from loss of control.

Tires aren’t necessarily underinflated, but can be and often are.

What puzzles me here is how stubborn Republicans have gotten over what should be common sense things. the GOP and the Right Wing have gotten so contrarian that they can’t bear to be in agreement with Democrats, even if it means arguing black is white. Are Republicans going to keep their tires underinflated now just to show everybody who’s boss?

Sadly, I think some folks might just do that to be jerks about it. It’s like Obama said, the GOP’s taking pride in being ignorant.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #258195

Throwing out impossible and unfeasible arguments constantly is a tactic that gives the opposing party the appearance of being skeptics. Rebutting nonsense like tire pressure relieving our dependence on oil does give that appearance and I will be careful in the future.

Concerning energy there are facts and fallacies. Fact is we need and have available more domestic oil. We are advancing in alternate fuel tech but it certainly is not ready to replace carbon fuels. Nuclear is one option that should be used for power and the tech has been there for years. My dad worked building a nuclear plant that was shut down before completion and converted to natural gas due to leftist pressure. Had we built them, our foliage might be starving for carbon today.
There are also grave concerns about the wildlife that will be displaced with large arrays of solar cells and wind farms that would be necessary to produce the power we need. This, added to transmission and storage hurdles make alternative solar a future possibility but nothing that can fill a large percentage of our needs. Throwing money at things don’t always make them advance either.
Parties don’t mean much to me, just facts and principles. Voting for Hillary or McCain would be a close call. Obama lacks anything solid in his past and has questionable associations . He is simply a good working rhetoric machine. What any of them claim as a plan is subject to their party line and popular opinion at that time. I look at how they lean in their past comments and votes and then hope for the best.

Posted by: Kruser at August 10, 2008 3:49 PM
Comment #258197

Kruser-

Throwing out impossible and unfeasible arguments constantly is a tactic that gives the opposing party the appearance of being skeptics.

Speak for yourself. The problem with trying to rebut the maintenance argument is that any rebuttal is essentially untrue. If you keep your car better maintain, it will run more efficiently, use less fuel, and therefore require less supply for its part. Combine one auto owner doing this with millions of others, and you have a substantial reduction in demand for oil. Such reductions both make gas cheaper and less of it necessary Combine this with an actual strategy to develop and optimize our renewable/biofuels energy capacity, and you have a long term recipe for weaning us off our dependence on oil.

Your grave concerns about wildlife are somewhat legtimate, but part of the charm of solar and wind is that you can use already cleared land in addition to concentrated locations.

We can always say that alternatives are unready, and continuing doing the same damn thing continually, or we can do something of actual substance right now, and in the future to make that changeover a reality. It may not be easy or cheap, but the difficulty and price for not making that changeover is greater.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2008 5:38 PM
Comment #258203

Stephen, you’re still locked into either-or, black and white, oversimplified thinking. I guess that liberals don’t do that “nuance” thing anymore that they’re always patting themselves on the back about.

It may not be easy or cheap, but the difficulty and price for not making that changeover is greater.

Nobody is saying that we can’t or shouldn’t make that “changeover” as quickly and dramatically as possible.

The first passenger flights occurred in the 1930s. That did not mean, however, that in the 1920s everybody said that we should stop building and maintaining ships and trains because the future of travel was in aeronautics.

It’s uncertain what—and when—the changes is energy production that we all desire will be technologically and practically feasible. Further, it’s highly likely that even when large-scale alternative energy comes online, there will be still a demand and use for fossil fuels. You’re insisting that we don’t plan for all contingencies based on a faith in things that haven’t yet materialized.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 10, 2008 9:12 PM
Comment #258212

Good Lord. Now I’m lectured on tire pressure from liberals because the Savior made an ignorant statement. Look guys if this is some new enlightening news to you then good, start taking more pride in your vehicles, but save your new found automobile expertise for your angry friends in the bookclub.

And to the guy who said that conservatives wouldn’t maintain their cars because only liberal wimps do. That makes no sense. The only people I’m seeing that think this is a new idea are liberals. I don’t do it to save the environment, I do it because a car is a large investment and I try to get the most out of it.

You liberal wimps can do whatever you want though.

Posted by: andy at August 11, 2008 1:18 AM
Comment #258213

Jim M says “He applies a simple answer to a complex equation regarding the movement of world oil prices.”


Jim M Its not a simple answer I’m applying its a simple fact. Despite your complex requirements The facts remain that oil prices are down +/-$30 a barrel without any leases issued in ANWR and on the continental shelf. This of course is in spite of the repubs recently blocking of legislation to reign in oil speculators. The constant whine of “open up drilling” is a red herring as we can see by the falling oil prices. So once again by not falling for the repubs/conservatives falsehoods Congress has went home without opening up the continental shelg or ANWR.

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/senate-republicans-block-oil-speculation-bill/

Jim M “If only j2t2 would apply that same logic to MMGW I would agree.”

As far as MMGW we have been faced with years of a “do nothing repub Congress”. For old guys who couldnt care less about the next generations this works but to those that have a concern for future generations it doesnt sound as sweet.
You see Jim M personally I dont know whether MMGW is a real issue or not. I hope you and Rush are right and all of these scientist are wrong. I hope that the oil companies are right. I hope the repubs and conservatives are right on this issue and the dems, liberals, and most of the world are wrong. However with the track record the group you run with has Im hedging my bet.
You guys claim its all a conspiracy by extreme environmentalist and socialist to undermine the economy yet have never produced any names of those that are actively involved in this conspiracy. Why is that?
You guys claim that the science is not perfected and therefore no action should be taken to prevent MMGW. Yet you back an invasion of a foreign country on falsehoods and partial and imperfect information, why is that?

“What I fail to understand is why liberals insist that American’s can not walk and chew gum at the same time.”
My guess Jim M is that we have watched a repub/conservative administration this past 7 years that couldnt walk and chew gum at the same time. But dont confuse the issue here it’s not Americans in general we wonder about its elected repubs whose abilities we question.

“Why must our energy policy lean only in one direction? If abundant renewable energy is the “Holy Grail” one must still have a horse (oil) to seek it.”

Good question, another good question is why should energy policies be set with oil companies executives in secret and why would it be such a one direction policy. From what I hear Obama has recently said he would be willing to look at opening up drilling rights as a compromise so perhaps you should ask those repubs/conservatives why they arent interested in reigning in speculators and actually giving more than lip service to alternatives..

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2008 1:19 AM
Comment #258217

Fact:
We need to decrease our dependency on foreign oil and stabilize prices with our own supply.
Alternative fuels are being vigorously developed by American companies but are a long ways from replacing foreign oil demand.
Americans are smart enough to have already maintained their vehicles without being told by a sophist.
There is little environmental impact anymore with drilling.
Fiction:
Americans are driving millions of unmaintained vehicles with low tires and if they only would listen to Obama we could save millions of barrels of oil.

It isn’t about the fact that maintaining vehicles saves gas, it is the assumption that most of us are not already doing it thus assigning blame. Then concluding if we would quit our bad behavior the crisis would be solved.

Posted by: Kruser at August 11, 2008 8:33 AM
Comment #258220

Kruser “We need to decrease our dependency on foreign oil and stabilize prices with our own supply.”

Then why do we export 5% oil we get from our own supply? Your inability to see that the oil companies arent necessarliy watching out for the interests of this Country may explain why this approach seems like a good idea to you. What do we lose by waiting until the moratorium expires and then drilling?

“Americans are smart enough to have already maintained their vehicles without being told by a sophist.”

Well then according to Edmunds we are saving 50k barrels a day, whats wrong with that. The good thing is that is just one way of conserving oil that is inexpensive. Why do the conservatives/ repubs feel the need to ridicule Obama and the Edmunds Co. for promoting oil conservation? 50k here and 50k there the next thing you know….

“There is little environmental impact anymore with drilling.”

With all the leases already let for exploration and drilling the oil companies should be able to demonstrate this rather than just give it lip service. Why not show us its a fact.

“Fiction:
Americans are driving millions of unmaintained vehicles with low tires and if they only would listen to Obama we could save millions of barrels of oil.

It isn’t about the fact that maintaining vehicles saves gas, it is the assumption that most of us are not already doing it thus assigning blame. Then concluding if we would quit our bad behavior the crisis would be solved.”

Kruser isnt this comment just so much exaggeration? Conservation is just one part of the overall plan. Who has implied that its the only thing needed to solve the problem? This fiction is brought to us courtesy of the same repubs/conservatives who thought the secret energy plan was an acceptable option. Where were you when your fellow movement members were meeting in secet with the VP and pushing the current repub energy plan? Why so much outrage now over 1 comment, made out in the open BTW, reminding us to maintain vehicles. With the recent upturn in costs for gas and food why do you find it so inconceivable that some Americans may defer maintenance on their vehicles and use those funds to buy gas instead?

From the link in AP’s article “The 212 Edmunds’ employees who participated in the project will save 5,820 gallons of gas a year and approximately $20,500 per year by properly inflating their vehicles’ tires.”
So do the math Kruser. Remember these people work for a company that is in the automotive industry and look what they are saving just by inflating their tires.


Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2008 10:31 AM
Comment #258224

j2t2

As always you are addressing a group of people that would rather argue over an issue than do anything legitimate about it. Like most extremists they have their blinders on and hearing aids shut off. If they were standing in water and a liberal were to point that out, they would most likely deny it simply because they hate and despise all things liberal. There is no reasoning with them because they do not wish to find or participate in compromise. Theirs is a one way road with walls on both sides so as not to detract from their narrow vision.

The argument in this thread is at best ridiculously absurd. A man makes a statement that a simple thing like vehicle maintenance can make a rather impressive impact on the amount of fuel we as a nation use, and he is instantly chastised as being the idiot who proposes that maintaining tire pressure will solve our oil dependency problem. If McCain had made the statement it would be gold and all those liberal geeks would be at blame for being book smart as opposed to mechanically inclined. If only those damned liberals maintained their vehicles we would not be where we are today. These folks are reaching and they know it. Antagonism for the sake of argument is their goal. If not, and they truly believe what they argue here, then well, I guess that speaks more of their level of intellect than anything else.

Posted by: RickIL at August 11, 2008 11:20 AM
Comment #258227

RickIL, The problem isnt that most of them are not decent people that really want the best for this country its more that they have got caught up in the wrong crowd. It wasnt that long ago that I myself tasted the conservative coolaid. Fortunatley I realized where it lead and was able to get off the stuff before I was just another lost soul.Its message is addicting and once your thoughts are clouded by the likes of a Savage, Hannity or Limbaugh its a tough addiction to break. Ive lost relatives and friends to this disease but being an optimist I hold out hope that one day they will regain their senses and come back from the void. You never know when logic will strike and eyes will open so I keep trying. I know its a mostly futile effort but still I hold out hope. Afterall what else do we have if we dont have hope. ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2008 11:50 AM
Comment #258237

I am not outraged at all: simply addressing the premise of the lead article here. You guys seem obsessed with qualifying it. That is where the silliness comes in….

Posted by: Kruser at August 11, 2008 12:16 PM
Comment #258241

The story behind most conservatives I know are similar to mine. What was being crammed down my throat in high school made no logical sense. I would ask the teachers about their reasoning and was given more of the same. They did give me good grades and didn’t mind civil discourse. That was thirty years ago. Still not much logic in liberalism, but it is enjoyable to point it out. Rush and Hannity became popular due to numerous conservatives that already existed. They didn’t produce them and don’t sustain them either.
Grape cool aid is the best.

Posted by: Kruser at August 11, 2008 12:37 PM
Comment #258243

Kruser here is another blurb for you naysayers from one of AP’s link’s.
“As the presidential hopefuls spar on energy policy, Obama told voters in Berea, Ohio, that experts agree that properly inflated tires would actually save a significant amount of oil.

“It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant. They think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true,” Obama declared. “They need to do their homework. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and make a difference.” “

From my perspective I feel the need to qualify the comments because the repubs/conservatives spend so much time laughing at the suggestion that something as simple as conservation could save more than what we could get by drilling. They pooh poog the idea that speculators are not responsible for driving up oil prices despite all proof to the contrary. The repub presidential candidate ridiculed conservation while saying drilling for more oil is the answer. As pathetic as this is why cant anyone on the repub side just say how foolish are our leaders and why cant we get this energy thing straight just once. If thats to much to ask for why not a simple “good idea from the dem candidate”?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2008 12:43 PM
Comment #258256

“Still not much logic in liberalism, but it is enjoyable to point it out.”

As conservatives are want to do Kruser, the problem is when you and the other movement members focus your attack on conserving energy because a dem and/or a liberal suggested it we can see conservative ideology for what it truly is and for what it is lacking. Better a little logic than a lot of ideology is what I always say.


“Grape cool aid is the best.”

It appears there is something in your post we can agree on, Kruser, I to find grape cool aid much better than the conservative cool aid spewed so easily in this day and age.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #258258

j2t2

Afterall what else do we have if we dont have hope. ;)

I have hope to. I sometimes think twice about using that word for fear of being cast as some sort of fool who lives in a liberal dream world. I find it sad that a simple word like hope can be presented in such a vicious and demoralizing manner as republicans have found it so convenient to do.

If thats to much to ask for why not a simple “good idea from the dem candidate”?

I am guessing that the motivation behind the castigation by republicans of a simple good idea has something to do with not liking the idea that a liberal might upstage them. It really has nothing to do with common sense or realities.

Anyone who is paying attention realizes that this is the right time for alternatives to make serious headway into our markets. They are out there, and have been for quite some time. There just has been no great market demand until now. They may not all be perfected yet and we may not have all the necessary infrastructure, but these things can be overcome rapidly with an emphasis on investment, research and a desire to do so. Of course we will not eliminate our need for oil anytime soon. However each little bit of renewable energy that comes online puts us that much closer to independence.

This game is getting very serious at this point. I heard the other day that Ford and GM are discussing creating a joint effort to research and develop new power sources for their automobiles. This tells me that the big boys are finally seeing the light and don’t wish to be left behind. As I see it the whole premise behind the republican stand on more drilling is nothing more than a form of energy blackmail by the oil giants who own these people. It is an effort to repress alternatives in order that they can sustain and insure that we remain reliant on their product for many years to come.

I personally have no problem with additional drilling so long as it is done responsibly. But I do have a problem with being deceptively manipulated in order that the industry can sustain a stranglehold on the advancement of competing products. We are supposedly a forward thinking technologically advanced nation. It is time we started acting like it by moving away from the past.

Posted by: RickIL at August 11, 2008 2:19 PM
Comment #258264

“But I do have a problem with being deceptively manipulated in order that the industry can sustain a stranglehold on the advancement of competing products.”

RickIL I to have an issue with conservative logic and that is the best definition of conservative logic that I have seen is a while. Fortunately more and more Americans are seeing that this idelogy that is passed off as logic is not beneficial to the country.
A recent poll stated that a majority of Americans favored off shore and ANWR drilling. I can understand how that is but disagree with it. While watchblog was down I moved to a festering cesspool of conservatism here in Colorado and have had several conversations on this subject. They all started with “we should drill” and ended, once the facts were on the table with “why should we drill”. That is why I have hope RickIL, and I can live with being called foolish cause it opens the door to intelligent conversations and well.. usually dumb looks from those that started with foolish (which in conservative speak is GD socialist or liberal). Those that claim to be conservative yet arent actual movement members aren’t so bad its just the conservative movement and corporate media have done such a good job of dumbing us down. Most of ‘em are decent hardworking people to busy to keep informed, but once informed can make better decisions, so have hope Rick IL have hope.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2008 2:47 PM
Comment #258282

LO-
If we procrastinate, we are forced to make the transition when the fuel is at its most expensive and its most scarce. Do you stop to get gas before it runs on empty, or do you wait until your car gives out to get it to a gas station?

If, like me, you do not believe that we’re going to get energy independent or are going to see the price drop due to the additional drilling, what’s the point of hesitating?

No technology’s going to be mature when you start out, and the folks who have a vested interest in the previous system aren’t going to stand idly by and see their dominance end. Some would like this to be a market decision, but markets are slow by themselves when it comes to technology.

I believe we need to kickstart this process, not wait for it to occur naturally. This is one of those times when both environmental and economic concerns make it critical that we don’t wait around for things to start on their own. This needs to be a broad national commitment, or it will drag on forever.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2008 5:38 PM
Comment #258286

Andy-
Obama was asked by somebody if he had some helpful advice for what he could do now to conserve oil. If the Republicans hadn’t been looking for something to bash Obama over, this remark would have joined many other questions in the memory hole.

You can call people wimps, but that does not make your candidate or your approach to politics stronger. Obama gave a guy asking a question a simple bit of advice. It was never meant to stand for his entire plan, nor imply that people like you were ignorant. I think this is a stupid way to attack another candidate, a reactive way that has people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, taking offense, making fun of him, and generally making much ado about not a lot.

Kruser-
A man asked him for suggestions. He gave some, and sensible ones at that. The Republicans jumped on him for giving that sensible, even common sense advice, and they introduced the silliness into it, which you help to perpetuate in the name of some misguided need to just not be told what to do by anybody who’s not flattering your politics and beliefs.

He’s not assuming half the things you think he’s assuming. You folks are looking for things to be offended at, looking for things to exploit, trying to win an election not on substance, but on manipulation of people like herd animals with all kinds of tropes and stereotypes.

It’s time to be practical, to stop ignoring and berating good advice simply to feel independent and in control.

And yes, millions of Americans are driving undermaintained vehicles, fuel inefficient vehicles, and doing all sorts of other foolish things. Some of the foolish things we can’t prevent. People will just have to pay the price for those. But it does us no good to have a culture where one can’t give advice, can’t call something stupid stupid, where it’s simply politically incorrect to point out and act against foolish and dangerous things.

As for Rush and Hannity? People like them were the death of the Republican party. They helped its rise, by isolating it in people’s minds from the relentlessly fault-finding media, but in exchange, you got a separation of many people from the information they need to know in order to guage the relative success and efficiency of their party. In Market terms, Rush and Hannity were like Arthur Anderson to the GOP’s Enron. They both did the Republican party’s accounting and put themselves in the position of auditing the party, and selling it to the investors.

That would be you.

When the GOP crashed, it was largely because a bunch of people like you finally saw just how short the party was falling of its claimed ideals. It didn’t help that Rush and others remained as strident as ever. That stridency might seem invigorating from the inside, but from the outside, it steadily loses its charm. Become the butt of the joke, the target of the vitriol, and you’ll find some sympathies you once had for people like that dwindling away.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2008 6:24 PM
Comment #258295

It’s kind of sad, really, when the biggest thing that the Reps can castigate Obama for is a basically sound piece of common-sense advice. Guess the missing flag pin, “Muslim-sounding” name, knuckle bumps, have lost their bite.

Posted by: janedoe at August 11, 2008 10:05 PM
Comment #258296

Rhetorical analysis are always interesting.
Is it my turn now to be defensive? You can then claim I’m a skeptic again. Nice.


This is the democrat column. A republican didn’t bring it up here. It was your post. I was addressing the premise of the subject. Was it true?

Posted by: Kruser at August 11, 2008 10:26 PM
Comment #258297

Kruser-
You’re not a skeptic. Anybody can be doubtful about something The trick is asking yourself meaningful questions about how you or somebody else comes to a conclusion.

Rush and Hannity don’t want skeptics. They’re too much trouble, ask too many uncomfortable questions. Like, say, how do climate contrarians know they’re correct? Are they simply assuming their own default, irrespective of what others who have studied it have found out, or do they actually know what they’re talking about?

But asking questions is a necessary part of getting past the BS. If you take your politician’s word until they screw you over, you only have yourself to blame.

In the period after 9/11 and before the Iraq war, I decided to cut Bush some slack, see if he would rise to the occasion. The slack was not unconditional, though. He’d have to carry out his promises, get Bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and finish off the war in Afghanistan. Though his drive towards war with Iraq alienated me from that, Colin Powell’s presentation convinced me to give him a chance.

A chance it turned out he didn’t deserve. From there, I took a skeptical attitude towards how he carried out the war. I didn’t mind if he pulled it off, just so long as he finished it up, and finished it right. But even at that point, the information told me that Bush was going off the rails. Eventually, it became so crystal clear to me that Bush wasn’t going to take heed of the situation, that I simply decided that he could not be trusted to win the war by himself, and that by either replacement, the destruction of the Republican majority, or the turning of public opinion, I would join those forcing him to admit to the problem, and take the appropriate action.

Then, as the situation got progressively worse, I looked at what our goals were, I didn’t see a way that our efforts would attain those goals, and decided that we needed to withdraw troops from Iraq, and pick up the pieces some other way. There was no military victory left to attain, in my opinion, so I could not take seriously calls for winning the war, or taking victory with honor.

Nearly every goal we pursued, we lost. The drop in violence makes it seem like things are getting better, but that is more the Iraqis working things out amongst themselves, and that may end up being the best thing for them.

Sometimes, the methods with which we earnestly seek a goal backfire. If we’re not willing to recognize the disparity between our expectations and what is actually happening, we can end up screwing things up royally, and turning simple errors into complex disasters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2008 11:45 PM
Comment #258299

Was this thread about Iraq?
If Obama says something absurd others can and will ridicule him. What qualifies as humor are those who cannot admit the statement was silly. Taking ridicule is part of maturity. Admit the statement was dumb and move on.

My take on Iraq is similar to yours. The only difference is I believe it would have been the same no matter what party was in the white house. The generals and most Americans thought order would be easier to maintain, citizen motivation and cooperation would be there. We were wrong on all counts. All a president or any leader can do in war is plan ahead and make adjustments if those plans are thwarted by uncontrollable circumstances.
Bush hatred is nothing more than passing the buck thus assuaging your own guilt. We are realists that are in the habit of taking responsibility to finish what we start.
Seventy per cent wanted to depose Sadam with force.

Man made Global Warming is a hoax. A rebuttal is all that is needed when a theory hasn’t been proven. It is up to the alarmists to prove some kind of out of the ordinary damage or unusual weather cycles and I haven’t seen anything that qualifies. History shows we are in a rather benign weather cycle as compared to say, the dust bowl and drought of the thirties. Start a thread and we can discuss it. We already discussed the circular reasoning used when dating samples by guessing carbon levels of the past and applying the data to prove the age of carbon samples found in ice.

Posted by: Kruser at August 12, 2008 1:08 AM
Comment #258306

Kruser -

Seventy percent of us wanted to go after Saddam…because seventy percent of us (including me) believed Bush when he talked about the imminent danger of Saddam’s WMD. We (and I) believed Bush when he talked about Saddam’s link with al-Qaeda.

In times of national crisis, the people fall into line behind the leader and trust him…even if he’s lying through his teeth. Bush lied…and what’s amazing to me is how the Conservatives are NOT screaming for Bush’s head on a plate for his flagrant wasting of so many lives in our military.

And when it comes to global warming…back in the no-fly days immediately following 9/11, the meteorologists detected a noticeable drop in temperature nationwide. It was only one degree…but when it’s across millions of square miles, that adds up to a huge difference in heat energy. There were no other detectable reasons for this difference. Now extrapolate that to the millions of flights every year, and the millions of factories pouring out pollutants by the ton…and you still think the nearly seven billion humans on earth don’t make a difference!

Add to the above the fact that almost every other nation on earth admits it (even knowing that the necessary steps will hurt their own economies (except for the undeveloped nations))…and the fact that the Bush administration has effectively muzzled any research by the Centers for Disease Control and by NASA that might provide evidence that yes, mankind IS having an adverse effect on the world’s climate.

But you, like so many, would rather deny, deny, deny. As long as the Cons are telling you what you want to hear, you’re good to go.

Sorta like all those people who deny evolution, come to think of it….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 12, 2008 3:57 AM
Comment #258307

Clinton also used the same data to convince us Sadam was an danger. We weren’t inclined to react until after 911.
Calculate the volume of air over the US and what heat from airplane exhaust could possibly effect. Also check normal plus and minus variables in temperatures from month to month over any given time. A degree is meaningless.
I do have a question about evolution that has plagued me since High School: If life began in a primordal soup, say the atoms and then molecules then amino acids came together out of randomness to form some sort of structure that received the spark of life, how did it learn to reproduce thus starting evolution? Wouldn’t it have to instantly have a digestive system too? Without either being intact, the start of evolution would be impossible. Just the arrangement of a sparkable living structure out of randomness alone is too far a stretch for me.
It is funny, but most believers I ask go to the planted from space theory…Thus a higher being somewhere I guess.

Posted by: Kruser at August 12, 2008 5:26 AM
Comment #258316

Kruser-
What’s absurd about what he said? A supporter asked about ways he could conserve. Obama provide some good, correct methods for doing this. The Right Wing definition of absurdity is what should be called absurd, because it essentially cuts out any context and tries to paint him as some dilletante on the issue, where in fact, he actually did his homework and gave the man a correct answer.

Your take on Iraq is nothing like mine. I do not blame Americans for our defeats. I do not blame the soldiers for this loss. The buck passing is yours, as should be obvious, because you’re trying to find every reason not to blame Bush for his errors. Many wanted to take down Saddam with force, but only because they were convinced by the media. But the message in the media was warped by the Bush administrations efforts, by its selective outlays of information, and its deliberate feeding of propaganda through ostensibly unconnected TV and Print Military Analysts.

And this is at the heart of what failed. You guys like to think of it as a failure of American nerve, rather than of your policy. Battleplans don’t always survive contact with reality. That’s why competent CINCs are willing to change plans when things don’t go as planned. Yours didn’t, and you people still won’t admit to many of your mistakes. That’s how you lost a war. Our troops didn’t lose it for you. Our people didn’t lose it for you. You lost it for yourself, and you’d be doing us all a favor if you quit blaming everybody else for your screw-up.

As for Global Warming? You talk of cycles. Those who know what’s going on in Climatology don’t see cycles. They see relative stability broken by violent transitions. The evidence simply isn’t there for your visions of gradual, graceful up and downs

It’s no hoax. Temperatures are rising in the Arctic and Antarctic to levels they haven’t been in thousands of years. There are lakes in Siberia bubbling so much Methane out from their thawing that you can light open flames from a hole dug in the ice. A mere rhetorical rebuttal doesn’t cut it. you need a decent explanation for what’s going on that’s backed by the date.

As for guessing the carbon levels of the past? If you’re talking about radiocarbon data, they calibrate, they don’t guess. C-14 has a certain decay rate. This is known. What might not be known is how much of it was in the atmosphere. Somebody can tell this by levels in air trapped in ice, or by some other proxy that has a relationship to the carbon cycle.

The fact that you can only dismiss and deny, not provide credible countertheories with supporting evidence tells you just how unscientific and uninformed your approach is. The world is more complex than you thought it was. Why not get use to it, rather than stubbornly holding on to outdated theories and beliefs?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 12, 2008 9:02 AM
Comment #258321

History shows numerous drastic climate changes in different areas that hadn’t happened for thousands of years.
They calibrate according to “our best guess” of what carbon levels would be at that time. I think it was the Harvard web site but most credible sites used that wording.
Even if it was given that the globe is warming, what is the harm? All the carbon material that is buried was once carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (the reason dating at our present level is inaccurate). Obviously plants and animals flourished. One greenhouse theory is that temperatures would level out over all the globe, warming the arctic and not affecting the equator. Siberians can sell property at a premium. There were vast forests that mastodons lived in as can be seen by the ancient frozen forests there and recovery of frozen bodies. The climate was tropical in the past. The original climate returning may or may not be attributed to carbon dioxide.

Posted by: Kruser at August 12, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #258323

BTW I debated global cooling in high school and was given the same rhetoric. Stubborn, outdated?

Congress and the people wanted to use as little resources as possible for Iraq and get the most effect. Scapegoating has been around for years. I don’t blame anyone but the insurgents. Most of them aren’t around anymore.

Posted by: Kruser at August 12, 2008 10:22 AM
Comment #258331

Kruser-
They’re doing more than just throwing darts at a board to see what CO2 level there is.

There’s a principle in Criminology: every contact leaves a trace. It applies in science as well. The trick is establishing what that trace is, and distinguishing it from the background noise of other influences and factors.

The reason radiocarbon dating is inaccurate for recent times is that nuclear testing spiked the amount in the atmosphere. There were ways to calibrate for the amount that nature produced through cosmic ray bombardment, but not for nuclear weapons. However, if your aim is to determine the age of something before nuclear detonations changed that, then you really don’t have a problem. Then you can calibrate reliably, and get a decent answer for such things.

But regardless, the presence of C-14 in the atmosphere is not so important as its absence. You bury carbon in the ground for the long term, the C-14 all decays into N-14. Burning that, as opposed to burning or decaying plant matter, creates a different ratio of that isotope in the atmosphere. You can’t get C-14 from where you didn’t have it. There’s less of that isotope in the atmosphere than one would expect with all the added carbon. Plant material from recently dead plants giving it off would have higher concentrations of it.

But C-14 is not the only isotope confirming man’s fingerprint. There’s a ratio between Carbon-12 and Carbon-13, and it would be expected to decrease with a sharp surge in the burning of fossil fuels. And it has. And it just happens to start this trend about the time we start dumping huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

You’re asking us to buy some awful convenient coincidences here. Coincidences in the timing of CO2’s rise in the atmosphere, with sudden rises in global average temperatures. Coincidences between the predicted effects of Greenhouse gas emissions, and actual outcomes.

How hard does the data and the evidence have to beat us on the brow to convince us?

And then, you start on this “global warming is an unquestionable good” argument. I thought it was a hoax? I guess this is your way of covering your bases.

First, melting has been observed in tropical glaciers. Warming has been more profound at the poles, but not absent at the equator. Second, I think you’re confused about original climate.

First and foremost, over the past million or so years, ice ages have been more common than not. The huge ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are relics of that. We’ve had to smack this climate pretty hard with our carbon emissions to start melting those puppies. So when you talk about original climate, we have to ask as opposed to what.

As for tropical climes in Siberia, I’d have to say that due to continental drift, there are tons of places on this planet which have crossed the equator, or ventured into tropical territory. If you read Annals of the Former World, you’d know that New Jersey once took a trip down that way. The trick, though, is what the climate is now. A few million years ago, Panama got in the way of the Gulf Stream, and helped change our climate for the colder. The literal rise of the Himalaya and the positioning of Antarctica over the South pole also contributed to the cooling of our climate. So if we’re talking about original climate, we have to take into account the current positions of the continents, and their mountain ranges.

It was no wonder that scientists in the seventies considered a new ice age a possibility of where we might go. Having studied the record, it would be hard to discount the possiblity of the ice’s return. However, that’s not what the data showed was happening to our climate. The trend was up, not down. The scientists couldn’t really argue with the facts, though plenty of politicians, pundits and amateur climatologists were more interested in the fact that we didn’t always know the globe was warming. For some reason, it seems, folks like you tend to believe that scientists just know things. You don’t seem to have much concern or respect for the methods and processes that makes science what it is, and give it its credibility.

By the way: just because it’s getting warmer doesn’t mean the arctic won’t get cold. Hell, it could make places normally dry and cold little warmer in the winter, but far wetter. Even if Siberia thawed out like you fantasize it will, much of it is swampland, so it will likely replace Florida as the new place for joke real estate as the peninsula goes underwater.

So, to review: do you have any real idea what the original climate was, at least for our current geological epoch? No. You assume it was warmer, when in fact it was colder. The whole problem of climate change is not that humans can’t or won’t adapt to it, it’s that we have no freaking idea what to adapt to, no notion of the shape of the world that we’ll have to depend upon. Not to get too allegorical, but this will be the equivalent of being tossed out of climatological eden. We had a nice 8000 year stretch of mild, cool climate.

We could, though, turn an extreme change of climate into a mild one, if we act quickly. But we can’t muddle around trying to please the free market fundamentalists and the folks who bought Hummers as a protest. You folks had your chance to do things your way, and so far your track record of outcomes is not that sterling.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 12, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #258347

Stephen -

You and I are on the same page…and you hit the nail on the head when you said that Kruser can only ‘dismiss and deny’ (which is what so many creationists do when they argue against evolution, btw (and yes, I AM a Christian)).

Kruser’s doing what I’ve watched so many other conservatives do - point out this instance or that instance, and claim that such invalidates what the scientists are telling us of global warming.

A quick story - this last year we had a relatively long winter here in Puget Sound, Washington. We had a snowfall at the end of April, which is almost unheard-of. My friend Bill, a staunch conservative, was absolutely sure this was proof that global warming was a myth.

But Bill doesn’t look at the pictures of the glaciers on Mount Rainier from the ‘30’s, and then at the mountain now where the glaciers have decreased by more than half. He doesn’t hear the stories of the old-timers here that talk about ice-skating on frozen ponds every winter near where I now live…but now it’s a novelty to anyone under the age of seventy if the ponds freeze over.

Bill, like Kruser, is not seeing the BIG picture, the overall picture…and somehow cannot comprehend that the pollution made by nearly seven billion people might, just might, have a worldwide effect.

Kruser -

Tell you what - is heat closely associated with light? Sure is. Now take a look at the nighttime earth from space and see all the lights over much of the planet…lights that were not there a hundred years ago. You really do not think that amount of light, night after night, year after year, has a global effect? But that’s one of the lesser pollutants, to be sure. I only bring that up to help you comprehend the big picture.

Google ‘nighttime earth’ images, and you’ll see what I mean.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 12, 2008 3:44 PM
Comment #258386

If I address each fallacy, you will in turn throw out a dozen more and time doesn’t allow. I do however, study these subjects outside rhetoric.
Let me say that empirical science and climactic theories are two different animals. Even with theories from human forensic science you need a jury since the conclusions given by experts are always up for debate. And these can be snapshots within a couple days of the event.
Nice presentation of your views though, and I appreciate that.

Posted by: Kruser at August 12, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #258480

LCOL -

I think I asked you in a different thread, what would YOU have us do for Georgia? Send in the troops and open up a THIRD war?

Obama, FYI, is doing EXACTLY as he should - keeping his mouth shut on this matter. Why, because he - like McCain - is a CANDIDATE and not the president.

You rail against Obama being so controlling - yet you seem to forget that Dems are historically terrible at organizing - it’s been compared to ‘herding cats’. Yet you seem to have no problem with how controlling the conservatives have been, which is FAR beyond anything Obama’s done. We can discuss that, if you want - and we can start with several attorneys general….

So again, LCOL - what would you have us do? And please give SPECIFICS and not just give amorphous exhortations like ‘show leadership!’.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 13, 2008 10:18 PM
Comment #258566

Stephen Daugherty…sorry I didn’t see that you addressed me. Just wanted to say I didn’t originally call liberals wimps. I was referencing an aggressive post above me that stated that.

As far as Obama’s tire pressure thought, it’s a fine idea but one that is already widely known. I’m just saying if this is news to liberals on the coasts good for you, but don’t start lecturing us on the idea.

Posted by: andy at August 14, 2008 10:49 PM
Comment #258672

andy,

You clearly don’t understand what is going on. Stephen doesn’t need me to explain his entries here, but this has got to be cleaned up.

The question of tire pressure only surfaces as more than a cast of statement when you factor in McPain’s response to it. ‘O’ never asked that tire pressure become part of his energy policy, he merely indicated that adjusting that pressure would save as much energy as drilling in our wilderness areas during the same period of time. It was McPain who took that little tid-bit of information and turned it into a national crisis on energy.

What a schmuck he is, and so are those who bought into his creepy joke.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 16, 2008 10:08 AM
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