Democrats & Liberals Archives

Climate-Change Rival

President-elect Obama’s security team is praised left and right as being the “team of rivals.” Barack Obama says he does not want “yes” advisors who will tell him what they think he wants to hear. Instead of people who agree with his principles he has assembled a group of “no” advisors. Is he going too far?

Take energy and climate change. During the campaign he repeated again and again that one of his top priorities will be to achieve energy independence and to tackle climate change by encouraging investment in alternate energy sources.

While Obama talks about the need for researching and building renewable energy sources, oil companies, such as Chevron, are busy advertising that we need many different sources of energy - including oil, of course.

Ret. Gen James Jones, who Obama appointed as National Security Adviser, sits on the board of Chevron Corp. In addition, since March 2007 he has been president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy. The institute recommends digging for more oil:

We call, in our report, for example, we suggest that it's time to consider an end to the moratorium on the production of oil and gas off our lands and off our shores. This is something that should be discussed and it shouldn't be rejected out of hand. We propose increase in research and development, incentivizing research for clean coal technology, including carbon capture and storage. Again, more needs to be done on this issue. We think we should invest in alternative fuels and renewable energy. We should get serious about energy efficiency in all across our sectors. And we should modernize and protect the energy infrastructure that we have. And we should provide for a new and more streamlined regulatory framework for energy investments but one that is much more rapid and much more agile so that we can deal with the problem in real time.

And read this:

Today, an institute executive will hold a chamber-sponsored discussion about global warming featuring Lawrence Solomon, the author of a book questioning whether there is a scientific consensus on climate change.

On the surface, the Jones appointment seems wrong. Sure the president needs and wants all sorts of opinions. You would expect, though, that an appointee would be in agreement with the president on fundamentals. However, Jones talks the same talk as the oil companies: We need oil, we must have oil, we can't get along without oil.

Someone like Jones will challenge Obama all the time. Many progressives are upset because Jones as well as most of the appointees are on the center-right and none on the center-left where Obama supposedly is. They are afraid that over time Obama will be influenced by these advisers to go in the center-right direction.

I admit that I have thought in this vein myself. However, Obama has stated repeatedly that he does not care if ideas come from the right or left as long as they solve the problem. By appointing center-right experts to his team he is telling the world he is adhering to his campaign promise.

This definitely does not mean he will govern as a conservative. His basic goals - helping ordinary workers economically, fighting global warming, enacting universal healthcare and recapturing our world reputation - are rock solid. His advisers will argue for the best implementation approaches.

So I do not fear that President Obama will become more conservative. He is tough and smart enough to have his own way with his climate-change rival and with all the other rivals on his team.

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 2, 2008 7:43 PM
Comments
Comment #271357

Paul,
While I’ll reserve my right to challenge President Elect Obama and his Advisors I do see the idea of putting a team together that stands to the political right of where the Democratic President of the United States stands. For why Energy Independence is as simple as getting the Learned and Unlearned of Society to accept the fact that 4 Windmills can fit into a single Wind Tunnel. Implementing a plan against a bunch of Charlatans and Vagabonds with their own special interests is going to be a nightmare.

However, like you I am hopeful that President Elect Obama and Congress can and should be allowed to follow the Policies and Positions that will allow the Individual, Community, and State to make a Peaceful Transformation to a Better World that the Children of the 70’s could only dream of 30 years ago.

For why President Elect Obama and Congress must deal with the next 4-8 years; looking out to the 22nd Century and what can be done now and over the next 40 years to secure the Freedom of All Americans. I do believe that by educating the American Small Business Owner, Consumer, and Taxpayer on the Societal Benefits of going Green through Investments and Savings. The problem will not be if the President of the United States of America and Congress can change the World; but what is in the Inherent Best Interest of the Parents of the 21st Century and Their Children’s Children.

For how do you go about building a Politically Unalienable Correct World?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 2, 2008 8:28 PM
Comment #271361

One cannot learn from those who hold no thoughts different than one’s own. Obama is a very intelligent person, and his cabinet demonstrates how he got that way.

Find the best solutions and get the jobs done, within the legal and Constitutional framework! That is Obama’s agenda. That is one of several reasons I voted for him, all the while wondering if he would actually live up to what he appeared to be. So far, he has not disappointed in this regard.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2008 3:56 AM
Comment #271366

David,
Why I do respect what President Elect Obama is trying to do I have yet heard him say anything about developing a Comprehensive Economic, Energy, and Environmental Plan. So, why this Child of the 70’s is open to the suggestions from others on how America goes about becoming Energy Independent by going Green. Seperated by Principles and Standards I wonder what can be done to show the American Small Business Owner, Consumer, and Taxpayer the Societal Benefits of investing and saving in a Trickle-Up Economy?

For if I am not mistaking if I ask President Elect Obama what would happen if the Bad Boys of Detroit would show Congress the tax dollars saved by electric cars equipped with a generator powered by natural gas replacing the Local, State, and Federal Fleets. Does not that permit me to show My Democratic and Republican Citizens what can be done by Man putting 4 windmills into a wind tunnel?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 3, 2008 7:18 AM
Comment #271376

Remer writes; “Find the best solutions and get the jobs done, within the legal and Constitutional framework!”

You won’t find any argument from conservatives on this statement.

Posted by: Jim M at December 3, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #271378

When the Warmest in History Isn’t

“When it comes to global warming, newspapers play up stories that reinforce the prevalent the-sky-is-falling belief that global warming is human-caused and catastrophic. But if a study or scientist does not portend the end of the world as we know it, it rarely rates as news.

In that spirit, many papers (including The Chronicle) have reported on a UC San Diego science historian who reviewed 928 abstracts of peer-reviewed articles on global warming published between 1993 and 2003, and concluded, “Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.”

Over 10 years, not one study challenged the orthodoxy — does that sound right to you? If that were true, it would strongly suggest that, despite conflicting evidence in this wide and changing world, no scientist dares challenge the politically correct position on the issue.

No wonder, David Bellamy — an Australian botanist who was involved in some 400 TV productions, only to see his TV career go south after he questioned global warming orthodoxy — wrote in The Australian last week, “It’s not even science anymore; it’s anti-science.” Bellamy notes that official data show that “in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased.” Exhibit B: Richard S. Lindzen, the MIT Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, recently wrote, “There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/DebraJSaunders/2008/12/01/when_the_warmest_in_history_isnt?page=1

Posted by: Jim M at December 3, 2008 10:34 AM
Comment #271398


Timmy: Don’t hold your breath in anticipation, the SC will not find merit to here the case.

Posted by: jlw at December 3, 2008 2:50 PM
Comment #271404


Beyond the Bailout Nation by Steve Fraser

“A suffocating political and intellectual provincialism has captured the new administration in embryo. Instead of embracing a sense of adventurousness, a readiness to break with the past so enthusiastically promoted during the campaign, Obama seems overcome with inhibitions and fears.”

“Practically without exception he has chosen to staff his government at its highest levels with refugees from the Clinton years. This is emphatically true in the realms of foreign and economic policy. It would in fact, be hard to find an original idea amoung the appointees being called to power in those realms - some way of looking at the American empire abroad or the structure of power and wealth at home that departs radically from views in circulation a decade or more ago.”

Recycled Clintonism is recycled neoliberalism. This is change only the brainiacs from Hyde Park and Harvard Square could believe in. Only the experts could get hot under the collar about the slight differences between “behavioral economics” (the latest academic fad that facinates some high level Obama-ites) and straight-up neoliberal deference to the market. And here’s the sobering thing: despite the grotesque extremism of the Bush years, neoliberalism also served as its ideological magnetic north.”

The entire article can be read at The Nation.com.

I am quite skeptical that this cabinet will be presenting new and inovative options to Obama that will have any significant effect on the current power structure statis quo. If that is the case, it won’t be hard to figure out who the WE are in the Change We Can Believe In scenario.

Posted by: jlw at December 3, 2008 4:10 PM
Comment #271409

Here’s an interesting observation that perhaps many of you have noticed as well. I find this article quite interesting. Here’s the link to the entire article; http://townhall.com/columnists/EmmettTyrrell/2008/12/01/public_nuisances

“That brings to mind the visuals that the president-elect is using when he addresses the American people. He appears enhaloed by American flags, not one or two but a whole ring of flags. Moreover, he speaks from a lectern proclaiming “The Office of the President Elect.” In point of fact, there is no Office of the President Elect, and Obama is not even in an office. He is on a stage. Arguably, a stage has been his office during much of his public life, given the fact that he will be America’s first motivational speaker to become president. Actually, I doubt that this is the point Obama is trying to make. He is engaging in theater. Yet this dramatic setting is implausible. According to statute, he will not actually be president-elect until the Electoral College meets on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December (Dec. 15 this year) to elect him according to the votes cast Nov. 4.”

Posted by: Jim M at December 3, 2008 6:54 PM
Comment #271411

All of a sudden the Democrats are the party of big business and corporate welfare, and the Republicans are the party of corporate justice and energy independence. Things change fast during duopoly-rule don’t they? Am I really the only one who knew this would be the real “change?”

I knew that once Obama was elected, he would realize his inability to keep any campaign promise. During the past few weeks his total ineptness had been on display for everyone to see. Just look at the press conferences where, instead of giving straight answers, Obama rattles off Bushesq talking points. And of course, there’s he appointments (you Obamaheads really thought he was going to look outside political circles for his cabinet and advisory staff didn’t you?).

I hate to see our president elect digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole, but I can’t help being just a little smug. After all, I was one of the few who wrote-in my vote for president. History is already proving me right.

Posted by: WellWellWell at December 3, 2008 9:03 PM
Comment #271412

In his foreword to the 1989 book The Greenhouse Effect[3] Bellamy wrote:

“The profligate demands of humankind are causing far reaching changes to the atmosphere of planet Earth, of this there is no doubt. Earth’s temperature is showing an upward swing, the so-called greenhouse effect, now a subject of international concern. The greenhouse effect may melt the glaciers and ice caps of the world causing the sea to rise and flood many of our great cities and much of our best farmland.”

by David Bellamy

Posted by: Cube at December 3, 2008 10:41 PM
Comment #271417

Altogether it looks a good team. BHO will have an opportunity to pass some legislation that includes much needed radical changes to to national problems like healthcare. He will also be able to make thousands of administrative decisions to undo much of Bush,s terrible legacy. With his enormious popularity I fully expect him to get through at least a dozen major legislative actions in his first year even without 60 Dems in the senate.
As for Clinton era advisors,YAH! Lets recall. A budget surplus,relative peace.low unemployment,raising wages, arrested terrorist,low poverty and welfare levels………could do worse. HC is a bit too friendly with Monsanto,one of our more rapacious imperialist conglomerates but one cannot expect everything. A mere return to simple competance will go a long way.

Posted by: bills at December 4, 2008 1:03 AM
Comment #271418

WellWell,

And if Obama had selected unknowns, your comment likely would have criticized his choices of inexperience. Reasonable critics critique performance, and Obama’s performance in selecting highly respected and qualified people is meeting with near 80% American approval rating. I think the public is telling you, “I told you so”, instead of the other way around, strictly by the numbers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2008 1:35 AM
Comment #271431

WellWell,
In all fairness to President Elect Obama, as an Elected Official doesn’t he work for “We the People” and what the majority of citizens tell him to do? Or would another 4 years of President Bush being a Lameduck help change your mind.

For can you tell me your idea for making America Energy Independent?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 4, 2008 11:11 AM
Comment #271435

David R.:

80% of the people don’t know who half these people are. They have no idea who Geithner is or that he was one of the bank regulators who was supposed to be regulating these banks. They don’t know that he and Summers are protege’s of Rubin or even who Rubin is. They don’t know that the chosen head of HHS is a lobbyist for the health care industry. More than half the people probably don’t know who the Sec of Def is. If you asked the people who Bill Richardson is, half of them would probably guess that he is a member of the Rolling Stones. What the people know is that we have a newly elected president and they hope he has some answers.

There are plenty of unknown experts who are not actively involved in the corpocracy that Obama could have chosen. Do you really believe that Obama couldn’t have made better choices? That he could not find someone more qualified than a former Senator who is a lobbyist for the industry to head HHS?

Jim M.:

The people are scared. The politicians are scared to death. The corporations and wealthy are scared. The robber baron Bill Gates wants us to pass a stimulus package for the whole world. If people don’t start buying stuff the economy is going to go under for sure. This can’t wait till Obama is in office.

IMO, They needed a strong voice with credibility to convince people that everything is going to get better, try to convince them that it will be alright if they go shopping. Bush has no credibility. The majority of the people would only become more frugle if Bush told them everything is going to be ok.

I believe this is why Obama is playing this unpresidented role. He has some creditibility with a large percentage of the people and he has a lot at stake in more ways than one if the economy gets worse.

Bills:

It was Clinton’s Sec. of Treasury who proposed deregulating the banks. It was Clinton who signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Nov. 12,1999, almost one year to the date before Bush was elected, after both parties passed it overwhelmingly. And, it was both parties that ignored repeated warnings about the banking crisis for several years until it was to late to stop it.

Sure, Bush, with help from politicians of both parties, made a bad situation worse. He added contributing factors like a huge tax break for the wealthy, helped create a situation where oil could go to $150 a barrel (you have to expect something like that when you put two oil men in the Whitehouse), fought two wars on credit and helped move us away from a possibility of having a balanced budget.

It was also Bush who said that there has never been a better time to buy a house even though, at that time, the housing market was being inflated through the roof and morgage lenders were handing out morgages with variable interest rates that almost guaranteed the train wreck that was just around the next bend.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the liberals helped create this situation. The republicans might be up to their eye balls in responsibility but, the democrats are up to their necks. Now the democrats have to fix the mess that they helped create by going on a huge borrow and spend spree.

You either give the borrowed money to the corporations or you give it to the people so they will hopefully spend it. By all acounts that I have heard, many of the people either saved or paid down debt with the last stimulus package.

What the average person knows is that for most of the Clinton years, the economy was going strong. Ask the average person why and he probably wouldn’t know that a huge part of it was the .com boom that busted before Clinton left office. And, no one was listening to the cries of those who were losing their jobs to outsourcing or insourcing even though Clinton assured them that there were safe guards written into the trade bills that he was signing into law that would prevent that from happening. Well, he lied. Only Ross Perot told the people the truth.

Posted by: jlw at December 4, 2008 12:10 PM
Comment #271441

timmy,

Where is the link or cite for that?..it was my understanding that it would not even be considered until tomorrow.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 4, 2008 1:00 PM
Comment #271442

Right-leaning Bush voters swung to Obama

I found this analysis by Joel Mowbray extremely interesting as it highlights where the needed votes for Obama came from other than those from the traditional Democrat base.

Read the full story here; http://townhall.com/columnists/JoelMowbray/2008/12/04/how_conservatives_helped_elect_obama?page=1

“In perhaps his most honest moment of the campaign, Barack Obama in June told the New York Times, “I am like a Rorschach test.” Unlike most politicians who seek to define themselves sharply, Obama proudly defined himself as whatever different voters wanted him to be. Accomplishing this feat in a heated election was a tall order, but in governing, it becomes nearly impossible. In policy battles, there are winners and losers because lines are drawn, and sides must be taken.

For Obama to maintain the coalition that elected him, he needs to come down on the right side of that line more often than most in his party would like.”

Posted by: Jim M at December 4, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #271450

>For Obama to maintain the coalition that elected him, he needs to come down on the right side of that line more often than most in his party would like.”
Posted by: Jim M at December 4, 2008 01:13 PM

Jim M,

This country has survived and occasionally thrived under the influences of several political parties. It has floundered and failed under a few too. It is mostly the fiber of the person at the top that makes the difference, not whether he is Rep or Dem or some other.

To be quite frank with you, I don’t give a big hoot which side of the dividing line he falls on to get things done…as long as they are done in the best interest of most of us and not just the select few.

Obama seems to have strong fiber, he seems to be more pragmatic than many thought at first, he seems to have an intellectual curiosity…it remains to be seen whether he can govern, but all indications are, surveying what decisions he’s made so far, he’ll do fine.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 4, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #271452

PS:

The Democratic party is hardly a coalition. We are a bunch of unruly children in a great big sandbox…we’ll never be able to agree on much for very long, so I expect ‘O’ will have a lot more trouble with his fellow Dems than with the Reps. That’s just the way it is with us…lockstep???..we don’t do it very well. Our platform has more space between the planks than a patio deck.

Did not Clinton make more conservative policies work than BushI and BushII combined? And looking back, did he not have better luck getting things done with his Republican opponents than he did with his Democrat friends?

Pelosi and Reid may be his two greatest obstacles, but I don’t care about that either, if he overcomes those obstacles and gets the job done. Jim, we need action, not inaction…we need positive direction, not the trail of tears we’ve been on for eight years…we need across the aisle participation, not Saxbee Chambliss obstructionism.

The glass is half full :) We are on our way…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 4, 2008 2:33 PM
Comment #271460

marysdude, I agree with most of what you said and also want Mr. Obama to do well and be successful… for then, we all win.

The economy is issue #1 right now and more bailouts are in the offing. Perhaps with union concessions and agreement combined with a sound executive plan by the Big Three we can save the automakers and their millions of jobs. What congress should ask is what will they do differently with bailout money that will succeed where they are now failing.

I have been listening to and reading about a stimulus plan being advocated by my congressman, Louie Gohmert of Texas, that sounds interesting. He is calling for the elimination of payroll and income taxes for earners for a two month period that will cost about 350 billion. I wonder how much support this plan will get.

Posted by: Jim M at December 4, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #271463


In other words, there is only one political party in this country that pretends to be two parties and that one party is a right of center party. I’m glad we are finally getting to the truth.

Posted by: jlw at December 4, 2008 4:25 PM
Comment #271466

jlw, your reply is straight out of fantasy land. Obama needs people who are qualified AND KNOWN to him as persons he can trust and rely upon.

Sure there are other people equally qualified or perhaps even better. But, if a president doesn’t know who they are or have a relationship with them, they won’t be selected to be his right hand men and women.

A little reality is called for in your comments on this topic. It is obvious your comment prefers to ignore the relevant in order maintain the negative. That is pure partisanship and it must gall that so many Republicans, Independents, and Democrats (78% of them) support Obama’s transition decisions.

As for the people not knowing SOME of the persons selected, again you choose the irrelevant. People base their opinions on many things including the opinions of others they respect or trust, in their families, communities, media, their representatives or political party leaders, etc. They form their opinions on information available to them. If they don’t know Geitner, they do know of H. Clinton. If they don’t know Napolitano, they do know of Richardson: he ran for president and was in the most watched debates in American history along side Obama.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2008 5:03 PM
Comment #271480

We have some options:

1. We can look at what has gone on since the election, and see nothing but trouble and division ahead, because our side did not win, or there were really only two sides involved.

2. We can be euphoric, and celebrate that our side won, and assume that we can go forward into Nirvana, walking hand in hand without a worry.

3. We can be realists, and realize that the work has just begun on problems that seem impossible to overcome, and then roll up our sleeves to get to work on those problems.

One man cannot do it, but one man can inspire others to get it done. Actually, the most we can expect is an intellectual approach, by someone who believes it can be done and is willing to work very hard in that regard.

Crying and whining about how unjust the world is, is probably the last thing we should do…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 5, 2008 2:06 AM
Comment #271494

Some time ago there were many discussions on this blog about renewable energy with some calling for mandates to make a rapid transition. Sensible folks understood the enormous task of building transmission lines which necessitates private property owners granting easements or going thru the long and even more costly legal process of condemnation thru eminent domain provisions.

As I have said many times on these blogs, winning an election is much easier than effective and good governing. Mr. Obama and his team must now face reality as they are beginning to do in Iraq and Afghanistan and will be forced to do with our nation’s energy supply.

The NY Times writes an informative article on the progress to date and hurdles yet to be overcome. Here’s an excerpt.

“In those states that set aggressive goals and have had trouble meeting them, a big hurdle has been building power lines that could transmit the electricity, Mr. Wiser said. Another has been the utilities’ inability to secure enough long-term contracts to buy renewable power.

While the country has no shortage of entrepreneurs hoping to build wind turbines and solar arrays, they have been slowed by problems like finding suitable sites, overcoming local political opposition and securing financing. In a few cases, including some in upstate New York, allegations have been made that the developers bribed officials to win approval of their projects.

Many energy experts embrace renewable power standards as a policy mechanism to promote green energy, but with a nationwide standard starting to seem likely once Barack Obama and the new Congress take power, these experts are ratcheting down expectations of what can be achieved in the near term.”

Full story; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/business/05power.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th

Posted by: Jim M at December 5, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #271516

Jim M,

Who in the world told you this was going to be easy? Of course expectations have to be downsized, isn’t that always the case? We have enough oil in reserve and in the pipelines now to last us until the first successful renewables are ready and the transmission line problems have been taken care of. Why do we think that just because we must make changes they have to happen on January 20th? We really just need to quit dumping our few resources into fossil fuel drilling and developing, and concentrate on the things we know we have to have anyway.

‘Drill Baby Drill’ is garbage.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 5, 2008 3:05 PM
Comment #271517

PS:

If ‘Drill Baby Drill’ becomes part of our future, it will be as a pacifier to the infants who are too scared of our future to see reality. We will have wasted valuable time and resources.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 5, 2008 3:08 PM
Comment #271518

PPS:

Oh, and given oil corporations another lollypop.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 5, 2008 3:09 PM
Comment #271528


David R: Only time will tell. So far reality seems to be working out about the way I said it would before the election.

Timmy: Did Thomas convince the other judges? Here is one for you, the court will here the case aginst Hillary Clinton, it does have merit. Hillary’s defence is that the salary has been rescinded and therefore her vote is not cause for disqualification. I don’t know when the rescinding was done or who did it.

Marysdude: “One man can not do it, but one man can inspire others to get it done.”

This is true and I sincerely hope that Obama is that man. So far I am not inspired by his cabinet choices and I doubt that the second tier choices will inspire me either.

There is nothing wrong with being critical or even cynical until results prove other wise.

We are still talking about doing things we should have gotten started on 40 years ago. After Reagan and Bush I, Clinton should have been the inspirer but, he wasn’t. Gore might have been it but, he didn’t get the opportunity. Now it is Obama’s turn.

Posted by: jlw at December 5, 2008 4:27 PM
Comment #271529

I wonder if marysdude ever reads a realistic assessment of a situation that doesn’t quite fit his view of the world without being critical of the messenger.

I also wonder where in the world marysdude found substantiation of his statement;

“We have enough oil in reserve and in the pipelines now to last us until the first successful renewables are ready and the transmission line problems have been taken care of.”

Earlier in his piece he wrote that expectations have to be downsized…but continues to believe we should not allow any more drilling and calls those who believe we should drill more, to provide the necessary energy we need until renewables are capable of fulfilling all our energy needs,…infants.

He then writes; “We will have wasted valuable time and resources.” Golleeee marysdude, don’t you think this country can both drill and engineer and the same time. And, just whose resources will be wasted?

It is very sad to know that some are so rooted in political claptrap and imprisoned by their positions, that they can’t recognize combination solutions.

We can hope that Mr. Obama and the dem congress is not so blind or unrealistic.

Posted by: Jim M at December 5, 2008 4:33 PM
Comment #271541

Jim M,

Speaking of attacking the messenger…wow! My cheeks are still stinging from that one.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 5, 2008 10:27 PM
Comment #271555

So now there is even talk of 1$ a gallon gas again and we get to watch the goal of energy independance vanish like the dew. I wonder if BHO has the political courage to call for the steps needed to pursue that goal anyway, among them is tariffing imported oil and funding massive infrastructure projects that do not pencil out well with cheap oil around.Of course in a year or two, when most talk of alternates has waned Big Oil will screw us again.

Posted by: bills at December 6, 2008 10:38 AM
Comment #271559

Sorry marysdude…perhaps I did slap a little to hard there. Iam looking forward to the day when we can abandon fossil fuels for energy purposes and replace it with renewables. And, I recognize that the whole world and our economies run on oil at this time and for some considerable time to come.

We are witnessing the affects of poor decision making in Washington and in private business right now and bad things are happening to good people.

We must not allow America to become even more dependent upon foreign sources for our energy. We have seen the horrendous affect of that scenario just recently. I maintain that we should use more of our own oil while also being the world leader in developing renewable energy sources.

Survival means using what we have and developing its eventual replacement. We can do this.

Posted by: Jim M at December 6, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #271566

Jim M,

I would also be for more oil research and drilling, if I thought for one minute the United States would be the greatest beneficiary of such a program. I know that renewables may not appear as soon as we need them, and I know the transition from fossils to renewables will be painful.

It is my sincere belief that once the oil is located, the platforms built, the drilling successful, two things will happen…one: because oil companies own the oil, they will immediately place it into the world trade stream. I’m sure there is no law against that, and would not blaim them for wanting to make money for their efforts…however, because of that, any benefits we her in America will see is going to be so diluted as to be insignificant…after all China has a lot more money in reserve than we do, why would they not be able to outbid us in the marketplace? Two: as soon as we authorize further exploitation of off-shore and wilderness drilling fields, funds that might have gone for renewables will begin to dry up…I believe this because it is the nature of the beast to be that way.

If I’m right, and the new oil drilled really doesn’t do us direct good, and if we temper our research efforts in renewables…??? How do you see it different? Do you see our future as brighter if we allow this, ‘drill baby drill’ scheme?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 6, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #271572

Jim M, I think one of the points dude is trying to make, and many others as well, is that we have to stop our gluttonous demand for, and use of oil and it’s by-products. We have become far too comfortable with it, and too disinterested in pursuing the other options. This is not any different from what millions of people are saying. We know what we want,,,,we’re just not sure of how to get it…where to start…then what to do with it. I’m very hopeful and confident, that Obama has the foresight to find people who are a little better focused on the immediate needs and have a direction already in sight.
Perhaps if we take a tiny bit of positive from this negative we’re living right now, we can see this as the order to start marching. We will find that we’re able to live without driving gas-guzzling vehicles…we can get by giving our children real books instead of pricier electronic readers….we can stay home and have a meal all together at the table and …..gasp…..talk. Maybe our kids will learn some new things. You know…the lemon and lemonade thing.

Posted by: janedoe at December 6, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #271573

Sorry dude….didn’t see your latest post… ;)

Posted by: janedoe at December 6, 2008 1:37 PM
Comment #271576

Jim M, Read this It was over thirty four years ago by a good person President Jerry Ford. Notice he talked about Conservation, Wind, solar, and Other forms of energy, OCT. 1974. http://www.ford.utexas.edu/LIBRARY/speeches/740121.htm

Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 6, 2008 2:43 PM
Comment #271583

janedoe,

You should not be sorry…you always say stuff better than me…;)

Posted by: Marysdude at December 6, 2008 9:48 PM
Comment #271596

Marysdude is concerned that any new oil from American soil will wind up on the world market and that is very true…and shouldn’t be any other way. The last thing we need to experience are energy wars between nations all seeking to satisfy their needs among dwindling supplies.

It’s really about supply Marysdude. More supply means more consistent prices, without the spikes we have recently seen, and less national friction in obtaining what is needed for each country to survive.

Much of the world’s oil production is sold on the world market like most other commodities such as precious metals and grains. Nations then compete, by price, for these commodities. Adding more supply from American produced oil will help with the world supply and benefit every nation, not just the producer.

By keeping world oil at relatively stable prices, with assured supply, we can more effectively plan for and have the resources necessary to produce the new renewables.

Oil is not going to remain in the $40 to $50 per barrel range for very long as the world recovers from our current recession and will soon increase again. With more supply from America, and other nations, we can avoid the pricing spikes that rob America and other nations of the capital needed to develop the new energy and not be sending as much to Arab and other nations.

Moderate oil prices combined with a consistent supply is necessary to provide the confidence to spend what is necessary to engineer its replacement. When a nation is spending an inordinate amount of its treasure to keeping its engines running there is little left for new development.

I recognize the danger of falling back on our old ways of dependence upon cheap oil and failure to develop new energy sources. I also believe that after going thru such hard times the American people will demand that our government proceed with all speed to become energy independent. Once again, it’s up to us…the people of the United States to make our wishes known and acted upon.

Posted by: Jim M at December 7, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #271598

Jim M,

The very thing I worry about most…stable world oil prices…NOT!

I could care less how stable the oil prices are, they will be market driven. That means if we produce more oil and it shows available on the market, India and China will come up with a higher demand. If every well we could possibly pump was pumping tomorrow and it went into the world market, it would not amount to a hill of beans, because the increased demand would suck it up anyway.

Drilling for more oil is a self defeating policy…self defeating because more oil just pollutes more…and, self defeating because we grow to depend on it more. The more oil there is out there the less intense we’ll pursue alternatives. That’s what happened after Ford warned us, it’s what happened after Carter warned us, and Clinton and Gore…and…and…and…it is time to suck it up…it is time to stop making excuses for polluting and for delaying the development of alternative fuels…it is TIME!

Posted by: Marysdude at December 7, 2008 2:07 PM
Comment #271614

Now On the South, SANTIAGO (AFP) – Chile’s glaciers are on the retreat, a sign of global warming but also a threat to fresh water reserves at the southern end of South America, a report has found.

In a November report, the Chilean water utility — Direccion General de Aguas de Chile (DGA) — said the Echaurren ice fields, which supply the capital with 70 percent of its water needs, are receding up to 12 meters (39.37 feet) per year.

Twenty of the glaciers studied receded between 1986 and 2007 in Campos de Hielo Sur, the third largest ice reserve in the world after Antarctica and Greenland. At the current rate of decline, Echaurren and other small glaciers close to Santiago could vanish over the next half century.

“The results indicate that the Campos de Hielo Sur glaciers generally tend to recede, which could be due to climate change in the region,” the study said.

“The glaciers have receded up to 580 meters (1,900 feet) due to reduced rainfall recorded by weather stations in Patagonia and temperatures rising by about one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the region over the last century.”

The Chilean glaciers, located mostly in the remote flatlands of Patagonia, have receded by about 67 meters per year between 1986 and 2001 and by about 45 meters between 2001 and 2007, according to DGA.

The Jorge Montt receded the most of all glaciers studied, by 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) in 21 years, a loss of 40 square kilometers (25 square miles). The San Rafael glacier in southern Chile lost 12 kilometers (7.45 miles) over 136 years.

“The fact that the glaciers are receding is one of the most dramatic consequences of global warming, because that’s where climate change is most obvious,” glaciologist Andres Rivera of the Valdivia scientific studies institute (CECS) told AFP.

The melting or collapse of the ice wall formed at a glacier’s extremity is not due solely to global warming, according to the scientists who wrote the DGA study. The depth of the lakes or fjords into which they fall also causes the glaciers to crumble.

Loss of glaciers along Chile’s Andes mountain range, home to 76 percent of South America’s glaciers over a surface of 20,000 square kilometers (12,400 square miles), is threatening the water supply for people and agriculture.

“The glaciers will continue to provide fresh water for at least a hundred years. The cities and crops will expand and a time will come where the glaciers will be the population’s water source,” the study warned.

But two glaciers bucked the trend. Pie XI, the biggest glacier in Hielo Sur, is also the only one that continues to expand in Chile. Perito Moreno in neighboring Argentina is its only glacier that is still spreading.

“These two examples are anomalies, exceptions in this region where the glaciers are receding and losing mass.”


Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 7, 2008 9:41 PM
Comment #271615

Chilean glaciers retreating due to global warming: report
4 hours ago
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iXo89g63J_mj2L9XVZISgwG8l24Q

Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 7, 2008 9:48 PM
Comment #271616

The world population in year 1 A.D. was 250 million people.

The world population in year 1492 was 500 million people.

The world population in 1804 was 1.0 billion people.

The world population in 1922 was 2.0 billion people (doubled in 118 years; increasing on average by about 23,000 per day).

The world population in 1959 was 3.0 billion people (increased by 1.0 billion in only 37 years; increasing on average by about 74,000 per day).

The world population in 2006 was 6.68 billion people (more than doubled in 47 years; increasing now by 211,000-to-218,000 persons per day (that’s all births minus deaths)!).

The world population by 2039 could be 8.0 to 13 billion.

The point is, human population has a lot to do with the environment.
That’s why it is hard to understand the open-borders and immigration proponents, who should perhaps ask China (1.3 Billion people) and India (1.1 Billion people) about all of the wonderful advantages of over-population, such as:

  • smog

  • pollution

  • Children in the poorer, developing world countries are about five times as likely to die of illness at birth than those in the industrial world

  • famine

  • crowding

  • increased crime

  • decreasing arable land per person

  • global warming

  • wars

  • etc.

  • In year 2006, there was 1.15 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e. 7.68 billion acres / 6.68 billion people).

    By year 2039, there may be only 0.59 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e. 7.68 billion acres / 13 billion people).

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 7, 2008 9:54 PM
    Comment #271628

    Marysdude et al
    Oil price stability is in fact a necessary component in building a sustainable alternate energy industry. It is near impossible to attract adeguate levels of new capital to any industry that cannot offer at least some assurance that their final product will be competitive. In other words,the end product must have some reasonbly predictable market value.The alternative to this is massive and IMO unsustainable direct government subsidies. To achieve the needed stability is a proper function of government, indeed the federal government is the only entity capable of doing so.
    One possible avenue to that end is the imposition of a variable tariff on imported oil. This is well within the constitutional province of Congress.Lets say the price of oil falls below a given point,say 75$ a barrel. The difference between $75 and whatever the market value is would be paid to the government. Not only would this add stability to forign oil prices but allow us to recind all domestic production subsidies as domestic oil production would become comparitively more profitable and the stability would also enhance capitalization in that sphere. It may also help ease the boom/bust cycle that impacts American workers in regions like Texas. Should the world price of oil increase above the target level the tariff would not be imposed. The tariff could not be imposed of our NAFTA partners,Canada and Mexico, nor perhaps should it. Prosperious nieghbors are a good thing.
    Coupled with a tariff and augmenting efforts at stability should be the expansion of the Stratigic Petroleum Reserve. The SPR should be morphed into what is basically a government oil holding company. When oil prices are falling the SPR should be buying, even asserting priority if necessary. When oil prices are spikeing the SPR would start dumping. Although the goal is stability the SPR used in that manner would not likely cost taxpayers and may well increase federal revenues. After all,buying low and selling high is a pretty good business plan.
    There are of course, other possible mechanisms to achieve price stability, direct price controls for example. The mechanisms I mentioned represent the minimum of government involvement to achieve stability and are likely therefore more sustainable.
    Regards BillS

    Posted by: bills at December 7, 2008 11:41 PM
    Comment #271654

    >Dude Said:
    Crying and whining about how unjust the world is, is probably the last thing we should do…
    The democrats (and you specifically on this blog)have spent that last 8 years saying the most mean spirited things imaginable about our current president…
    Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 7, 2008 11:03 PM

    Jake,

    For the most part we whiners and criers on the left waited until Cheney/Bush had bungled and/or lied us into a few serious messes before we started whining and crying. Many on the right are not waiting even for the first flub, and certainly not for a serious one. Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite, as you say, but strangely I don’t feel guilty of that particular affliction…

    Strangely enough Cheney/Bush had a smooth path right up until we began to find out about Iraq and his response to Katrina…but, frankly I don’t think it possible to whine or cry enough about his administration.

    But…can youse cats over there please wait until we have an administration in place before the wailing begins?

    Posted by: Marysdude at December 8, 2008 2:45 PM
    Comment #271693
    The democrats (and you specifically on this blog)have spent that last 8 years saying the most mean spirited things imaginable about our current president and administration as well as almost constant forecasts of gloom and doom because of his policies - but now that your side prepares to take the throne, we should drop all that ignobility and buck up for America’s sake.

    Looks like we saw what nobody else would admit to, and we were right.
    What a kick to watch someone whine and cry, kick and scream about being drug out of the **** and into something clean and refreshing.
    And just what is there about calling a spade a spade….mean-spirited? Because you didn’t agree, and still don’t, does not make it so.
    Bush is on his way out, and not nearly fast, or soon enough. He has been solely and personally responsible for more death, corruption and destruction of our liberties than any other single person. Way to go Bushies……..

    Posted by: janedoe at December 9, 2008 12:44 PM
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