Democrats & Liberals Archives

Rick The Self-Cooking Frog

Not too long ago, I took a trip up to Oklahoma City all the way up from the Houston Area. It was an interesting ride with some pretty scenery, but something else became apparent over the course of my trip, something that relates to this story.

For one thing, there was the temperature. I didn't know it at the time, but the August weekend me and the family chose to make our trip was not only the hottest on record in Texas and Oklahoma, they were the hottest summers in American history. Texas got the kewpie doll, and Oklahoma took second place.

Lousiana, in case you're curious, placed fourth on the all-time list.

Anyway, the outside thermometer was registering 100 degree+ temperatures the whole way there. Our only respite was the rain we saw in Oklahoma.

Texas, for its part, experienced it's driest year since 1895, 116 years ago.

Houston, near where I live, literally did not see a single day without triple digit temperatures. The typical average is around 95 degrees. For some of you who don't live around here, that difference may register as a distinction between broil and bake, but trust me, it was a noticeable difference.

So was the lack of rainfall. Normally we get about 4 inches. Instead, we got .09, total.

Very interesting weather to say the least.

Rick Perry, our governor, asked Texans to ask God for rain back in April.

God did not give him the answer he wanted, by all evidence. All things considered, if I was offering piety and being buddy-buddy with God as a big item on my resume, a refusal this big should at least make him reconsider the reference.

All joking aside, what really concerns me about Rick Perry and like-minded conservatives in government is their detachment from reality. He should recall the biblical story of Jesus' temptation by the devil, where he told Jesus he should jump off the top of the temple. He told Jesus that God would catch him, lest he dash a toe on the stones below.

Jesus bluntly quoted the Torah back at him, telling him that you shouldn't put the Lord Almighty to the test. It's one thing to have faith, it's quite another to rely on your faith to get you out of reckless decisions, whether that's faith in God, or faith in a political ideology.

Rick Perry and his fellow Republicans seem intent on putting their luck to the test, trying to look good to the fiscal conservatives and Tea Partiers out there.

The rest of you, and Texans next year, are paying for their lack of foresight. We pay to help them with their wildfires as the need arises. Governor Perry even bashed the Feds for not showing up fast enough. Conservatives are always quick to cut preparations, then scramble for mitigation afterwards.

It should occur to some that if you act properly, the disasters you can't prevent will be better mitigated, and the ones you can prevent won't even happen.

Global climate change is an example, and it's here we see more of the Rick Perry style of governance in his pronouncement that much of the scientific support is simply cooked numbers.

Sorry, it's not. Unfortunately, some people listen to the wrong folks on global warming and think it might be controversial, but the truth is, it's not, not at least among those who study it for a living.

We're talking numbers that get as high as 98%. Now that isn't undeniable evidence that they're right, but it sure is a hell of a lot of people who know what they're talking about, and who could be the darlings of a lot of important people, if they could just prove their thesis right.

But who can? Forget trying to pretend like the planet's not getting warmer, it is. In fact, that's among the easier things to prove. Forget pretending like we're not the leading source of Carbon Dioxide, we are. We outrank volcanoes by a long way.

The difficult part of the science is that uncertainty is part of any prediction about our atmosphere. Why do you think your best forecasts are only good for about a week ahead? It's not that we lack computing power, nor is it that thermodynamics or the behavior of CO2 molecules are all that poorly understood. Not unless Venus suddenly got cooler by several hundred degrees.

Just look at that planet, and you'll find a place where only a quarter of the light that hits the planet gets through the thick clouds, yet the place is several hundred degrees hotter. Proximity to the sun is not enough to explain it.

The real problem is, that for some people, it's simply bad business, at least as their shortsighted perspectives would have it. They won't sell as much of what they mine or pump from the earth. The government might not allow them to sell their big gas guzzlers that turn high profits. There are some people for whom people seeking alternatives and being able to seek alternatives is just unacceptable.

And those people have help from folks like Rick Perry. Folks who have no problem with arguing with the science in order to help their friends.

Well, you can argue with science, but nature is deaf to such appeals. Nature, however, does not change it's rules in response to what they do. It maintains it's non-intelligent, but highly complex, highly fed-back way of absorbing any and every variation that takes place and spitting out a result. These results are predictable in principle, but the feedbacks and the iterations it takes for humans like us to accurately figure out those feedbacks makes it difficult to predict things specifically in the long term.

But you can get a general idea of where things will go. Chaos theory in climate studies does make it nearly impossible to get a precise answer as to the consequences of our behavior, but it doesn't keep us from defining a range of possible outcomes, or from modelling how we got where we are today with the initial conditions we already know of.

Suffice it to say, Rick Perry and every conservative who agrees with him has their collective heads in the sand. They can rant about socialist conspiracies, but their is nothing that says that the alternative to a fossil-fuel dependent capitalist society is necessarily a socialist one. That's just a scare-tactic, really, a way to push things into the subjective, confounded world of politics, where people can argue the objective world to death, rather than keep in in the rather resolvable world of science.

I'm firm in my belief that the time to act is now. I'm also firm in my preference that we do this before a drastic change in our way of life is necessary, or before results are locked in that give us no opportunity to respond effectively.

Let's take my home state for example. If the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica collapse, the coastline will be redefined. If dry conditions such as this year's become the norm, a lot of trees and vegetation will die, and what was once a fairly wet subtropical climate will become otherwise.

It's all a matter of what kind of weather, if any, becomes the norm. Whatever it is, it probably won't be the kind of weather for which we've prepared ourselves for generations. Changes in geography from rising sea levels will have their effect, too. Many of our largest cities are within close range of the oceans. It will be an expensive and bitterly frustrating task, even on the timescale of centuries that theories speak of, to move residences, ports and transportation facilities, roads, bridges, industrial, power generation, and other infrastructure.

The situation will change where crops can be grown, farm animals can be raised, and where water can be found. It will change what kind of communities can endure, and what cannot.

Rather than initiate change ourselves, and adapt to the practical issues that come from that, we will be forced by blunt force necessity to undo much of what people like Rick Perry take for granted. At that point, as well, we can forget about dictating terms on what kind of economy or form of government sorts itself out. People will do what they have to do. A system like ours works best when buffered from such problems, or when it doesn't have to deal with them at all.

Change will come to us. It already has, as a matter of fact, on many levels, and often despite our fingernail-grinding death grip on the way things were. The simple evolution of society and technology, as culture shifts and technology redefines how people interact and transact, ensure that the world we know now will not endure. The question is, will the world we see tomorrow bear a better footprint from us, one that, in its feedbacks, serves our interests better?

Or are we waiting for nature to teach us harsher lessons on top of those it has already given us this past year?

Rick Perry, and others like him, sell us the vain hope that if we just keep on defending the vested interests of a few, we'll be able to continue things the way we are. But we won't. Oil supplies, regardless of what estimates you get, are finite, and the scientific evidence says that continued CO2 emissions will undo the world we know. I'm not running around with my hair on fire screaming "We're all going to die!", but you have only to look at the scale of the issues coming from storms like Irene, and the droughts and heat waves around my neck of the woods to see that much of what we hold dear could be put to the test, a test not everything we have built or depended upon in the course of our lives will pass.

People use the (actually false) example of the frog being boiled in the water as the temperature is slowly raised to talk about these kinds of events, where change sneaks up on us. Truth is, that's how big change typically acts, building up the pressures that lead events to come out a certain way, and releasing them. However, most of the time, we hardly realize this is happening.

In this case, the warnings have been repeated, they have been backed by a preponderance of the scientific evidence, and those who study this issue have become virtually unanimous in support of the theory.

But there are some who don't want to heed the warning. Even worse than being the proverbial frog stupid enough to sit in the water until it's butt is boiled, folks like Rick Perry have been told it's a pot of water that's going to boil them, but they're insisting that it's actually a Jacuzzi, and the rest of us are just party poopers.

Over the past decade, the GOP has been warned again and again that it's getting itself into some kind of trouble, whether that's on derivatives, deficits, wars, disaster relief, or the economic effects of austerity in a poor economy, or the consequences of the debt ceiling controversy. Again and again they are warned, and the leaders of the party instead resolve to be obstructive contrarians, simply to remain the winners in the game, and not have to listen to those they consider their political inferiors.

But however much they sell themselves on the quality of their positions, their victories are hollow, and short-termed, because if you're not right on a practical level, being the victor of a debate is cold consolation.

Cold consolation especially, for the poor little froggies who win outcomes with heated rhetoric that their poor boiling butts can't reckon with the consequences of. Not much either, for those who willingly stick themselves in a situation where they have to keep themselves in hot water with nature and most of the rest of the country in order to satisfy a few influential extremists, who they gave the run and control of the party to.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2011 3:26 PM
Comments
Comment #329435

Stephen

Nature doesn’t care what people do. It won’t punish or reward us. It is just there.

We agree about global warming. So what do we do? You drove from Houston to Oklahoma city. How urgent was your business? Was it worth adding the carbon to the atmosphere. I am sure you had good reason to go, as does everybody else who makes such choices.

I favor a straight carbon tax that will make your, mine and all of our trips a bit more expensive. Maybe we will make other choices. Most of my liberal colleagues claim to want solutions, but they lard in all sort of other things to exempt the poor or give special treatment to special groups.

I see the Kyoto treaty just is silly. By 2020, China will produce as much CO2 as the whole world did in 1990 and China has no responsibility under the treaty. Neither does India or many others who will account for most of the world’s new emissions.

So great. It is getting hot outside. What do we do? Can we really stop those Chinese, Indians etc?

re the frog - you say it is false. Did you actually ever try it? Just curious.

Posted by: C&J at September 18, 2011 7:07 PM
Comment #329440

C&J-
Nature doesn’t care, punish or reward. It simply changes in response to what we do. In some cases, just a little. In some cases, a lot.

As for the trip? Doubtlessly, we put out more carbon than usual, especially given the vehicle we had to use. But if I had my way, the vehicle we went in would be one that was considerably more fuel efficient. We deal with things with the tools we have at hand.

Your party’s philosophy is a prodigal one, which dismisses and minimizes claims that more efficiency is needed, and treats it all like weakling liberal claptrap. Really, though, despite what everybody said, becoming more fuel efficient has turned out to be less expensive than folks thought, and efficiency a greater draw. It’s something that my first purchased vehicle is a hybrid, which I rarely have to fuel up, and it’s a very low emissions vehicle.

Your carbon tax will never pass your party’s muster, not when the more market-oriented cap and trade, which was actually a conservative policy innovation, has been tarred with it’s narrow, anti-liberal sensibilities as unacceptable.

You really need to look at your people, and how far they are from your point of view on this.

I would even go so far to say that your pessimism about what can be done is a product of their propaganda. I mean, why do anything, if nothing can be done? If you can get people to believe no warming is going on, if you can’t get them to believe that humans aren’t at fault, you can at least get people to learn helplessness and just blindly go along with the fossil fuel company’s agenda, feeling like they have no choice.

But you do have a choice. The trick is, you have to start now. Your party’s delayed us on many necessary changes for too long, and the effect on our economy and our environment will bear mute testament to the error of their ways.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2011 7:39 PM
Comment #329441

Re: The frog, no, I have never tested it. Then again, it does make sense that a cold-blooded creature, which would tend to regulate its temperature by basking or going into the shade would be able to sense when it was getting a little too warm in the pot for it’s tastes.

A cold-blooded creature unable or unwilling to sense and react to changes in temperatures would not be a species long for this Earth.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2011 7:42 PM
Comment #329443

I wonder how many trillions SD is advocating for his nonsense MMGW cure.

I read today in the NY Times that Rahm is in trouble with the teachers union in Chicago. Poor Rahm, he wants to pay teachers to work longer hours so the kids in his city get a better education. Tough shit say the unions. We’re in charge…not you.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 18, 2011 7:52 PM
Comment #329444

Stephen

Maybe I will see if I can find a frog …

Your response to my question about your trip is enlightening. Everybody feels the same way about what they do.

I am not pessimistic in the long run. I see that our carbon intensity is dropping and I believe that we will develop new technologies that are cleaner and better, as we have always done. But I don’t think we have them now, nor do I think the best way to get them is to leave the development to the same guys who run the post office & the DMV, the guys who thought up ethanol subsidies and cash for clunkers.

Government has an indispensable role to play as a catalyst to improvement. It builds the highways; it doesn’t manage the lives of those who drive on them. It builds the infrastructure of Internet; it does not develop browsers or social media.

The government and the private sector have different and complementary roles. You are asking government to innovate in new technologies and pick the best ones for us. These are not things government does well.

Posted by: C&J at September 18, 2011 7:54 PM
Comment #329446

Royal

I read about Rahm too. He is kicking union ass and trying to do the right thing. He will shortly be eviscerated by the liberal media for his apostasy.

Posted by: C&J at September 18, 2011 9:27 PM
Comment #329451

Royal Flush-
There is no “cure”, but it is not nonsense to confront this problem. What is nonsense is ignoring well over ninety percent of those who choose to study climate.

It will cost us money, not to mention heartache and grief to simply continue on the way we have been. But your partisan sensibilities blind you to an undercurrent of my position.

That undercurrent is that I want as little disruption of the capitalist system, of our economy, of our nation’s prosperity as possible. But since we’re dealing with an non-linear phenomenon, we don’t exactly get a lot of time to sit on our hands, if that is our goal. I don’t want to start now so we can become something unrecognizeable to previous generations, I want to start now so we don’t have to be.

Far too often, when we listen to your people, we end up having to resort to expensive, difficult, and risky last minute measures just to keep things from cratering. I’m pretty sick of that.

You goad me about teachers unions, and you make like it’s some success to thwart them. Have you heard about the way SAT scores have fallen? Ah, yes, your competitive system at work. No child left behind in the undoing of our system of common, public education. Only the rich will competed, or deserve to compete, or the person so ambitious or ruthless as to get to the top. No question about whether we can function as a nation or a people with such terrible results in education. Nah, we don’t need skilled workers or unskilled, we’ll just export their jobs, as many as we can spare, and the rest can serve the rich and powerful, as they deserve to for being born so lowly.

The elitist system the Republicans are setting up is fine for those who have got their, or who have fooled themselves into believing that such a system truly runs on merits. The truth is, that is a system that runs on basically one merit: the amount of wealth and power one has. Competence, integrity, and innovativeness don’t matter in such a world. Folks find it threatening to their positions.

People changed the system, went towards progressive values not out of some nobly nostalgic past virtue thing, but because they found the injustice and unworkability of the system that came before unsustainable.

So they sought to create new systems, systems in which their interests were served directly, not just deferred to those of the rich and powerful, in vain hopes of reciprocity. And our country grew greater because of that, because the promise of equality and egalitarian sensibilities grew stronger. People were motivated and rewarded, and they motivated and rewarded others in turn, a way of doing things that is a lot easier than tossing money into the skies of the upper classes, and hoping some trickles down.

Now, what do you have? You’ve idled a generation. You’re bringing back another generation of soldiers whose needs you are set to ignore like you did those from Vietnam. You’ve taken the lessons of the largest ecological and financial catastrophes of all time, and you’re flushing them down the toilet.

My problem is that this my country you’re doing this too, so I am not content to sit back and listen to the folks blathering on about how great it is to break unions, how brave it is to deprive people of their ability to gather in large enough numbers to make the comfort-numbed management listen. Our country and it’s needs are bigger than any system or philosophy you can put a name to. We shouldn’t be content to wallow in misery, want, and idleness in this country, when nothing else than the mess left behind by sheer financial chicanery is responsible. It is no more advisable to do that, than to leave a wounded person without care to get up on their own, rather than call an ambulance.

Funny, isn’t it. That sounds like healthcare for many these days. Pray you don’t lose your job, the same way you pray you don’t lose your health, right?

America needs it’s economy looked after, not merely left on the side of the road by the priests of free-market libertarianism. It needs politicians willing to deal with the nation’s problems, to provide for this nation’s care as it heals.

It doesn’t need four more years of your party’s mismanagement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2011 11:34 PM
Comment #329452

Stephen

Your comment to Royal on education are truly silly.

“The elitist system the Republicans are setting up …” What does that even mean? Do you understand education at all? And who is “comfort-numbed management”? That would be school boards? The taxpayers? Teachers’ unions are fighting against whom?

Royal mentions Rahm Emmanuel. I also applauded his efforts to address a seriously broken system in Chicago. Last time I looked Rahm was a prominent Democrat and Chicago is a strongly Democratic city. Even a big hater cannot blame Republicans for the actions of a Democrat in a Democrat city, in a place that has been in Democratic hands as long as anybody can remember.

Conservatives want an education system that puts the kids’ education first. Democrats are enslaved to teachers’ unions, who put the interests of their members ahead of those of education. I am sorry for you if you think that trying to help a great number of kids against special interests is “elite.”

You constantly harp and accuse. Your use of the word “Republican” is dripping with hate. The constant use of phrases like “your people” to people you don’t know shows your mind set. Yours is a very black & white world, a hyper liberal world, where there are victims (who are good but powerless) and evil perpetrators (usually Republicans) who control everything and seem to do bad things just for fun, or for “greed”. I think they make cartoons like that, but in the real world it doesn’t exist.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2011 5:43 AM
Comment #329455

C&J-
Silly? I’m serious.

The elitist system is the system your people set up in general, where the benefits accrue to the top few percent. If they don’t, your people won’t stand for it. They had the chance last december to vote for a bill where the tax cuts went mainly to the middle class brackets, and they deliberately blocked that.

Now, you can’t even get them to discuss the payroll tax cut that they supported in December. When they complain about Obama being a tax and spend liberal, they don’t even stop to recall the huge tax cut that was part of the stimulus. Perhaps because it was aimed at the middle class and poor.

And that is the way your party’s politics go: the benefits have to accrue to the elite, otherwise we’re doing it wrong. Taking money from people on food stamps and unemployment is good, from oil companies and corporate jet owners, bad. You say it’s all for the job creators, but the truth is, folks don’t create jobs unless there’s profit in it for them, and that simply isn’t happening.

ON the union front, the union-busting is again a generalized aspect of your politics. But what has it gained people? You’ve fought back successfully against the major unions, and has that benefit America? No, a once prosperous working class in America has become impoverished, and we’ve gutted our manufacturing sector in America doing it.

Who does lowered pollution controls, or the failure to keep insurance and healthcare costs down benefit? Who does the continued freedom of Wall Street Traders, and folks who sell debt and credit to carry on their chicanery benefit? Certainly not the average American. The idea is, if we let all this crap go by, that would create jobs and economic activity. Problem is, all the debt, impoverishment, diminished retirement prospects for older Americans, while lucrative for some, has become a millstone around everybody else’s neck.

This is what you stand for, really. You talk about putting students first, but your system puts competition first instead, forcing students to be educated in an environment where the main goal of the educators is not to make sure they know something, or can understand how to learn something, but instead to make sure they score high on a test that determines the fate and funding of their school. Competition is the answer to only some questions. Students become a means to the ends of administrators looking to have big bonuses and big names.

If it seems like my use of the word Republican drips with hate, it doesn’t. It’s frustration. Every year, it seems, your party goes further off the deep end. You can’t even take yes for an answer from some people. I mean, cap and trade, for example, was a conservative idea. But now it’s socialism! The mandates in Obama care were your idea, and now your people are trying to prove it unconstitutional!

I get the idea that just about everything in your party is being measured by whether it’s on the other side of a dichotomy between Democrat and Republican. When will things be far enough right on the Democrat’s side to please you? And will it matter at all if the policies aren’t even practical anymore?

The Republican Party I once felt I knew had room for science. It had room for moderates. It had much less truck with the loonies and the John Birchers. Folks like you were more agreeable, less caught up in the torment and torrent of hate and extremism your side is now on.

Just consider that the leading candidate you have for the highest office in the land, Rick Perry, implied that it might justified for Texas to split off from the rest of the nation. That, being a member of the party of Lincoln. You tell me where you party’s head is, right now.

Liberals aren’t powerless, and I’m thankful for that. It’s limited the damage greatly. And I don’t want my people thinking they’re powerless, either, or just thinking of themselves as victims. I want them to be proud Americans who know that their vote counts and is important. Republicans aren’t evil, either, but their leaders have gotten so wrapped up in politics and cynical political manuevering that they’re no longer in touch with reality.

They don’t realize that when and if they win, they have to deal with all the crap that Democrats like Obama and me have struggled with these last three years, with them on our backs. They’ll have to struggle with it themselves, and if their answers are not as good as they think they are, then all this political contention they drummed up, all the discord and division they promoted will turn on them like the lion turning on the tamer.

I don’t think your party’s ideas are up to snuff. I don’t think they are worth it. I think even if you win, you lose. I would let that happen, and let my people rise from the ashes of that, but I no longer have the patience or heart to see my nation suffer, and I no longer am so naive as to believe that your side won’t rationalize all the stupid crap that goes on, and try and keep everything and everybody on this terrible course.

The nation needs a return to sanity, and that is why I am hostile to Republican leaders and their efforts. I no longer feel America can afford your party’s revivals of fortune. It’s already suffered for the foolish flirtation with the debt ceiling, and continues to suffer unnecessary job losses because somehow your folks feel killing jobs in the Public sector will create them in the private sector.

America needs and deserves better than this. Your economic policies are no better for us than the bleeding George Washington’s doctors inflicted on him was for him. Democrats want to bring proven economic medicine in, Republicans want to balance the nation’s humours.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2011 8:38 AM
Comment #329456

SD

Your rant had a number of if’s in it. Well, you like to talk about frogs I like to talk about dogs and rabbits. You know the story I’m sure. IF the dog would not have stopped to crap he would have caught the rabbit.

Kept looking for you at the Wall Street shutdown (didn’t happen). Photographers missed you.

When people lump into a group a second group of which they know nothing about, they make fools of themselves and reveal how much they know about anything. The mention of John Birchers is what I am referring to. I am willing to place the bet that you know virtually nothing about the JBS. And therefore to use them in a negative way is folly on your part.

Your tirade says a lot of things you try to relay as fact, but in reality it is your opinion. Fact and opinion are a far ranging set of values. Facts are Facts. Opinion may be based on fact and again it may not be based upon fact. Your opinion on GW is based upon who you want to believe and their use of which “models” their computers are set up for. Definition of models should be used as: A small replica of a larger item. Not necessary to be a fact; just an idea.

My conclusion on your post is Stephen being Stephen

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2011 10:13 AM
Comment #329460

Tom enlighten us on the JBS. Wasn’t that long ago their ideology was considered extremist by even the repubs. Today their ideology is mainstream repub.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 19, 2011 10:40 AM
Comment #329465

j2t2

Extremely brief, since I would be considered an extremist.

The JBS is an educational organization.

The aim is educate people on the Constitution and principles from learned men of past generations whose thoughts have been proven to be sound and correct.

Republicans have both endorsed the JBS and condemned it.

Democrats have both endorsed the JBS and condemned it.

Both parties are loaded with left leaning politicans that do not understand the principles of the Constitution nor of other thoughts on a good working society.

People on WB in the past have knocked the JBS, but offer nothing in substance on what is wrong with the JBS.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2011 12:29 PM
Comment #329467

tom humes-
If we are so ignorant, please, tell us of its beliefs, and let us see if we find it more sensible, the more we find out about it.

I personally think that some people are so paranoid about things like communism that they see it’s rise in just about everything. They were denouncing Eisenhower, of all people, as a communist.

So you tell me, why should I find the John Birch Society, which believes I’m a secret communist, so attractive?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2011 1:53 PM
Comment #329468

SD

Your total response is in error. I explained to you simply what they advocated. If that is not simple enough, I can make it more simple, probably. Who is they? Robert Welch the founder wrote in his book “The Blue Book” about Eisenhower. He gave the readers options as to Eisenhower. One of the options was that he was a “conscious agent of the communist conspiracy”. You can take it or leave it. Some people believe it and some don’t. It was never ever a part of the mission statement of the JBS.

You should stick with frogs, you so somewhat better.

Marantha

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2011 2:24 PM
Comment #329469

Just for the record, I have never been a member of the JBS.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2011 2:26 PM
Comment #329471


The JBS is an out of the mainstream right wing organization that believes the Constitution was chiseled out of stone by our Founding Fathers and can only be interpreted or altered in accordance with conservative ideals.

Some conservative Christians believe that God punishes the wicked with natural disasters. If that is true, God is obviously punishing Texas with drought? The drought may only end if Texas votes for Obama.

If MMGW is a fact, then it would be fitting for Texas to become the new Sahara Desert.

Why should we care about MMGW or spend money to try to alter the outcome when it is our great grandchildren that will be suffering any major complications that may be brought about as a result of MMGW? It would be better, less expensive, less disruptive to our way of doing things, for those living today to deny that MMGW is happening. This is especially true for those who make their profit from MMGW.

C&J, the time to criticize green advocates for using carbon spewing ICE’s is after we have an electric grid highway and people have a choice. Today, alternative choices are rather limited and expensive because we had the luxury of wasting several decades ignoring potential problems.

Common sense tells me that if we pump billions of tons of CO2 into our atmosphere, in increasing amounts, over an extended period of time, it will create problems.

You have been known to say that the reason we basically ignored developing alternative energy sources and continued to use oil in the 80’s was because it was cheap. The price of oil was inflated dramatically in the 70’s and yet it remained cheap. How did that happen? Was it because we double digit inflated our economy to keep pace with the rising cost of oil?

Posted by: jlw at September 19, 2011 2:59 PM
Comment #329473

SD writes; “Competence, integrity, and innovativeness don’t matter in such a world. Folks find it threatening to their positions.”

That is quite an apt description of how union leaders think.


Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2011 3:23 PM
Comment #329477

tom humes

Could Eisenhower really be simply a smart politician, entirely without principles and hungry for glory, who is only the tool of the Communists? The answer is yes.

Could it be that his question, so loaded, so replete with accusations agaisnt Eisenhower was understood exactly as it was meant, but that Welch backed off when he found it was more controversial than he expected it to be?

It seems to me that the rhetoric of the John Birch society is designed to implicate anybody who disagrees with it as being a fifth columnist, whether conscious of it or not.

With such unprovable conspiracy theory thinking, there are no real principles in there to restrain the person in question from falsely identifying peolpe as communists, because in their view, anybody who doesn’t line up his or her beliefs with theirs might as well be a commie.

I really have no patience to waste time making useless explanations to close-minded people whose only method of winning an argument about policy is to define everybody else as an extremist to sell their own non-mainstream views.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2011 3:48 PM
Comment #329479

Stephen, Your above explaination fits most of you leftist on this blog. Take you and your Republicans should do it this way BS. and the “YOUR PEOPLE” remarks puts you right in with the JBS. Speaking of closed minded your comments are some of the most closed minded that I have ever read.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2011 4:07 PM
Comment #329480

KAP-
I believe I have a political point better than “No! U!” here. Repeatedly, folks on the right have pushed a sensibility that we ignore problems like Global Warming, or the predator lending in the Housing market, the dangers of the Derivatives market, etc. and simply let the old policies take care of things.

Meanwhile, things get worse.

You can say my criticism fits leftists, but it doesn’t seem you read my criticism closely for anything else than anger at the Republicans.

I want better leaders, with better foresight than the current Republican Party is prepared to offer.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2011 4:11 PM
Comment #329483

Wrong Stephen most on the right do not ignore problems like GW we just don’t go to extremes like YOU FOLKS on the left do. I to want better leaders with better foresight then the current DEMOCRATIC party is offering. I want more than a community organizer in the WH, I want someone who has real experience and IMO you people screwed up by not picking Hillary at least she had an experienced guide at her side. Your comments do show a lot of anger at republicans. Your comments want them to be more like YOU Democrats. NEWS FLASH that’s not going to happen.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2011 4:34 PM
Comment #329488

In the last election more than half the voters voted Republican. Republicans demographically tend to have children more often. Most of us send out kids to public schools and we want them to be better.

“elitist system is the system your people set up in general” this is pure BS. PURE BS. I bet you don’t have any kids of school age. If you did, you might understand a little better and be a little more concerned about the quality of education.

What would you do? Spend more money? Doesn’t work beyond basic levels. The places were they spend the most often have the worst results.

Your simplistic idea is that if government spends more, things get better in proportion to the money spent. This is just not true.

“You talk about putting students first, but your system puts competition first instead”. My kids all went to public school, as I did. Because I live in a rich suburb, my schools were good. BUT we spent LESS than the poor schools with poor performance. We get better results because the teachers and administrators know we have options.

And I am getting real sick of the “your people” thing. MY people are currently the majority of Americans. YOUR people are the elitists trying to tell us what to do.

“a once prosperous working class in America has become impoverished” BECAUSE of changes in the world economy and sometimes BECAUSE of unions that did not facilitate adaptation.

“If it seems like my use of the word Republican drips with hate, it doesn’t.” If you want to see hate, look in the mirror. Or just take the …stuff … you write and substitute liberal for conservative and my people for your people. This is some of the most hateful and bigoted stuff I have seen on this blog.

I think generally YOUR people have messed up royally. I cannot forgive your stupidity and short sighted greed. I think think that we would be better off if your people would just listen to those of us who know better.

Now how does that sound to you? It is yours.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #329491

C&J writes; “And I am getting real sick of the “your people” thing. MY people are currently the majority of Americans. YOUR people are the elitists trying to tell us what to do.”

AMEN to that.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2011 5:48 PM
Comment #329493

KAP-
BP. Barton. “We apologize to you, BP.” Continued resistance to even making sure the other rigs were safe.

This, after the worst oil spill in American history, which cost billions, and many people’s livelihoods.

That’s one example. If you want to do this little dance of reflexivity every time I make an accusation, go ahead, but I won’t be the one just saying stuff to muddy the waters .

C&J-
Strawman. I never said throwing more money at a problem would help it. But when you use competition, you have to be careful what the competition directs people’s efforts towards, because if your testing selects more for the ability to take the test than the ability to to think out the subjects in question properly, well then you’ll get kids who are prepared to get jobs taking tests, rather than handle real-world subjects.

Which, apparently is what’s happening.

If that is the basis for your competition, then what you’re really encouraging administrators to do is compete to encourage their children to learn a completely worthless way of engaging the world.

Again, I will say, when you encourage competition, you better have a clear understanding of what your competition is encouraging.

My side has its share of shortsighted greed and stupidity. But much of it is shared with your side in this idea that if we somehow let the folks with the most keep even more, that we’d unleash the potential of the economy.

Well, we did those things, and it never happened like you said.

I’m not saying the intentions weren’t good, but the results diverged from expectations, and even today, your side won’t admit that.

Royal Flush, etc-
Those voting for Republicans might have been a majority in the last election, but that does not mean that they were all Republicans, nor does it imply that the population as a whole is majority Republican. If you ask somebody if they are a Republican, you’re going to get far from a majority response in favor.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2011 6:12 PM
Comment #329498

Frankly SD, I don’t care what the political label is. As long as the winners are moderate or conservative it’s just fine with me.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2011 6:35 PM
Comment #329501

Stephen, What does 1 republican that is an idiot have to do with what I wrote? I said that most people are concerned with the environment but aren’t as extreme as YOU FOLKS or YOUR PEOPLE. Yes the BP oil spill was the worst in history but as Bush was slow to act on Katrina, Obama was slow to act with the spill. By the way the spill happened on Obama’s watch.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2011 6:52 PM
Comment #329502


I want better leaders with better foresight than either party is willing to offer up. A less than 20% approval rating for Congress would seem to suggest that many feel as I do. It is a sorry fact that because of partisan differences many unworthy incumbents will be reelected.

Posted by: jlw at September 19, 2011 6:52 PM
Comment #329505

I agree jlw.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2011 7:19 PM
Comment #329508

Congressional approval ratings mean almost nothing. It is a rating of an institution containing 565 members. It certainly means nothing about the popularity of political parties. And, very little about the legislation they pass.

Presidential polls, conversely, have much meaning. They measure the popularity and policies of one person. I heard that the last poll showed obama at 39%. Is anyone surprised by that?

This man is a disaster for both the country and his party. He is losing the independents, unions, Hispanics, elderly, youth, and there is even much discontent among blacks.

Not long ago obama was attempting to straddle the middle. He tried to portray himself as a moderate. Well, that certainly didn’t work. The left hates him for it. All obama has left is the left, so in desperation, he is once again catering to it. That may please 20+ percent of voting Americans but that is very thin soup come election time.

Call the moving vans now all you libs in DC. There is going to be a huge demand immediately following the November 2012 election.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2011 7:57 PM
Comment #329510

SD

A real feeble attempt at saying something that does not make sense.

You can disagree with people all you care to and I personally don’t give a tinkers damn.

“YOUR PEOPLE” is as C&J said is getting out of touch with reality(my way of saying I agree).

“Strawman. I never said throwing more money at a problem would help it.”

You are correct, I never saw you quote it the way you want to portray it. But to increase the debt limit is saying the same thing. So, even tho the words are different, the idea is that you have said that spending more money on a variety of situations will solve the problem.

As someone else said on this site, check your bilge level. The toilet water is not the same you can get at Walgreen’s in the pretty bottle.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2011 8:03 PM
Comment #329511

KAP-
I hear the Republicans cheering on the federal court strikedown of Obama’s moratorium on new deepwater drilling, among other things. Barton’s comment was what sprung to mind. I seem to recall the 20 billion dollar deal that had Barton apologizing to them being called a shakedown, BP being portrayed as a victim.

I do not recall any Democrats saying the same thing.

As for it being just like Katrina, bull. Obama was immediately on the case, there was just not much he could really do, because the technology to handled things at that depth belonged to the company in question. Interesting that when Obama had the capacity to actually do things, his people were prepared to do something.

What really failed with BP, and what your rhetoric covers for, is the Oil industry’s failure to deal with a problem it had assured everybody it could handle. The real “Katrina”, was the private companies who had told everybody that there wouldn’t be screw ups, and that nobody would have to clean up their messes after them.

But then it’s forbidden to actually say that, to suggest, or outright that these people can get in over their heads, and that we might want to entertain that possibility in how we actually deal with them.

Royal Flush-
Trash talk doesn’t impress me, especially not when your people continue to be more unpopular than the folks you seek to replace. Why do you think Obama’s hitting you folks with one big plan after another right now?

Your party has one plan in mind: economic bloodletting, and Obama’s going to make sure people know it, that all they’re going to get from your folks is more tottering towards a double-dip recession.

tom humes-
Go look at Greece, at Ireland, at every place they’ve tried austerity. It’s not working, it’s making things worse. You can’t improve a fiscal situation all that well during an economic downturn, especially if the people getting hit are the folks you need to start being consumers again.

As for the rest? You can call me or my arguments all the names you won’t, but I’ll expose your arguments for what they are every time. If your namecalling, your bilge-water blowouts are all you can manage in your defense, you’ll be in a sorry spot, soon enough.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2011 9:17 PM
Comment #329512

SD

This is not Greece or Ireland. They do things differently there and your use of austerity just does not fit the situation.

“Why do you think Obama’s hitting you folks with one big plan after another right now?”

Michelle got tired of him spending all that time on the golf course. She wanted a little fanny pat once in awhile.

You call those things “big plans”?

Be honest they are instant re-plays that have not worked before and are not going to work now.

The only thing big about his plans are that higher taxes are in order if he gets his way. BTW-that is for more spending not anything else.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2011 9:56 PM
Comment #329513

Stephen, Immediately on the case BULLS__T!!!!!!!! He didn’t know what to do. He turned down things that could have helped the situation from other countries such as a skimmer. YOUR PEOPLE had as much to do with the lax in enforcing regulations as did the Republicans. So get off the bullcrap, YOUR PEOPLE and YOUR FOLKS are in the same pocket as republicans are. As far as what I said a majority of people are concerned with the ecology of the world but not like YOU FOLKS are, most don’t take it to extremes like YOUI FOLKS do.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2011 10:00 PM
Comment #329521

Royal Flush

If we see moving vans with the company name on the side that says “One Big Arse Moving Assn.”, we can cheer boldly. lol


Posted by: tom humes at September 20, 2011 12:19 AM
Comment #329523
He turned down things that could have helped the situation from other countries such as a skimmer.

Can you please not peddle these sorts of lies anymore?
http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2010/jun/16/george-lemieux/white-house-refused-international-oil-spill-aid-fl/

BTW, it’s absurd for you to make this comparison. NOAA gave Bush plenty of advance notice for Katrina, but Bush didn’t even flinch. The Deepwater Horizon Spill came unexpectedly. In addition, BP did not acknowledge the severity of the spill until over a week after the fact, by then it was far to late. Also, remember that the damage caused by the spill was economic and ecological, whereas with Katrina the toll was measured in lost human lives in addition to the economic costs.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 20, 2011 1:18 AM
Comment #329524

tom humes-
Personal disbelief is not grounds for denying the laws of economics. When you take a Dollar or a Euro out of the economy, either by reducing the government’s economic activity without much hope of replacement by the private sector, or by taxing it from those who will spend it, you reduce overall economic activity.

Secondly, if you think 450 billion dollars is chump change… well then we know why conservatives can’t run budgets worth a crap. I mean, you raked Obama over the coals for his new programs costing a little under a quarter of this (even though he paid for it entirely), but suddenly 450 billion in a single year is nothing? At this rate, I’m going to need a neck brace from the whiplash you’re giving me.

Talk whatever trash you see fit, but don’t expect that moving van to be dropping by for Obama, if your people keep their hijinks up. Republicans are going to demonstrate how out of touch they are, and those demonstrations are going to make clear to Americans that Republican leadership is not a path they want to take again.

KAP-
Think you used enough exclamation points there? Perhaps one more would make your argument truly convincing.

Politifact rates the claim as mostly false, and sites records that indicate that eight skimmers were accepted by Norway in May of that year.

Perhaps more exclamation points will be necessary, since there is a basic factual flaw in your leading premises.

As for us taking things to extremes, define extreme. I define extreme as distrusting what well over ninety percent of what most climate scientists say on the word of those who have a financial conflict of interest with people using less of their product.

The Obama Administration has allowed more drilling to take place than ever before, and in fact it could be argued that they should have been less accomodating. But it has also reconciled national policy to the scientific consensus, something that hasn’t been done before this point. It will be a big change, but sometimes you’re in for a big change no matter what you do.

Contrary to what industry shills will say, oil supplies will never truly be better than what they are now. From here on out, oil will only become a dirtier and more expensive fuel to use. We need to start developing our alternatives now, both to reduce greenhouse emissions to acceptable levels before Nature takes the ball and runs with global climate change, and to maintain as much economic continuity as we can, rather than suffer the volatility that will come from having a limited supply of a fuel we’re most dependent on.

If you want last minute panic once again, be my guest. I’m frankly sick of America being forced to stay in the pot while our economic prospects end up boiled like a dumbass frog.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2011 8:25 AM
Comment #329530

“Because I live in a rich suburb, my schools were good. BUT we spent LESS than the poor schools with poor performance. We get better results because the teachers and administrators know we have options.”

C&J,

Really? Its the threat of options that makes suburban high income school districts perform better. I will grant you that it is a possibility but remote. It ignores the rather obvious explanation: higher socio-economic status and parental educational levels. Put that school with the same teachers and funding level in an urban district and what do you think the results will be? You instinctively know the answer. It will be a disaster.

Posted by: Rich at September 20, 2011 9:20 AM
Comment #329532

Warped, Bush was warned in ample time prior to Katrina, but so were the local authorities who are the ones who should have taken measures to evacuate first. The local authorities were the ones first and formost who should have taken action BUT DID NOT.
Stehen, PERHAPS you should go back to what I first wrote. I NEVER mentioned Republicans, Democrats, or any other political party. I said MOST PEOPLE are concerned with the environment but don’t take it to extremes like YOU PEOPLE. YOU are the one who brought POLITICS into the mix. As far as extreme, those who advocate alternative sources that are still in their infancy and not readiliy avaliable. Those who value animal life over human. I believe that God gave us this planet and we should be good stewards and take care of it.

Posted by: KAP at September 20, 2011 9:50 AM
Comment #329537
Warped, Bush was warned in ample time prior to Katrina, but so were the local authorities who are the ones who should have taken measures to evacuate first. The local authorities were the ones first and formost who should have taken action BUT DID NOT.

Local authorities got the same warning, but we aren’t talking about them. The fact of the matter is that the Obama administration’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster was more than adequate. Although it was far from flawless, most of the mistakes made were continuations of Bush-era policies or erroneous decisions made without the benefits of hindsight. It is untruthful to claim “Obama was slow to act on the spill” as you did earlier.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 20, 2011 10:59 AM
Comment #329539

Warped Reality

Do you work for the WH? That sounds like a memo that one would find at the WH.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 20, 2011 11:09 AM
Comment #329543

Warped, Your right we are not talking about Katrina, NOR was I talking about the oil spill. Your buddy Stephen brought that up. I said to Stephen and I quote,”MOST PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT BUT DO NOT TAKE IT TO EXTREMES LIKE YOU FOLKS OR YOUR PEOPLE.” Stephen made it political with his comment #329493 and my answer to that was comment #329501 but first read my comment #329483.

Posted by: KAP at September 20, 2011 11:26 AM
Comment #329547

KAP,

I often see in your comments an inclination to create false equivalences. This is a fallacy, and if want to be more persuasive, you should put an end to this habit. My intent earlier was merely to point out the error you had committed. Although the Bush response to Katrina and the Obama response to Deepwater Horizon contained flaws, the quantity and quality of those flaws are very different, which makes it erroneous to attempt to equate the two.

Your buddy Stephen brought that up. I said to Stephen and I quote,”MOST PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT BUT DO NOT TAKE IT TO EXTREMES LIKE YOU FOLKS OR YOUR PEOPLE.” Stephen made it political with his comment #329493 and my answer to that was comment #329501
Fine, Stephen brought up Barton’s silly apology. You rightfully repudiated Barton, but why did you need to create some sort of false equivalence with Obama? It seems like it is impossible for you to admit any flaws in the GOP unless the admission is accompanied with an accusation that the Democrats are just as guilty. This faux neutrality has zero credibility and you come off looking partisian even though that isn’t your intent.

Re:#329483

Wrong Stephen most on the right do not ignore problems like GW we just don’t go to extremes like YOU FOLKS on the left do.

All right, you recognize the risks of unmitigated anthropogenic climate change. I infer that you believe solutions such as cap & trade or a carbon tax are “too extreme”. So what is the alternative? From what I’ve read, the economic consequences of letting CO2 concentrations exceed 500ppm are likley to be quite severe and much greater than the costs of implementing cap & trade or a carbon tax. Geoenginneering is another options, but it hasn’t been studied that much; however it reminds me of the old lady who swallowed a fly.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 20, 2011 2:43 PM
Comment #329548

SD wrote; “Why do you think Obama’s hitting you folks with one big plan after another right now?”

Good Grief…does SD really believe that increasing taxes and spending more money is anything new? It is a liberal plan for a liberal audience…nothing more.

David Brooks writing in the NY Times today said…”When the president unveiled the second half of his stimulus it became clear that this package has nothing to do with helping people right away or averting a double dip. This is a campaign marker, not a jobs bill.”

He went on to write…”It recycles ideas that couldn’t get passed even when Democrats controlled Congress. In his remarks Monday the president didn’t try to win Republicans to even some parts of his measures. He repeated the populist cries that fire up liberals but are designed to enrage moderates and conservatives. He claimed we can afford future Medicare costs if we raise taxes on the rich. He repeated the old half-truth about millionaires not paying as much in taxes as their secretaries. (In reality, the top 10 percent of earners pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes, according to the I.R.S. People in the richest 1 percent pay 31 percent of their income to the federal government while the average worker pays less than 14 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.)

This wasn’t a speech to get something done. This was the sort of speech that sounded better when Ted Kennedy was delivering it. The result is that we will get neither short-term stimulus nor long-term debt reduction anytime soon, and I’m a sap for thinking it was possible.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/opinion/brooks-obama-rejects-obamaism.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212


Posted by: Royal Flush at September 20, 2011 2:50 PM
Comment #329549

Warped Reality

But if the old lady does not die? What then?

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 20, 2011 2:53 PM
Comment #329550

SD writes; “Contrary to what industry shills will say, oil supplies will never truly be better than what they are now.”

SD needs to read something besides just that with which he agrees. In the NY Times today is a great article about all the new oil being found in the Americas. The development of this new energy will challenge the production of the Middle East. Combine this new oil with our staggering amounts of natural gas and coal and one can easily see the path to reversing our economic malaise. All we need is a new president who understands how to create private jobs and reduce unneeded regulations. As soon as we give the boot to the liberals holding this country back, we will soar to new heights.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 20, 2011 3:01 PM
Comment #329551


Does Bush deserve some blame for the response to Katrina? Yes. Not being prepared was the main problem. The local and state authorities were not prepared. The one agency that should have been prepared, FEMA, was the least prepared of all. The Coast Guard responded faster than our disaster relief agency. I am sure that placing a political appointee with no experience in disaster response to head FEMA was a contributing factor. Lax was a key policy of the Bush Administration, lax at FEMA, lax at the EPA, lax at all government regulatory agencies, etc. With regard to regulatory agencies, the Bush Administration went well beyond lax into corruption. They weren’t the first and won’t be the last.

Does Obama deserve some blame for the oil spill and the response to it. Yes. Obama was a U.S. Senator and should have been well aware of the corruption within our regulatory agencies. IMO, Obama was in office long enough to at least address the issue and to my knowledge he did nothing until after the corruption was exposed and I doubt much has been achieved in that area since.

Regulations protecting the environment is not something the government did because of it’s concern for that environment. They came about because environmental groups put much pressure on the government and resources to educate and gain the support of the general public.

Protecting the environment as well as responding to disasters are a couple of those socialist things the government does at the request of the people as a whole.

Posted by: jlw at September 20, 2011 3:06 PM
Comment #329552
Warped Reality

But if the old lady does not die? What then?

Maranatha

If we can pull off a geoengineering scheme without significant problems, then that’d be great. The moral of the lady who swallowed a fly poem though is that sometimes the solutions to a problem often cause even greater problems.

The most likely geoengineering solution would be to intentionally release massive ammounts of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere. Theroetically, this should increase Earth’s average albedo and lower the average temperature. If we get the math right, the downard forcing from the aerosols could cancel out the upward forcing from the enhanced greenhouse effect. However, this solution does nothing to mitigate ocean acidification or to prepare us for the day when we run out of cheap fossil fuels. Also, we have a long history of government sponsored “top down” solutions to these sorts of problems that have gone awry, I certainly don’t want to repeat those past mistakes.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 20, 2011 3:19 PM
Comment #329553

Warped, Regulations that are not enforced are both the fault of Democrats and Republicans and major contributers to the BP spill, also jlw explains it quite well in his above post.

Posted by: KAP at September 20, 2011 3:23 PM
Comment #329561

KAP-
Extremes? Tell me, what is so extreme, and why. Otherwise, don’t bother calling what you’re saying apolitical. You can’t use the perjoratives of the political and expect to be treated as a neutral party in a debate like this.

Royal Flush-
Obama is daring the Republicans to take the fall for their own economic obstructionism. He’s out there posing the solutions, especially solutions Republicans already voted for or supported before, and Republicans are obediently, predictably opposing him.

The Republicans have become nothing more than the party that contradicts the Democrats. It’s gotten to where they can’t even secure or be happy with their own gains, because the instant the Democrats say yes, they become afraid that they’ve compromised to

And David Brooks? Brooks despaired of the same things. But nobody’s ever accused Brooks of being consistent in either direction. He wants the Democrats who just went through the bargaining that so horrified him in its mindless opposition to be bipartisan and welcoming to the Republicans.

Sorry, not going to happen.

Obama’s going to take his case not to the Republicans intent on destroying him and any hint of true bipartisanship and civility, but to the American people. Even if he doesn’t win in the chambers of Congress, he’ll probably get a Congress out of it that will be much more cooperative.

As for oil supplies? Well, RF, I know enough technical details to know that our supplies are drifting towards tar sands and more difficult to access oil. It’s not for nothing that we hear about deep sea drilling. Folks aren’t doing that because it’s fun or the most profitable sources of oil. They’re doing that because the easy stuff has mostly been found and exploited.

So, if you want to accuse me of ignorance, you accuse me of a crime my defense is readily available for.

What we need to get out of our economic malaise is not more easy oil- that’s gone away, and is going away as we speak. What we need is to make the transition to sources of energy that are both renewable and sustainable. When we no longer rely on oil, our fortunes will no longer rise and fall on its availability.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2011 8:53 PM
Comment #329562

Stephen I gave you some examples in comment 329532. One example is your last paragraph in the above comment. What renewable sources do we have Stephen that are both cheap and plentiful and readily avaliable and usable and don’t cost an arm and a leg to switch over?

Posted by: KAP at September 20, 2011 9:24 PM
Comment #329565

“As soon as we give the boot to the liberals holding this country back, we will soar to new heights.”

Royal Flush,

Sort of like we did in the 2000s under conservative leadership? No thanks, the crash from those heights hurts.

Seriously, when it comes to criticizing Obama’s energy policies, it seems that conservatives haven’t even taken the time to read what he has done or even a summary of his proposals. In terms of policy, it is actually quite middle of the road: increase oil and gas production and pass the Natural Gas Act to provide incentives for use of natural gas; provide substantial loan guarantees to the nuclear energy industry to support new plants to replace our aging nuclear plants; increase efficient use of current energy (conservation); provide alternative energy sources funding for R&D and assist in scaling up promising technologies.

The fact that oil production in the US reached record levels of production in 2010 despite the recession and the BP disaster should serve as evidence the the Obama administration has not throttled oil production or for that matter gas.

Obama’s energy policies are basically centrist.

An interesting aspect of this issue is the low rate of R&D in the energy field. The National Science Foundation reviewing R&D investments in the US noted that the energy industry had one of the lowest rates of investment in R&D of any industry. Considering that energy is a massive need for our economic future, the low rate of R&D is disturbing and puzzling. It would seem that from their perspective that alternative or more efficient energy is not a high priority. But, when you have a virtual monopoly on energy, why would you seek new and more efficient sources or delivery systems,


Posted by: Rich at September 20, 2011 9:50 PM
Comment #329567

KAP-
You’re stuck on a conception of cost that does not take innovation into account. Already, solar has become more efficient and widespread, as has wind.

You want all the problems to be solved before you commit yourself to solving the problem. Truth is, we’ll have to solve the problem of how to build a reliable infrastructure for green energy as we do it, the same way we figured out those things for Coal, Natural Gas, and Oil.

We didn’t always have the infrastructure that makes those fuels practical to extract, transport, and employ. Those had to be developed, and were often developed with help from the government. This work was done even while much of the nation’s technology remained different, and the development had to be done not in advance of the acceptance, but parallel with it, as the fuels themselves were deployed and employed in more uses.

I’ll tell you this: you can’t make the transition to one energy source without another energy source to power the process of bootstrapping up to the next. If we wait until our fuels are becoming more expensive, or until our civilization is more stressed to begin the transition, it will only make things harder and more expensive in the long run. Fact of the matter is, energy shortages translate to economic shortages as well. High energy costs translate into a tax on doing business. That’s why I want to encourage the quick adoption of high-efficiency and alternative energy technologies, even if it’s more expensive in the short term. It’s sort of like paying a lot to fix a problem on your car now, rather than waiting for the situation to develop into something worse.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. We can’t buy a cheaper transition later by waiting now. We can only buy a longer, more drawn out and expensive transition.

Make no mistake: while coal is a common fuel source, we’re an oil dependent economy, so when we run out of the easy to refine oil, our plentiful coal reserves won’t do us much good, not unless you like living like folks in China, with pollution that can kill you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2011 11:33 PM
Comment #329569

Stephen, By the time all these renewable energy sources you talk about, you will probably be as old as I am. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for anykind of energy source that will take us off dependence on oil but I’m also being realistic about it. I don’t see bio fuels or solar or any other so called green fuels being readily avaliable, cheap and efficient and plentiful any time soon. Like I said by the time they get as plentiful as oil, natural gas and coal you will be my age or older.

Posted by: KAP at September 20, 2011 11:55 PM
Comment #329577

KAP-
The iPhone I carry on my belt has a multicore processor, flash memory with 8 GBs of space, and a full-color touch screen display, backlit by LEDs

When I was born, you could not get this kind of processing power or rendering out of a huge mainframe computer. It took them days if not weeks to render what my phone can render in a small fraction of a second.

This same device can operate synthesizer programs, do advanced mathematical calculations, detect motion, take photographs so high in their resolution that I need not carry around a film camera.

And right here, what we’re doing now, what we’re doing it over- Few had even heard of the internet when I was born, and even the rudimentary computer network at CERN, the World Wide Web, was eleven years in the future.

Long story short, when we put our minds to it, technology can change rather quickly. Look at solar, for instance. Solar is pretty much designed and operated based on the same kind of technology that modern microchips are manufactured with. That’s part of how they’ve become so advanced so quickly.

It’s not so much a question, at this point, of whether solar and other new forms of energy will overtake fossil fuels. It’s a question of how fast, and who will benefit. If you want the Chinese to take another manufacturing sector away from us, fine, but they will if we don’t act now. The unfortunate fact is that we have traded away many advantages as a nation so that a few can profit more. And those few are the ones paying for the propaganda that you’re caught up in, the folks who say wind and solar are not ready. They’re better than ready, they’re out there. They’re far from merely experimental now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2011 7:40 AM
Comment #329584

Stephen, “When you were born you could not get this power or rendering out of a huge mainframe.” You are 31 years old it took that long to get that far. Like I said you will be as old if not older than I am when we have an abundance of renewable fuel sources.

Posted by: KAP at September 21, 2011 10:11 AM
Comment #329589
Like I said you will be as old if not older than I am when we have an abundance of renewable fuel sources.

Nevertheless, we must begin laying the foundations for a renewable future today. Radical changes in infrastructure do not happen overnight. It would have been unwise if the US govt had spent the 1830s & 1840s continuing to invest in canal & turnpike infrastructure; instead, the government invested in new rail technology. Likewise, we need to anticipate what our infrastructure needs will be 50 years from now and plan accordingly.

Posted by: warped reality at September 21, 2011 12:24 PM
Comment #329590

KAP-
Let me put things this way: By the time I was two or three years old, the computer animation sequence in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was done. By the time I was about five or six years old, a computer generated character had been portrayed in the midst of live action, in Young Sherlock Holmes. By the time I was nine years old, The Water tentacle from The Abyss a photorealistic animation, had been created for film. By the time I was eleven, a humanoid character was morphing to and from a liquid metal form in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. At thirteen, it was the dinos from Jurassic Park.

But the effect wasn’t simply one of big studios getting into the act. By the mid-nineties, digital effects were showing up on TV, with morphs, creature effects, and all kinds of other magic being done on shoe string budgets By 1996, a 3-D video game system was available, and things would only get more sophisticated from there.

It used to be that a frame buffer for rendering 3-D animation was a six figure purchase, and you had to get three or four in order to cover each basic color. Now they’re included on devices you can get for a low three digit cost, if that. Hell, there was a three digit device fifteen years ago that had that kind of rendering power, and that system only cost 250 dollars at most.

I would not at all be dissatisfied with solar and wind power making that kind of progress in that timeframe. More to the point, I don’t think they’re at that stage. I think they’re much further along.

The real question is whether this is going to be a manufacturing center America’s going to be competitive in, or is it going to be something else we give up to foreign competitors.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2011 12:49 PM
Comment #329591

Stephen, Your talking about electronics, yes we have come along way since I was your age. In fact Atari was the big thing with Pac Man and Miss Pac Man. But were pricey, much like the computer was back then not many people could afford one. But the fact remains that renewable energy sources are still far from becomming like the cell phone, Ipad and computer. I agree with what warped wrote that we need to plan for the future.

Posted by: KAP at September 21, 2011 1:16 PM
Comment #329592

Solar development has been set back by the criminal acts of the obama administration in funneling research and construction money to his inept crooked buddies. Does Solyndra come to mind?

Ethanol is another huge boondoggle scheme to profit a few at taxpayer expense.

I suppose SD believes that enough tax payer dollars won’t be stolen so that some will be left to advance green energy.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 21, 2011 1:18 PM
Comment #329597

To solarize a 2k sq ft house with solar, costs over $30k. In twenty years the warranty will be gone. That is not cost efficient. The cost to solarize has stayed pretty much the same over the last few years.

I built, repaired, programmed computers for Motorola in the early ’80s. I was a field engineer. One of our big customers was Viacom. The data supplied above has some faults in it as far as power and cost. The power and cost of computing has developed a ratio that is changing as time goes on. It once was every 18 months technology doubled. Today when you buy a new product you have bought an obsolete item. The marketing and tech people at any company is ready to release the next item or significant upgrade. It is in the timing and marketing strategy to maximize the return.

There are about 60 windmills about 8 miles north of me that are generating energy. I am trying to get info for some research on them. It is not forthcoming. But, I will get it. This would be a great boon for our area it they would produce it for our area, but it is put in the grid and sent elsewhere. We do not profit from their existence. Someday maybe, but not now.

When the production of solar products gets the much needed breakthru to lessen the cost of production, then solar energy could be a big winner. At present amortization of the investment on the example I gave earlier makes it more expensive than energy from the local power company.

Until then we have plenty of oil and coal in the US that should be used and lessen the dependence on foreign assets.

R&D in the area of wind and solar should be done only by companies who have an interest. The government should stay totally away from it.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 21, 2011 2:09 PM
Comment #329600

KAP-
You do understand that solar panels are electronics, and are manufactured using much the same technology and engineering, right?

Royal Flush-
Solyndra comes to mind for those who see a 98.7% success rate as a failure, and who ignore 6.8% growth in the solar industry. You’re generalizing along faulty lines.

As for Ethanol, tell me, if you haven’t forgotten after almost three years of the Obama administration, whose policy was it that mandated including ethanol in America’s gasoline? I better not say Bush’s name, because then you might accuse me-

Oh, crap, I did mention his name. It’s so hard not to when he was the fellow who helped push that policy in the first place.

You can tell me a lot about what I believe, but I hope people understand that when you want to know what a person believes, it’s typically better to go to the horse mouth, rather than elsewhere, to find that out.

tom humes-
If you’re part of the same grid, you’re getting power from those wind generators. Since electricity moves at near lightspeed, it’s not as if distance is a factor, apart from losses through resistance.

Solar power will get cheaper, and more universal. It might be difficult at this point to retrofit a house cheaply, but if we’re talking about the building of new plants and new homes, then you can build the cost of the solar energy into the price of the home.

As far as domestic energy goes? The question is, how long do those resources remain inexpensive? We can’t just be planning from current prices and economies. We have to be looking forward. You can preserve the dominance of fossil fuels in the market, but you can’t preserve their comparative advantages.

Right now, we’re paying much more to subsidize fossil fuels, in various ways, than we are to subsidize their alternatives. And to what end? So long as we rely on oil, we rely on foreign oil, and all the trouble that comes with it. Coal remains a dirty fuel in many ways, so counting on it to replace oil when oil runs out isn’t a very good idea.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2011 2:25 PM
Comment #329601

Stephen, Do you personnelly use solar power in your home? If not why? Can you use solar power to fuel your car? Stephen the point is renewable energy sources are NOT readily avaliable, not everyone could afford to put solar panels on their homes. When renewable energy souces become like the digital TV and DVD player and blue ray players and computers and cell phones, Ipads, PS3 game systems in price comparison then we can talk, but that is in the future and may be yet decades away.

Posted by: KAP at September 21, 2011 2:46 PM
Comment #329610

The longest journey begins with but one step……why is it that all the naysayers don’t ever want to try anything new??
Waiting for the arguments to settle is only going to delay things longer. Are you counting all those oil company profit checks you’re going to miss???

Posted by: jane doe at September 21, 2011 6:05 PM
Comment #329611

My cousin (in-law) built a 3,000 square foot house in the foothills outside of Sparks in 1979, installed solar panels then, and has not had problems. He has a system inside the “attic” with tunneling and baffling (feel free to laugh for those who know what that system is called) that he changes throughout the year, depending on winds and temperatures. He has not had problems with either system since….and saved enough money in a short time to pay for the home.
He just decided to utilize both the wind and the sun, which are both very much available in the Reno area, and has been rewarded well for his foresight and determination.

Posted by: jane doe at September 21, 2011 6:13 PM
Comment #329612

Do you have solar panels installed jane? If not why not?

Posted by: KAP at September 21, 2011 6:19 PM
Comment #329613

KAP-
Our house is a nearly forty year old home, and we’re not yet in the market for that sort of improvement. However, I doubt anybody in my household would object to it in principle.

My car is not a plug-in hybrid.

However, if my next car is a plug in hybrid, which it might be (you never know), two things would be true. The first would be that my car would not be able to distinguish between fossil fuel-generated electricity, or that generated through renewable sources, and the second would be that the car would burn less carbon per mile than a car that relies on gasoline.

But my car is a hybrid, so, to the extent I can afford it, I’m true to my principles.

A word about DVDs. When I got my first one, around a decade ago, they were over 300 dollars a piece, and there were only a limited selection of disks for it. Now you can get one for a tenth of the price. Even now, Blu-Ray, a much younger format, can be had for less than a hundred dollars.

Prices can fall quickly when the incentives to buy are there. If the government pushes the balance, I think we can get solar, wind, and other renewables off the ground faster, and see their benefits quicker.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2011 6:25 PM
Comment #329615

KAP…. wtf does your question have to do with anything?
I was merely relating a success story that was connected to the current discussion.

Posted by: jane doe at September 21, 2011 6:31 PM
Comment #329622

Stephen, The price of those things that I mentioned is what I was referring to. Expensive at one time but cheap now. The TV I have is a plasma 42” that when they first came out I couldn’t afford back then. Now they are as cheap. Renewable fuel will be the same. I wouldn’t object to the installation of solar panels either except for the cost.
Jane, I just asked a question at least Stephen was kind enough to answer the same without being a B about it.

Posted by: KAP at September 21, 2011 9:21 PM
Comment #329624

By the way jane it’s you liberals that are advocating GREEN ENERGY just wanted to see where the hypocrisy lies.

Posted by: KAP at September 21, 2011 9:43 PM
Comment #329631

KAP, I’m really more than sick of the way you so enjoy twisting things…..
I related a personal experience to you and others…..without anger or attitude, which you seized immediately and added the attitude. No wonder you guys can manage to screw up a wet dream………..you pay little attention and feel a need to edit to suit yourselves.
I see no hypocrisy in the comment I made.

Posted by: jane doe at September 21, 2011 11:46 PM
Comment #329634

Your cousin in law had great sucess with solar panels jane so I thought maybe you followed suit. I just asked a question that had no attitude in it. Like I said Stephen answered the same question without getting pissed.

Posted by: KAP at September 22, 2011 12:18 AM
Comment #329644

KAP-
With the way folks on the Right attack people, I don’t think she can be blamed for losing her temper. All the same, I advocate people calm down.

Part of my calm, you should understand, comes from having a fierce amount of concentration at my disposal, thanks to being neurologically wired different. In other words, I’m naturally prone to being this stubborn, this insistent on what I believe to be the facts. If I weren’t, I’d be a lot angrier of a fellow.

I don’t think you have a clear idea of how much discontent folks on my side have with the right. We know our people aren’t always as dependable as they should be, that they are part of the problem, but we’re also aware that these people are more or less agreeing with Republican policy, rather than simply being problematic in some original kind of way.

This is part of why I don’t buy your “both sides” defense. The way I see it, you have the Republicans pushing certain policies, and then the conservative and centrist Democrats supporting some of those policies as a way of appealing to folks who aren’t fairly liberal. At least that was the paradigm in place beforehand, before Bush’s screw-ups started taking an annoying lack of party unity, and making it a much more grave problem in the eyes of Democrats like myself.

The way I see it, those people in my party aren’t the biggest or the strongest problem, and I like to play the political game to see the strongest results.

It’s the strength and the influence of the right which has the worst effect. Their policies, their platforms form the standard by which the centrists and conservative Democrats are measured. I break Republicans down, and it lessens the strength and influence of those who depend on imitating them to be re-elected.

And it’s not that I object to moderation, but I define moderation not merely as the midpoint of a line between Democrats and Republicans, but as a practical willingness to let facts and demonstrable truths overrule ideological preferences. If centrist and conservative Democrats are agreeing with bad policies, in order to maintain their power, then I have no love for their brand of moderation.

It is a philsophy I must defeat, and more than that, a sensibility that says that a philosophy must be upheld, even if it keeps our nation on it’s knees or in a decline.

But also, if it’s really to be defeated, this obnoxious, malignant kind of politics, I believe the shoe can’t merely be on the other foot. We got to get a new pair altogether.

We’re paying more and more for depending on fossil fuels. The less dependent we are, the better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2011 1:54 PM
Comment #329646

Stephen, That discontent you talk about works both ways. Stephen I believe both sides of the political spectrum need to compromise more. This country is going to hell quickly failed policies from both sides are contributing factors. Yes our dependence on fossil fuels is hurting but that is what we have for now. Until someone comes up with a abundant, reliable and inexpensive alternative energy source we have to rely on fossil fuels. Technology for the interalcombustion engine has come a long way since I was your age. They are much cleaner and more fuel efficent. But even there we could get better. Some years ago there was talk about someone who invented a carburator that would increase gas mileage for autos to 100 miles per gallon and a turbine engine that would run on anything that burned and a person could stand by it’s exhaust and not be harmed. Development of these things and probably many more IMO have been hushed because of the oil industry and government and that includes both Democrat and Republican. So like I said in the beginning of this post “The discontent works both ways.”

Posted by: KAP at September 22, 2011 2:34 PM
Comment #329726

“R&D in the area of wind and solar should be done only by companies who have an interest. The government should stay totally away from it.”

Tom Humes,

The problem is that the private energy companies are not interested in investing in R&D. A recent National Science Foundation report points out that the US energy field only spends about .3 percent of revenue on R&D, one of the lowest rates of R&D of all industries. Why would such an important industry as energy spend so little in R&D? Well, perhaps when you have got us by the xxxx, you aren’t very interested in pursuing alternative sources.

In the absence of private sector investment in R&D, what choice do we have other than government investment?

Well, China is not waiting. They are investing not only in alternative energy R&D but bringing into production a wide range of cutting edge energy plants. They are also investing heavily in manufacturing of alternative energy components and systems. They have already captured the wind and solar component manufacturing field, dramatically reducing their cost.


Posted by: Rich at September 23, 2011 10:47 PM
Comment #329736

Rich

In AZ APS is going full steam ahead building solar systems all over the place. EMAU in Prescott has a substation that practically runs the university. This is replicated throughout the area that APS has infrastructure. They get little if any relief from government. The state Corporation Commission issues ruling that are favorable, but these are passed on to the consumer also.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 24, 2011 12:50 PM
Comment #329744


IMO, the best way for government to subsidize alternative energy, especially solar, is to provide incentives to home owners and businesses.

As Tom pointed out in his post, Arizona is a leader in this area. Arizona provides subsidies to APS and other suppliers, part of which is given to customers in the form of rebates for purchasing solar systems.

In addition, the state has passed legislation allowing home owners and business to store their excess energy, produced during the day, on the electric gird and use it at night. Customers can store up to 125% of the energy they need and be paid for the excess 25%.

Arizona pays for the rebate program by charging all residential customers a $3.17 tariff/tax per month. Businesses pay a higher tariff.

Posted by: jlw at September 24, 2011 2:48 PM
Comment #329745


The DOE, DOD and the Navy have made an offer of up to half a billion in matching funds for investments in solar energy components, with the Navy as a top buyer of these systems.

The Army has announced a program to offer free land in return for investments in solar, wind and geothermal energy sources and a percentage of the energy produced, either free or at a reduced cost. The Army is hoping to attract $7 billion in private investments.

After decades of suppression, it is good to see the advances in alternative energy. Around the world, on every continent, governments are offering incentives for alternative energy. While subsidies for fossil fuels are still significantly greater than those for alternative energy, awareness is growing.

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Comment #330867

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