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We Drilled, Baby, We Drilled, and It Ain't Getting Cheaper!

Republicans said that if we drilled for more domestic oil, we’d see cheaper gasoline. We have, and no, we haven’t. One problem for us is that the market for oil, and thus its prices, are international. But the other problem is this: prices is not just a matter of getting more supply, it’s about getting more supply at the same cost, or cheaper, and that’s not going to happen.

I would say the theory of peak oil is sound, in that oil supplies are finite, and so is the amount people can actually pay to afford this energy supply, whether you're an oil company drilling this stuff up, or somebody paying the oil company for the fuel refined from that oil.

When I've discussed things like the Athabasca Tar Sands Oil with people, I talk about the inherent costs of the oil, about how much energy it takes to extract, much less refine and purify that oil into the fuel we need. It's not so simple as "There's a lot of it." If that were the way things worked, you'd probably pay four hundreds bucks or something for a car.

The cost of a thing is not just the price of that thing on the market. It's the cost of the labor you need to extract it. Few are going to volunteer for this dirty and dangerous work. It's the cost of the materials and the technology it takes to make the machinery that extracts things. It's the cost of the catalysts and the facilities, and the energy it takes to extract, refine, and otherwise create everything.

And then, after everything is said and done, thanks to our friends in the Bush Administration, you have rampant speculation, where folks buy up oil and then send that oil to sit in storage in Oklahoma, or to take long cruises to nowhere on the ocean, all so some guy on Wall Street can get top dollar.

Then you get your gas, after state, local and federal authorities have gotten their cut.

Republicans want to blame Obama for the oil prices, when some basic facts contradict their claims.

One problem we have is that more people drive cars, rather than bikes, in China and other countries, especially the developing world. Supply might increase as a whole, but if demand goes up with it, you're not going to get a drop in price. Neither are you going to get it if the oil is more expensive to extract, or of lower quality.

Obama's seen more drilling, more domestic oil extraction under his Administration than anybody else. But it hasn't changed gas prices for the better.

But don't let that stop the GOP. They're not looking for problems that Obama has real responsibility for, they're looking to blame him for the things that A) hurt people the most, and B) which people are otherwise likely to blame them for.

They set the stage, put this country on the path to using ethanol in our engines, to allowing energy traders more room to bid up the prices, to encouraging gas guzzlers in the name of, well, showing those granola-munching hippies on the left whose boss. They helped bring back the whole land-barge mentality of automotive design.

And all of these policies worked counter to each other. Folks wonder why GM and Chrysler nearly went under, why even Ford was undermined. Part of it was the credit crunch, but another part of it was that domestic carmakers, despite the lessons of history not three decades before, once again sold cars that needed cheap gas and plenty of it to go anywhere far.

Now gas mileage is a selling point on cars. Why? Because nobody wants to bet that within the lifetime of their next car that gas prices will stay low, so when they hear that a car has great gas mileage, it's a more attractive thought to buy it. Hybrids, traditional and otherwise, have entered the marketplace as a common alternative.

Even now, though, many on the right knock it, thinking that all we need to do is just drill more. Well, we're drilling more than ever before, but we're coming up against a hard reality here, which is that the oil that was easy to find, easy to bring up, easy to refine (or at least a decent combination of the three) has already been brought up, or is being currently tapped. These are not renewable or infinite resources, regardless of what some cranks say, they are decidedly limited in their supply, and in their availability.

You don't spend billions drilling a hole in water too deep for human beings to work in if you can avoid it. You don't spend billion boiling gunky, sour, asphalt-level oil out of sand if you can just run a well down to a reservoir. You don't drill sideways and hydraulically fracture shale to get oil, if you can take the cheaper, more traditional route.

And you don't do any of these unless you can set the price for oil at such a rate that you actually get a return on investment.

Which leads us to a paradox of supply, at least in a certain sense: there seems to be plenty of oil left, if you're willing to use expensive, technologically challenging means to get it. If you can't get the oil sold for a high enough price, though, the price will go up because that supply will go away. In other words, you can't rely on oil anymore, and expect a cheaper price. Peak Oil may have been shoved somewhere further into the future by what we've found, but Peak Oil for Cheap Oil has already come and gone.

This is not simply an abstract policy question. There's a marketplace developing for alternatives, and if we're not on the ground floor, then we're paying somebody else for it, rather than them paying us. Additionally, if we continue to be reliant on fossil fuels as they get more expensive, we might just end up paying the cost in our economy's ability to grow.

The folks looking to bash Obama over oil and gas prices conveniently forget how those prices got under Bush, and how they would have stayed if it hadn't been for the recession. Bush did everything they wanted, let them have free rein. But gas prices rose anyway. Or should we say, as planned? It's not a conspiracy to suggest that a lot of the policy out there, which claims to be there for the sake of lowering oil prices, really guarantees nothing of the sort in reality.

When you let speculators run wild, of course they'll run up the cost. They don't make money if they buy it at one point, and it gets cheaper than that when they sell.

Proponents of the Keystone Pipeline claim they'll make things cheaper for you and I, but the stated purpose of the pipeline is to sell that oil to the foreign markets, so that they don't have to discount their oil to the Midwest to see it sold. In other words, they don't feel they're making enough money.

Opponents of ending the subsidies for development cite the gas pump price as their hostage against ending that policy, but there's little evidence, with tens of billions of dollars in profits every year, that the energy companies out there are doing anything more than pocketing the difference. Why voluntarily part with profit?

These energy companies are not in it to be a charity, and they don't lobby Congress to legislate to their own disadvantage, no matter what good that might do for the country or the environment. We need to stop being naive here, and realize that the need for plentiful, inexpensive energy is not a matter of green meanies trying to take away all your fun.

The classic definition of energy is the ability to do work. While things get more complicated in the real world, it remains true at a basic level. We need plentiful energy if we're going to be productive as a society, and we'll recover faster from this past recession, and avoid future recessions with much greater ease the more we stop relying on what is likely to be a permanently more expensive energy source.

Just as society moved on from hunting and gathering at some point in order to grow more efficiently, so must we now go from hunting and gathering our energy to growing and farming our energy, using our technology to systematically gather what we once could pick off the tree of energy as a low hanging fruit.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2012 9:00 PM
Comments
Comment #337116

Stephen

The theory of peak oil is silly unless you specify a price. Indeed, there is a theoretical place where half of all the oil is used, but it is not within human ability to find it. Beyond that, as the price rises people turn to alternatives. You like that, right?

You are right that oil is a world market. If you prefer that foreigners make profits and Americans do not, that is a valid - if interesting - position. If you prefer larger portions of our oil come from foreign sources, I suppose I need not argue with you.

Gas, something I am more interested in, is not really a world product. The price of gas has come down, as anybody who heats with gas might have noticed.

Re Obama and high gas prices - presidents have little short term effect on gas prices. But since you guys enjoyed blaming Bush, I think it is fitting and proper that we now blame Obama. There is really nothing you can do to stop this attack. I tried to blunt it when you attacked Bush and I lost even though, as you will now admit, I was right. You won’t be able to blunt the attack on Obama.

I will take some pleasure in making this attack. You may call me a hypocrite if you please for making an argument that I don’t believe is valid, but I know it works and I know that I am speaking your language.

Posted by: C&J at February 22, 2012 11:54 PM
Comment #337131

You’re not speaking my language. I speak in terms of fact. If I say that Bush is responsible for policies that increased gas prices, I can point to his willingness to let oil companies merge and shut down refineries, I can point to policies that pushed Ethanol into the oil supply, I can point to the loosening of rules on energy commodities, the encouragement of speculation on Bush’s part, etc.

I’m not simply going to say something to get back at somebody, not that I’d be averse to exposing hypocrisy when it rears its ugly head. I think that’s how politics becomes useless to people, because then it becomes about the drama between the two sides of the political battle, and the right and wrong of what’s going on gets lost in the process.

I don’t entirely agree with Obama’s energy policy regarding fossile fuels, but if it’s huge increases in production aren’t lowering gas prices, then that works in an inductive way to disprove the argument that doing more of the same might improve prices. That’s what I’m concerned about: not necessarily Obama’s position, but what’s right in reality.

And let me tell you, I might think Obama wrong for putting so much energy, no pun intended, in oil and gas drilling, but I think he’s closer to being in the right place, judgment-wise, than you and yours.

The price of gas should interest you, by the way.

Put simply, natural gas, due to fracking-opened natural gas extraction, has become so plentiful that the supply is driving the price below what it costs to extract it. In other words, there’s too much to merit drilling new wells, because the supply costs less than means to gain it.

So, there is a floor for the price of that gas, if you want to maintain production.

The easier gas gets tapped first, then the harder stuff. Cost of tapping such reserves gets higher, and when new operations find new supply and the price comes down, the cost of getting it ratchets that cost back up.

This is what you want us to stick with? I’d just as soon we get off the elevator before getting back downstairs gets to be an exhausting ordeal for America, in terms of its energy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2012 1:12 AM
Comment #337136

Stephen

“If I say that Bush is responsible for policies that increased gas prices…” And it is here that you would be mistaken. But if you believe this, you would also have to accept that Obama has been president since 2009 and Democrats controlled all of Congress 2009=2011 an still control 2/3 of the government. In that case you would have to account for why gas prices have risen since then.

Re getting more oil out - it just helps to have more supply. If prices are still going up, it means that demand is outstripping it. Cutting American production would not help and would make prices go up even more. There is really no way to lower prices that government can do in the short term. In the longer term, it can only encourage more supply or do things that cut demand. Unfortunately for our government, most of the new demand does not come from the U.S.

In fact, we have probably reached the point of “Peak Gas” in 2008, i.e. we will never use more gasoline than we did in 2008. So we have “won” that battle. Now the demand growth is in China, India etc. Obama can try to impose taxes and regulations on them. See how that works.

Posted by: C&J at February 23, 2012 6:58 AM
Comment #337137
In that case you would have to account for why gas prices have risen since then.

C&J hasn’t gas prices risen as the global economy has recovered from the lows of 2008? What is there to account for?

In fact, we have probably reached the point of “Peak Gas” in 2008, i.e. we will never use more gasoline than we did in 2008. So we have “won” that battle. Now the demand growth is in China, India etc. Obama can try to impose taxes and regulations on them. See how that works.

C&J, You must mean from “peak gas” usage not “peak gas” production right? Just think if we had listened to Carter back in the day instead of allowing Reagan to dismantle the efforts to provide alternatives. The fact is reducing the amount of oil we use is better than finding new sources of expensive oil.

The energy policy of dictating to China and India you are suggesting is typical of conservatives ideas the past generation. However it would seem to me that our energy policies should be more reality based and centered around what we can do in this country. It is pretty obvious that by trusting the market to get to lower consumer prices and emissions we will be floundering for another 30 years. Sound governmental energy policy should not be scoffed at and derided by those whose best ideas are to blame China and India for the problem, especially when we use 16 times the gas they do.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 23, 2012 2:00 PM
Comment #337138


The point to be made is that while promoting drill baby drill to it’s constituency, the GOP also promoted a socialist pricing scheme that had many of those people believing they would be the beneficiaries of 12 cent per gallon gasoline.

The question going forward is will the GOP promote the belief that the socialist Obama is the reason why the socialist priced gas hasn’t appeared on the market?

Another question, what force is at play the makes it nearly impossible for many GOP voters to discern the contradictory positions taken by the party on so many issues?

Posted by: jlw at February 23, 2012 2:21 PM
Comment #337139

“the GOP also promoted a socialist pricing scheme that had many of those people believing they would be the beneficiaries of 12 cent per gallon gasoline.”

I never heard that. Can you supply a source please?

Posted by: tdobson at February 23, 2012 4:37 PM
Comment #337140

C&J-

“If I say that Bush is responsible for policies that increased gas prices…” And it is here that you would be mistaken. But if you believe this, you would also have to accept that Obama has been president since 2009 and Democrats controlled all of Congress 2009=2011 an still control 2/3 of the government. In that case you would have to account for why gas prices have risen since then.

Funny. I don’t remember making an argument based on Bush’s mere occupancy. I pointed to specific policy decisions that helped increase prices. Same as I do when I refute your argument about things being Obama’s fault, simply because he’s in office at the time. I know what a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument is, and I try not to make them.

Supply has increased under Obama. Your people have pushed the increase of supply as a solution. Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, he’s done what you promised to do. Have oil prices gone down? No, because we don’t pay simply on our balance of supply and demand, but the world’s, and the world, as a whole, is using more oil, refining more gasoline, leaving us still buying it at a higher price. Additionally, production costs are putting a floor under those prices, meaning that to bring more supply online on a consistent basis, as it’s constantly consumed, it must be selling above a certain price.

As more readily extractable oil is exhausted, we will turn to more difficult to extract oil, oil that will be more expensive as a result.

We need to make the transition from this fuel source, in my opinion, before it becomes crushingly expensive, for the good of the economy. Waiting until people turn to other fuel sources because of the scarcity of easy to extract oil is waiting for the problem to reach critical mass before solving it. It’s both unnecessary, and harmful to the economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2012 6:03 PM
Comment #337141

j2t2

I mean peak gas usage. We will never again use as much gasoline as we did in 2008.

It is good to use less oil, as we have as % of GDP almost every year since the 1970s. But we would prefer to grow our economy, which sometimes grows faster than our conservation measures.

Re dictating to China and India, I was not suggesting that. I was employing irony toward Stephen and pointing out that the future of oil demand is not in our hands.

Stephen

You were also mistaken in your specifics.

Re transition - we are indeed doing that. The question is whether government can dictate how this will be done or if it will play the more productive support role.

Posted by: C&J at February 23, 2012 6:54 PM
Comment #337150

C&J-
First of all, there is absolutely no guarantee we will never use that much gasoline again. You can say that some experts believe that we won’t use that much gasoline again, but that’s different from a guarantee of that.

The truth of the matter is that China and India, despite their non-green reputations are moving towards renewables and other such projects. Why? Because if gas prices aren’t going down, they’re constraining their growth, too.

That’s the thing about doing things your way. Your way, we have to let the new energy crises first undermine our economy, so that people learn their lesson, and respond en masse as they did in 2007-2008.

But of course, doing things that way nearly killed our domestic car industry, among other things. This is not a matter of simply government forcing things or the market naturally bringing them up, this a matter of whether we want to be pushing towards greater efficiency and renewable energy, or whether we want to be playing catch up from a position of economic disadvantage.

Your approach guarantees the latter outcome. We can lead, follow, or get out of the way, and as Democrat, I would rather this country lead.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2012 9:54 PM
Comment #337187

SD said:

“But of course, doing things that way nearly killed our domestic car industry, among other things.”

I find it interesting that SD would be concerned about the domestic car industry; considering the fact that he bought a Jap battery powered car.

Democrats blame everyone else for the price of oil; Pelosi blames Wall Street, Obama blames the Middle-East today, last year he blammed someone else.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-22-dems-gas-prices_x.htm

http://pushbacknow.net/2012/02/23/democrats-blamed-bush-for-high-gas-prices-but-not-obama/?+YOU!)#ViewPollResults

Obama and Chu promised higher gas prices.

So here again we have Stephen Daugherty writing a essay explaining how the high cost of oil has nothing to do with Obama. What a joke; the real question is, can SD ever except responsibility for ANY liberal Democratic policies. If high oil prices was Bush’e fault for 8 years, then why aren’t high oil prices Obama’s fault for the past 3 years? It was stated yesterday that Obama could cause an immediate $1 drop in the price of gas simple by requirling only one blend of gas, insted of many. But if Obama did this, he would make his environmental base upset. With Obama, it’s all about blamming someone else and reelection.

Re/increase in oil production under Obama: it’s a lie, Obama policies has cut oil drilling and exploration. It is oil companies, who have increased the production by horizontal drilling fro existing wells in spite of Obama policies. So once again, SD is on WB pushing the daily talking points of the Obama administration. How typical…

Here is Obama’s energy talking points for 2011; tell me how they differ from his talking points of a few days ago; and tell me how he has improved the energy situation in one year?

http://blogs.ajc.com/jamie-dupree-washington-insider/2011/03/30/obama-energy-talking-points/?cxntfid=blogs_jamie_dupree_washington_insider

Posted by: Frank at February 24, 2012 9:19 AM
Comment #337189


tdobson, the argument was made by conservatives, including here at WatchBlog that increasing production would result in both energy independence and lower prices. One or two conservatives argued that it would lead to extremely low prices, as in, if Hugo can do it so can we. I don’t know where they got that idea from, but I would assume it was from one of the right wing sources. Those presenting the argument were reminded of certain fundamental economic facts and the argument was discontinued.

Frank, your first article, 6 years old, starts by stating a fact, increased use of alternatives will decrease dependence on oil and foreign oil. Back then, many people saw ethanol as a possible great source of fuel while others argued that it wasn’t. Senators from states like Midwestern states and others like Florida, that stood to benefit from ethanol production promoted the product, and they weren’t all Democrats. This is true of both sides of the argument.

Your second article says it wasn’t Bush, it was Pelosi’s Democrats.

The third article seems to be a fairly sound economic blueprint, perhaps it is what we should be discussing.

Posted by: jlw at February 24, 2012 2:36 PM
Comment #337190

I wonder how many of my liberal friends would give credit to obama if gas prices had gone down since his becoming president? I suspect most would. However, with gas prices nearly doubling since he took office, they seem incapable of giving him credit for that as well. But then, hypocrites are quite common in the liberal herd.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 24, 2012 4:36 PM
Comment #337192


Royal Flush, that is mostly true and if prices had stayed low, Republicans would have found a million reasons why Obama had nothing to do with it.

The economy is improving and Republicans are saying that Obama had nothing to do with it, that he hurt the economy rather than helped it and that Republicans are responsible for the improvements.

Hypocrisy is a part of our society and our politics, it always has been. Our Founding Fathers were hypocrites in some ways.

Posted by: jlw at February 24, 2012 6:25 PM
Comment #337194

I found this to be a very sensible position from the Heritage Foundation.

“Whether it is biofuels, electric vehicles, or natural gas vehicles, subsidies for alternative fuel and vehicle technologies waste taxpayer dollars, misallocate labor and capital, and create a dependence on government that promotes crony capitalism. The world petroleum market is a multi-trillion-dollar one; whatever technology can capture a portion of that market will not need help from taxpayers.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 24, 2012 7:38 PM
Comment #337198

Economist Ben Stein on CNN today;

http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/24/the-oil-blame-game/?iref=allsearch

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 24, 2012 9:24 PM
Comment #337199

Royal Flush,

Government subsidies in the US and worldwide for the fossil fuel industry dwarf those for alternative “green” energy. Don’t also forget about the massive government subsidies for the nuclear power industry.

Would you agree that all government subsidies for fossil and nuclear energy should be ended?

Posted by: Rich at February 24, 2012 9:24 PM
Comment #337201

Obama says we have reduced the amount of imported oil since he has taken office. With close to 18% of Americans unemployed; I wonder what effect people out of work have on the import of oil?

The winter has been very mild in America this year; I wonder what effect the mild winter has had on the import of oil?

Re/ Ben Stein’s comments; Ben Stein called for higher taxes on gas, raising the price to European levels in order to force people to use less.

“Royal Flush,

Government subsidies in the US and worldwide for the fossil fuel industry dwarf those for alternative “green” energy. Don’t also forget about the massive government subsidies for the nuclear power industry.

Would you agree that all government subsidies for fossil and nuclear energy should be ended?”

Posted by: Rich at February 24, 2012 9:24 PM

Obama subsidies of “green” energy and ethanol has been a complete failure and a waste of tax dollars. Subsidies in fossil fuel and nuclear have been sucessful. So I would suggest geen subsidies be dropped. They are nothing more than payoffs for Obama’s cronies.

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 24, 2012 11:06 PM
Comment #337202

Billinflorida, successful in which way? Are you telling us the oil companies needed the subsidies in order to drill for more oil? That without the subsidies the oil companies would not have drilled for more oil?

As far as the alternatives your basing your foolish comments on political bias not facts.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 24, 2012 11:12 PM
Comment #337204

And here the proof as reported by the New York Times:
GOP sees chance to attack Obama on rising gas prices

Quote:

In a closed-door meeting last week, Speaker John A. Boehner instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents when they return to their districts for the Presidents’ Day recess.

“This debate is a debate we want to have,” Mr. Boehner told his conference on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide who was present. “It was reported this week that we’ll soon see $4-a-gallon gas prices. Maybe higher. Certainly, this summer will see the highest gas prices in years. Your constituents saw those reports, and they’ll be talking about it.”

Cheap, low-down, and dirty? Sure, but that’s become the expected MO of the modern GOP. Along with Wall Street, naturally.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 24, 2012 11:56 PM
Comment #337211

Frank-
Oh, I get it, because I didn’t want Detroit to collapse, I should accept higher car payments and lower gas mileage. That will work.

I got the car that fit my needs. I couldn’t find one at that price, for that level of gas mileage. I sure couldn’t find a hybrid at as low a price elsewhere.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you saying the point of the free market is that competition forces people to do better? Well, maybe losing that sale means automakers here make a comparable car in order to compete.

As for the reasons for the gas prices? Part of it is that economically accessible oil is going down in supply. Part of it is increased demand from developing nations trying to match our standard of living. Part of it is speculators sending oil on endless tanker cruises and stuffing it in Cushing, Oklahoma tanks in order to create artificial shortages. You’re talking like it’s unfounded scapegoating of Bush, but we can talk about several policies here that would affect gas prices which were signed into law by the President.

Meanwhile, what can you claim about Obama? The notion that we’ve done less drilling since he’s been in office is not only false, but we’re actually drilling up more.

You’re arguing fault by arbitrary presence. If he’s there, you say, he’s at fault.

As for the lie you speak of? Give me a break. Obama’s DoI has approved a great number of drilling permits, and his moratorium was a temporary affair in the wake of one of the worst environmental disasters in American history.

There has been more drilling, there has been more production. There has been no decrease in price. The Republican argument is that an increase in drilling, an increase in production, would result in a decrease in price. Logic alone dictates that you are wrong. Rhetoric is all you have to fall back on, and unfortunately, there’s nothing much to stop you from misleading others and bashing Obama with unfounded charges.

I tend to gravitate towards scientific and empirical evidence, in particular because it makes it marvelously easy to show that my opponents don’t have a leg to stand on, objectively. It also keeps me from arguing things that might not have proper foundation.

For example, I don’t know about your one dollar price drop if we drop all the blends. I don’t think we should lay aside the goal of reducing emissions, among other things. However, it would be pointless to field special blends that aren’t actually reducing pollution. So, I would be for systematic testing of these blends to see which ones are necessary, and agree that it would likely reduce cost if we did away with the unnecessary ones.

See there? Rather than just simply put myself on the opposite side of the issue, I looked at the issues myself. But you? You seem to need to contradict points. You seem to need to win all arguments at once, rather than just one, by discrediting your opponent once and for all.

Now on the subject of talking points? That a thing is a talking point for the other side doesn’t make it wrong. It could be out of context, in which case you supply that context to refute the distortion, or it could be actually true, just inconvenient for your side. To simply dismiss a person’s argument because it is their argument is kind of a funny way to hold a debate.

Royal Flush-
You love to talk about hypocrisy, don’t you? And in hypothetical arguments, too.

The problem with your gas price argument is that everybody knows that gas prices reach similar highs under Bush, and came down because of a devastating recession that killed demand worldwide. Hedge Funds, Banks and other institutions also unloaded their commodities in the scramble to get some cash. So the real question is, what is Obama to be blamed for? What policy actually increased prices?

If you’re saying he drilled less… well, no, drilling’s gone up in objective terms, so you couldn’t credibly say that. If you’re saying production’s down… Well, no, it isn’t. So, if you’re relying on either one to be your cause, well then, how exactly does Obama’s policies change things? If what you believe is true, there will be evidence to support the allegation. Unfortunately, you just don’t seem to have found it yet.

Meanwhile, we can cite policies that liberalized the commodities markets, that made energy trading easier, and allowed those doing the trading to put very little money of their own down, leading to more leveraged bubbling. We can cite the huge energy bill of 2005, which incorporated a great deal of input from people that Dick Cheney fought to keep secret. We can point to actual policies, and by doing so, avoid the fallacy of post hoc propter ergo hoc.

You run right into it, and then add a little bit of tu quoque in there to impugn us for blaming Bush for simply being there, while you’re trying to do the same to Obama. You just want us to shut up and let you have your fun at the President’s expense.

Only problem is, we weren’t as bad with Bush as you were with Obama. We had evidence-based reasons to say Bush was at fault.

As for the Heritage Foundation? It’s a conservative Think-Tank, paid for by special interest groups with the distinct mission in mind of creating a mass of politically friendly “research”. The problem it fails to address is this: the oil market saturates the energy market for vehicles. It has not only an established infrastructure, but an almost complete market share.

You and the Heritage foundation want us to assume that this constitutes a level playing field. That, even as your folks completely fail to get rid of all kinds of corporate welfare that help stack the deck even further in their favor.

It’s a joke, really.

Billinflorida-
Well, the fact that Wind and Solar industries in America are regularly growing, and that prices for solar go down regularly… I guess that doesn’t constitute real evidence, right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2012 9:47 AM
Comment #337214


The industry, and more importantly, the oil producing countries, wants gradualism, they want to protect the profitability of their products for as long as possible. To resist change they need allies. Thus, they use conservative propaganda outlets to gain support from those who can be counted on to resist change, while the industry focuses it’s advertising on their products and on convincing some on the other side of the argument that they are actively pursuing alternative energy research. The industry is also becoming major contributors to large environmental organizations and some of these organizations have been toning down their message accordingly.

The industry needs allies that want to believe that this country can feed it’s great demand for oil independently and at a very attractive price. They need allies that refuse to believe that this solution is not feasible. People that will ignore the arguments that extracting oil from harder to reach sources has a big affect on pricing. People that don’t bother to think about the consequences that actions such as engaging in saber rattling with Iran has on the pricing of oil. The industry needs allies who’s resistance to change and who’s animosity for the scientific community makes them willing to believe that global warming is some kind of liberal conspiracy that has no basis in reality.

In this energy situation where change is inevitable, profitable gradualism is victory for I don’t care, I’ll be dead then.

Posted by: jlw at February 25, 2012 4:15 PM
Comment #337221

Stephen Daugherty; you had the chance to support American union workers and American industry, but you chose to buy a Jap car; So you can’t really say too much.

As per Obama’s support of drilling domstic oil; he doesn’t and he won’t. Obama has cut drilling permits and has used the EPA to CREATE inflated oil prices. It is the GOAL of the socialist democratic party to create high energy prices and shortages in America. Obama promised teh American people that energy prices would skyrocket, but only a few of us understood what he was talking about. And now it’s here; let’s see how long this AW will be able to hold on to his WH job.

“For example, I don’t know about your one dollar price drop if we drop all the blends. I don’t think we should lay aside the goal of reducing emissions, among other things. However, it would be pointless to field special blends that aren’t actually reducing pollution. So, I would be for systematic testing of these blends to see which ones are necessary, and agree that it would likely reduce cost if we did away with the unnecessary ones.”

Sure, why should you care if anything is done to help the American people, you have your Jap car and could care less what the rest of America pays for gas. As a typical liberal socialist, you would support the socialist EPA rather than Americans. When are you socialists on the left ever going to think of the good of Americans rather than yourselves.

You know Stephen, have figured what is wrong with liberals… They hate humans; humans are evil, they mess up the environment, they use up the resources, they cut down trees, they eat the animals. In fact, in the eyes of a liberal, the world would be a better place without humans. This is why liberals love abortion…they are getting rid of humans, one bab at a time. I think the left is made up of a lot of sick SOB’s.

Posted by: Frank at February 25, 2012 9:54 PM
Comment #337222

“…and on convincing some on the other side of the argument that they are actively pursuing alternative energy research.”

jlw,

Excellent point. R&D investment by the private energy sector, dominated by a few major oil companies, is the lowest of all the industrial/manufacturing sectors of the US economy.

However, to see their ads, you would think that they were on the cutting edge of new “green” alternative energy sources and pouring money into environmentally responsible and renewable alternatives. Ironically, BP has been the most aggressive in promoting this image of a company forging a greener future.

But, why should anyone expect the big five to actually develop renewable alternatives when they have control of a non-renewable cash cow? I don’t think they are fools. However, for those buying their schtick, well.

Posted by: Rich at February 25, 2012 10:02 PM
Comment #337226

“You know Stephen, have figured what is wrong with liberals… They hate humans; humans are evil, they mess up the environment, they use up the resources, they cut down trees, they eat the animals. In fact, in the eyes of a liberal, the world would be a better place without humans. This is why liberals love abortion…they are getting rid of humans, one bab at a time. I think the left is made up of a lot of sick SOB’s.”

Frank, you gotta start cutting the Prozacs in half.

Posted by: Mark at February 25, 2012 11:26 PM
Comment #337232

I believe to a degree that Frank has a point. Do not leftist blame everything on humanity? Perhaps someone could name a problem the earth faces that is not the result of humanities greed or misuse of the environment? Good point Frank; was it original or did you hear it somewhere?

For example and sticking to the thread of the post (drill baby drill); if we have oil reserves in the ground, then why not drill?

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 26, 2012 11:55 AM
Comment #337233

I believe to a degree that Frank has a point. Do not leftist blame everything on humanity? Perhaps someone could name a problem the earth faces that is not the result of humanities greed or misuse of the environment? Good point Frank; was it original or did you hear it somewhere?

For example and sticking to the thread of the post (drill baby drill); if we have oil reserves in the ground, then why not drill?

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 26, 2012 11:55 AM
Comment #337235

Regarding the price of oil and the supply of oil; we are now finding European countries who were more than willing to buy into claims of GW, and now trying to reverse or repeal the Climate Change Act because of soaring prices of energy. GW is the golden calf of the left; it gives governments control of vast amounts of money and power over people, and it also allows the left to redistribute wealth legally. The drilling for oil has always been claimed, by the left, as having absolutely nothing to do with the cost of oil and yet the left repeats the false claims of Obama that he has increased oil exploration and production. While there has been an increase in oil production; it has not been on Federal lands, but it has been on private land, and the increase of permits to drill were under the Bush administration and not under Obama:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2851401/posts

“President Obama recently pointed out that domestic oil production has increased during his administration. True. But he is taking credit for those increases which occurred because they were outside of federal jurisdiction.

The increase in domestic drilling was almost entirely in areas for which the Obama administration exercised no authority, as oil production on federal land declined by 11 percent in fiscal year 2011, according to a study by the Institute on Energy Research (IER), a free-market energy think tank. But oil production on state lands increased that year by 14 percent and increased by 12 percent on private lands.”

http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2012/02/oil-production-increased-during-obamas.html

Here is part of MIT’s Richard Lindzen presentation to the British House of Commons just a few days ago:

“Reconsidering the Climate Change Act Global Warming: How to approach the science. Richard S. Lindzen
Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Seminar at the House of Commons Committee Rooms
Westminster, London
22nd February 2012

A pdf of these slides is available on request to rlindzen@mit.edu

“I wish to thank the Campaign to Repeal the Climate Change Act for the opportunity to present my views on the issue of climate change – or as it was once referred to: global warming. Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.”

The message is getting out and the truth is being seen. The left, for too many years has spoon fed the conspiratorial lie of GW to the world. Only pressure from the American people on their representatives has blocked the passage of Cap and Trade in America. The downfall began with the British emails and has grown; but it is a shame that there are still conservatives who have fallen for the lie:

Lindzen goes on, in his presentation, to ask:

“Where do we go from here?

Given that this has become a quasi-religious issue, it is hard to tell. However, my personal hope is that we will return to normative science, and try to understand how the climate actually behaves. Our present approach of dealing with climate as completely specified by a single number, globally averaged surface temperature anomaly, that is forced by another single number, atmospheric CO2 levels, for example, clearly limits real understanding; so does the replacement of theory by model simulation. In point of fact, there has been progress along these lines and none of it demonstrates a prominent role for CO2. It has been possible to account for the cycle of ice ages simply with orbital variations (as was thought to be the case before global warming mania); tests of sensitivity independent of the assumption that warming is due to CO2 (a circular assumption) show sensitivities lower than models show; the resolution of the early faint sun paradox which could not be resolved by greenhouse gases, is readily resolved by clouds acting as negative feedbacks.”

Many times the left has denied that GW is the current religion of the left, but even Lindzen recognizes this fact. Lindzen also offers up this scary observation from an official U.S. government source:

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.”

Source? The U.S. Weather Bureau. In 1922.

Then he concludes:

“Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.”

The main argument from the left is the levels of CO2; if their premise is false, then everything falls apart.

This false idea of GW goes hand in hand with the price and availability of fossil fuel. Obama is working in collusion with his EPA department to decrease oil production and drive up prices.

Posted by: GWS at February 26, 2012 1:09 PM
Comment #337238

“Do not leftist rightists blame everything on humanity the left?”

You guys are priceless.

Frank, how much of what you own is actually made in America?

Your computer? Your TV? Your stereo? How about your refrigerator, or even your phone?

Americans have gotten used to buying cheap products, even though they are of lesser quality.

How much stuff do you buy from Walmart? Did you know that they are probably the greatest purveyor of Chinese goods in America?

“As per Obama’s support of drilling domstic oil; he doesn’t and he won’t. Obama has cut drilling permits and has used the EPA to CREATE inflated oil prices. It is the GOAL of the socialist democratic party to create high energy prices and shortages in America.”

Yeah, that’ll get them re-elected.

You bitch about talking points, yet you can’t get away from using them yourself.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 26, 2012 1:27 PM
Comment #337244


“if we have oil reserves in the ground,then why not drill.”

Billinflorida, you already have an answer for that and you aren’t interested in finding out if the answer you believe is all the truth, part of the truth, or none of the truth.

You do know that the oil companies are far more interested in obtaining oil leases at current prices than they are in actually drilling those leases at current prices, don’t you?

If we nationalized, socialized the oil industry in America, we could divide the week into cheap gas days and expensive gas days and to avoid running out of gas while in line on cheap gas days, some of us will have to buy on expensive gas days.

“Do not leftist blame everything on humanity?” You already know the answer to that as well. The answer to a question like that is obviously no, but that doesn’t prevent the right from believing otherwise.

Who do rightist blame everything on?

“Stephen Daugherty, you had your chance to support American workers…”

All American workers have had the opportunity to support one another and in the past, there have been times when we did that, in the past.

Now of days, according to the propaganda of the right, unions are a socialist evil and workers are spoiled and lazy. Except for conservative union workers and other conservative right to workers, of course.

And, let us not forget all those wondrously cheap foreign made products at Big Box Mart.

What will conservatives buy now that Tahoe’s are socialist built?

And to think, just a short while ago, every conservative in the country was defending Toyota.

Posted by: jlw at February 26, 2012 2:44 PM
Comment #337246

GWS,

Despite your attempt to deny the truth, global warming due to increased CO2 concentrations remains a threat to our economy and society. Dr. Lindzen is well known as member of the tiny community of climate skeptics with climatology training. Nevertheless, his skepticism is at a level far above that of most conservatives. Lindzen recognizes that anthropogenic CO2 has warmed the Earth and will continue to warm the Earth. However, Lindzen rejects the commonly accepted idea that positive feedback loops will reinforce the warming from higher CO2 levels. Instead, Lindzen believes that there is a negative feedback loop associated with increased CO2 concentrations. Namely, Lindzen thinks that a warmer tropical ocean will inhibit cirrus cloud formation, thereby cooling the climate. It’s an interesting idea, but unfortunately it’s wrong. It’s a good thing that there are people like Lindzen who challenge the consensus because nothing is incontrovertible in science, but that doesn’t mean we need to adopt Lindzen’s prescriptions for public policy.

In the future, I would like to request that you simplylink to your source instead of copying and pasting huge portions carte blanche. Nevertheless, thank you for making me aware of Lindzen’s most recent presentation. I’ve been following his work for quite a while and I like to stay informed.

I’ll address your quotations from Lindzen’s presentation in another comment.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 26, 2012 3:24 PM
Comment #337250

Here are the claims you quoted from Lindzen:

The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming

It is true that doubling CO2 concentrations from preindustrial levels leads to 1 Kelvin of global warming. However, Lindzen ignores the numerous positive feedback loops associated with a warmer Earth. H20 vapor, which is an even stronger greenhouse gas, will increases in concentration. Also, Earth’s albedo will change dramatically, especially in polar regions where white ice is replaced by dark ocean or dark land.

ests of sensitivity independent of the assumption that warming is due to CO2 (a circular assumption) show sensitivities lower than models show

That simply isn’t true.

but even Lindzen recognizes this fact.
Lindzen has been a long time opponent of the consensus that CO2 can warm the Earth’s climate enough to harm human society. Why am I supposed to be surprised that “even Lindzen” has adopted the rhetoric of climate change denialists and asserts a comparison between agreement with the consensus and belief in religious dogma?
Lindzen also offers up this scary observation from an official U.S. government source:

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.”

Source? The U.S. Weather Bureau. In 1922.

In the summer of 1922, people were surprised to find ice free waters just north of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Compare that to last monch, when the north coast of Svalbard was ice-free, but during winter and not during summer. I think this is a testament to how unprecedented today’s climate is within the context of human civilization.

The main argument from the left is the levels of CO2; if their premise is false, then everything falls apart.

Even Lindzen himself stated in those slides that increased CO2 concentrations will lead to a warmer climate. Lindzen incorrectly disputes the magnitude and direction of the feedback loops associated with a warmer climate, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 26, 2012 4:10 PM
Comment #337258

“Despite your attempt to deny the truth, global warming due to increased CO2 concentrations remains a threat to our economy and society. Dr. Lindzen is well known as member of the tiny community of climate skeptics with climatology training.”

Warped Reality (your name may lead to why you disagree with Dr. Lindzen), and your climate qualifications are?

I believe Dr. Lindzen is trying to make the point that we are not to be so gullible as to believe every hair brained hypothesis just because someone says they are an expert on the subject.

Regarding copy and pasting: I have discovered that most people on the left never read the links, and simply answer with the standard talking points. So I add a portion of the context with the link.

Posted by: GWS at February 26, 2012 5:30 PM
Comment #337260

When almost every expert on the subject agrees on the hypothesis, there is a good chance the hypothesis is true.

Every credible national and international scientific institution agrees Global Warming is occurring due to human activities. Not one dissents.

There is an exception. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists dissented until 2007, at which point, they changed their opinion to non-commital. A few other geology organizations also remain non-commital.

There is a scientific consensus. There is enough data to act.

Posted by: phx8 at February 26, 2012 6:10 PM
Comment #337264
Warped Reality (your name may lead to why you disagree with Dr. Lindzen), and your climate qualifications are?

Later this year, I will graduate with a BS in atmospheric science with minors in chemistry and possibly physics, but my education isn’t really relevant here. Hundreds of papers have been published in scientific journals regarding anthropogenic climate change and virtually all of them present evidence in favor of the theory that the Earth’s climate is warming and that the warming is primarily due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

I believe Dr. Lindzen is trying to make the point that we are not to be so gullible as to believe every hair brained hypothesis just because someone says they are an expert on the subject.
Fine. I agree with Lindzen that we need to be skeptical when presented with new hypotheses, especially when they come with the policy implications that global warming comes with. The scientific community was mostly skeptical when the global warming hypothesis was first presented over a century ago. However, the evidence that has been gathered since then has generally supported the hypothesis, leading to its acceptance as scientific theory.
Regarding copy and pasting: I have discovered that most people on the left never read the links
In that case, you are wrong. I will read every primary source that is presented and I almost always will read secondary or tertiary sources. I’m pretty sure the same can be said for most of my fellow liberals as well. On the other hand, I have discovered that copying and pasting words from an outside source generally clutters the screen and makes it hard for me to read what’s going on, although I do appreciate the fact that you separated the quoted paragraphs and demarcated them with double quotes (“”). Nevertheless, it would be much better if you used blockquotes instead and if you limited the quotes to the one or two sentences that you think are most essential to your argument.

BTW, did you read any of the links that I provided for you?

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 26, 2012 9:10 PM
Comment #337268

Frank-
You’ve figured it all out, eh? I’ve got my complaints with conservatives, but I don’t figure the vast majority of them mean any harm. That doesn’t mean their policies are sound or their facts are right, doesn’t mean I especially like or respect their opinion all the time, but you know, people like me aren’t perfect either.

I think people are not entirely rational, and even their rational side serves their emotional side. This isn’t evil, but evil can come of it sometimes, and that’s why humanity invented laws and government in the first place. Some on the right these days believe that they can unleash greater productivity and economic power if they take off the constraints binding industry.

But the people in charge there are no better than the people they are in charge of, and no worse either. The rich are no less apt to miss the government giving them money than the poor, and the rich are no less apt to abide by the law than those who have less.

But what the rich do have is the money and power as individuals to bring the system to their aid, and when they do, sometimes the results can be at everybody else’s expense, losing people jobs, losing people their retirement funds, polluting the air, water, and land we leave as a legacy to our children, and need in particular ourselves while we yet live. We have a system that’s got less and less room for error, less and less room for simple human decency.

The interests, rights and obligations of the few, and of individuals, have to be balanced against those of the rest of us, and not necessarily right along the middle, because when one of the elite gets things wrong, they don’t just lead themselves astray, but everybody else with them.

But to counter them, we either have to have a mass movement of people at a grassroots level, which may have chaotic after-effects, or we deal with it by means of our democratically elected government.

As far as the global warming denialism goes, it’s useful to consider this point: Global Warming theory supporters have plenty of evidence and a great number of models that work at their side. They have plenty of evidence ruling out other possible causes. They can scientifically establish that warming is occuring, that carbon dioxide changes are the primary forcing at work altering the temperature, and that the carbon dioxide is primarly coming from fossil fuels, and therefore our burning of them.

What do the denialists have? Do they have a coherent, well tested theory of their own?

GWS-
Which brings me to you. Okay, you say there’s a decline on federal lands. Let’s concede that for the sake of argument, before I check the fact for myself. Will you concede that nonetheless there has been a substantial increase in production, and no decrease in pump price despite that? What we’re talking about here, what my point was is that we drilled for more oil, and a discount on every gallon of gas did not come up.

The truth is, we’re no longer the dominant consumer. By sending industries overseas, we also sent wealth with it, which Adam Smith could tell you would lead to growth in demand for what wealth buys, including today’s vehicle of choice for the average American.

The truth also is, your people liberalized the commodities market for energy traders, allowing them to push oil prices artificially high on any kind of pretext. These are the wages of free trade and globalization.

But to admit that is to admit that the very solution they would offer is just more of the problem that they are being called upon to solve.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2012 10:33 PM
Comment #337290

Warped Reality, rather than attack Dr. Richard Lindzen credentials, perhaps you could explain WHY he was making a presentation to the British House of Commons on 2/22/2012?

The Climate Change Act is a done deal in England and yet the House of Commons is “Reconsidering the Climate Change Act”. Why are they reconsidering, and if the majority of scientist agree with your point, why are they bringing in an expert in Atmospheric, Oceans, and Climate from MIT?

You state, “Dr. Lindzen is well known as member of the tiny community of climate skeptics with climatology training”; does that mean his opinion is not worthy? During the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church burnt anyone, at the stake, who proclaimed the earth to be round. The consensus, by the majority, was that the earth was flat. The idea that the majority knows best is close minded and you (as a potential science major) should have an open mind to all research.

It may come as a shock to you, but GW and its potential to invade the rights and finances of all people around the world, is being brought into question. The left’s unquestioned faith in GW has become a form of worship or religion, which goes contrary to all science.

Posted by: GWS at February 27, 2012 1:18 PM
Comment #337292

GWS,

“It may come as a shock to you, but GW and its potential to invade the rights and finances of all people around the world, is being brought into question.”


Up until it was brought to every one’s attention businesses were allowed to dump any and all toxins into the air, land and water of this planet because it was “good for business”. The fact that some of these toxins were harmful to humans and seemed to hang around forever, never seemed to cross any body’s mind.

I would ask if you would want to stick your nose into the tail pipe of a running engine?
Of course you wouldn’t because it is a known fact it is harmful to do so.
Yet you find it OK to bitch about the cost of making sure that the exhaust of that engine is as clean as we can make it.
The “Great Fog of London” caused by a weather inversion in 1952 killed at least 4,000 people in just over a week.

All you have to do is look around to see the havoc that could be wreaked if business were allowed to ignore regulations and just go about their “business”.

“The left’s unquestioned faith in GW has become a form of worship or religion, which goes contrary to all science.”

Do you bother to look around?

I was in China in 1995, in a the city of Dalian. We were unable to see a building that was a mere 3 blocks away until a windy day.
Regardless if you are a “believer” or not, it is not “contrary to all science” to observe, as a layman, the changes that have taken place even in my lifetime.

I grew up outside Los Angeles, I remember the stinging eyes and burning lungs I had in the Fifties and Sixties. Now, because of the “invasion of rights and finances”, people are able to breathe much easier.

Perhaps it’s not “scientific” but I took a trip to Glacier National Park in 1970. I returned there in 2004 and the glaciers that had been there for millennia are virtually gone.

Believe what you want, but I won’t cry over the expense of doing business if it allows humans the chance to live healthier lives.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 27, 2012 4:36 PM
Comment #337302

Rocky Marks, why did you comment on a discussion between Warped Reality and me? You offer neither answers nor proof of anything you said. The proponents of Global Warming were not around in the 50’s and 60’s. Yes, it is true, there was a level of pollution in those years and there were environmental programs that cleaned up the air and water ways. The EPA started in 1970 under Nixon, but the problem with any government agency is growth and power. The EPA is now a monster that gobbles up tax dollars and has enough power to shut don’t oil production and industry. In January 1972, Nixon signed the Clean Water Act in partnership with Canada and as a result the Great Lakes are many times cleaner, but GW had not been discussed.

“The origins of the global warming scare

The hypothesis of man-made global warming has existed since the 1880s. It was an obscure scientific hypothesis that burning fossil fuels would increase CO2 in the air to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming. Before the 1980s this hypothesis was usually regarded as a curiosity because the nineteenth century calculations indicated that mean global temperature should have risen more than 1°C by 1940, and it had not. Then, in 1979, Mrs Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) became Prime Minister of the UK, and she elevated the hypothesis to the status of a major international policy issue.”

If you want to know more about the origin of Global Warming, you can find it at this link:

http://www.john-daly.com/history.htm

So, Global Warming was never a legitimate thought until it was presented before British politicians in 1980. The result of the GW scare has produced billions of dollars for pseudo scientists and politicians. The old saying, “follow the money” leads us to the scaring of people and billions of dollars being paid out.

If Obamacare is allowed to stand, it will give the government control of another 17% of our economy. The last Federal Budget passed was in 2008, under Bush, and was for the year 2009. SS, Medicare, Medicaid accounted for nearly 40% of the budget. The Federal government does not have a good track record when it comes to spending money. The goal of Global Warming is to pass Cap and Trade, which would mean even more trillions of dollars in the hands of corrupt politicians.

Posted by: GWS at February 27, 2012 7:16 PM
Comment #337304


Global warming has a potential to be a boon for corporate business interests, especially in the area of relieving the conditions that make large amounts of resources easier to obtain. If the corpocracy can prevent governments from intervening by taxing corporate wealth to alleviate the potential for human suffering and relocation it will be a double win for them. While their propagandists are working overtime, their potential for success on both matters is dwindling.

They have been fairly successful in the first matter, it will be decades before we can significantly reduce admissions of GHGs thanks to the ongoing strategy of the fossil fuel industry and their supporters. While progress will continue to be made, the debate will be shifting more towards relieving the negative effects that global warming has on the environment.

The mass extinction event is a potential boon for corporate wealth as well.

Consequence? They could care less, nothing lasts forever. They will continue to propagandize potentially disastrous consequences as scare tactics by liberals as part of their plan to turn global warming into the new religion.

It comes as no surprise that the conservative government of Britain would have an anti global warming scientist testify.

It would be somewhat of a surprise if the conservative House of the U.S. government did the same.

What is a surprise is that the British government has shifted it’s solar energy credit initiatives away from corporate interests towards technology and programs for homeowners.

It would be an even bigger surprise if the House of Conservatives did that.

Posted by: jlw at February 27, 2012 7:45 PM
Comment #337305

jlw, your inuendos and snide comments mean nothing to the ongoing discussion.

The European economies are failing and sooner or later there will be no more money for bailouts. The British government has learned this and is trying to find economic solutions. I submit they brought in Dr. Lindzen for the purpose of trying to find the difference between fact and fiction.

Posted by: GWS at February 27, 2012 7:55 PM
Comment #337306


The attacks on Obamacare have morphed into another albatross for conservatives, the majority now wants single payer to replace the Obamacare business provided health care model. I thank you conservatives.

Posted by: jlw at February 27, 2012 7:55 PM
Comment #337308


GWS, your innuendos and snide comments mean even less. The G20 is preparing a massive capital fund to be used to relieve the EU debt problems, to solve that big doubt and get on with making money.

The European problem has the potential of creating great problems for the continuation of corpocracy, it will be dealt with.

Posted by: jlw at February 27, 2012 8:05 PM
Comment #337309

“Filmmaker Michael Moore glorified the United Kingdom’s National Health Service in his 2007 documentary ”Sicko,” making a cult film argument that socialized medicine works. But Prime Minister David Cameron, the Tory MP who heads a coalition government in England, is apparently not a Moore fan: He is working to partially privatize the NHS, beginning a massive outsourcing of medical services to private health care providers throughout the U.K.

Britain’s media, in particular the Washington Post–Huffington Post hybrid The Guardian, is publishing near-panic-attacks alerts daily about the conservative plan, which comes as the British government scales back on entitlement spending, hoping to avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown. …

Joseph A. Morris, a former Reagan White House lawyer who now serves on the board of the American Conservative Union, told TheDC that socialized medicine has turned out to be a threat to Britons’ health, and to their economy as well.

“Europe’s message to the world is no longer that the socialist dream of the cradle-to-grave welfare state is an easy achievement,” Morris said. “Rather, it is the shouted warning that it is a fool’s paradise. The bills are coming due and the only real alternatives — serious financial reform of government or national bankruptcy — are not pleasant.”

Morris added that the British government, “unlike the Obama administration, is hearing the warnings, identifying its greatest vulnerabilities, and trying to race ahead of the deluge.”


http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/18/british-government-to-introduce-privatization-in-health-care-system/

Posted by: GWS at February 27, 2012 8:21 PM
Comment #337310

GWS,

“So, Global Warming was never a legitimate thought until it was presented before British politicians in 1980. The result of the GW scare has produced billions of dollars for pseudo scientists and politicians. The old saying, “follow the money” leads us to the scaring of people and billions of dollars being paid out.”

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/06/to-be-against-c.html

“Early on, no one had the scientific tools to correlate smog with adverse health effects, but complaints about the smoky air as an annoyance date back to at least 1272, when King Edward I, on the urging of important noblemen and clerics, banned the burning of sea-coal. Anyone caught burning or selling the stuff was to be tortured or executed. The first offender caught was summarily put to death.”


“The hypothesis of man-made global warming has existed since the 1880s.

Actually, you might want to re-think that. George Perkins Marsh wrote the book “Man and Nature” in 1864.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_and_Nature

“It is one of the first works to document the effects of human action on the environment and it helped to launch the modern conservation movement. Marsh argued that ancient Mediterranean civilizations collapsed through environmental degradation.”

Also John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau were both environmentalists/conservationists.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 27, 2012 8:26 PM
Comment #337313

And when did GW come into prominence?

Posted by: GWS at February 27, 2012 9:26 PM
Comment #337325

GWS-
Hmmm. You’re willing to attack the credentials of the vast majority of climate scientists, their honesty and everything, but you balk at somebody questioning the expertise of somebody going in the other direction?

I wouldn’t go so far as to question his expertise, by the way, but I would say that the vast majority of his field has left him behind.

There’s solid theory behind global warming, solid data, but all you can do is appeal to the notion that sometimes the unpopular positions turn out to be right. Well, that’s not a scientific rule, that’s a social one, and it doesn’t change the fact that there is no solid countertheory to global warming. There’s too much evidence that disproves the standard null hypotheses, that is that there is no warming, that CO2 doesn’t dominate the changes behind it, or that climate isn’t already changing. All you have is rhetoric designed to produce doubt about the science and the scientists.

This is the main reason why Global Warming Theory has become the majority theory: the preponderance of the evidence rules out the other theories. It rules out the notion that this is just natural carbon emissions we have nothing to do with. It rules out the notion that increases in solar irradiation of earth explains recent warming trends.

Hell, you say that the EPA is a monster that gobbles up tax dollars. Well, this year that monster will cost 8 billion dollars to run. That’s about the FBI’s budget.

This is a political argument, not a scientific one. The burden of proof is on both sides in a scientific debate to prove their arguments correct. You think that because the default assumption is that CO2 emissions are harmless, that global warming will come gradually if at all, that man cannot affect climate, that you guys can just sit there and shoot down any idea that doesn’t reach perfection.

Problem is, your position is one that has to be put to the test and in fact has been put to the test, and nobody can successfully prove it. Meanwhile, you can prove that CO2 helps air retain heat, even at trace levels. We can present models that get better every year that show that past increases are explainable by this hypothesis. We can demonstrate the mechanics of how climate change is occuring.

You? You and your folks haven’t even gotten past the hurdle of explaining why temperatures are the way they are now, and what, if anything, is responsible for the changes from the average temperatures that have been maintained for tens of thousands of years. It’s all a bunch of nitpicking and arguments from personal disbelief. It’s talk about how galileo was right, despite his critics, half a millenia ago, so therefore this idea that global warming may not exist, or might be due to something else than greenhouse gases, should be considered valid.

You haven’t done the work to present a rival theory to GW Theory. You haven’t proved your doubts true, much less proved the adherents of the other theory wrong.

All you have at this point is political rhetoric, a lot of talk to cover for the fact that much of what you say is fed to you by thinktanks whos job is to defend the interests of those who will lose money if people choose to no longer depend on them, or if government puts even the market-based regulations of Cap and Trade on the table. I mean, let’s be blunt here: Cap and Trade was the GOP’s idea, originally. It was an alternative to command and control schemes that just flatly said, you will emit no more than this or face fines.

But now that Democrats have picked up on it? It’s evil socialism. These days I think that socialism for Republicans is anything they want to portray as wrong, because these days it’s not enough to call it liberal.

As for this talk about socialized healthcare being Briton’s big problem? Bull. The big problem is, austerity didn’t work. The British system isn’t perfect, but the massive government cuts did not succeed in yanking the UK out of its economic funk, and in fact kept it there long after America and other countries that didn’t practice austerity recovered. The countries that have employed austerity have not seen their economies recover, because austerity is a luxury good. You can pay for it out of plenty and the economy will absorbe the cost of repaying debts and not paying out government aid, but you try it during times like this, and you’re compounding economic misery, which doesn’t help fiscal matters since fiscal matters depend on the economy.

You’ve allowed your politics to become principles so unquestioned that even examples of its failure are not enough to dissuade you from pushing them further. That, I think, is the fundamental political problem of the Right Wing these days, and the policy problem, too: you not only refuse to acknowledge new information that contradicts what you say, you refuse to acknowledge even the consequences of your own actions. Nonetheless, though, those consequences unfold, so the GOP becomes trapped in bad decisions, and erroneous positions, and won’t let itself out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 28, 2012 8:03 AM
Comment #337327

Stephen,

I think it is more than just a convenient political ploy.

IMHO, the possibility of global climate change flies in the face of the belief that “God gave humans the planet Earth to exploit as they see fit”, and it unsettles the less sophisticated among us. The fact that virtually all beliefs, from flat earth on down, have been disproved makes them wonder what other of their beliefs are also untrue.

GWS,

The global warming/greenhouse effect was first postulated in 1824, then proved experimentally in the 1850’s, and again in the 1890’s only to be quashed by the remnants of the “Manifest Destiny” crowd who thought humans should be able to do anything they wanted in order to make a profit.

GW only became a political football in the 1980’s.

Calling GW a religion is merely a simple minded attempt to paint those who think we should be better stewards of this planet as blasphemers.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 28, 2012 10:31 AM
Comment #337334

RM, I find your remarks to SD condesending and arrogant, “unsettles the less sophisticated among us”. Is it possible that you just stated that believers in the Bible are ignorant?

“GW only became a political football in the 1980’s.”

Thank you, my point exactly.

“Calling GW a religion is merely a simple minded attempt to paint those who think we should be better stewards of this planet as blasphemers.”

GW has been called the religion of the left by many people, including Dr. Richard Lindzen. I have to agree that GW appears to be a form of worship for the left.

Posted by: GWS at February 28, 2012 1:55 PM
Comment #337335

GWS,

“GW has been called the religion of the left by many people, including Dr. Richard Lindzen.”

And that makes it a religion how?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 28, 2012 2:06 PM
Comment #337343


GWS, I have to agree that conservatism appears to be a form of worship for the right.

Individualism, economic liberalism, carved in stone Constitutionalism, fake fiscalism, all appear to be forms of worship for the right.

Global warming has it’s counter religion, anti global warming. Think of how much the right seems to worship Anti,
anti liberalism, anti progressivism, anti environmentalism, etc., the list is quite extensive.

Do you really think it is productive to denounce things that you disagree with as religions worshiped by the left?

Posted by: jlw at February 28, 2012 5:57 PM
Comment #337348
Warped Reality, rather than attack Dr. Richard Lindzen credentials

Where have I attacked Professor Lindzen’s credentials? I dare you to show me. What I have done is provided context for Lindzen’s claims. It is true that Lindzen is in the extreme minority amongst atmospheric scientists. For every Dr. Lindzen there are at least 50 other climatologists who believe otherwise. Lindzen’s minority status does not mean we dismiss his claims out of hand, but rather that we scrutinize his claims to see if they match the evidence. Lindzen’s argument is that the mainstream consensus regarding feedback loops is incorrect. Mainstream climatologists believe that a warmer climate will be amplified by two feedback loops in particular: in polar regions ice will be replaced with surfaces with lower albedo resulting in less solar radiation being absorbed; also, a warmer earth will result in more water being evaporated and water vapor is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Dr. Lindzen believes that a different feedback mechanism would be dominant and would result in a net negative feedback. Lindzen’s hypothesis is that a warmer tropical ocean would inhibit cirrus cloud formation, thereby letting more IR radiation to escape the Earth. Unfortunately for Lindzen, his hypothesis does not conform with satellite data as noted in the link I supplied earlier.

perhaps you could explain WHY he was making a presentation to the British House of Commons on 2/22/2012?

Dr. Lindzen spoke inside Westminster at a seminar sponsored by MP Sammy Wilson and paid for by the “Campaign to Repeal the Climate Change Act”, a British lobbying group. MP Wilson is from a minor Northern Irish regional party, DUP, which does not wield the electoral clout to repeal the Climate Change Act. As far as I know, Wilson’s actions are not supported by any of the three main parties in Britain. Despite his status as a backbencher, Wilson was still able to secure a room at Westminster for Lindzen, but it was not a matter of offical Parliamentary business.

You state, “Dr. Lindzen is well known as member of the tiny community of climate skeptics with climatology training”; does that mean his opinion is not worthy

No, it does not make Professor Lindzen’s opinion unworthy, however it makes one inclined to ask Lindzen for proof regarding his claims. If Dr. Lindzen had evidence that the feedback loops differ substantially from the consensus, he could publish it in a variety of outlets. Unfortunately for Lindzen, such evidence does not exist and his hypothesis regarding the inhibition of cirrus cloud formation is total bunk. Even really smart guys make mistakes once in a while and Lindzen does not seem to have the humility to admit he was wrong so he courts the right-wing political machine in order to propagate his defunct ideas.

During the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church burnt anyone, at the stake, who proclaimed the earth to be round. The consensus, by the majority, was that the earth was flat.
Firstly, there is a major difference between today’s scientific community and the Catholic Church, namely that today’s community relies on the scientific method to obtain its conclusions, whereas the Catholic Church ignored empirical observations and instead put their trust in the Bible. Secondly, enlightenment era scientists had substantial proof to show that the Biblically-supported hypothesis of geocentrism was wrong. Italian physicist, Galileo Galilei offered numerous observations as evidence in support of the Copernican Model, most famously the phases of Venus and the existence four Galilean Satellites that orbit Jupiter.
It may come as a shock to you, but GW and its potential to invade the rights and finances of all people around the world, is being brought into question. The left’s unquestioned faith in GW has become a form of worship or religion, which goes contrary to all science.

The only reason GW is being questioned is due to a substantial number of entrenched intrests (both political and economic). The right’s dogmatic approach to science only adds to the trouble.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 28, 2012 7:52 PM
Comment #337349
why did you comment on a discussion between Warped Reality and me?

This is a public forum; it is inevitable that others will comment. That’s the entire point of Watchblog.

Regarding the origins of Global Warming theory:

I bid you to visit this page. Created by the American Institute of Physics, it is very informative and documents how mankind came to discover the Greenhouse Effect. During the 1820s, Joseph Fourier became the first person to postulate that there might be a connection between atmospheric gases and the Earth’s climate. The AIP site is packed with internal links to help one to become better informed.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 28, 2012 8:08 PM
Comment #337355

WR, I realize this is a public forum, but some people don’t seem to understand the difference between discussion and personal attacks.

I realize there have been studies made over the past couple of hundred years, but GW did not become prominent until the 1980’s. Am I skeptical, yes most certainly? It is scientists who are rewarded millions of dollars to continue the GW scare. It is politicians who are trying to pass laws that control people, infringe on rights, and give them control of trillions of dollars. Do I think that humans are capable of causing GW by using fossil fuels, No. When you consider the CO2 or other harmful gases released into the atmosphere by one major volcanic eruption, what mankind does pales in comparison. It is arrogance on the part of mankind to think he is able to change the climate by his lifestyle. For almost 200 years studies have been done, yet in the past 50 years we (in America) have improved the air and water; yet, in the past 30 years we hear a continuous cry from the left that the world is going to end and we’re all going to die., because of GW. Silly, isn’t it.

Posted by: GWS at February 28, 2012 9:29 PM
Comment #337357
GW did not become prominent until the 1980’s

It wasn’t until the 1980s when the scientific community ruled out all the other possible causes of global warming save for the anthropogenic.

When you consider the CO2 or other harmful gases released into the atmosphere by one major volcanic eruption, what mankind does pales in comparison.

Natural sources such as volcanism are paired with natural sinks such as sorption into the oceans. Humankind does not have the luxury of natural sinks so our contributions create an imbalance in the preexisting equilibrium. That’s not to say a natural sink cannot be found, but it might require significant changes that we’d rather do without.

Am I skeptical, yes most certainly? It is scientists who are rewarded millions of dollars to continue the GW scare. It is politicians who are trying to pass laws that control people, infringe on rights, and give them control of trillions of dollars.

I’d argue the contrary. Inaction on this issue will infringe on people’s rights and will put a small elite in control of trillions of dollars.

Also, if a scientist could demonstrate (with evidence) that Global Warming is nothing to be concerned about, I am certain millions of dollars would be rained down upon him/her. Such a discovery would probably indicate a serious flaw in our understanding of thermodynamics. The individual who discovered this would be immortalized by having his/her name affixed to a new set of laws of thermodynamics. Obviously, a Nobel Prize in physics would also be in the offering.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 28, 2012 10:09 PM
Comment #337369
we hear a continuous cry from the left that the world is going to end and we’re all going to die.

Just so you know, this is not a good summary of the adverse consequences of unrestrained global warming. The costs of climate change are monetary, The Stern Review estimated the costs to be about 5% to annual global GDP. If additional effects are accounted for, the figure rises to 20$ of annual global GDP.

Will we die? No. Will the world end? No. Will we waste trillions of dollars adapting to a warmer planet? Yes.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 28, 2012 10:17 PM
Comment #337436

GWS-
To call global warming a religion is both insulting to science and to religion; to science, because it trashes all the work people did to put it to the test, rather than take on faith; to religion, by using a meaning of that word that denigrates faith as mere errant superstition in an effort to rhetorically attack the validity of the science.

I am a Christian by choice who also believes they got their science right with Global Warming. I don’t have to take the different elements of this theory about the natural, material world at faith; I can study the science and come to understand what the issues were, what the tests and the models meant. Some of it may be too esoteric for my current level of experience, but unlike with a religion, the revelation of the mysteries need not wait until the afterlife.

Not that I denigrate the afterlife. I believe in it fully. I believe religion should be kept about the spiritual, about God. Like one person says, the bible is about how to go to heaven, not about how the heavens go.

Folks muddy the waters in hopes of recruiting people of faith to the ranks of deniers, but they’re really misleading them, and I think deliberately in many cases. You are not allowed to ignore the evidence in science. You are not allowed to maintain the null hypothesis, that is the idea that nothing strange is going on that merits a change of theory, if the data tells you something’s up.

Consensus isn’t everything in science, but it should not be ignored. Science is competitive. When people start agreeing on things, it means that those who thought they could disprove that theory have failed, and the theory put to the test has been accepted as valid and sound. Doesn’t mean it’s permanently so. It does mean, though, that to present serious objection, you have to demonstrate a major flaw, and then you have to present a case for what really is happening that itself survives scrutiny.

The notion that changes in climate are gradual doesn’t survive scrutiny. The notion that changes in CO2 levels doesn’t change air temperature doesn’t survive scrutiny. The notion that greater sunshine might be causing the warm up doesn’t survive scrutiny. There are many other explanations that could explain the warm up over the last 150 years, but while they are valid, there isn’t the sound evidence there to verify that they are indeed the primary mover of this change.

CO2, however, has been so verified. That it’s likely from a human source, via fossil fuels only we could dig up and burn in such amounts. We know this because the mix of isotopes in the CO2 is that of buried carbon, not stuff that’s been in the atmosphere lately.

There is a structure of scientific evidence that supports GW theory. There isn’t for the alternatives, because the alternatives are being suggested by people who don’t know the science, who really don’t care about using scientific methods, and who basically make their decisions about what is junk science and good science, based on what some political hack tells them. What they do is closer to what people did in the middle ages concerning science. It’s not the scientific process that has served mankind so well these past couple centuries.

By the way, consider that volcano: They release between 130 million and 440 million metric ton of co2 a year.

We release 35 BILLION metric tons a year. The volcanoes of the world are pikers compared to us.

A useful way to rationalize this result is to basically realize that we’re burning the organically captured carbon of hundreds of millions of years of life, and releasing it all in the space of a couple centuries.

As for improvements in the air and water? We wrote laws and created an enforcement agency to do that. If we hadn’t, well we’d be like China now, choking on its own pollution. It’s not simply something that happens. It’s something we have to work at, and unfortunately some have been taken in by special interests who don’t want to lose all the valuable money they’re getting from selling us carbon fuels.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 29, 2012 8:36 AM
Comment #337492

GWS,

“WR, I realize this is a public forum, but some people don’t seem to understand the difference between discussion and personal attacks.”

I will assume that this comment was directed at me. According to the “Rules of Participation”, personal attacks are not allowed here at WB.


“RM, I find your remarks to SD condesending and arrogant, “unsettles the less sophisticated among us”. Is it possible that you just stated that believers in the Bible are ignorant?”

No, it’s not.
I will assume you understand there still people that profess that the earth is flat, and that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax.

If you choose to be offended by my words, there isn’t much I can do about that.

“GW has been called the religion of the left by many people, including Dr. Richard Lindzen. I have to agree that GW appears to be a form of worship for the left.”

Of course, there is no arrogance involved in that statement.

Calling it a religion doesn’t make it so, and I would reiterate those who are calling it a religion are merely attemptting to belittle those who are open minded enough to accept the idea.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at March 1, 2012 10:19 AM
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