Energy everywhere

The announcement of a massive natural gas field off the coast of Egypt is just one more example of the phenomenal availability of energy. Just a few years ago, we talked about peak oil and thought that natural gas would be mostly exhausted by now. We massively transcended the energy crisis of the 1970s. We have new challenges, but it is good to be rich.

I have written about this wonderful development before. Up and coming are various forms of renewable energy. The future is bright. Natural gas is a great bridge to renewable power. It is the cleanest of the fossil fuels and often replaces coal in power generation.

Life is good. I worried about the future when I was a young man in the 1970s. The crazies told us that we would run out of energy. We had a dark and cold future, they said. They told us we would run out of metals and minerals. Forests were supposed to be dead by now and wildlife a thing of the past. The overpopulation was supposed to make the world almost unlivable and the free market was predicted to have collapsed long before now. Horrible science fiction movies depicted the wonderful world we now enjoy, the future to them, as dystopias filled with violence, pollution and hopelessness.

Compared to what I was told we would get, we really did great. Congratulations to all of us who contributed in ways great and small to this happy - and unexpected - outcome.

The world is a much better place than it was when I graduated HS and very much better than us poor young people were led to believe. I assume today's doomsayers are as full of crap as those of my youth.

Posted by Christine & John at September 2, 2015 8:20 PM
Comment #398151

We are lucky, that is great. But, there’s no lesson to be learned. We will never be able to depend on being so lucky in the future.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 2, 2015 9:01 PM
Comment #398152


Actually, we were not only lucky. Lots of really good thought and adaption went into this, much of it due to the decentralized decision making and incentives of the free market. We did well. Yea, USA.

Posted by: C&J at September 2, 2015 9:21 PM
Comment #398157

It’s not just a boon from natural gas. The price of oil has dropped. Recently it went below $40 before climbing back up to $47 or so as of this morning. It may go back into the $30’s, thanks to the Iranian deal on nuclear non-proliferation.

BTW, it turns out Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China met with a dozen US Senators and informed them it was this deal or no deal, it was the best one that could be made, and there would be no future sanctions if this fell through. It is simply incredible any US Senators would be so partisan as to reject our allies and negotiating partners so publicly.

Back to energy- Obama won a big victory with the Iranian deal, but he missed a bet on the Keystone Pipeline. He should have traded it for something he really wanted. The Pipeline is useless at these prices. He could have obtained something by of great value by trading a pipeline of no value. It would have been a practical success for Obama, but it meant granting the opposition a short-lived political victory. I think that was a mistake on Obama’s part. He should have taken advantage of the GOP.

Another huge development is with the introduction of the Tesla SUV. Consumer Reports gave the highest rating of any vehicle ever. On a scale of 1 - 100, they gave it a 103. They said the electric SUV “broke” their ratings system. In the short run, only early adapters will pay the steep price, but when the price comes down it will make the current ‘yank tank’ behemoths into museum pieces.

Posted by: phx8 at September 3, 2015 1:12 PM
Comment #398163

I saw a recharging station the other day. It was the first I’ve seen. It was in the corner of a parking lot. There was only room for 2 automobiles at this station.

Your comment got me to think about how long it would take to charge up a car from 0 to full charge, as there were only 2 spaces. I’ve heard they could be charged almost instantaneously. Also, I wondered if the technology that allows a user to place their phone on a pad to be recharged could be used to charge cars just by parking over these “pads”.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 3, 2015 2:36 PM
Comment #398164

“Obama won a big victory with the Iranian deal…”

“… it was this deal or no deal, it was the best one that could be made…”

For the Left, defeat resembles victory.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 3, 2015 2:37 PM
Comment #398166

““… it was this deal or no deal, it was the best one that could be made…”

For the Left, defeat resembles victory.”

If that is true for the Left, it must also be true for Britain, France, Germany Russia, and China. It must also be true for all 15 members of the UN Security Council, who unanimously approved the deal, and for almost every country in the world, because nearly every country approved of this. The two previous heads of the Israeli Mossad.

Notice the political competence of the Obama administration versus the political incompetence of conservatives who opposed it? Conservatives came out all at once, then made over-the-top and exaggerated denouncements. Senator Cotton sent a letter to the Iranian mullahs telling them not to trust the Obama administration- the infamous 47 traitors letter. GOP presidential candidates compared the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to ‘marching Israelis to the door of the over,’ and so on. It was an almost purely emotional appeal that relied on hyperbole, with no one leading the charge.

Democrats made a careful, reasoned argument for it. Almost daily, nuclear arms experts were put out to show their support for it. There was little emotion to the appeal. Instead of everyone announcing at once, Democrats had a group of Senators announce their support, then one at a time, day by day, other individual Senators came out in favor. It helped control the airwaves through a methodical, drip-drip-drip presentation. Democratic leaders, led by Obama and Kerry, made speeches to also help control the process.

Most people don’t notice this kind of thing, but it really was a masterful exercise in practical politics and leadership- a ‘how to’ example of following a plan and coordinating in order to get something done.

With Tesla, there are recharging stations for the home, and there are also public supercharger stations. There are also recharging stations for other makes of electric vehicles at places like the public library. I don’t know if all stations serve all types of electric cars.

A full charge at a supercharger station for TESLA takes about 20 minutes and provides a 200 mile range.

What makes the new Tesla SUV so remarkable is not only its technological superiority, or the cool factor of gull wing doors, but the fact that it is so fast! It is the fastest SUV ever produced: 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, top speed 155 mph. It really is kind of fun to be around to see something so revolutionary happen to transportation.

Posted by: phx8 at September 3, 2015 2:57 PM
Comment #398167

Yup…almost the entire world defeated by Iran.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 3, 2015 3:03 PM
Comment #398169

I can’t wait until Iran convinces those countries to switch to another currency.

phx8, what you’re describing, as far as the handling of the Iran deal, sounds like a propaganda campaign more than it does support for a good deal. A good deal speaks for itself. Having Iran inspect themselves doesn’t sound like a good deal. Trust they are honest? That doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

I don’t find it outside the pail if the media made those opposed to the deal look to be disorganized, unguided, and uninformed. I also find it plausible the media could make the Democratics look like the pillar of right and moral in this instance. It’s not like they haven’t done it before. They’re really quite good at it.

It takes quite a hammer to break through the shield the media puts up around the Democratic party. This is propaganda 101 to them. I saw it coming when the media started saying it was a done deal. That code speak for “Damn the voters, full speed ahead!

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 3, 2015 6:15 PM
Comment #398170

Sounds like the opposite of the way Democrats were for invading Iraq, they were for it before they were against it, not it’s they were against before they were for it for the Iran deal.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 3, 2015 6:36 PM
Comment #398171

“Having Iran inspect themselves doesn’t sound like a good deal.”

Fake story. Does that even sound plausible? Come on. Use a little common sense. The AP initially put out that story, and since then they’ve been busted by a number of organization and tried to walk it back.

Posted by: phx8 at September 3, 2015 6:37 PM
Comment #398172

phx8 insists the deal with Iran was the best WE could get.

Think about this and then one will understand why a bad deal is being hailed as victory. We are being led by sheer incompetence…or worse. Leading democrats acknowledge that funds being released to Iran will sponsor more terrorism.

This deal is considered a victory?

Will there be victory parades down the main streets of American cities?

Will our children read about the great victory achieved by America and remember it when the terrorism sponsored by Iran reaches our shores in ever greater outrages of death and destruction?

Will phx8 proudly tell his children and grandchildren why they must suffer for a supposed victory?

I am nauseated by the willingness of some Americans to accept defeat simply for party allegiance or to promote a selfish agenda of aggrandizement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 3, 2015 6:59 PM
Comment #398173

obama and Kerry tell us that without this Iranian deal, the Iranians would have nuclear weapons within a short period of time.

Assume that is true. What would a president and SecState with a spine, and a care about American security and world peace, do?

I submit that with American resolve our allies would rally to our cause. Together, we could exert enough pressure, and cause Iran enough pain that an actual victorious deal could have been attained. China and Russia are subject to world opinion. A president desiring to honor his oath to “protect and defend” could have successfully presented peaceful alternatives the world would accept. Instead, we caved and our allies caved.

As the God Father would have said…”We could have offered them a deal they couldn’t refuse.”

The victory parades are being held in Iranian cities, not ours. Terrorism around the world has been encouraged and funded by the sheer ineptness of American leaders.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 3, 2015 7:36 PM
Comment #398175

One could say we don’t need to worry about it. Iran will get the bomb at the some point. Then the US, or Israel could decide what to do about it.

But, making the right decision does have bigtime consequences. Had the WH left 50k troops in Iraq we wouldn’t have ISIS stomping their feet through Africa and the ME. Wouldn’t have the biggest movement of immigrants since WWII taking place.

And, it’s my perception that had the President not taken the position that he ‘could be more flexible after the election’ we would not have Russia camping out in Ukraine and joint China/Russia naval ops going on in the artic region, and so on - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at September 3, 2015 8:00 PM
Comment #398176

Arguing whether the Iran deal is “good deal” or a “great deal” is stupid. Nobody’s crystal ball can tell us what will happen. Time will tell whether Iran develops a nuclear weapon it doesn’t. Let’s wait and see.

What is clear is that this deal is the best one the US could have gotten after having our hands forced by not only Russia & China, but Europe as well. As I wrote a month ago, the deal is really the lesser of 3 evil options.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 3, 2015 8:16 PM
Comment #398177

That shows some poor leadership, Warren Porter.

Let’s take a look at the deal we made with North Korea to provide them with a nuclear reactor and what eventually happened. We basically handed North Korea the bomb!

Based on past experience with Democratics negotiating nuclear agreements, Iran will have a bomb. Saying they will eventually have it and we’re postponing it is the same as saying Obama saved millions of jobs that otherwise would have been lost.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 3, 2015 8:46 PM
Comment #398178

Re energy and optimism, the world is much better today in most things than it was in 1975. Energy is maybe the biggest plus.

Re Iran - Obama gave away the shop but it might yet work out. The Iranians are a wasting power, i.e. their power and inclination to use it against our interests is waning. They have a low birthrate now. This will make them less aggressive in the long run. The abundance of natural gas and oil, as well as the promise of renewables, devalues their energy power.

Iran was an American ally and a British ally before that. Iran occupies a natural power area, a center since ancient times. Absent the horrible ideology of the Islamic Republic, Iran is an establishment power. In ten years, Iranians may have come back to their senses and Obama’s bad deal may be overtaken by events.

Posted by: C&J at September 3, 2015 9:15 PM
Comment #398179
Let’s take a look at the deal we made with North Korea to provide them with a nuclear reactor and what eventually happened. We basically handed North Korea the bomb!

North Korea left the NPT which meant it was not subject to monitoring by the IAEA like Iran will be.

Regardless, you are right that the Yongbyon heavy water reactor was integral to North Korean atmoic weapon program. Iran already has a heavy water reactor in Arak. Under the terms of this agreement, that reactor will be dismantled.

Based on past experience with Democratics negotiating nuclear agreements, Iran will have a bomb.

How many rogue states have developed nuclear weapons during Democratic administrations? Zero. How many have done so during Republican ones? One. I think Democrats have a pretty good track record regarding nuclear nonproliferation.

Saying they will eventually have it.
Deal proponents are not saying “Iran will eventually have it”. If you want to argue semantics, nothing will fully 100% guarantee that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons apart from a full-scale ground invasion and occupation. Otherwise, I am confident the deal postpones the Iranian nuclear weapon program long enough for a change in the regime’s anti-American and Anti-Zionistic policies to become a real possibility. Posted by: Warren Porter at September 3, 2015 9:32 PM
Comment #398180

This is history repeating itself. When Iran gets the nuke it will probably be on a Republican’s watch. Wouldn’t want the Democratics to look bad, now would we?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 3, 2015 10:15 PM
Comment #398181

You are probably right. The next Republican President will likely cause the agreement to disintegrate and with it our last hope of preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 3, 2015 10:39 PM
Comment #398182

Warren, If you think this agreement will prevent Iran from getting a Nuke, think again. There is nothing now or in the future that will prevent Iran from getting what it wants, to think otherwise is pure stupidity.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 3, 2015 11:26 PM
Comment #398183

What would the Democratics do without a Republican party for a whipping boy? If the media can’t paint it as clean as the wind-driven snow there’s always a way to pin it on the whipping boy.

Clinton gave North Korea a nuclear reactor and George W. Bush gets blamed for it 20 years later.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 3, 2015 11:53 PM
Comment #398184

Did you see that video of North Korea from space? Did you see that little tiny speck of light in the video? It was a nuke going off, all compliments of the Democratic’s worthless ability at negotiations.

The Democratic party can’t blame that on their boogie man, then or now.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 3, 2015 11:59 PM
Comment #398185
Will there be victory parades down the main streets of American cities?

Royal such a foolish comparison even for conservatives. Since when do we have victory parades down mains streets for nuclear treaties? Why would you think this one would be different, have you completely lost your reasoning ability, has the hatred for Obama got the best of you?

You seem to set the bar real high for Obama but when the cowboy diplomacy of GWB had him standing on a ship telling us victory was achieved did your hometown have a victory parade?

Re Iran - Obama gave away the shop but it might yet work out.

C&J what are you doing trying to out do Royal for the ignorant comments award or something. I suppose you guys know so much better and the Russians, Chinese, French English German and US don’t!

You guys had your turn at the plate you sold weapons to Iran, then you lied the nation into a war with cowboy diplomacy and we are billions poorer as a result and Iran is more powerful because of it. Yet your team of losers try to convince the country, for political gain come election time, that this treaty is bogus.

What a sick bunch of narcissist conservatives have become. From Traitor Tom to those foolish enough to expect parades over foreign policy conservatism and the movement followers are morally bankrupt.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 4, 2015 1:59 AM
Comment #398187
Clinton gave North Korea a nuclear reactor.

Did he? I thought the Yongbyon reactor was constructed by the USSR many decades ago. The Magnox reactor was shut down in 1994 and remained that way until it was reactivated in 2003 as a result of the Bush administration’s incompetence. They violated the 1994 agreement with bellicose rhetoric resulting in North Korea’s departure from the NPT.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 4, 2015 7:45 AM
Comment #398188


The Russians and Chinese were on the side of the Iranians. Others hope to sell Iranian products. IMO, Obama wants this as part of his legacy and is gambling that Iranian civilization will catch up before they become dangerous. He is probably right. But we did give away a lot on this throw of the dice.

Re “you guys” - I do not see the world in the binary partisan fashion that you do. My only binary view is whether or not it is good for America going forward. It does not make sense to use errors made thirty years ago to justify making similar ones today. In fact, it might have been a good idea to learn from them. You can learn from your own mistakes, but it is a less painful strategy to try to learn from those of others.

Posted by: C&J at September 4, 2015 9:51 AM
Comment #398189


I should also say that in the geopolitical game, Obama has a card that other presidents have not been able to play - energy. Fracking has changed the energy equation and so has changed the Middle East dynamic. We are in a much stronger position than we were ten years ago, but we seem not to notice.

Posted by: C&J at September 4, 2015 10:00 AM
Comment #398192

The point C&J, regarding the mistakes from the past, is who made them who believed them to be right at the time and why these same people have lost credibility when it comes to foreign policy.

Lets face it C&J only Tel Aviv Tom, Cheney and his band of neocons, whose cowboy diplomacy lead us into Iraq hunting for WMD’s, and their followers are swallowing the lines you guys espouse. If only Cheney or Trump were negotiating then the Russians Chinese French English Iranians and the world would have kowtowed to us. What a laugh you guys are. Yet you are serious. Hence the “What a sick bunch of narcissist conservatives have become”. You guys screwed the pooch then blather like idiots when Obama swings the bat.

Bought and paid for by the Israelis, accepting bribes in return for stirring the pot on this issue. That is morally bankrupt in my book.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 4, 2015 10:58 AM
Comment #398194


Most people’s careers last about 30 years. Nobody who was a significant decision maker in 1985 is in power today. Beyond that, we learn lessons from mistakes.

Consider the end of WWI. The powers made a disastrous peace with Germany. We Americans were among those who let it happen. After WWII, many of the “same” people were in on the peace. They had learned some lessons and the post-WWII arrangements were among the wisest in world history.

You imply that it was a bad idea to deal with the Iranians in the 1980s. You say that this caused a loss of credibility. Okay. Now we are dealing with the Iranians again. The lesson of the 1980s was that you cannot trust Iranians with lots of caveats. How do you argue now that it has become a good idea?

Posted by: C&J at September 4, 2015 12:20 PM
Comment #398196

Sanctions worked and the fires of Revolution have dimmed for most Iranians. The invasion of Iraq strengthened the Iranians, and now that they are out of their box and now that they basically own Iraq (excepting Kurdistan and Sunni ISIS territory), we need their help to combat the Sunni extremism created by our invasion of Iraq and the failure of our occupation.

Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2015 3:07 PM
Comment #398211
North Korea cheated continuously, and became a nuclear power in 2006.

My understanding is that North Korea did not violate the agreement until the 2000s as a response to the bellicosity of the Bush administration.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 5, 2015 6:41 PM
Comment #398219

You’re trying to tell me North Korea went from a completely benign country to a nuclear power in 6 years?!

That’s quite an accomplishment for a country who can’t even provide electricity.

I think you’re believing what you want to believe, and facts be damned, Warren Porter.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 6, 2015 1:57 AM
Comment #398230
a completely benign country

Did I say benign? Do not put words in my mouth Willie. Here is what I wrote:

North Korea did not violate the agreement until the 2000s

Cite whatever source you choose. You won’t find any evidence that North Korea violated the framework before Clinton left office.

Did the PDRK cease its aggressive stance against its neighbors? Certainly not, which can be evidenced by the testing of long range missiles in provocative manners including launching one over Japan and into the Pacific in 1998. But the fact remains that the framework halted North Korea’s development of a plutonium based nuclear weapon until the early 2000s when the Bush administration blew up our last hope of a nuclear free Korea. To them, winning an applause at the SOTU for the “axis of evil” label was more important than protecting American interests abroad.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 6, 2015 7:20 PM
Comment #398231
That’s quite an accomplishment for a country who can’t even provide electricity.

On the contrary, the elite of North Korea in Pyongyang live quite comfortable lives. Sure this is done at the expense of millions of their suffering countrymen, but that is how the regime operates. With a centrally planned economy, the PDRK government has control over nearly all of North Korea’s $20 billion GDP, there’s more than enough money in there to develop a nuclear weapon. The Manhattan project in 2007 dollars cost $23 billion over the course of its 6 year run. Investing just a quarter of its GDP would allow North Korea to replicate the effort. Of course, the task was much easier (and cheaper) for the North Koreans than it was for J. Robert Oppenheimer as the former could build off of a half century’s prior research and knowledge whereas the latter did everything from scratch. Also, the North Koreans did not begin from scratch in the early 2000s, they already had operated a functional reactor and produced a significant quantity of plutonium before the 1994 framework came into being.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 6, 2015 7:35 PM
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