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Everybody’s Business

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Old 05-25-2008, 02:15 PM
swoon swoon is offline
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Everybody’s Business

Running Out of Fuel, but Not Out of Ideas

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/071126_PeakOil_dl-vertical.jpg
Ben Stein - The New York Times - May 25, 2008

Does it really make sense to replace one non-renewable energy source with more expensive and dirtier non-renewable sources? -- Ed.

AS I watch the drama about gasoline and oil prices play out on the streets and in the news media, some images and memories come to mind.

There is Will Rogers, the great sage and comedian, who famously commented during the Great Depression that America would be the first nation to “go to the poorhouse in an automobile.” This doesn’t sound comprehensible now, because driving a car is so basic to American life. But in those days, it was still something of a luxury and a novelty to have a car, and to drive it to the poorhouse was a contradiction in terms.

There are also scenes from the great “Mad Max” movies. In one of them, Australia has been reduced to chaos amid a cruel shortage of oil and gasoline. Men will kill in an instant for a few drops of precious gasoline to power their motorcycles, and life as we know it has stopped because of a deficiency of that magnificent stuff.

Most of all, the images are of the glory of driving cars, cruising through our towns and suburbs, just burning up gas… [Read More]
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:11 PM
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Xringer Xringer is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

This part hits home:
"If we keep acting as if the landscape were more important than human life, we will make ourselves the serfs of the oil producers and eventually reduce our country to poverty and anarchy."

----

It's hard just to get the rich folks to allow windfarms off the coast around here.
They will never allow offshore drilling for oil.

http://www.capewind.org/



http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pb...9/-1/SPECIAL01

Letting endangered bird species control our future will lead to 'us' becoming an endangered species.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:11 PM
IPlayTrumpets IPlayTrumpets is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

I gotta agree with Ben - we need to explore OUR sources of energy and reduce our dependency on Foreign Oil. I think energy independence is a bit more pressing than environmental concerns. If our economy is destroyed and we descend into chaos, nobody is going to care about the environment.......fix the dependency first, THEN worry about the environment. If we can take care of both at the same time, then that's great.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:38 PM
donee donee is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

Hi All,

Well the good thing about Ben's article is he is stressing that an extreme situation is around the corner without action.

Putting wind turbines in off-shore area is realtively benign compared to an Oil drilling rig. Think about about a hurricane going into Nantucket sound full of Oil platforms? Versus a bunch of bent over wind turbines on a shoal that has been there forever.

While I do not favor windfall profit taxes. I just cannot stomach freebee oil resources to refiners either. Which is in effect what happens with US Government Property Oil rights. Maybe it makes more economic sense for the Government to develop these resources and sell them on the market like others. And also be able to start putting oil in the strategic reserve again.

And, while on the topic, it seems like wind is also a resource, and off-shore areas are government property. And the US has a big deficit.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:51 PM
Arctic Fox Arctic Fox is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

It's good that the article realizes the problem, but the solutions...? The environment has always taken a back seat to the economy and probably always will. It's not hard to understand why it's this way (not claiming any perfectly pristine behaviour on my part, by any means), but it is very unfortunate. The more we harm it, the less we'll be able to fix it by throwing money and effort at it later. Wait too long and possibly no amount of trying will be able to restore it, not to mention that the damage will also harm the economy everyone is worried about. Human society doesn't exist in a bubble outside of nature. We're quite firmly in it and depend on it.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:58 PM
jimfromthefoothills jimfromthefoothills is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

Ben Stein is a Likudnik that doesn't give a crap about The US or Science. In Ben's world, god, not science will solve the energy problem.

Forget oil shale, tar sand, liquefied coal, ethanol and for now, hydrogen. Conservation and higher efficiency are our only hope at this point.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:59 PM
Squint Squint is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Fox View Post
It's good that the article realizes the problem, but the solutions...? The environment has always taken a back seat to the economy and probably always will. It's not hard to understand why it's this way (not claiming any perfectly pristine behaviour on my part, by any means), but it is very unfortunate. The more we harm it, the less we'll be able to fix it by throwing money and effort at it later. Wait too long and possibly no amount of trying will be able to restore it, not to mention that the damage will also harm the economy everyone is worried about. Human society doesn't exist in a bubble outside of nature. We're quite firmly in it and depend on it.
I agree. I don't see why the environment has to "take one for the team." It's not like we're choosing between survival and the environment. We're choosing between the environment and the bloated, unsustainable American lifestyle.

It's interesting that conservation gets almost no mention in the media. It's always drill, drill, drill.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:48 PM
lamebums lamebums is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

"If we keep acting as if the landscape were more important than human life, we will make ourselves the serfs of the oil producers and eventually reduce our country to poverty and anarchy."

This is the best thing I've heard in a long time. If we think the polar bears or the deer in an utterly uninhabitable area are more important than human beings, then we've got a serious problem.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:56 PM
Squint Squint is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamebums View Post
"If we keep acting as if the landscape were more important than human life, we will make ourselves the serfs of the oil producers and eventually reduce our country to poverty and anarchy."

This is the best thing I've heard in a long time. If we think the polar bears or the deer in an utterly uninhabitable area are more important than human beings, then we've got a serious problem.
They're more important than driving gas guzzlers.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:00 PM
lamebums lamebums is offline
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Re: Everybody’s Business

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squint View Post
They're more important than driving gas guzzlers.
I see what you're trying to say but you're never going to sell that idea to anyone, because a major part of living in a free country is the freedom to choose what you want to drive. If it's an enormous FSP that's never going to haul anything or go off-road, then it's your problem if it costs $100 to fill it up twice a week.

Unfortunately you can't sign into law specific limitations on vehicle size, targeting larger SUV's and pickups. The minute you do, where does the slippery slope end? When we're driving Yugos? If we're so hell-bent on reducing our carbon footprint that the economy collapsed and anarchy ensues? Then we've got much, much bigger problems to deal with than high gas prices.
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