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December 17, 2007

Comments

Election

Don't worry, the Rapture is near anyway! Unless you are a sinner, you've got nothing to fear. :-)

Dr Coles

60 percent of the U.S. is now under ice. Political propaganda is NOT science. UK court says Gore is a fraud. August 2007 Update: Man-made Catastrophic Global Warming Not True. Unfortunately, Hansen is a political hack of George Soros. Further, flawed NASA Global Warming data paid for by George Soros. In order to be an intelligent reader you must have a basic knowledge. Please do your own homework; a starting point http://www.InteliOrg.com/ Remember CONSENSUS is NEVER science it’s always a POLITICAL STATEMENT (a Party Line).

Solh Zendeh

"60 percent of the U.S. is now under ice". Errrr, what the heck are you talking about.

I'm not so concerned about global warming - peak oil is going to make a mess of things a lot sooner than global warming. But my wack-job-o-meter is ringing very loud when I visit your site.

Please, at least explain what you mean by your first sentence, or should we just ignore you like we ignore the other random non-somerville posters that drop in once in a while and post nonsense?

Imux

Good lord, Bill, I just shovelled another 1/2' of global warming yesterday!!! If global warming exists then can someone please crank more pollutants into the air as we need more of it to stop this cold and snow. The mounds of "global warming" all over the city is killing me.

Enough with this moonbat nonesense of global warming nonesense! Only morons believe it. Tell Al Gore to invent the Internet again.

Marc

Whether or not climate change is occurring, which scientists believe is, what is the matter with creating our own energy here in the United States? Bush claims that it will cost jobs and cost too much (all related to the oil and coal industry, which he is a championed representative of). Imagine the jobs created for designing new turbines and new materials for solar electricity. Imagine the jobs created for manufacturing these systems and the materials needed for their construction. Imagine the jobs created for the installation of such devices, and then maintaining them!

I do not see much loss there, and we could actually keep our money in this country instead of paying Saudi Arabia to drive our cars and heat our homes!

Let's take a conservative approach, save our money, and be a little cautious at how we treat the atmosphere we all breath and the climate which we can still enjoy. Why risk all that so Exxon Mobile can file another "record quarter"?

Bush should be tried for Crimes Against Humanity if/when the climate systems fail in the next twenty years.

Election

Anybody who really cares about national security would understand that most manufacturing and energy production operations HAVE to be within the nation borders.

Imux

Do you libaloons actually read what you write before you post or do you just let it fly?

Who is the libaloon, knucklehead who wrote this gem "Imagine the jobs created for designing new turbines and new materials for solar electricity."? What? Hey dude, spark another fattie and then come work on my perpetual motion machine. Hey man, we can all be like.... rich and get all the good looking chicks.

Did you sleep through your physics class? If we could convert to solar energy or to your new fangled perpetual turbine we would. We ain't there yet, so we need to protect the natural resources that keep our economy running. Those resources include oil, gas and coal. It is what it is.

And what's with all the hating on President Bush? We've won in Iraq (I know... I know... you leftwing traitors are bumming, but hey), economy is doing fine (unemployment at < 4.5%) and opportunitites are endless for Americans. All thanks to the GOP and Bush.

The only people that ought to be tried for crimes (sedition) are Michael Moore, George Saros, most of hollywood and you leftover hippies.

William Hurst

Why is being "green" so expensive? Being a home owner I want to install solar panels and use geothermal energy to heat and cool my house but who can afford it. The President was criticized recently by Ted Kennedy for not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions in the US. I know what you are thinking, how can Ted voice such an opinion when he refuses to allow the Cape wind farm project to go forward because it will spoil his view. If I could receive financial aid or have the above mentioned installed and pay back the government by way of a "0" percent interest loan I would do it.

Craig

I-hole: Your conservatard viewpoint seems to blind you to many facts and interesting tidbits, too. If for no other reason that the theory of "peak oil" (google it if you need to, we'll wait..... ok? alright, continuing), moving research dollars into fields of the next level of energy is a smart thing to do. Separate out greenhouse gas emissions, global warming (and I know that Sean Hannity confuses you, but "global warming" doesn't just mean it's always hotter) and thing of this nature and you still have solid arguments for investing in the future of energy.

Simple math: More people - finite resources = resources gone sooner rather than later.

Now that I've had my fun parroting my friend, to William Hurst: many states are looking to cut down the up-front cost of photovoltaic systems. At this point, like all things that are rare in a marketplace, the costs are high. If these became standard installation on all new construction, the costs would eventually go down (after a brief uptick as the market adjusts to create more of these systems) and finding installers/repair shops would get easier and cheaper, too. One suggestion? Provide funding for all schools in the commonwealth to install these systems. Energy is the number 2 expenditure for most school systems, after personnel. You reduce the long-term cost to the schools (free up money for actual book lernin') and you give a boost to the market, all on public buildings.

I heard it discussed before but don't think it went anywhere.

Imux

Craig, when did I ever say not to invest in alternative energy sources? I am the strongest advocate to alternative energy sources and am actively researching and investing some things myself.

My point is that this global warming craze is all BS and you moonbats on the left have run amuck creating laws, taxes, hysteria and other such nonesense that are just a distraction and prevent us from moving speedily to alternative sources. All the excess conservation laws, energy taxes and so on hinders people from being able to do a lot of the research that needs to be done. We need to get the gov't off our backs and you leftwing imbeciles keep adding new hurdles and taxes.

Global warming and the hysteria that geniuses like Al Gore (and his lib minions) created is a cottage industry on to itself now. That was bright on the left's part. Now it will be impossible to get progress as we're going to have to dismantle that moonbat,whining, pissing-moaning industry too.

Now do you get what I was saying? In the future, please try to keep up as we adults are trying to converse.

Imux

William, I think why you don't see 0% loans for improvements such as solar energy panels is that the technology is not ready for prime time. You have to let FREE MARKETS dictate things. When alternative energy sources are ready then the investment dollars will be enough that the technology will be affordable to all. We have to trust the market - it has worked wonders for America in the past.

I am not a big proponent of the gov't telling people what to do or in this case what energy they have to use. I don't even agree with the gov't legislating that we all need to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs from the standard incandescent lamps. I like the light put out from incandescent lamps much better.

What needs to be done - and what we are doing - is for us to secure all the resources (wherever they are) to maintain our way of life until the alternative energy technologies are ready. We need to invest heavily in these alternative energy sources at the same time, but we cannot sacrifice our standard of living for some overblown "global warming" craze. Let the markets bring the technology to the market at affordable rates. It will and is happening now.

Craig

Just like the market brought us seat belts in cars? I seem to remember the Big Three screaming that they'd be out of business if they were forced to include that safety measure. If we had waited for "the market" to do that, we'd still be flying out of windshields.

And if you really think there is a true "free market" out there, that's a lot of hot air (get it? global warming? hahaha). Markets have always been controlled, long before "liballoons" came around. Government can have a positive impact (ie: creating incentive for schools to purchase PV systems) without forcing anything on anyone. However, sometimes the market will not heed to basic safety measures (ie: seatbelts, food safety measures) because the incentive to not do anything is greater for the profit margin than doing something. Believe it or not, corporations aren't looking for a 30-year payout. They need, by law, to look to the next quarter, and under the current situation a company can even be sued by its shareholders for decreasing profits by doing the right thing. That's a fundamental change that needs to come about, but that's also a larger discussion than what we're having here.

And don't worry about us adults keeping up. Once I get through your childish tantrums, I can sometimes see a somewhat legitimate argument being made (for instance, fluorescent lights, while more energy efficient, are more toxic by far and probably a net energy loss when you factor in the cleanup of the mercury et al).

Solh Zendeh

Imux, the answer is that, as Craig said, the energy market is not presently a free market. Oil prices are subsidized by our military presence in foreign countries. In fact, you say as much:

"What needs to be done - and what we are doing - is for us to secure all the resources (wherever they are) to maintain our way of life..."

In order to have a real "free market", the cost of acquiring, processing and delivering the good/service *must* be factored into the cost paid by the consumer.

One way to do that would be an acquisition fee applied to imported oil. That money could go directly to subsidize the Pentagons purchase of oil for use in maintaining world order, or simply split up and refunded to every tax-filer yearly.

The consumers and manufacturers can only make *real* market-base decisions on which resource to use or invest in when the price signals truly reflect the cost. That is currently not possible, thus the free market solution you propose will not work.

cabbie

Just an expansion on Sohl and Craig's point that the free market isn't actually free. Within the last week the Senate attempted to remove tax breaks for oil companies and reallocate the money into research, development and tax breaks for new energy. Perhaps I'm the only one who heard that this bill was shot down when it came up 1 vote short? How is oil working in a free market when oil companies get tax breaks and do not pay the Government royalties on oil pulled out from publicly owned lands? If Exxon was drilling in your back yard wouldn't you expect to be paid? Well news flash. Exxon and others are drilling in your back yard (land owned by the US, as in us) and they're not paying us for the exploitation of those resources.

"Free market" my Aunt Fannie.

Election

Or when the few antitrust laws left are getting dismantled?

Imux

Wow. Sounds like my "friends" on the left here do not believe in free markets and want to blame all the ills of the world on American businesses? Yikes! Maybe a democrat will be elected president and he/she can work with the politburo (oops... democrtatic congress) on a 5 year plan to crush all evil capitalist pig businesses!

Imux

continued...

Sohl, I will address my response mostly to you as I think Craig hits the bong hard before he logs on and Election, well Election is off his/her rocker and not worthy of my responses.

First and foremost, if we did not protect ("subsidize") the resources needed for our economy to run then we would be a third world country in a short period of time. You can call it subsidizing, but I call it protecting our way of life. I want to reiterate that I am all for more investment in alternative energy sources, but should the government be the driving force for it? No. Let free enterprise create the technology.

Imux

continued...

When the technology is close to ready then venture capital money will flow into it and bring it into production. A lot of us that our pioneering and investing now in these new those technologies will get even rich(er). Until that day we need to continue to support fossil fuel based industries as our economy still depends on those to run.

Everyone needs to realize that even when an alternative energy source is ready there will be a long period of transition between the "old technology" and the new one. I believe we're at the beginning of that transition, but you can't just flip the switch overnight.

A quick reminder for you for the moonbats:
The business of America is business - Calvin Coolidge

Solh Zendeh

Imux, notice I am not advocating stopping the protection of those foreign oil resources - you and I agree 100% that without them, the US would very rapidly fall into a massive economic (and thus social) crack-up. Our way of life is completely dependent on a steady supply - really an *increasing* supply - of energy, most of which is currently in the form of oil.

We also agree that any transition from oil is going to take a while - the food, housing and transportation infrastructure we've built is not easily or cheaply converted to another fuel source.

What I don't agree with you on is that the users of the resource should not PAY the complete cost of acquisition, processing and delivery.

Currently, the cost of acquisition (and protection during delivery) is substantially paid for by our federal income tax going towards our armed forces. The US Navy essentially acts as a police force for the oil transportation sea lanes - that costs A LOT, and the price is not reflected in the cost of a barrel of oil.

Free markets *require* price signals in order to work. Currently those signals are hidden by massive public subsidies.

Again, I'm not saying stop getting the oil, simply that we pay an accurate price that reflects the capitol investment we've made, and continue to make.

Solh Zendeh

Note that when markets hide price signals, generally this is called a price cap. That is something that the soviet union tried. What eventually occurs when you do that is that you get shortages. If we continue to proceed with our stupid, stupid energy policies, I expect to see those shortages within a couple of years.

See you in the gas line!

Imux

Sohl, as an independent and a center-of-the-road guy politically, I would normally agree with you 110%. BUT... if the US Navy does not protect the sea lanes (they have to for all commerce anyway - not just oil) then - again - we'd be screwed by every tin-pot dictator or pirates. We're paying the taxes for the military, so we can project and protect US interests. It's a sunk cost - we are paying it anyway. Big oil may as well take advantage of it.

Imux

continued...
No one in their right mind would be a big fan of big oil, but to blame them for the current oil situation is ludicrous. I also disagree that oil is ready to run out soon. I think there is a ton of it left (off the coast of Brazil they just found a huge resevoir). If the tree huggers would allow us to pump where the oil is then we'd have plenty. Screw protecting the salamanders and other creatures and their habitats - let's just pump the damn oil. We need it. We can't afford tree hugging right now.

As a hedge against your dire prediction of oil shortages: I'm also thinking of digging a massive (deep) hole in my backyard. 10' X 8', but a for miles straight down. I may even go as deep as the outer core of the earth (my yard is small and I want lots of space). I'm then going to pump as much oil into that hole as I can. If there is a shortage, I'm just going to toss a pump on it and make some serious $$$$. Me (sitting in my underwear), my pump and my shotgun. Can you say - CHA-CHING!!!

Imux

I forgot to mention that to dig that deep hole in my backyard (I'm talking to the outer core), I plan to use the illegals from Foss park. No machinery. Just going to grab a couple of illegals and toss a shovel in their hands and say "DIG!!!".

See... I can be a kinder and gentler Imux.

plushtown

When glaciers melt/lighten, earthquakes previously suppressed occur. This is standard geology, yet not yet stressed by Gore, Grenpeace, Sierra Club, NY Times etc. There were earthquakes in West Greenland this summer for this reason, said UK Guardian in September, ist on record, 1-3 on Richter so far, also rain at North Pole said UK/Independent in Sptember article about unprecendented 22 degrees celsius in Greenland last July(usually 5 degrees). For more google "global warming policy is not complicated" and/or "plushtown" or "furry logick". Last is cartoons of bloviating stuffed animals , mostly from Davis Square's excellent Goodwill.

Solh Zendeh

The Military is both a sunk and continuing cost. The continuing and future cost of deploying it to oil rich countries should be applied to the cost of that oil. That is just the way a free market *must* work or it is not a free market. Hey, you are the one that brought in the free market into this conversation. If you want to "wait for the free market to work", you first have to have a free market.

I'm not blaming anyone for our situation, (though I could...), I'm simply telling you that a free market requires price signals. If you don't want a free market, then you want something like the USSR - no thanks! Again, price caps work for a while, but eventually you have shortages - NOT because you run out, but because demand exceeds supply.

Your idea for a giant hole describes *exactly* what Russia is doing - they are taking charge because they've got plenty of oil to sell in a very tight market.

Last, peak oil in no way implies we are "running out" of oil. We've got about half to go. Peak oil simply means that if supply of oil in an individual well per year follows a bell curve (it does), then the global supply also follows a bell curve. The bell curve for the US peaked in the 70s (you remember those good times), and the we are at the peak of that bell curve globally now. Not a big deal unless your whole economy absolutely assumes that the supply will continue to increase *and* that the price signals that would normally allow businesses and consumers to make rational choices are hidden by subsidies and price caps.

What you have then is a recipe for gas lines, inflation, and civil unrest.

Can I borrow your shotgun?

John Seebeth

Nice article Bill. In August, 2006, I gave a power-point-presentation at the Veterans For Peace National Convention titled, "A World of Hurt or Hope: The National Security Implications of Global warming/ Abrupt Climate Change.

Check it out. Here is the link: http://noboxthinking.com/hurthope/

best of luck to all

John Seebeth

Came across this report over at the RealClimate blog, thought of you Bill...

"A new report called The Age of Consequences, just released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for a New American Security, tries to bring the social sciences, in particular history, geography, and political science, into the forecast of climate change in the coming century. It makes for fascinating if frightening reading.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/the-forecast-in-the-streets/#more-518

Bill Shelton

Yes, John, this does look fascinating. I'll give it a read.

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