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View Diary: Obama zeroes in on myopic GOP energy plans and touts his own, but not one word about climate change (221 comments)

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  •  I read it. It's a lousy, short-sighted speech. (8+ / 0-)

    The gist is that we face an energy crisis because we're running out of fossil fuels and gas prices are through the roof... as though, if we just could find more petroleum, or figure out how to make it, our problems would go away. Drill baby drill.

    The President indeed talks a lot about green energy and sustainable fuels, for geopolitical reasons. As MB noted, not a word about the real crux: If climate chaos reaches the tipping point, civilization as we understand the term will become unsustainable. 50 cents a gallon gas and infinite reserves won't save us.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 04:08:33 PM PST

    •  Obama and his energy and environment team (7+ / 0-)

      do not accept the premise.  They are not seen standing with Jim Hansen and Al Gore because they do not believe in the concept of a tipping point or positive feedback driven runaway warming.  At least that is how I interpret the situation.

    •  How do you read "drill baby drill" into his speech (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, fcvaguy, Radical def, SaintC
      You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas.  And I’ll save you the suspense.  Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling.  (Laughter.)  We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President.  We hear the same thing every year.  We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.

      Well, the American people aren’t stupid.  They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling.  That’s a bumper sticker.  It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.  (Applause.)  That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.

      You know there are no quick fixes to this problem.  You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.

      •  So what is the plan? Fracking which this WH has (7+ / 0-)

        embraced along with all the threats to ground water? More nuclear energy, which this WH has also embraced? This was a geopolitical speech, of that there can be no doubt. For those of us truly concerned about life as we know it continuing, it hit far off the mark.

        Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry Truman

        by temptxan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 04:36:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, many of them are. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, skyounkin, priceman, joe shikspack
        Well, the American people aren’t stupid.
        But not really.  They're misinformed and disinformed which makes them appear to be stupid.  And that's very sad and hurts us all, at least the 99%.

        We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

        by gooderservice on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 04:41:00 PM PST

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        •  No. They're stupid. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kitebro, squarewheel

          'Low-information voters.'  Yeah, you could say that.  

          Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

          by Tuffie on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:19:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They are willfully misinformed (1+ / 0-)

          which makes them willfully stupid and ignorant.

          Then could learn the truth but choose not too because it's easier to call the president a socialist while turning on the latest episode of jersey shore.

          "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

          by skyounkin on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:37:51 PM PST

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        •  Public not so ill-informed... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dannyinla, denise b, bmcphail

          Photobucket

          And I would point out that this is from '09, and opinion has probly evolved in the positive, moar, since then.

          I would also point out that these views are Despite generations of full-on propaganda blitz, 24/7, on all channels of monopoly corporate fascist commercial mass media...which was ratcheted up to hysterical and draconian proportions for '08.

          And yet the masses stepped up and elected Obama and Democratic Majorities (such as they were, with all those remnant Blue Dog ilk in there), in response to an explicit rhetoric for justice and peace, to save the planet.

          Contempt for the masses will get us nowhere.

          It's all on us, to bring the better Democrats.

          All Out for the Primaries and November!

          Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

          by Radical def on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 07:29:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The implication of this speech is that we have (7+ / 0-)

        an energy problem because gas is too expensive and we're running out of it. That's a rightwing way to describe it; the Thugs' solution is "Drill baby drill."

        That was a throwaway line though, maybe unduly hyperbolic. I won't insist on it.

        The point of my comment was different: that nothing in this speech indicates that the President understands the nature of what is in store for America. I expected better from the man who vowed his administration would never let politics undermine science.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 04:41:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe this is just a social experiment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy

          in the way different people read a speech. You and MB and I probably all agree about the energy policy basics, but you read this Obama is implying that the energy problem is due to high gas prices.  I simply don't see that. Which means one of us is an idiot with poor reading skills (I'm sure that's not me and I'll trust it's not you) or that we read things differently based on our feelings about the president and his energy policy.

          I simply cannot infer that the a) the President "doesn't understand" the issue, mainly because I think he's a pretty smart guy. And b) I can't see where it's implicit that this is all because of high gas prices when he says that lower gas prices are "not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election."

          As for your slip into hyperbole, I of course agree.

          •  Mr. Obama touched several times on high gas prices (4+ / 0-)

            I don't think it's unfair to deduce that he wishes gas prices were lower and that petroleum remained plentiful.

            Now, there's no question that high gas prices impact the 99% disproportionately, or that that is an enormous social problem. I get that. Nor am I a saint; I drive a car, though not much. Here's the thing though:

            Ultimately, it doesn't matter. As Rich in PA said somewhere in these comments, we, humanity, face an existential problem. That, the impending tipping point of climate chaos, is why energy use is the most important issue any of us face.

            Nothing in this speech indicates that the President also understands that reality.

            Hopefully, he does, and he sees speeches like this merely as an election-year inevitability. We shall see.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:14:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree - we'll see (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, Radical def, bmcphail

              There's an informative article on gas prices at McClatchy today which is worth sharing:

              U.S. demand for oil and refined products — including gasoline — is down sharply from last year, so much that United States has actually become a net exporter of gasoline, unable to consume all that it makes.

              Yet oil and gasoline prices are surging.

              On Tuesday, oil rose past $106 a barrel and gasoline averaged $3.57 a gallon — thanks again in no small part to rampant financial speculation on top of fears of supply disruptions.

              http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

              I'm betting that Obama understands what's happening.
            •  Great comment, PhilJD! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, joanneleon, joe shikspack

              We are not saints, we are all compromised but that shouldn't stop us from wanting reform away from a fossil fuel economy.

              ❧To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:56:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I suspect it was purely a political decision (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe shikspack

              ..to omit impending climate chaos from the speech. It might affect polling numbers. And that's what's really important.

              The misinformation campaign by the deniers has been successful beyond belief.

              If liberals really "hated America" - We'd vote Republican

              by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 09:06:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Drill baby drill? (5+ / 0-)

          what's this?

          And we’ve opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration.  All told we plan to make available more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.

          Last week, we announced the next steps towards further energy exploration in the Arctic.  Earlier this week, we joined Mexico in an agreement that will make more than 1.5 million acres in the Gulf available for exploration and production, which contains an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:58:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  We can drill the speculators out to attain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack

        lower gas prices.

        We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

        by gooderservice on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 04:42:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Phil, this line: (0+ / 0-)

      'Civilization as we understand the term will become unsustainable' ... cannot and will never be uttered in a Presidential campaign.  Maybe it should be.  But simply never in a country where 70 million people thought McCain-Palin should be in the White House.

      Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

      by Tuffie on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:22:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Astounding, I thought what we heard in (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, joanneleon, joe shikspack

      the SOTU speech would be corrected by now. That scientists, environmentalists would have penetrated the WH bubble and stated that nuclear energy and fracking for natural gas were not clean energy. But today we hear it reiterated. No one got through the bubble.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 06:02:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think what you describe will occur... (0+ / 0-)

        ...Once EPA, Energy, FDA, et al are fully funded and staffed, and the Chamber of Commerce hacks that the Republicans have relentlessly stacked virtually all facets of government with over these many years, are substantially purged or marginalized.

        Then, I think it's likely that the appropriate agencies will put reports on Obama's desk, informing him that there's no such thing as "safe" nukes or "clean" coal, and that we must go green, all the way, immediately, to save the planet...and he will say "OK, let's do it".

        Because, in order for that to happen, we'll have sufficient progressive plurality in the House and Senate to crush Republican (and Blue Dog ilk) opposition, sabotage and treason, and to give the Prez the backup, or the jack up that he needs, to get 'er done.

        Meanwhile, as long as we are hostage to right wing majorities, the whole world is screwed.

        Bring the Better Democrats!

        All Out for the Primaries!

        Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

        by Radical def on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 07:44:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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