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Please begin with an informative title:

Mark Engler writes, Gas Is Really Costing Us About $15 a Gallon:

In August 1987, The New York Times published an editorial with the bold title, "The Real Cost of Gas: $5 a Gallon." Given that, at the time, you could commonly fill up for 99 cents per gallon, and that even the energy crises of the 1970s did not push gas prices above $1.50 per gallon, $5-a-gallon gas was pretty much unimaginable. Yet the Times editorial stated that, "in light of the administration's willingness to risk lives and dollars in the defense of oil from the Persian Gulf… the real cost of oil should include the cost of the military forces protecting supplies." It argued for an energy policy that accounted for Pentagon expenditures.

Two Gulf wars later, an array of reports from both liberal and conservative sources suggest that $5 per gallon is anything but an outlandish estimate for the true cost of gas. It could, in fact, be far too low.

Taking military spending into account would only be a start toward reckoning with what we really pay for oil. But since the military takes up a massive part of our national budget, it would be a good start.

Anita Dancs, an economist with the Center for Popular Economics, notes that "energy security, according to national security documents, is a vital national interest and has been incorporated into military objectives and strategies for more than half a century." After breaking down the overall military budget and evaluating specific missions, she concludes that "we will pay $90 billion this year to secure oil. If spending on the Iraq War is included, the total rises to $166 billion." That would already add 56 cents to every gallon of gas we buy.

• • • • •

Green diary rescue appears Sundays and Thursdays in this time slot. Inclusion of a particular diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement with it. The rescue begins below and continues in the jump.

PhotobucketWind Farms Gain Today in New Jersey, SpamNunn announced:

The 7.5-megawatt (MW) Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm is the first wind farm to be built in New Jersey, and the first coastal wind farm in the United States. The wind farm is located in Atlantic County, NJ and is visible to more than 30 million Atlantic City visitors each year from downtown Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Expressway. The project produces approximately 19 million kilowatt-hours of emission-free electricity per year, which is enough emission-free energy to power over 2,000 homes.
• • • • •

Please sign our petition to returning Democratic Senators and all Democratic Senate candidates urging them to end the filibuster with a simple majority vote on the first day it is in session in 2011.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Yet another photo diary from Haole in Hawaii on Big Kittehs & Wild Woozles: "One morning we are excited to see three African Wild Dogs on patrol.  Our guide says they are from a small pack of only four adult animals.  The alpha female is back at a temporary den with some puppies and these three, the alpha male, another male and one female are out hunting. In profile they look a little like a German Shepard, when you can't see they have big round Mickey Mouse ears.  They are actually the only species in their genus Lycaon.  They are Lycaon pictus, the painted wolf."

Pakistan Floods

With her usual elegiac style and compassion in the Eco-Justice series, boatsie took on  the human face of climate change: "'Life was already so difficult, but now we're doomed.' Abdul Ghani, 14, from the remote village of Karampur, Pakistan is the eldest of seven orphaned siblings.'"

LaughingPlanet wrote two diaries about the world's current worst disaster, Pakistan still needs help; lots of it. Floods displace 20+ Million: "This is getting worse before it gets better. Please open your hearts, minds, and wallets to the people of Pakistan during what has become a time of the most urgent need in this country's history." And Pakistan today: Worse than ever: "Imagine if all of New York City was made homeless from floods. A third are starving. Now double that number & don't talk about it."

GlowNZ pleaded Please Help: "These people are our brothers and sisters, they need our help.  Screw the politics, screw the religion…this is a call to our shared humanity, our sense of right and compassion."

tubacat wondered Can you imagine 1/5 of the US covered in water?: "That's the situation in Pakistan right now - at least 1/5 of the country is underwater. Will we come through for Pakistan the way we did for Haiti? Not comparing disasters here, but Dkos has been so generous in the past, and the situation in Pakistan is unbelievably dire. Can we make the life-or-death needs of the Pakistani people a daily topic here?"

Climate Change

Stranded Wind discussed Climate Dominoes: "Already our Pentagon, driven by profiteering defense contractors, has begun to apply the rhetorical devices of the Cold War to describe the consequences of climate change. See my clever title? Yes, indeed, we need to expand defense spending to be ready for the War On Climate Change(tm). Or we can extract our heads from our hindquarters and come up with a rational response."

Energy & Transportation

David E Cozad pointed out that Without Water, No Power: "Coal, oil, natural gas, wind, solar, and hydroelectric: which of these require a steady supply of water? The answer is 'All but wind and solar.' And if we don't grasp just exactly what that means and start making the right moves we will be in a world of hurt in fairly short order."

Ellinorianne explored the prospect of OPEC and Low Oil Prices, "Raising the entry barrier for alternative fuels": "I think he makes an interesting point that ties together with the fact that our Government so heavily subsidizes energy costs that many Americans don't pay the true cost for Gas.  In a piece just this week, Mark Engler argues that Gas Is Really Costing Us About $15 a Gallon. These are the costs we do not pay out of pocket, but we pay them when our environment is harmed, health care from pollution, etc.  It's the indirect costs of dirty energy, the dirty energy that oil companies would prefer that we remain dependent on even if it means the ultimate destruction of our very planet because it's profitable for a very few."

Thunderthief offered Some thoughts on offshore drilling: "In the long run, however, the choice between wildlife preserve and ocean will ultimately disappear, once scarcity and the inevitable depletion of existing oilfields has driven the cost of oil up and availability down. The situation will change from an either/or decision to a both/and situation, in which the US is forced by economic necessity to drill everywhere there is oil, regardless of the increasing costs to extract it."

The Reign of King Coal is Ending wrote Bruce Nilles: "Contrary to the impression you may have been left with after reading a recent Associated Press piece about the future (or lack thereof) of coal in this country, the reign of 'King Coal' is ending."

NeoOphelia explored the trouble with Petrol Poison: "Ken Salazar's high school alma mater has an oil problem.  However, this isn't the fault of our Secretary of the Interior--not even a little bit. One conceivably could blame the problem on his brother Leroy, who was president of the North Conejos School Board for many years, but only if one holds Leroy accountable for problems which came to light after his tenure as president, which wouldn't be quite fair. … The oil problem at Centauri High School in south-central Colorado is caused by a daily contamination of the school hallways by diesel exhaust.  Centauri has long made a practice of queuing up their six diesel-fueled buses in front of the school--about 10 feet or so away from two single doors which open directly into the main classroom hallways."

Agriculture, Food & Gardening

In another installment of Macca's Meatless Monday, beach babe in fl found herself sitting on a Cornflake: "In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: food safety , animal rights, better health, global food crisis, frugal living and the immense contribution of meat production to climate change/depletion of resources."

futurebird told us about Tiny Blue Flowers: "It's hard to grow things in NYC. But not as hard as one might think. For two summers I have been growing all kinds of plants on the roof of our building. Sugar peas, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries. I don't plant many flowers since I like to grow things I can eat. But I do have one pot filled with tiny little blue flowers. They are the 2nd generation of plants that grew from seeds given to us at a good friend's wedding two years ago."

Frankenoid was on hand for another Saturday Morning Garden Blogging After Hours.
And TheFatLadySings posted Part 2 in Urban Composting: "In the Urban Composting, Part 1, I provided a 'how-to' guide for would be composters. In this diary, I will provide instructions for making the compost catalyzer along with discussion of other potential uses such as the treatment of sewage."

There were two diaries by NourishingthePlanet: Turning Agriculture into Gold: "In 2007, CNFA, a non-profit organization that emphasizes access to the private sector as a means of improving livelihoods and creating economic growth, and its Kenya affiliate, Agriculture Market Development Trust (AGMARK), set out to help miners develop new skills and improve their livelihoods"; and A global reason to eat locally.

Round-ups, Wrap-ups & Digests

eKos: "Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is Growing in a Warmer World"; eKos Earthship Monday: "Speaking of Renewable energy, Science magazine has a feature, Special Section: Scaling Up Alternative Energy that is available to non-subscribers until the end of the month."

eKos: Chaos is the new Normal {Earthship Wednesday}: "Yeah, so far 2010 is the year of mega-disasters. Jan 10: Haiti quake;
April 20: BP's Big Problem; Jul 30: Russian wildfires;
Jul 31: Pakistan's floods. At least 3 of those things can be chalked up to our fossil foolish bender last century."

Eco-Action, Eco-Policy & Eco-Philosophy

In EcoAdvocates, I presented A green model in the Gulf: "This year’s disaster along the Gulf Coast offers us another flex moment. But we can easily ignore this one, too, if we don’t wise up. And you can already taste that unwise attitude in the air. The attitude which says that the roiling gush of oil into the Gulf will probably never spew from that particular well again so we can just do a little more work with the mops and get back to business as usual. Whew!" Aji provided extensive links to Pakistan help sites.

sparkysmom wondered whether OSHA is caving to Sea World?: "Will OSHA do their job? Let’s be clear, OSHA is the government agency that is supposed to protect workers in their workplace. If Sea World is not penalized and forced to change their practices, aren’t they complicit in the next death or injury that will surely occur?"

howardfromUSA also wrote about this in Alan Grayson bows down to SeaWorld.

Green Communities & Green Economies

In another of the Village Green serie, Kaid at NRDC wrote about the Top 20 Urban Planning Successes of All Time:  "A fascinating post just appeared on the Public Servant Blog: 'The top 20 urban planning successes of all time.' No. 17 is Taos, Pueblo, New Mexico: Possibly one of the earliest high-rise towns, this area has been home to Native Americans since at least the 1500s, and the multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. As a place, it is unique in being so old, still true-to-form and environmentally appropriate."

Rainy Day had some words about Walkability and Quality of Life: "Our kids enjoy a tremendous quality of life because 'life' is within walking distance.  I know Atrios belabors this point endlessly.  But, as a parent, I can say that you want to pick a residence that is either (a) within walking distance to action, and/or (b) close to mass transit that will take you to action.  Otherwise, you're choosing for yourself and your children a life of house/vehicle arrest -- unnecessarily stuck in confined spaces for lengthy periods of time."

MattZellerNY29 answered the question, What's Really Holding Up the Green Economy?: "Clean energy jobs are our nation’s future, and earlier this month, I had the chance to visit a local business here outside Rochester that is ready to start creating hundreds of new jobs - but they're being held up by banks that won't lend to small entrepreneurs."


Mike Nellis announced that in the North Caroline Senate race, the League of Conservation Voters are backing Elaine Marshall: "From their announcement press release: LCV Action Fund is proud to endorse Elaine Marshall for U.S. Senate because she understands that the policies needed to grow North Carolina’s economy and keep America’s competitive edge are the same policies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and curb harmful carbon pollution,” said LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski. “Elaine Marshall will work in Congress to enact common-sense energy policies that create jobs in North Carolina while ensuring that America leads the 21st century’s clean energy economy.

In the Wisconsin Senate race, asuchorski reported, Ron Johnson Goes All Sharron Angle on Climate Change: ""A global warming skeptic, Johnson said extreme weather phenomena were better explained by sunspots than an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as many scientists believe. "I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change," Johnson said. "It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination." Johnson, in an interview last month, described believers in manmade causes of climate change as "crazy" and the theory as "lunacy." "It's far more likely that it's just sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time," he said."

RogerShuler asked, Are Southern Governors Going Soft on Oil Spill Litigation?: "Alabama Attorney General Troy King has filed a lawsuit against the companies involved in the BP oil spill, but Governor Bob Riley says such action is premature. In Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood is considering a similar lawsuit, and Governor Haley Barbour is saying it would be premature. What is going on? Who is right--the AGs or the governors? And is someone more interested in protecting the interests of big oil than the interests of the people who elected them?"


ban nock discussed the Aerial wolf hunt planned in Idaho: "An anathema to many, aerial killing of wolves is usually carried out by people who would rather be watching sports on TV or maybe sipping a cold one, certainly no one wakes up in the morning with a desire to go wipe out a wolf pack. One time while working in Idaho I fell into a discussion with a helicopter pilot who had  taken part in such a cull. He was describing what happened somewhere else, I don’t remember if it was Canada or the Alaska. He was working for Rocky Mountain out of Provo, but I’ve no idea who he was working for at the time of that contract. Pilots back then moved around."

Gulf Gusher

FishOutofWatereKos: 3600ft Deep 20mi Oil Plume Persisting in Gulf: "A continuous 20 mile long plume of oil found at a depth of 3600 feet has persisted for months, unaffected weathering and biodegradation, near the blown out BP well, according to a peer reviewed report published in Science magazine, written by oceanographers from Woods Hole Oceanographic institute. Oil that reaches the surface layer ocean becomes less toxic over time as evaporation and biodegradation remove toxic aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene. Toxic components of the oil found at 3600 feet have remained at full strength."

rfall: No honor among thieves - Transocean accuses BP of withholding info: "AP is reporting that, in a letter send to BP earlier this month, Transocean, the owner of the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig, is claiming that BP is withholding information critical to determining the cause of the accident there earlier this year."

Consumer Watchdog: BP's tax-subsidized cleanup workers from the chain gang: "You think you're done being mad at BP? You're over the fact that it's still getting piles of U.S. taxpayer subsidies, including subsidies on what it promised to pay for the cleanup? Jim Hightower, the Texas populist and scourge of misbehaving corporations, tells us that BP isn't just hiring out-of-work Florida Pandhandle folks--it's using semicamouflaged prison labor, and the scary fellas come with a subsidy of $2,500 per head."

bubbanomics: Scientist Recants on Gulf Oil Spill Claim: "In an appearance before Congress, Bill Lehr, a senior scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offered a very different account of the oil that poured into the Gulf, appearing to contradict the official report from two weeks ago that he wrote, which suggested the majority of the oil had been captured or broken down. 'I would say most of that is still in the environment,' Lehr told the House energy and commerce committee."

jamess: BP's Oil is NOT on the Surface -- it's on the Sea Floor: "Two weeks ago we were being told the majority of the Oil Spilled was "mostly" gone ... Now, University of South Florida, Marine Scientists are reporting Science has a different tale, to tell ..."

akmk: Well, duh...New research confirms the ongoing existence of oil plume & threats to wildlife.: "If the country needs more jobs, lets hire some more oceanographers and marine biologists, and climate change specialists."

Gulf Watchers: BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 83.

Gulf Watchers: BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 84.

Gulf Watchers: BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 85.

Gulf Watchers: BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 86.

gchaucer2: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV # 304 - BP's Gulf Disaster.

Yasuragi: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #305 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

khowell: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #306 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

khowell: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #307 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

Lorinda Pike: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #308 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

David PA: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #309 - No pressure; it's ambient - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

khowell: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #310 - No pressure; it's ambient - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

greenbird: Title: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #311 - No Pressure: It's Ambient..

peraspera: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #312 - Ambient waiting for the order to kill.

Yasuragi: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #313 - Ambient Waiting for the Order to Kill - BP's Gulf Catastrophe.

khowell: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #314 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - As Summer Ends.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 08:56 PM PDT.

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