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Steve LeVine writes If oil is making Americans independent, do they still need clean-tech?:
Let's say that the new conventional wisdom is correct—that we ought to dispense of worries of resource scarcity, and embrace a dawning age of U.S. oil abundance and self-sufficiency. If we ask ourselves what that means, one conclusion is the apparent elimination of a central rationale for the development of clean energy technologies—that the U.S. needs them to shed its reliance on unreliable oil imports from nefarious Middle East nations.

Clean-tech must be scrutinized through a political lens, because by and large, none of the technologies stands on its own feet as yet in the marketplace. They require political support to survive. Let's take a look at the calculus for clean-tech.

Industry analysts and journalists assert almost weekly (like Citigroup's Ed Morse and reporters at the New York Times) that U.S. shale oil and deepwater reservoirs, plus Canadian oil sands, are making the U.S. virtually self-sufficient in oil. (I myself have urged caution in this exuberance.)

In response, President Barack Obama said last week that oil drilling is not the "be-all, end-all strategy" of being energy self-sufficient, but rather that the U.S. requires "all of the above," meaning solar, wind and biofuels, too. He said this because he wants to retain federal support for clean-tech companies and research, but is being pummeled by opponents who call such assistance a boondoggle, and accuse him of hostility to oil. The other reason he said this is that gasoline prices in much of the country are well over $4 a gallon.

Mining Alberta's tar sands
Already, politics have knocked out another pillar of the clean-energy foundation—the push to hold down CO2 emissions. Since there is no longer apparent majority U.S. political will to stave off global warming, clean-tech has seemed to lose that logic for public support.

Now goes the argument of energy security: If the forecasts of a U.S. bonanza are accurate, biofuels, advanced batteries and other technologies will be unneeded for the purpose of energy freedom from the Middle East.

With planetary collapse and energy security eliminated from the calculus, clean-tech would be back to basics—its sole apparent remaining case for public policy support, at least in the U.S., would be the popularity of things clean. Promoters of these technologies would either have to make that case, or become cost-competitive and survive in the marketplace. [...]

In a subsequent email exchange with LeVine regarding potential oil abundance, Michael T. Klare responded:
I see this as making the United States more like a Third World petro-state—we will see increased economic benefits in some quarters and among certain specialized labor sectors. But we will become more like a basic commodity producer that must lower its environmental standards in order to boost production, and less like a modern high-tech country like Germany and Japan.
It's quite the discussion that can write off planetary collapse as an impinging factor only when there is public support for dealing with climate change, a term that barely passes the lips of President Obama these days. One can have immense fun arguing the hypothetical what-ifs the same way one can virtually refight Stalingrad or Agincourt and come out with the Nazis or French victorious. But climate change isn't hypothetical no matter how much pretending is done.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011:

When the Lesser Bush took office in 2001, Republicans rejoiced that "adults" once again would be in charge of foreign policy and national defense. These adults had spent the 1980s arming Saddam Hussein, even as he was gassing his own people. These adults had spent the 1980s arming the Afghan mujahideen, only to abandon them after they had expelled the Soviet Union, refusing to offer the sort of humanitarian aid that could have prevented the embrace of extremism that often comes with poverty and isolation. After returning to power, these adults ignored the screaming warnings before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, allowed the perpetrators of those attacks to get away, then launched two failed wars, including one against the very Saddam they had previously supported, and who was in no way involved in those terrorist attacks. Then even as they waged war on a nation that had never attacked the U.S., had never committed a terrorist attack against the U.S., and had no means of doing so, these adults embraced a Libyan despot who had actually been complicit in a terrorist attack that killed U.S. citizens, and then protected him from lawsuits stemming from that attack. Whatever Republicans mean by being adult, let's hope they don't soon have another opportunity to impose it on anyone else.

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Comment Preferences

  •  338,448 registered users on dKos now. (18+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos. Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!

    joh2ni7ll (user #338,439: spammer)
    Joey Piscitelli
    Sickbeatm4ker3j (user #338,443: spammer)
    Sherry Newlin
    aus82onz (user #338,445: spammer)
    powertri08 (user #338,446: spammer)
    Till98Je (user #338,447: spammer)
    Mojo Berry

    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to user #338,400: BuildAZsFuture.

    We've added 137 more users in the last 24 hours.

    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Smath Mouth's "Can't Get Enough of You Baby".

  •  I was just reading today that we may have (18+ / 0-)

    passed the tipping point and nothing we do will mitigate the damage we have already wrought.  The disappearing rain forest, drowned coastlines, increasing number of extinct species and shrinking ice cap all point to too little too late for us.  Some of the same experts touting the inexhaustible oil supply are the same ones who assured us climate change was no big deal

    •  There Are Many Tipping Points. (12+ / 0-)

      There will always be another tipping point we can choose to pass or not to pass.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:43:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a zoologist of nearly 50 years (5+ / 0-)

        all I can say to your remarks is that they are extraordinarily optimistic, much more so than just whistling past the graveyard.

        My calculations based on equations and boundary conditions that I have studied, suggest to me that humanity has as little as 200-300 years at the current rate of climate change.

        After that, the few humans that are left give the ensuing chaos will be fighting for the last few places on the planet that will support food crops in sufficient quantity.  So few have an appreciation of the magnitude and rate of change that is taking place, nor do they have any idea of the ecological consequences of the changes that will unfold.  The scariest thing is that the momentum and inertia of the system is so large, that any window for human intervention is rapidly closing.  

        We like to delude ourselves into thinking that the waves of Middle Eastern, North African, Mexican, and South Asian chaos are the result of political and social factors.  However, underlying these are profound environmental changes that are pushing more and more people to the edge of ecological support.   As these environments further degrade, expect even more turmoil and upheaval as ultimately environmental conditions determine what human strategies, lifestyles, cutures, and political systems will ensure survival.

        As Hansen as suggested, combustion of the Alberta tar sands, will likely be the end of the ballgame for humanity.  Dramatically, accelerating out-gasing of methane in the high arctic suggest that the positive feedback loops that were a major factor in Permian extinction are just now beginning to kick in in earnest.  Once the permafrost trapped methane clathrates are released, probably within the next 50-100 years, human extinction will likely be unavoidable in the next 100, as temperatures in temperate regions now providing the bulk of food and economic and political stability will be extirpated both in marine and terrestrial systems.

        Refugia such as the Pacific Northwest will be few and far between, not only because few places on earth will be left that will permit crop growth (low lattitudes too hot and soils too dry and non-evaporated water too scarce and high latitudes to little  light for half the year for most food species and too poor soils in sufficient quantity and too prone to destruction as these will become regions of strategic military importance that must be fought for at all costs).

        I used to snicker at the doomsday grade B sci-fi movies of life after armaggeddon, but now I realize they are far more prophetic than most of the scientifically and especially biologically illiterate public could possibly recognize.

    •  I read that article (10+ / 0-)

      just before coming here.  It's incredibly depressing that the very mention of climate change brings out the knives from the GOP side.

      Of all the subjects that should be nonpartisan, the future of our planet should be at the top of the list.  Instead, climate change has become just one more hot button, one more opportunity for short term political gain.

    •  You would think.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, nellgwen, kyril, JeffW

      Americans would realize the the security implications of rising oceans, not only for ourselves but world wide as well. Imagine the scope of global unrest will be a bitch? I don't think you'd be wrong.

      But everyone just want's to kick that can on down the road instead instead of dealing with the issue by pushing conservation and renewable sources. There are a myriad of good reasons to do it. People don't want to face the facts.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      by Ex Con on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:13:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rising oceans spread across the land, making more (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dkosdan, JeffW

        horizontal space for aircraft carriers and more vertical space for submarines to maintain security.

      •  While sea-level rises will displace millions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, kyril, entlord, JeffW

        the weak point for human survival is the patchy nature of soils and the limited availability of irrigation that will be left viable as global mean temperatures rise dramatically, leaving most soils in tropical and temperate climates too dry to support crop production, or rains too sporadic and irregular, while higher latitudes with poor soils and difficult to adapt to light conditions will provide few prospects for making up for the losses.

        If one can look beyond the superficial political, religious, and cultural issues that seem to place much of North Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and Central America in chaos, one can recognize that entire cultures and political systems are being pushed past their ecological sustainability, leading to more collapse and more chaos.  Our turn can only be measured now in years and decades.

        Most folks are too poorly trained in biology to recognize the implications of rising soil temperatures for most human and terrestrial life.  Peering back into geological time, when dramatic elevations in temperature took place, such as in the Permian and during the Early-Mid Eocene, point to monumental faunal and floral changes that are only now beginning to be fully appreciated.  When one recognizes that temperatures are rising far faster than they did during these geological periods and the former led to the extinction of 99% of all life on the planet, the prognosis is not good.

        It is ironic that ignorance carried forth under the banner of salvation shall become the instrument of our destruction and that crusaders such as James Inhoff and the Koch Brothers shall go down in history as enablers of greater mass murder than Hitler could ever have aspired to.  What was meant to be moral and economically righteous will prove to be more immoral and more economically catastrophic than anyone could have ever recognized.

    •  Might as well have fast fossil-fuel cars... (7+ / 0-)

      ...while it lasts, eh?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:19:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not buying it myself. It is the rate of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      entlord, dkosdan, kyril

      return that counts.  How much to produce how much.  I read with the tar sands it is 3:1.  Then I read the Amish get 10:1 with their low tech ways.

      •  It's a funny thing. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        entlord, mightymouse, notdarkyet, JeffW

        We keep clinging to oil that gets harder and more expensive to produce and selling it to a global market where we compete with more and more people who wish to drive, etc.

        The only people who win in that scenario are oil companies and...

        of course,

        we can't really make more oil.  We just keep using up the stuff that's already there, regardless of where we find it.

        And yet, we hear bout "our oil" as if we had nationalized the stuff.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:35:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Despite what investors, consultants (7+ / 0-)

      and press reporters say about the possibilities of the U.S. being energy independent, if that independence doesn't include lowering domestic energy prices, convincing the populace to go along with whatever steps will be necessary is going to be a hard slog.  From the link:

      Ultimately, Klare asserts, the drilling will have to do more than increase energy security. "For the boom to win widespread converts," he said, "it has to result in cheaper prices at the gas pump, and so far that's not happening; more drilling in U.S. wilderness areas will not change that either."
      And the only way more U.S. production can both effect energy independence and lower fuel prices is to move our production, in whole or in part, out of the world market. That would necessitate at least partially nationalizing the oil companies.

      Fighting with both the oil companies (and their supporters) and the country's citizens is certainly too much in the present political atmosphere.  And I don't think that atmosphere is going to change enough to keep such a fight from breaking the country apart politically anytime in the foreseeable future.  Most importantly, we would need a forceful,  charismatic leader to direct the effort, the likes of which we haven't seen in most citizens' lifetimes.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:11:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  regarding energy independence for the US (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, mightymouse, Eric Nelson

        I have not seen a cogent explanation of how we, who are engaged in a global economy with one of the more level playing field in generations for the major players, can expect to treat energy as a carve out from that global economy short of nationalizing the energy industry.

        We are generations too late to pull up the drawbridge now

      •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And do something about those nasty Chinese folk who've been buying oil leases in Texas and oil companies in Canada.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:36:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "energy independence" is another BS trope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Pols like it - makes it sound like they have a plan when they really don't. I guess it polls well. Easier to talk about the rosy fantasy world of "energy independence" than actual real-world constraints.

        Anyway, the US is not energy-independent, not by a long shot.

        and without nationalized resources the phrase is meaningless anyway. Producers sell where they get the best price.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:57:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Recent Forbes article highlights the fact that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, JeffW, Eric Nelson

      small scale solar has dropped in price so rapidly that investors are losing interest.
      Before, they were saying the price was too high.
      We are going to need government action to get it on every roof.
      It's just a small part of the equation, but an important part, because it reduces the enslavement of poor and working class to the utility co. and it creates jobs, in the cities as well as rural areas.
      Everybody on this site knows that, of course.

      I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

      by David54 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:22:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All in all, it certainly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, JekyllnHyde, Aunt Pat, kyril

    feels like most of us here may have lost today, but I don't know if in reality we actually did lose.

    There is frequently a difference.

    " still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:35:03 PM PDT

    •  I knew the right wing hacks on the court (7+ / 0-)

      were going to be right wing hacks again when deciding the fate of healthcare reform, but seeing it in action is still like taking a sucker punch to the gut.

      "He's the one, who likes all our pretty songs. And he likes to sing along. And he likes to shoot his gun. But he knows not what it means" - Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:46:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't panic yet. There are reasons they might (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        give the pro side an extra hard time. It's a big case, everybody's watching, it will be controversial regardless of how they rule.
        Everyone needs to focus on doing something to  push the ball forward and not coil up in a fetal position waiting on the SCOTUS to rule.
        That's what I'm telling myself.

        I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

        by David54 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:28:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So the Ron Paul fan... (7+ / 0-)

    that I wrote about the other day wrote this yesterday with a link to this Salon article about national secrecy.

    OBAMA SUPPORTERS: I am truly curious about how you internalize and rationalize the president's behavior while scorning Republicans for the exact same abuses of power. Could any of you explain? I really want to know.
    Sigh... not sure I even want to respond to her, because it'll just lead into a 100-message back and forth thread.
  •  oooh, (9+ / 0-)

    a new banner. Gorgeous. And, I believe the orangey owl must be a Kossack.

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:36:26 PM PDT

  •  No, because not everyone has oil. (6+ / 0-)

    Not everyone has oil, but almost everyone has sunlight and wind. For everyone not personally enriched by oil, renewables are still a revenue source.

    If clean-tech is better, it will win out in the end.

  •  NRA selling hoodie for concealed carry (16+ / 0-)

    The NRA likes hoodies!

    The NRA is selling a special hoodie - a hoodie with a special pocket for carrying a concealed weapon (no this isn't from The Onion).

    From the description in the NRA online store:


    We want concealed carry to fit around your lifestyle – not the other way around. That’s why we developed the NRAstore™ exclusive Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt.  


    Inside the sweatshirt you’ll find left and right concealment pockets. The included Velcro®-backed holster and double mag pouch can be repositioned inside the pockets for optimum draw. Ideal for carrying your favorite compact to mid-size pistol, the NRA Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt gives you an extra tactical edge, because its unstructured, casual design appears incapable of concealing a heavy firearm – but it does so with ease!  
    The NRA thinks of everything!

    Wonder what Geraldo would say about this.

    •  but can you fit a .50 semi auto in there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would not want to go out undergunned.  Desert Eagle is de rigeur for the well  dressed NRAite

    •  I can see it all now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Some poor schlub trying to get his gun out of his hoodie's quick draw "concealment pockets" while being mugged.  Genius.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:17:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh crappity, crappity, crap, crap, crap (0+ / 0-)

      I really hate knowing this.  But thank you for being the messenger.

      Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

      by LinSea on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:48:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Newt Gingrich cans campaign manager (11+ / 0-)

    .....lets go a third of his staff. Word is no one is getting paid anymore.

    Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a “big-choice convention” strategy, communications director Joe DeSantis told POLITICO.

    Michael Krull, a former advance man and a college friend of Callista Gingrich’s who took over the campaign after a staff exodus in June, was replaced last weekend by Vince Haley, who has worked for Gingrich for nine years and currently is deputy campaign manager and policy director.

    Read more:

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:41:08 PM PDT

  •  top comments link (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gchaucer2, palantir, Aunt Pat, Eric Nelson

    goes back to this page. I wonder why that keeps happening. Maybe a glitch in the diary program.

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:41:27 PM PDT

  •  Levine is usually a smart writer, but this piece (9+ / 0-)

    was way off. He may contend that there is currently no political support for climate change, but he's overlooking substantial political support for cleantech on its own as well as an overwhelming policy reason to support cleantech. David Roberts, of Grist, and I tweeted quite a bit with him. He ended up backing down/clarifying that his piece was limited to politics only, not policy.

    The world is on pace for 11 degrees F warming. Nothing else in politics matters. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:42:24 PM PDT

    •  Levine's post is Thought Provoking (0+ / 0-)

      I will give some context. In a recent 4 years I did VC consulting, analyzing ~80 cleantech startup proposals. My background is near 25yrs of mainstream engineering of different stripes, mostly in integrated circuit fabrication processes ( I am technical ).

      The problem with aspects of the environmental movement is a sort of reflexive fiscal irresponsibility, curiously at times even ( repeatedly) shooting themselves in the foot by ignoring specific green technologies out of some conflicted $ motivations less described.

      I take it as a given that reducing GHGs ( to reduce global warming and mitigating hopefully stopping a possibly irreversible Clathrate Gun ( methane hydrate feedforward acceleration of global warming that might well be catastrophic beyond compare ) is sensible.

      Clathrate refers to methane hydrate massive natural formations in ocean and permafrost releasing unprecedented amounts of methane, which is 60x larger efficient GHG warming than CO2 carbon dioxide.

      Large scale releases of Methane hydrate from seafloor ( massive ) and permafrost ( massive ) will rot the earth - vegetation die off and will likely occur very quickly within a decade past a critical threshold of absolute temperature, and CO2 emissions will look like nothing as to actual temperature rise ( the irrelevance of is just that, TOO LITTLE TOO LATE IN FACT - rudderless leadership of less skilled less competent leadership )

      But if too many "pre-conditions" are attached to the how and by what means reversing explosive growth in GHG emissions, then you tie your own hands behind your back. And that is where we find ourselves presently.

      And trust me, many of the prominent Green organizations are doing that on a scale that is near lunacy. As in megalomaniac, special interests counter to their claimed efforts and goals.

      GHGs can be significantly reduced by proliferation of nuclear power to the grid, and yes most nuclear power today is DANGEROUS, inherently risky due to reactor designs not optimized for safety as top priority.

      What this specifically means, is that most reactor designs have too high a power density in the reactor core ( intended for short fuel lifetime, for faster plutonium production, and smaller reactor vessels for ?lower cost.

      By contrast there is a safe reactor design called CANDU that has zero accident in 40 years, and multiple passive redundant reactor shutdown safety features, can run on far cheaper safer unenriched uranium, and notably upon total loss of coolant the reactor actually stops the reaction, so the CORE nor the Containment vessel can NEVER meltdown ( the major risk of nuclear power ).

      Yet this reactor technology was owned by the Canadian government, and never sold more than ?30 reactors worldwide. If CANDU reactors were made a defacto world standard, the risks of nuclear accidents in civilian nuclear power reactors would drop to near ZERO. Neither Fukushima, nor Three Mile Island nor Chernobyl accidents are even remotely possible in a CANDU reactor ( good examples of terrible meltdown accidents that CANDU can never suffer any comparable fuel nor containment vessel meltdowns )

      I am a physicist, and am ashamed how the nuclear power industry worldwide has not adopted and mandated 1-2 STANDARD reactor designs ( ONE DESIGN ) with the safety profile at least as good as CANDU reactors.

      Read more about CANDU safety design here

      I do not know why CANDUs are not mandated for universal production of ALL ? electrical power, eliminating coal and avoiding the technical stupidity and costs of photovoltaics that are NOT BASELOAD POWER CAPABLE.

      Meaning in plain english, power utility operators HAVE to run Natural gas power plants CONTINUOUSLY to provide a kind of "virtual battery" online all the time burning NatGas ( or coal, pick your poison ) to cheaply act as a battery for continual outages ( transient ) day and nitetime zero power production by PV - solar photovoltaics.

      Even if you put a solar call ( PV ) panel array on your roof, it is technically irresponsible to install this WITHOUT full nite time battery capacity, and certainly without 1 hour daytime capacity. If you were forced to install proper battery backup, the costs are largely prohibitive, but required technically.

      Else the grid power distribution will quickly wear out by all the similar rooftop or photovoltaic power plants suffering the same fast passing cloud transient and nite time outages.

      These electrical surges repeatedly on widescale use of PV DAMAGE electrical utility transformers, and wires and breakers ( safety systems ) after repeated incessant outages and startup surges.

      At grid scale Photovoltaics is just stupid, irresponsible because any fast dispatch electrical storage BEYOND running a natural gas power plant ( as GHG producing "battery"?? backup ) for PV power quality tuning, is - batteries for grid scale ( distributed or not ) are incomprehensibly EXPENSIVE.

      If you believe what I write re PV photovoltaics, it really needs to be banned if no batteries commensurate, beyond limited % of power production penetration, else the grid and industry and consumer equipment gets damaged.

      NUCLEAR power has none of these power quality issues. And yes most reactors ( except CANDU ) need to be retired quickly, and replaced with far safer reactor designs, with multiply redundant total passive safety systems meeting CANDU type bulletproof safety criteria, instead of paper claims of "improved safety"

      Are there other baseload capable ( high power quality without PV or WIND intermittencies ) green zero GHG emitting power sources?

      YES > largely MOLTEN SALT CONCENTRATING SOLAR THERMAL with cheap Molten Salt Thermal Storage, eliminates all the daytime surges from passing cloud outages that render useless naked ( no battery backed up ) Photovoltaic power production quality ( producing incessant outages from PV or comparable outages from wind surges in WIND POWER ).

      MS CSP / MS storage is perfect and only limitation is SEASONAL ( which nuclear suffers no such short coming ).

      Seasonal outages even weather related trends are predictable largely and MS CSP will need not operate when insufficient daily solar insolation exists ... and alternate conventional  power sources can be used., that need be brought up only seasonally

      But nuclear is simplest to run the grid of most all NON Hydropwer zero GHG emitting electrical power generation, but we need to really use safest nuclear power reactor designs, not claims of such. Thorium fuel reactors might be safer overall, with a safer fuel cycle than even CANDU but there do not presently exist commercial designs for proven Thorium fueled nuclear power reactors.

      So this is part of the problem, we stop coal ( good ) we stop nuclear ( possibly less sensible but we are right in stopping present reactor designs from larger deployment since they are truly unsafe, but WE SHOULD USE CANDUs ? due to superior best in class safety profile )

      And then Sierra Club protests MS CSP / MS storage, in part in their Solar Rooftop program, they gain SALES COMMISSIONs??? but the solar photovoltaic systems deployed largely have no battery storage, so build upon the NON BASELOAD power production fast transient outages common with Photovoltaics with NO batteries ( batteries are too costly ).

      MS CSP MS storage, is the simplest way to deploy high quality seasonal solar power, with NO fast transient outages that will damage grid and customer equipment if not battery backed up. Molten Salt thermal storage is the most cost effective solar backup power source ( versus prohibitively costly batteries )

      Sierra Club and NRDC technically are less than sensible, more dogmatic, and certainly repeatedly do not pursue / promote the most cost effective comprehensive technical solutions to the very problems they claim to ?hope to solve ( or protest to solve ). We are near doomed under their "leadership" is my guess.

      Notably the retired founder of Canada's GreenPeace disavows  most of the stupid ill thought out protest centric, lawsuit happy BS that dominates environmental efforts disproportionately ( and stupidly ).

      Solving electrical power production GHG emissions should be done expediently and as fast as possible with sensible most cost effective technical fixes, and safest solutions.

      I will also point out that the default solar photovoltaic panels used by Sierra Club's Solar Rooftops partner are often Cadmium Telluride based, ( lowest cost but highest risk of customer exposure to poisonous Cadmium and tellurium metal vapors - both metals have arsenic like vapor emissions at room temperatures, and cadmium in the cadmium telluride, will leach out from exposure of the interior protected by NON Hermetic seals, via exposure to any water bearing chlorides ( salts like NaCl fog bearing or water bearing ) and Cadmium Chlorides are as poisonous as Cadmium elemental metal )

      Imagine your roof leaching cadmium through your gutters, and tellurium vapors are known to induce male sterility. Well...Solar Rooftops promoted by Sierra Club is too often installing Cadmium telluride panels on residences of unknowing customers ( until recently for certain ). Quite a contrast versus the push for heavy metals regulations, but exempting Cadmium based solar panels ( and some will claim they are safe, largely are initially, but not after MERE GLUE EDGE SEALS are damaged or cracked sometime in 20+ year service life ).

      What else, why does the Sierra Club try to block BRIGHTSOURCE's Ivanpaugh MS CSP / Molten SALT SOLAR POWER PROJECT ? Is it because it competes with their sales referral $ commissions from the Solar Rooftop project?

      In fact, to use solar power of any kind, yet produce cost effective ( ie remotely affordable ) BASELOAD power QUALITY for GHG elimination ( and avoiding nuclear ) MS CSP / MS Storage is the best technical and most cost effective solution of any solar power for baseload power solutions ( ie meeting actual power quality requirements, rather than paper specs ).

      We really need 50-150 GIGAWATTS of MS CSP MS storage solar thermal power generation built out in the Nevada SoCal desert NOW - ASAP, and power most of the electrical grid west of the Mississippi as soon as possible ( rather than dragging ass as SC and NRDC are apparently doing ).

      And obviously build many 10's of GW of large scale power lines akin to Hydro Quebec's 750 KV HVDC long distance lines that presently carry power from James Bay Hydroelectrical dams to New England & New York at huge scale, but should similarly carry Brightsource style MS CSP / MS Storage solar thermal electrical power generation, throughout the US west to major population centers on the grid.

      Why dawdle, why screw around but to FAIL as we are doing presently? WHY DAMMIT - to be as we seem to be continual never ending professional protestors to make a career of whining, costume parading, and complaining that nothing is ever good enough to make the needed changes?

      Personally I think McKibben, Lefkowitz and Beinecke want to protest and BLAME others, ad nauseum, rather than help get the job done properly ( and yes nuclear is a needed part of the solution in many poorly insolated places  - BUT WE NEED TO MANDATE SAFEST FAILSAFE NUCLEAR, not designs that are unsafe but hewed to by powerful commercial nuclear power companies )

      I think it tragic that the focus on the tar sands is for extra emissions over other oil sources, of the equivalent of ONE COAL PLANT ?? Demented , nutty and a stupid distraction form the main goals to emit ZERO GHGs everywhere, starting with a zero GHG grid.

      To fix the vehicle fleet emissions, long term we need complete electrification from a zero emissions electrical power grid ( else we just get coal fired GHG emissions increase ).

      In the interim ( till cost effective batteries come around, that we cannot stop and wait for ) ALL vehicles need mandated TURBOCHARGERS - on all diesels and gasoline power vehicles NOW, for all new vehicle sales, ALL.

      Universal use of Turbochargers, gains an immediate 20-30% increase in fuel efficiency NOW. The technology exists, the regulation is missing in action, and mandating fuel efficiency increases, without mandating an immediate requirement for turbochargers is STUPID.

      Green fuels, are an oxymoron, with one or two exceptions. Largely they and other emissions technical plays are intended as get rich schemes for NEW players, to pray upon hoped for by some, CARBON CREDIT TRADING SCHEMES, another mortgage like scam if there ever was.

      MANDATE TURBO CHARGERS NOW, mandate SAFE NUCLEAR POWER NOW, buildout MS CSP MS Storage at scale NOW ( 50-150 GW in Nevada SoCal ) and this is the jumper cables for restarting the economy.

      Protest in clown suits against the tar sands for 1 coal plant equivalent is STUPID and IRRESPONSIBLE, misfocused human energy.

      Don't merely green the grid ( partially with nat Gas acting as power backup to Photovoltaics solar cells all the time running burning NatGas ?? DUMB AND DUMBER ).

      ZERO OUT EMISSIONS from the electrical grid NOW, and do it in a planned SPUTNIK LIKE MERCURY MOONSHOT buildout of zero GHG emissions power plants concurrent phase in, starting NOW.

      And screw carbon neutral biofuels, they will not ZERO out GHG emissions fast enough. Another diversion.

      We need turbochargers mandated NOW on all new vehicles ( diesel and gasoline ), we need vehicle electrification as soon as the grid electrical power is GHG zero emissions. ( the right cost effective average 99%er batteries for FULL ELECTRICAL VEHICLES EXIST NOW )

      We need fewer dumb narrow solution? protests, and more sensible cost effective technical policy drivers and better environmental leaders than the protest centric folks we see presently at SC and NRDC that cannot see what needs to get done and then GET IT DONE.

      And as to PROVEN oil reserves, you have no idea how large they will grow and how rapidly so, but if we do not field more cost effective zero GHG power, you can bet the planet will enter a possibly irreversible CLATHRATE GUN ( go look it up, the consequences are far more dire than mere CO2 warming, and are likely coming faster than anyone here comprehends )

  •  I've lived long enough (11+ / 0-)

    to remember when renewable energy was considered fringe stuff of the great unwashed.  We are not going to get rid of oil and coal in my lifetime because that is a damned fact -- unless everyone wants to give up private/public transportation, and all their electronic gadgets.

    We are, however, more educated than decades ago when Carter put the solar panels on the WH.  We know they work and are now more affordable or can be made in the garage.

    We also must think responsibly:  where do the rare earths come from for wind turbines?  At what cost to humans and environment?  What are the environmental consequences of massive solar arrays?  What are the consequences for marine life re: tidal turbines?   Study, study, study.  And have the answers for the deniers.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:42:37 PM PDT

    •  I am still depressed by documentaries (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laserhaas, nellgwen, Magnifico

      of coal company picnics where the miners are all cheering for a Ban the EPA chant

    •  Wind turbines don't need rare earths (6+ / 0-)

      They may want them, but they don't need them.

      "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

      by Zinman on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:06:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, waterwheels and windmills (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        have been generating power for ages. Mechanical, not electrical, power, that is.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:34:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Want vs need" (0+ / 0-)


        The rare earths, as I understand it, are for the magnets used in electricity generation.  More powerful magnets = more electricity.

        Want vs need, then, becomes a matter of large-scale feasibility: how much electricity can you get out of how many wind turbines on how much land at what cost?

        I don't even pretend to know the answer to that one, but I'm sure some people do.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:45:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Remember, answers and facts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      don't dissuade "leaders" like Jim Inhofe who has made it his life's work to kill any discussion, much less policy decision based on climate change.  And he's not alone by any means.  As soon as addressing climate change starts costing people money directly out of their pocketbooks (as opposed to tax money), or threatens energy company profits, the excuses for doing nothing will multiply exponentially.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You might enjoy this video and article. (0+ / 0-)

      On second thought, it might make you weep to think of the US's lost chances to be farther along the renewables road. I think it's a tragedy that Carter's initiatives were dumped into the trashbin of history. Our country might have in a far better place by now. It makes me very sad.

      12 years have passed since the German parliament adopted the “Renewable Energy Sources Act” — it was adopted on March 29, 2000. This law was primarily developed by Hermann Scheer, who developed the underlying concepts during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Up until his death in 2010, Dr. Scheer was one of the most significant and uncompromising proponents of renewable energy sources in Germany and around the world.
      Source: Clean Technica (

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:38:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One simple example that could work is ethanol (0+ / 0-)

      There are terrible and OK ways to do just about anything, granted, but from corn? Hmm... who knows that the Brazilians use cane almost exclusively for their huge domestic ethanol industry and are getting a good return. Applying their idea here in the US, especially near the tributaries to the Mississippi, or along it, cane roots are equipped with nitrogen fixer bacteria -- less dead zone in the Gulf would be one benefit. By the way, corn is primarily grown for animal feed, credible ag schools are investigating the use of the distiller grains as a decent animal feed, have your fuel and your food, sounds win-win to me and that's with the crappiest feedstock of them all, corn.

      Ken Burns, while mentioning Rockefeller's lavish support of Prohibition, didn't really explain that the amendment "incidentally" shutdown the industrial alcohol industry (hmm, who benefited from that?) and if for all the misinformation that has been spun since by the petroleum industry, you would think no vehicle could run well on it and never did (the Model-T was flex fuel and until last week so was my modified conventional fuel injected vehicle). The race drivers who use ethanol have high compression engines (diesel engines are also high compression and very efficient and can do better on ethanol than conventional combustion engines on gasoline, but that is a different story) and are also not street legal. Yet, with a simple addition of a "converter" to conventional fuel injection vehicles, the US, for the most part could turn most of our fleet into flex fuel (so tested by the whole country of Brazil). But, don't let me rattle the oil industry propaganda embossed in your poor brain, please check out Daryl Hannah revving up her modified Kill Bill T-Bird, it is on Youtube and easy to find. These gizmos are not street legal in the US, but there is no reason they should not be, as their emissions are supposedly better than gasoline, but is hard to "prove" for oneself especially if CARB won't let you go through inspection (or, the rinky dink conversion kit vendors, who are doing great business in Brazil, but won't apply for CARB exemptions -- that include free testing, must be a hangover from a moonshine mentality). It is high time to throw down a gauntlet, let us convert and go through inspection, if we come out the other side, grant us an exemption on the spot. The cloud of smog and accumulated carbon dioxide could start unraveling sooner than you think.

      Just as big oil firms were forced to play ball with ethanol additives, legislative mandate for the auto industry to start certifying retro-fits for their planet killer fleet seems a prudent place to start. Let's make saving the planet street legal.

      "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

      by dkosdan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:07:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny how only wind turbines.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, JeffW

      ...require rare earths, while certain other turbines seem rhetorically exempt from that "constraint."

      Nuclear power, natural gas and "lower emission" coal plants are all essentially massive boilers which eventually convert steam into electricity using turbines. And I don't see anyone advocating "lower efficiency", "lower tech" turbines for any of those options.

      Yes, we should have answers for the deniers. We should also point out the inconsistencies in their neatly packaged as "conventional wisdom" assertions.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:40:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  that is a beautiful owl (6+ / 0-)

    and he is fixing us all in a stern stare.

    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

    by Mnemosyne on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:42:46 PM PDT

  •  not conventional wisdom (11+ / 0-)
    Let's say that the new conventional wisdom is correct—that we ought to dispense of worries of resource scarcity, and embrace a dawning age of U.S. oil abundance and self-sufficiency
    The correct word for that is bullshit.

    We remain a major oil importer - iirc the world's largest. Increases from shale oil come because rising prices make these long-known reservoirs suddenly profitable to drill. Yet they will not produce enough to eliminate our dependence on imported oil unless we cut way back.

    Oil isn't what will kill clean-tech - the price remains high enough to make alternatives appealing. Natural gas might slow it down, though. Our national glut means electricity becomes cheaper, worsening the competitive position of alternatives.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:44:49 PM PDT

  •  I have a question... (6+ / 0-)

    ...for folks who've followed the Supreme Court oral arguments over the last couple of days:

    Has the fact that overturning the ACA would result in a lot of excess mortaility (i.e. would kill a lot of people) figured as even a secondary concern of the justices?

    Prison rape is not funny.

    by social democrat on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:46:50 PM PDT

  •  So, the SCOTUS gets to pick ANOTHER President. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, Aunt Pat, nellgwen

    Because make no mistake, that's exactly what the radical activist be-robed bastards on that once illustrious bench plan to do.
    Strip the mandate, gutting just enough of the bill to make what's left an unworkable mess.  Insurance companies required to take anyone at any time, with healthy individuals free to go without until the moment they get sick or injured, premiums spiraling out of control, employers dropping insurance for their workers like a hot rock, and Obama left looking like an incompetent boob, a "Constitutional law professor" who, it will be made to appear, doesn't know the first thing about the Constitution, a naif who dragged the country through this long, drawn-out battle only to (the mighty Wurlitzer will scream) fuck things up to even worse than they were before.
    And all this just a few months before the election, insuring (you'll pardon the expression) a GOP sweep of the White House and Congress.
    Make no mistake.  Furthering their extremist agenda is the only thing motivating these evil bastards, and they will turn two hundred years of legal precedent upside down and set every law library on fire in order to do it.
    They've had the taste of blood in their mouths ever since Bush v. Gore, and they have been positively salivating ever since for their next chance to appoint our next oligarch.

    Mitt Romney: Lifting up cars is good. LIfting up car companies....not good.

    by jazzmaniac on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:47:39 PM PDT

    •  I'm just not sure if the general public will (7+ / 0-)

      suddenly bolt to the GOP just cause right wing hacks struck down the law, especially if it's a 5-4 party line vote, they won't think 'Obama knows nothing about the constitution' they'll more likely see it as a political ruling.

    •  The Mandate is entirely new territory. The... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jazzmaniac, SquirrelWhisperer

      President's lawyer didn't do a very good job today delineating that territory. Instead, he wasted his time pretending this is the same as anything the government has ever done, which it simply, on its face, is not.

      •  Justice Kennedy had a great question on that... (0+ / 0-)

        one that very succinctly summed up all the mush-mouthed fuzzy-headed arguments I have been having on the thing:

        Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?

        And Alito had the best example of the "broccoli" argument yet:

        burial services.  Everybody needs them eventually, even more surely than they will need health care (regardless of progressive BS, some people are never sick a day in their lives).

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:56:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the mandate is conservative garbage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it was thunk up by The Heritage Foundation

      why anybody left of George W. Bush supports it is madness.

      In both the short AND long term.

      What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

      by gila on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:12:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was surprised LOD didn't cover SCOTUS tonight, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, Aunt Pat, Eric Nelson

    it was all about Trayvon, maybe he thinks oral arguments are the be all end all?

  •  Levine-- Which is Why I Contend the Constitution (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, LinSea, Aunt Pat, nellgwen, wsexson

    prevents government from ever addressing climate change appropriately, fast enough, in time.

    And therefore it's negligent and immoral to squander lobbying and educational time and energy on elected government.

    It must be addressed some other way.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:49:08 PM PDT

    •  What other way(s)? (0+ / 0-)

      Time is a awasting, so let's cut to the chase: what can we do that stands a chance of working to address climate change appropriately within the current framework?

      "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

      by Zinman on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:23:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How important is climate change? (0+ / 0-)

        If it were the only way, would you be willing to negotiate a deal in which the left completely caves on certain issues if the right would completely cave on climate change?

        •  How final is the extinction of species? (0+ / 0-)

          There is no coming back from extinction. That is the reality and magnitude of what climate change is causing.

          The current political right in the USA will not cave on what needs to be done to drag climate change to a stop. Their entire ethos would have to be voided for that to happen, so it will never happen if their acquiescence is required, and nobody should be deluded into thinking otherwise.

          The environmental coalition needs to proceed on the presumption that today's right needs to be beaten, not negotiated with.

          "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

          by Zinman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:55:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So you're recommending a monarchy? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Ralph Nader threw in the towel and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        called for a rich benefactor to save us.

        I'd recommend a constitutional convention. It's been 223 years; Jefferson expected a new one every generation (25 years).

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:37:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Barking for Barack (15+ / 0-)

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:51:02 PM PDT

  •  Debbie Wasserman Schultz demolishes... (16+ / 0-)

    Rick Perry at Gridiron Dinner.

    “As some of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and went through seven surgeries including a double mastectomy. Rick, since you only speak Republican, that means I had them repealed and replaced."

    SIAP, but I thought it worth repeating either way...

  •  "Abundance?" That's not the thing to worry about. (11+ / 0-)

    Always keep this in mind whenever you read or hear anything about the "abundance" of "unconventional" oil/gas:  in the same sentence or paragraph, are you also reading or hearing " the same or lower prices than we are experiencing now?"  The "unconventional" aspect of this new production makes it more expensive (i.e., at reduced EROEI).  Seen in this light, the miracles of fracking, tar sands, deep/ultradeepwater, water injection, etc. are not being undertaken to keep us at ~$100/bbl oil; they're being undertaken to make sure there is plenty of $150-200-300/bbl oil down the road.  I predict a brief future period when these premium prices will in fact be paid - the fossil fuel industry's final gigantic gulp of money - before the entire system experiences a correction and demand crashes.

  •  why cornucopianism? (8+ / 0-)

    it appears the fossil fuel people get their narrative out very successfully. "don't worry, be happy, keep driving."


    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 08:53:33 PM PDT

  •  OK, this is heartwarming... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and pretty funny as well.

    No idea what SCRUM is, other than as a rugby term.

    •  Oh, Thank you, Thank you. Before getting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      only part way through, the tears of laughter splattered my glasses.  Really needed this light touch tonight.

      Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

      by LinSea on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:53:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remind me again (15+ / 0-)

    why importing massive quantities of fossil fuels from hostile countries in a fashion only made possible by gigantic military outlays is just the market at work, while trying to slow the destruction of the natural environment is socialism.

  •  Did Newt's Sugar Daddy cut off his allowance? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, 2020adam, nellgwen, JeffW
    Gingrich scales back his presidential campaign

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – Newt Gingrich is dramatically curtailing his campaign schedule and laying off about a third of his campaign staff as he focuses on a last-ditch effort to win the Republican presidential nomination at the convention in Tampa.

    Republicans take care of big money, for big money takes care of them ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:04:49 PM PDT

  •  public support? how about 1000 radio stations (0+ / 0-)

    reaching 50 mil americans, blasting the country with coordinated denial. and nearly 200 of those stations, probably more, owe their community credibility to the universities that endorse them by broadcasting athletics on them.

    totally fucked up- the left and dems continue to make the biggest blunder in political history.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Despite concerns and protest, (0+ / 0-)

    we are being descended upon.

    Jobs have been scarce and rare here,
    after the steel mills closed, and so with very mixed
    emotions, this is apparently Our New Industry:

  •  Newt is making his run for VP. (0+ / 0-)

    He will get it.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:15:06 PM PDT

    •  I doubt it he creates more problems than he solves (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      especially with women.  Even a small percentage shift in the female vote will put GOP chances out of reach.  They will need to respond to that and my guess is the Rmoney will go for a conservative "to balance the ticket", as if it is even possible to balance one form of mental illness with another.

      The "logic" of GOP PR is so wacky these days that Mr. Etch-A-Sketch could pick Bachman or Brewer.  It would appeal to the hordes and fanatics and by comparison it would make Mr. Etch-A-Sketch presidential.  Don't accuse me of trying to make sense, only predict GOP behavior.

  •  New info. tonight on Trayvon Martin shooting (7+ / 0-)

    Trayvon Martin Investigator Wanted Manslaughter Charge
    ABC News - By MATT GUTMAN (@mattgutmanABC)

    SANFORD, Fla. March 27, 2012

    Lead homocide investigator Chris Serino filed an affidavit on February 26, the night that Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, that stated he was unconvinced by Zimmermans version of events.

    But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney's office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn't enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.
    That was a month ago
  •  That is so unrealistic! (10+ / 0-)

    Most of the "easy oil" produced in Saudi Arabia costs about $20-30/barrel to produce. Russian oil production, under harsher conditions, cost a bit more, while deep water and Arctic sources are $45-50/bbl. Oil sands are between $60-70, while shale is almost $90/bbl. Are we prepared to pay that price in basic cost long term?

    The last major oil field discovered (in the last 30 years) was the Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan, and it has taken over 10 years to bring it to production, because of the harsh environment it is in. All the easy oil is over. Any new find will either be in difficult environment, or will cost a lot, and take a long time to flow to our gas stations.

    The major oil fields in Saudi Arabia have all slowed down. The UK Industry Task Force on Peak Oil 2010 report shows that the rate of new production is slower than the decline in existing production. Indonesia went from net exporter to net importer in 2004, and Egypt in 2010.
    However the demand continues to grow, specially in developing countries.

    Even Saudi Arabia, where I am going tomorrow, has decided to try and move away from oil based economy to other sources, though they have problem with human and technical capacities in the area of renewable energy.

    This is like having a ring side seat at the decline of a once great empire, crumbling under its own hubris, enabled by the mass stupidity of one fragment of its polity!

    The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

    by Suvro on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:31:09 PM PDT

  •  "Americans are oil independent!" (9+ / 0-)

    Means that your grandchildren will inherit the Great North American Desert.

    10,000 years ago, this land was so fertile that wheat cultivation began there. Look at it, and see the US future.

  •  NYTimes editorial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notdarkyet, Eric Nelson

    appears to start to comprehend that we live in a fascist nation that, if it will not bend to the will of the people, will be overrun by them.

  •  reciprocity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laserhaas, shesaid, Magnifico

    I think it is sweet that MB links to the Overnight News Digest and at the bottom of OND it says:

    Meteor Blades is known to offer an enlightening Evening Open Diary - you might consider checking that out tonight if you haven't already. [with a link to here.]

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:58:17 PM PDT

  •  Re'd / Shar'd for your Tweet of day MB. But DAMN (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, NoMoreLies, LinSea

    please don't tell me you are buying into this "we have all the oil we will ever need" CRAPola...............

    Our planet is long past PEAK and talk about what "Adults" will do I give you Robert Redford (Turner) with Cliff Robertson (Higgins) in "Three Days of the Condor" 35 years ago

     _ "Where are we going"?

     (indicating the care)
    "wave them off---
    "Do we have plans to invade the Middle East"?

     "Are you crazy"

     "Am I"?

     "Look, Turner ..."

    "DO we have plans"?

    "No.    Absolutely not. (then) We have games. That's all. We play games".


    "Suppose there'd been no heat? And I hadn't stumbled on the plan?  Nobody had"?

    HIGGINS (shrugs)
    Different ballgame. The fact is, it wasn't a bad plan. It could've worked".

    "Jeez - What is it with you people?  You think not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth".

    "It's simple economocs, Turner.... There's no argument. Oild now, 10 or 15 years it'll be food, or plutonium. Maybe sooner than that. What do you think the people will want us to do then"?

    "Ask them"!

    (shakes head)
    "Huh-uh. Ask them when they're running out. When it's cold at home and the engines stop and people who aren't used to hunger --- go hungry"!  They won't want us to ask ....(quiet savagery:)
    "They'' want us to get it for them".

    If you desire a better world - be a better person.

    by laserhaas on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:59:52 PM PDT

  •  Are these guys morons? (7+ / 0-)

    I realize, they are business writers, but, please, don't they realize THERE IS ONE WORLD OIL MARKET?

    With minor differences for portability and type, their is just one big pool of oil that all the world dips into.  When the price of oil goes up in Nevada, it goes up in California and vice versa.  So, too, when the price of oil goes up in Asia or Europe, the base price of oil goes up HERE as well.  That will happen regardless of how much oil we drill for ourselves.  If the price of international oil goes up, our oil will go up in price too, because oil producers here will SELL it either to them or to us at the world price.

    Or isn't this a capitalist economy anymore, where oil companies get to sell their wares to the highest bidder anywhere in the world at the market price?  It is, so they will.

    And yet I can't count the number of fools I've heard on TV that have talked about drilling more oil here in America as if that means we're all going to be the ones getting that oil, thus driving down OUR prices, to hell with the rest of the world.  No.  That's not the way the real world works.  

    •  In Canada there's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      lots of oil in the tar sands.

      We pay over $5.50 a U.S. gallon for gas.

      •  But... (0+ / 0-)

        Canada still pays the world price for its oil, whether it's buying it or selling its own.  The price of gasoline at the pump is effected by a lot more things than crude oil prices.  

        I haven't been to Mexico for a while, but the price of gasoline used to be about 1/3 or 1/2 of the US price.  That's because of Pemex subsidization.  It makes it worthwhile, if you live near the border, to cross over and fill up your tank on a regular basis.  But the price of even that gasoline goes up, the closer it is to the border.

    •  shhhh - don't mess up the happy vision (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "we are on the road to energy independence."

      "we have abundant new sources of domestic oil and gas."

      and so on.

      then look at the price of gasoline. no wonder people are confused.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 06:07:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There was an interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Eric Nelson, joe wobblie

    Frontline on tonight about Rupert Murdoch and the wire tapping in England. It was quite good however I wish it was another hour longer.
       Before that it was The American Experience and a story about The Garment Industry and the Triangle fire. It was also quite good.
      Did you guys ever see the movie Hair?
      The background of the song Easy To Be Hard is the site of the Triangle Fire.
      My neighbors just got done having an argument about beer and opening and shutting doors for 10 minutes.

    "Well Mr. Santorum, it's just that you're an evil, boring, creepy, piece of cardboard." "You're not being very nice." "Have some soup."

    by nellgwen on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:54:51 PM PDT

  •  Unconventional oil abundance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, Eric Nelson

    It's like being in a shelter during a catastrophe when the food in the larder starts running low. Some people start hunting about for vegetables and wild foods outside which could sustain all of them. Others start looking around within the shelter and thinking about how tasty some of their fellow victims might be if barbequed on the grill.

    "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

    by Zinman on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:58:01 PM PDT

  •  Headache (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Eric Nelson, JeffW

    One of my friends who was a hardcore Clinton supporter is now supporting Ron Paul and constantly talking about how evil President Obama is.  I tried to get through to her by showing her how awful Paul's policies are, using his own website as the source, but she's completely blinded by... something.  Her only response is that Ron Paul wants to end the war.  Okay, then why is he voting to fund mercenaries?  Maybe because he doesn't want to end the war, but instead privatize it?  She just won't see it.

  •  Is shelf stable tofu good past its expiration? (0+ / 0-)

    I have a case of tofu that expires next month.  It is the shelf stable variety.  Will it still be good?  I don't want to throw it out.  Maybe there is something I can do with it to prevent it from going bad?

    •  Take it to a place that feeds the hungry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They will be fed and you will feel better for it. Then go get some more tofu.

      "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

      by Zinman on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:08:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Following in that fine secrets tradition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Eric Nelson
    US acted to conceal evidence of intelligence failure before 9/11
    Operation Foxden, delayed by turf war between the FBI and the CIA, given green light three days before the al-Qaida attacks
    Ian Cobain, 27 March 2012

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:28:40 PM PDT

  •  Don't call it shale oil, it is called 'tight oil' (0+ / 0-)

    it's light and it's fracked.

    It only is found in North Dakota(Bakkan) and Texas(Eagle Ford). At most it will increase US oil production from 5.5 to 6.5 million barrels per day so it doesn't make a big dent in world demand. If it lasts 40 years, that's ~10 billion extra barrels of oil.

    Official the US has 25 billion barrels of conventional oil.

    Canada tar sands has 178 billion barrels of extra heavy/sulphurous (dirty) oil.

    The US has plenty of oil shale kerogen of which about 600 billion barrels can be cooked into petroleum, but the cooking will produce a lot of CO2.

    All this new oil is very expensive($100 a barrel oil is only the beginning) and very polluting to produce.

    The amount of conventional oil reserves world wide is about 1250 billion barrels of oil and about the same amount(1250 billion barrels) in unconventional and heavy oil. The world currently uses about 30 billion barrels of oil per year.

    Oil is the fuel of the past!--Pres. Barack Obama

  •  The Murdoch Empire has just been Gutted like a (0+ / 0-)
  •  Why you shouldn't tell American border guards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming

    … you're in Islamic Studies.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:39:24 PM PDT

  •  CIR acquiring Bay Citizen (0+ / 0-)
    Bay Citizen, Center for Investigative Reporting to Merge
    Accountability journalism will take center stage in combined organization
    By DAN FOST on March 27, 2012
    The Bay Citizen

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:12:52 AM PDT

  •  I find it amusing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, JeffW

    that Canadian oil sands count for U.S. "self-sufficiency."

    They do know that Canada is a different country, right?

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:38:08 AM PDT

  •  my electricity in PA is 99% wind 1% solar (0+ / 0-)

    In PA, residential and business customers can elect among 15 or so different electricity providers.  In a huge section of eastern/ southeastern PA, one of the providers offers 100% clean energy - 99% wind farms and 1% solar.  The increased cost for this clean energy option for my large suburban home is about the same as one Starbucks venti latte and cake slice a month.  I pay a nominal $15 annual fee to belong to the cooperative that offers that wind/solar option.  The competing costs are all on the public record, published by the state Public Utility Commission, including the "price to compare" of the heritage provider, PECO.  The wind provider invests in in-state and nearby state wind farms that buy US-manufactured (not Chinese) wind generator equipment. It's created new green jobs for the U.S. manufacturer.  At least here in PA, with minimal effort we can get off our duffs and actually do something meaningful in behalf of clean energy.  

    •  my avg monthly electricity usage is 1304 kWh (0+ / 0-)

      I checked my most recent monthly bill and my monthly average electricity usage for the prior 12 months was 1304 kWh per month, in case anyone is interested.  We can now also compare and elect among competing natural gas suppliers, on price and other factors.

  •  on fossil fuel (0+ / 0-)

    Here's what I think;

    We will burn it all -- all that is recoverable.
    The speclation on abundance is hype... pump and dump.

    We are doubling down on disaster.
    Sad times indeed.

  •  About Clean Tech, From One in the Industry (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a partner in a US firm that manufactures mid-scale (100–1000kW) wind turbines in the US (by that I mean owned here, sourced here, assembled here, and taxed here). We've received no government support (federal or state), despite all the lip service from Mr. Obama, Mr. Chu, and our governor. (When Mr. Obama went to a wind turbine plant to tout clean tech last year, he went to a Gamesa plant in Pennsylvania. Gamesa is a Spanish company, one that receives enormous government and state-backed bank funding. The same is true with Chinese and Indian manufacturers.)

    "Free market" my ass.

    The government subsidy "boondoggle" those opposed to our technology keep claiming is bullshit: The 1603 ITC grant expired last year, and the ITC and PTC tax credits expire this year. Please understand that those "boondoggles" only amount to 30% of project costs (ITC), and an even smaller percentage of production (PTC), and they are tax credits, not loans, guarantees, etc.

    Of course, the billions in "necessary aid" to the fossil fuel industry continue unabated, even as they post record profits.

    The result?

    Layoffs are already starting in our industry, and large foreign manufacturers (Vestas and Mitsubishi) that were planning to locate plants here have either pulled the plug on their plans or are hesitating thanks to what they call "nonexistent American commitment to green technology" and "regulatory instability."

    To further complicate things, a teabagger-style hysteria has arisen around the "health effects" of wind turbines, even though no peer reviewed, properly sampled studies have shown there are any (

    So the picture's grim, as the number of Canadian and domestic projects has fallen off sharply, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

    We're finding great success, however, in selling overseas. Our OUSA (internally, FUSA) strategy has allowed us to sell all over the world, and instead of one or two turbines at a time, it has been tens and hundreds for us. We now have a pipeline of orders that will carry us into 2014.

    So while the US chases the chimerical "unconventional oil" unicorn and fracks its way into aquifer disaster, we're selling and installing turbines all over Asia, Africa, South America, and even in the EU, where the people and their governments seem to "get" that an energy future doesn't rely on a finite resource, one that is going to shock only the unprepared by how short its supply really is.

    “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” ~ H. L. Mencken

    by skeezixwolfnagle on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:09:08 AM PDT

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