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The Pentagon vs. Peak Oil

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Posted on Jun 15, 2007

Michael T. Klare

Sixteen gallons of oil.  That’s how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis—either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes.  Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone. 

Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia.  That’s greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million—and yet it’s a gross underestimate of the Pentagon’s wartime consumption.

Such numbers cannot do full justice to the extraordinary gas-guzzling expense of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After all, for every soldier stationed “in theater,” there are two more in transit, in training, or otherwise in line for eventual deployment to the war zone—soldiers who also consume enormous amounts of oil, even if less than their compatriots overseas.  Moreover, to sustain an “expeditionary” army located halfway around the world, the Department of Defense must move millions of tons of arms, ammunition, food, fuel and equipment every year by plane or ship, consuming additional tanker-loads of petroleum.  Add this to the tally and the Pentagon’s war-related oil budget jumps appreciably, though exactly how much we have no real way of knowing.

And foreign wars, sad to say, account for but a small fraction of the Pentagon’s total petroleum consumption.  Possessing the world’s largest fleet of modern aircraft, helicopters, ships, tanks, armored vehicles and support systems—virtually all powered by oil—the Department of Defense (DoD) is, in fact, the world’s leading consumer of petroleum.  It can be difficult to obtain precise details on the DoD’s daily oil hit, but an April 2007 report by a defense contractor, LMI Government Consulting, suggests that the Pentagon might consume as much as 340,000 barrels (14 million gallons) every day.  This is greater than the total national consumption of Sweden or Switzerland.

Not “Guns vs. Butter,” but “Guns vs. Oil”

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For anyone who drives a motor vehicle these days, this has ominous implications.  With the price of gasoline now 75 cents to a dollar more than it was just six months ago, it’s obvious that the Pentagon is facing a potentially serious budgetary crunch.  Just like any ordinary American family, the DoD has to make some hard choices: It can use its normal amount of petroleum and pay more at the Pentagon’s equivalent of the pump, while cutting back on other basic expenses; or it can cut back on its gas use in order to protect favored weapons systems under development.  Of course, the DoD has a third option: It can go before Congress and plead for yet another supplemental budget hike, but this is sure to provoke renewed calls for a timetable for an American troop withdrawal from Iraq, and so is an unlikely prospect at this time.

Nor is this destined to prove a temporary issue.  As recently as two years ago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) was confidently predicting that the price of crude oil would hover in the $30 per barrel range for another quarter-century or so, leading to gasoline prices of about $2 per gallon.  But then came Hurricane Katrina, the crisis in Iran, the insurgency in southern Nigeria and a host of other problems that tightened the oil market, prompting the DoE to raise its long-range price projection into the $50 per barrel range.  This is the amount that figures in many current governmental budgetary forecasts—including, presumably, those of the Department of Defense.  But just how realistic is this?  The price of a barrel of crude oil today is hovering in the $66 range.  Many energy analysts now say that a price range of $70-$80 per barrel (or possibly even significantly more) is far more likely to be our fate for the foreseeable future.

A price rise of this magnitude, when translated into the cost of gasoline, aviation fuel, diesel fuel, home-heating oil and petrochemicals will play havoc with the budgets of families, farms, businesses and local governments.  Sooner or later, it will force people to make profound changes in their daily lives—as benign as purchasing a hybrid vehicle in place of an SUV or as painful as cutting back on home heating or healthcare simply to make an unavoidable drive to work.  It will have an equally severe effect on the Pentagon budget.  As the world’s No. 1 consumer of petroleum products, the DoD will obviously be disproportionately affected by a doubling in the price of crude oil.  If it can’t turn to Congress for redress, it will have to reduce its profligate consumption of oil and/or cut back on other expenses, including weapons purchases.

The rising price of oil is producing what Pentagon contractor LMI calls a “fiscal disconnect” between the military’s long-range objectives and the realities of the energy marketplace.  “The need to recapitalize obsolete and damaged equipment [from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan] and to develop high-technology systems to implement future operational concepts is growing,” it explained in an April 2007 report.  However, an inability “to control increased energy costs from fuel and supporting infrastructure diverts resources that would otherwise be available to procure new capabilities.”

And this is likely to be the least of the Pentagon’s worries.  The Department of Defense is, after all, the world’s richest military organization, and so can be expected to tap into hidden accounts of one sort or another in order to pay its oil bills and finance its many pet weapons projects.  However, this assumes that sufficient petroleum will be available on world markets to meet the Pentagon’s ever-growing needs—by no means a foregone conclusion.  Like every other large consumer, the DoD must now confront the looming—but hard to assess—reality of “peak oil”; the very real possibility that global oil production is at or near its maximum sustainable (“peak”) output and will soon commence an irreversible decline.

That global oil output will eventually reach a peak and then decline is no longer a matter of debate; all major energy organizations have now embraced this view.  What remains open for argument is precisely when this moment will arrive.  Some experts place it comfortably in the future—meaning two or three decades down the pike—while others put it in this very decade.  If there is a consensus emerging, it is that peak-oil output will occur somewhere around 2015.  Whatever the timing of this momentous event, it is apparent that the world faces a profound shift in the global availability of energy, as we move from a situation of relative abundance to one of relative scarcity.  It should be noted, moreover, that this shift will apply, above all, to the form of energy most in demand by the Pentagon: the petroleum liquids used to power planes, ships and armored vehicles.

The Bush Doctrine Faces Peak Oil

Peak oil is not one of the global threats the Department of Defense has ever had to face before; and, like other U.S. government agencies, it tended to avoid the issue, viewing it until recently as a peripheral matter.  As intimations of peak oil’s imminent arrival increased, however, it has been forced to sit up and take notice.  Spurred perhaps by rising fuel prices, or by the growing attention being devoted to “energy security” by academic strategists, the DoD has suddenly taken an interest in the problem.  To guide its exploration of the issue, the Office of Force Transformation within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy commissioned LMI to conduct a study on the implications of future energy scarcity for Pentagon strategic planning.

The resulting study, “Transforming the Way the DoD Looks at Energy,” was a bombshell.  Determining that the Pentagon’s favored strategy of global military engagement is incompatible with a world of declining oil output, LMI concluded that “current planning presents a situation in which the aggregate operational capability of the force may be unsustainable in the long term.”

LMI arrived at this conclusion from a careful analysis of current U.S. military doctrine.  At the heart of the national military strategy imposed by the Bush administration—the Bush Doctrine—are two core principles: transformation, or the conversion of America’s stodgy, tank-heavy Cold War military apparatus into an agile, continent-hopping, high-tech, futuristic war machine; and pre-emption, or the initiation of hostilities against “rogue states” like Iraq and Iran, thought to be pursuing weapons of mass destruction.  What both principles entail is a substantial increase in the Pentagon’s consumption of petroleum products—either because such plans rely, to an increased extent, on air and sea power or because they imply an accelerated tempo of military operations.

As summarized by LMI, implementation of the Bush Doctrine requires that “our forces must expand geographically and be more mobile and expeditionary so that they can be engaged in more theaters and prepared for expedient deployment anywhere in the world”; at the same time, they “must transition from a reactive to a proactive force posture to deter enemy forces from organizing for and conducting potentially catastrophic attacks.”  It follows that, “to carry out these activities, the U.S. military will have to be even more energy intense. ... Considering the trend in operational fuel consumption and future capability needs, this ‘new’ force employment construct will likely demand more energy/fuel in the deployed setting.” 

The resulting increase in petroleum consumption is likely to prove dramatic.  During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the average American soldier consumed only four gallons of oil per day; as a result of George W. Bush’s initiatives, a U.S. soldier in Iraq is now using four times as much.  If this rate of increase continues unabated, the next major war could entail an expenditure of 64 gallons per soldier per day.

It was the unassailable logic of this situation that led LMI to conclude that there is a severe “operational disconnect” between the Bush administration’s principles for future war-fighting and the global energy situation.  The administration has, the company notes, “tethered operational capability to high-technology solutions that require continued growth in energy sources”—and done so at the worst possible moment historically.  After all, the likelihood is that the global energy supply is about to begin diminishing rather than expanding.  Clearly, writes LMI in its April 2007 report, “it may not be possible to execute operational concepts and capabilities to achieve our security strategy if the energy implications are not considered.”  And when those energy implications are considered, the strategy appears “unsustainable.”

The Pentagon as a Global Oil-Protection Service

How will the military respond to this unexpected challenge?  One approach, favored by some within the DoD, is to go “green”—that is, to emphasize the accelerated development and acquisition of fuel-efficient weapons systems so that the Pentagon can retain its commitment to the Bush Doctrine, but consume less oil while doing so.  This approach, if feasible, would have the obvious attraction of allowing the Pentagon to assume an environmentally friendly facade while maintaining and developing its existing, interventionist force structure. 

But there is also a more sinister approach that may be far more highly favored by senior officials: To ensure itself a “reliable” source of oil in perpetuity, the Pentagon will increase its efforts to maintain control over foreign sources of supply, notably oil fields and refineries in the Persian Gulf region, especially in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  This would help explain the recent talk of U.S. plans to retain “enduring” bases in Iraq, along with its already impressive and elaborate basing infrastructure in these other countries. 

The U.S. military first began procuring petroleum products from Persian Gulf suppliers to sustain combat operations in the Middle East and Asia during World War II, and has been doing so ever since.  It was, in part, to protect this vital source of petroleum for military purposes that, in 1945, President Roosevelt first proposed the deployment of an American military presence in the Persian Gulf region.  Later, the protection of Persian Gulf oil became more important for the economic well-being of the United States, as articulated in President Jimmy Carter’s “Carter Doctrine” speech of January 23, 1980, as well as in President George H. W. Bush’s August 1990 decision to stop Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, which led to the first Gulf War—and, many would argue, the decision of the younger Bush to invade Iraq over a decade later. 

Along the way, the American military has been transformed into a “global oil-protection service” for the benefit of U.S. corporations and consumers, fighting overseas battles and establishing its bases to ensure that we get our daily fuel fix.  It would be both sad and ironic if the military now began fighting wars mainly so that it could be guaranteed the fuel to run its own planes, ships and tanks—consuming hundreds of billions of dollars a year that could instead be spent on the development of petroleum alternatives.

Michael T. Klare, professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, is the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Owl Books).

Copyright 2007 Michael T. Klare

This article was originally published on TomDispatch


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By Bukko in Australia, June 27, 2007 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Talk about walkabout, TAO—when the rest of us materialistic, planet-devouring bipeds have done ourselves in fighting over the last drops of oil, the Aborigines here will pick up like nothing happened. They were on this continent for 40,000 years before the first white men dumped English criminals on these shores in 1788. The Aborigines have been much corrupted and degraded by our presence, but there are still bands who roam the land, living the old way. When the white man is gone after his brief, murderous interlude here, it will just seem like a nightmare in their eternal Dreamtime.

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By TAO Walker, June 27, 2007 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

The “oil IS blood” observation has been around for awhile.  Among the Hopi People (pardon this bilingual redundancy), and others, it is understood that it was the surface “bitumen” exudations in Mesopotamia that first attracted our uninvited guests, and which resulted in them turning that place into the “cradle” of their gone-“global” civilization.  That it now looks to become the thing’s sarcophagus as well seems only natural.

Oswald Spengler has been pretty much “discredited” because of his ties to Hitlerian Nazism’s racist doctrine.  His “general theory” of civilization as a specific phenomenon, subject to certain “rules” and exhibiting a set of identifiable (and indentifying) characteristics, as set-out in “The Decine of The West,” however, makes for an interesting study.  In particular, his assessment of what he terms the defining “conceit” of Western Civilization is helpful in understanding the virtual world-o’-hurt its inmates are in today.

Spengler says The West claims to subsume and epitomize all that came before it, civilization-wise, and then to project itself into eternal infinity as the quintessential expression of its “kind.”  If that is indeed the cluster-fucking “horse” anglo/american imperialism and judeo/christianity rode double in here on (and it sure looks like it to us surviving free wild Indians), the same “animal” lying dead in the ditch of its riders’ excesses, its fly-blown carcass being flogged incessantly (to a credulous “public”) as being under assault rather from the tribal hordes of Arabia and others of the Mahomettan brotherhood, then Spengler seems to’ve been preternaturally accurate in his forecast of its “decline.” 

A younger brother/friend, also a ‘Nam vet, living in BullHook Bottoms, Montana, once “linked” this old person to the Joe Bageant blog.  Revisiting it just now, it appears Joe has advanced to the “redneck anarchist” stage of the getting-the-hell-out-of-Dodge metamorphosis.  Can “going walkabout” be next?

HokaHey!

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By Bukko in Australia, June 27, 2007 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

This way off topic, TAO, but have you ever read the blog of a fellow named Joe Bageant (at JoeBageant.com Fellow calls himself a “redneck socialist.” He has a lot of the same perspectives as you do on how Western civilisation is choking itself with greed and materialism. But unlike most people who make that point a whiny way, he does it with wicked humour and outrage at the way America has betrayed what it supposedly stood for. (But which he, you and I know was always a con.) He’s also another American who fled the country and is living with the Garifuna people, a half-black, half-Indian tribe in Belize. You might enjoy him.

On the topic of peak oil, that “Crude Awakening” movie on the topic calls oil something that an Indian could appreciate: “the blood of the Earth.” That’s what we’re doing in our petroleum-fired madness, burning the blood of the Earth..

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By TAO Walker, June 27, 2007 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

Maybe Billy the kiD (#81643) thinks it’s HIS perceptions this old Indian should “....get carry away with….”  Then there’s his own “assumed role” of wiseacre, that is sometimes but not always as entertaining as he himself plainly believes it is.

A good laugh is always welcome here or anywhere.  The best are generally on oneself, in the considerable experience of this “elder” Savage.  Those at others’ expense often conclude in a hard fall after a long leap from some easy but mistaken assumption. 

An appetite for cheap thrills is not the same as being able to see the humor in our dire but compelling predicament.  That’s enough “wisdom” for tonight.

HokaHey!

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By cann4ing, June 26, 2007 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

TAO, I wish to thank you for such a wonderful explanation of the Lakota “value system.”  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read this post. 

At the rate we are going, you may well be right.  Perhaps it is a “good day to die,” or as you put it,  HokaHey!

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By TAO Walker, June 26, 2007 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

A week helping out at the SunDance sure does wonders for one’s spirit, especially after several months of studied “immersion” in one of the Left Coast’s premier citifications.  Ernest Canning and atheo, on the other hand, seem to’ve come together to that point-no-point (even exchanging virtual “blows”) that is the final destination of “all creatures great and small” who reach the end of civilization’s eight-lane highway to hell-on-wheels-on-Earth.

Each of these frequent and consistently thought-provoking commenters posed some questions to this old Indian’s last here.  In #79043 atheo asked about “Native Americans” stepping-up to the challenges of Bolivian petro-politics, and this person’s “take” on Hugo Chavez.  There may be some Native Americans in Bolivia, and elsewhere on HummingBird Island, though none known personally to yours truly.  Their chances of “leading” anybody anywhere but deeper into wage/debt slavery seem slim-to-none, given The Record to-date.  Oil is “cursed,” and so far is proving to be good for nothing except to grease the skids beneath those living atop deposits of the stuff almost as fatally as those “enjoying” maybe a few more years of half-life under its spell, on their mutual one-way slide into the terminal degradation reluctantly conceded by Ernest Canning.

That gentleman wants to know (#79089) if “millions” of tame two-leggeds will have to die, in the restoration of biological balance and general health here among the Children of Mother Earth.  Leaving aside the fact millions already are perishing of poverty and its attendant diseases, and even making no more than passing mention here that their “untimely” demise is part and parcel of the civilizing process itself, it might be well to at least “entertain” the possibility that the program calls, in the very near future, for billions of captive humans to “make the ultimate sacrifice” for the good of the establishmentarian “order” (called, perhaps ironically, “New World,” here in these latter days).

The Lakota “value system” doesn’t make artificial distinctions among the Children of Mother Earth.  We are all of us equally essential to the wholeness and health of her Living Arrangement.  Modern “biologists” appear finally to be figuring that out, too, in their own clumsy way.  Seeing such “qualitative” differences as Ernest Canning wonders about here is one of the more severe “handicaps” ruthlessly inflicted on their “livestock” by those cosmic fools trying to turn the world into their own “private” captive food-source.

Maybe Mr. Canning is perhaps offended by the suggestion made earlier that he is an “apologist” for what civilization “hath wrought” here.  He does seem to feel there is an acceptable “trade-off” between the depradations he concedes and the “benefits” he alleges.  This old Savage is saying as plainly as he knows how that civilization is intended to “benefit” only its perpetrators, and that your ordinary run of domesticated human is no more one of those “privileged few” than is whatever is contained in a bucket of “chicken parts” the actual driving force behind KFC.

HokaHey!


.

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By cann4ing, June 26, 2007 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Pathetic.

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By atheo, June 26, 2007 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Ernest my nuke loving friend,

My reply is as relvant as yours have been.Do you work for Siemens?

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By cann4ing, June 26, 2007 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Atheo, you really are getting desparate.  If you return to comment #78679 you will find that I began our little colloquy with the following remark:  “proposals to build nuclear reactors as a supposed alternative energy source are the work of the criminally insane.”

Keep trying, though.  Sooner or later you might land on a point that has a modicum of validity.

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By atheo, June 26, 2007 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

My nuke loving friend,

Perhaps you should flesh out your theory as to how Exxon’s profits would be jeopardized.
BTW, how much is the nuke industry and the MIC paying you to make these posts?

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By cann4ing, June 26, 2007 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Atheo, scientific recognition of the human link to global warming is not hysteria.  The financial interests of the irresponsible Exxon-Mobil in seeking to evade policies that would have the world turn away from reliance on fossil fuels, in part because of the devastating ecological impact it has on the atmosphere, are so blatantly obvious as to scarsely warrant discussion.  You’ll have to do better than that, my oil-loving friend.

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By atheo, June 26, 2007 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Ernest,

I’m afraid that it is you that insists on erecting strawmen and evading the substance of the issue. Every post of yours is simply a new ad hominem attack. Yes, the dims are well paid by big oil as are the repugs. They haven’t left any bases uncovered. To suggest that the global warming hysteria will result in a hit on big oil’s profits is baseless. To accuse skeptics of “protecting” those profits is inane.

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By cann4ing, June 26, 2007 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

Atheo.  That’s $10 K per article, not a bad rate.  Overall, Exxon-Mobil invests millions in their effort to sew the seeds of confusion.  I sorry to see that you did not have the intellectual integrity to admit that your effort to change the subject by erecting straw men reflects the degree to which your posts lack substance.

Outside of Kucinich and a few others, there are not too many Dems who still represent the interests of the vast majority of Americans—the middle and working class.  Then, again, neither the oily oligarchs and their Republi-crook allies do either.

So keep pushing the “Oil-is-Great” mantra, keep denying the science of global warming, and apply for one of those Exxon-Mobil $10 K grants, but get it in “cold” cash, lest your dollar bills catch fire as a result of global warming you insist we are not causing.

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By atheo, June 25, 2007 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,

I’m sorry, but your trust that the dims are any less corrupt than the repugs seems laughable. Redirecting profits from Iran and Venezuela to ADM and GE is more what they have in store.
I guess the “rubbish” label goes both directions. What a silly accusation that someone may have been offered $10,000 to counter a propaganda campaign that has had over $50 billion in one sided funding.

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By cann4ing, June 25, 2007 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Atheo, I was not all that excited about the goal of raising efficiency standards by 2020, merely reporting the facts.  The issue I was more interested in, the one that, quite expectedly, you chose to ignore, was the Republican effort to block the redirecting of obscene oil cartel profits into alternative energy.  That, my oil-loving friend, was the point I was making.

Your latest attack on Al Gore is typical.  Gore’s work, and that of the myriad of reputable scientists who have been the subject of your attacks, never said that climate is a constant or that there are no variables in hurricane activity.  Indeed, in the book “The Assault on Reason” Gore states:  “No single hurricane can be blamed on global warming.  Hurricanes have come for a long time and will continue to come in the future…The science does not definitively tell us that global warming increases the frequency of hurricanes—because…there is a multidecadal cycle, a cycle of twenty to forty years, that profoundly affects the number of hurricanes that come in any single…season.  But it is also true that the science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger:  not only make the winds stronger, but dramatically increase the moisture evaperating from the oceans into the storm—thus magnifying its destructive power—and make the intensity of the hurricane stronger.”

Thus, in both citing the Woods Hole Oceanographic study on the fluctuation of hurricane activity, and in limiting your response to the portion of my comment dealing with targeted fuel efficiency standards, you have proceeded to erect straw men that you then seek to demolish.

You come into Truthdig, linking to articles seeking to debunk such reputable organizations as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Union of Concerned Scientists.  As noted by Mr. Gore, in 2007, just as the IPCC report was being released, a front group financed by Exxon Mobil “offered $10,000 for any pseudostudy or paper disputing the findings of the scientific community.”  As Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists observed, “Exxon Mobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as the tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer.”

Given that one of the world’s most reputable scientific journals, “Scientific American” has informed us that the “debate on global warming is over,” before you come in here linking to anyone disputing the CO2 connection, you best be able to prove that your source is not linked to Exxon-Mobil funds.  Otherwise, I and all other Truthdiggers are justified in considering your tireless posts on this issue as rubbish.

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By atheo, June 25, 2007 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

Gloom and Doom in A Sunny Day

By Emily Yoffe

Washington Post

Monday, June 25

...a recent New York Times profile of Gore tells that we are to be flooded with “An Inconvenient Truth.” It is going to be shown in schools; book versions for children and young adults and a children’s television show are planned. The global Live Earth concerts scheduled for July 7 are expected to raise millions, going to a three-year public relations effort, headed by Gore, to deluge us with bad news.

All this is not to say that it’s not getting warmer and that curbing our profligate environmental ways is not a commendable and necessary goal. But perhaps this movement is sowing the seeds of its own destruction—even as it believes the human species has sown its own. There must be a limit to how many calamitous films, books and television shows we, and our children, can absorb.

It doesn’t seem sustainable to expect people to remain terrified by such a disinterested, often benign and even unpredictable enemy. Recall that the experts told us last year would be a record-setting hurricane season, but the series of Katrinas never materialized.

Since I hate the heat, even I was alarmed by the recent headline: “NASA Warns of 110-Degrees for Atlanta, Chicago, DC in Summer.” But I regained my cool when I realized the forecast was for close to the end of the century. Thanks to all the heat-mongering, it’s supposed to be a sign I’m in denial because I refuse to trust a weather prediction for August 2080, when no one can offer me one for August 2008 (or 2007 for that matter).

There is so much hubris in the certainty about the models of the future that I’m oddly reassured. We’ve seen how hubristic predictions about complicated, unpredictable events have a way of bringing the predictors low.

It’s also hard to believe assertions that the science on the future of our climate is settled when climate scientists can’t agree about the present—or the past (there is contention about the dates, causes and even the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed). Now, Gore and others say that Katrina was a product of global warming and that we can expect more and bigger storms. But there is actually brisk scientific debate over the role global warming plays—if any—in the creation of hurricanes.

A study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution last month, looking at 5,000 years of Atlantic hurricanes, found “large and dramatic fluctuations in hurricane activity, with long stretches of frequent strikes punctuated by lulls that lasted many centuries”—with the stormier periods occurring during cooler ocean temperatures. But talking about Earth’s constant, and still inexplicable, climate changes and cycles is not useful if you’re trying to shock.

In his new book, “The Assault on Reason,” Gore denounces what he sees as today’s politics of fear. Yet his own campaign of mass persuasion is not amenable to contradiction and uncertainty. It’s about fright and absolutes. But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not make it the whole truth.

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By atheo, June 25, 2007 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,

While I have not researched this yet, it seems to me that your faith in the dims that supported this is misplaced. 2020? Come on, what’s going to happen when this “mandate” isn’t met? Amy has her listeners all excited about? nothing. Typical. Politics as usual, perhaps they will throw something in about abortion to keep everybody worked up, or maybe gays.

Why do you bother with this rather than address the issue under debate?

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By cann4ing, June 25, 2007 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

From Democracy Now! June 25, 2007.

“On Capitol Hill, the Senate has voted to force automakers to raise fuel efficiency standards for the first time in more than 20 years.  The bill calls for all new cars, trucks and SUVs to get an average of 35 mpg by the year 2020.  Meanwhile Republican Senators stripped sections of the bill that would have required oil and gas companies to spend some of their profits to help research renewable energy sources.  Republicans also blocked a proposal to require utility companies to produce 15% of their electricity with renewable fuels by 2020.”

Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy all over knowing that there is someone out there besides Atheo who is looking out for the interests of the poor deprived oil companies; insuring that there will be no alternatives so that the oil cartel can keep us all over a barrel.

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By atheo, June 25, 2007 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Bucko,

No doubt MSM is “REgressive”, why have faith that foundation funded “alternatives” are anything but? You fail to address my question, why would the manipulators not choose to cover all the bases?

As for global warming, I have not presented anything that denies global warming. This is just silly propaganda. I can’t think of a single skeptic that denies global warming. It’s the carbon relationship to global warming that is questioned and from the science Iv’e seen, rightly so. The climate has always been changing and always will.

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By Bukko in Australia, June 25, 2007 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No, Atheo, I don’t deny the baleful influence of the Israel lobby, although it saddens me to say so. I spent the summer of 1980 working on a kibbutz just south of the Sea of Galilee. (I’m not Jewish, but I figured it was MY Holy Land too. Pus it was a cheap vacation in the sun.) I’ve literally got some of my blood and sweat in Israeli soil, the former courtesy of the times I nicked my fingers with the machete they gave us to trim the dead leaves from the trees on their banana plantation…

Sad to see how Israelis have become the oppressors, just as they had once been oppressed. And they exercise unholy control over American politics when it comes to anything in their neck of the world. However, I don’t believe that the Israelis are behind EVERYTHING. Ditto for the Rockefellers, Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, Illuminati, Masons… Except for Jackie Mason. He’s pure evil.

I have much more suspicion of the global warming denier groups funded by Exxon-Mobil and their ilk. This so-called “liberal” media you decry—remember, ALL the major media are owned by big corporations. Hell, they ARE big corporations. The media are the voice of REgressive interests, not PROgressive.

The media get bought off by those full-page ads that Exxon puts in the paper, or the commercials that oil companies have showing how fish-friendly their offshore drilling rigs are. Do they run those 30-second spots to convince the viewer to buy an oil rig? Hell no. They do that to exert influence over the media. That’s the reason why so much play is given to the junk scientists who deny the measureable truth. But there will always be some who, in reference to my earlier post mentioning the things floating off the coast of Kiwiland, will say “Who are you going to believe—Me, or your own lying icebergs?”

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By atheo, June 25, 2007 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

@ Bucko,
I can’t oblige, I’m not a follower of anyone. By the way, are you an Israel lobby denier? Do you not acknowledge the major foundations? Who did you think finances the Heritage foundation or the American Enterprise Institute? Is this all something you would rather not consider?

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By Bukko in Australia, June 25, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Atheo, by any chance are you a follower of Lyndon LaRouche? “Zionist funding” and “servants of the Rockefeller foundation” are LaRouche catchphrases, and the LaRouchians I’ve talked to have been high-tech heavy industry proponents. As I recall, they’re also anti-imperialist and fascinated with Russia, although it’s been a while since I matched wits with any.

So please tell us, what’s your opinion on the Queen of England’s drug-dealing…

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By atheo, June 25, 2007 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

rf,

gee wiz golly

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By rf ghig, June 24, 2007 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Atheo   “I see peak oil and man caused global warming ...... ” You see ? ? Your post #81035 tells what you see “zionist funding” , ” servants of the Rockefeller foundation” ” You have an agenda and an axe to gind and then have the gall to say you regect dogma LOL
The Chinese dirty coal producer you quote has a safety record only the she wolf of the coal gasification S.S could love.,  and they are “tight lipped” about the technology. Gee Whiz. Can anyone say cold fusion?

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By atheo, June 24, 2007 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

World’s first coal-to-oil mass converter due to start operation this year

[Note that the stated cost of production is under $35/barrel, half the current market price of oil. Also note that China and the US have VAST coal reserves which could provide many times the energy that oil has.]

“The project is in its final stage of construction and will start production late in the year,” said Wang Yulong, deputy manager in charge of the coal liquefying arm of the Liquefied Coal Oil Company of Shenhua Group Corporation Limited, the country’s top coal producer.

Coal liquefaction is a process that converts coal from a solid state into liquid fuels, usually to provide substitutes for petroleum products. Coal liquefaction processes were first developed in the early years of the 20th century but progress was hindered by the relatively low price and wide availability of crude oil and natural gas.

The facility in Erdos will produce mostly diesel oil, plus liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), naphtha (a volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture), and hydroxybenzene.

On completion, it will be the largest facility in the world producing liquids from coal using a technology known as direct gasification.

“Unlike South Africa’s Sasol which produces transport fuel from coal in several stages, our project in Erdos will produce liquids from coal directly,” said Wang, who remained tight-lipped about the technology his company is using.

Indirect liquefaction, the technology used by Sasol, calls for gasification of the coal in the first place, purification of the gaseous raw material before reaction takes place, and a series of adjustments to the proportion of hydrogen and oxygen monoxide before liquids can be produced…

Before starting the project, Shenhua successfully trialled technology at a specially built converter in Shanghai, according to Wang.

“The project in Erdos is about 1,000 times the size of the Shanghai model,” said Wang, claiming it would be both environmentally friendly and lucrative.

Preliminary estimates show 3.4 to 3.5 tons of coal could produce a ton of oil, and if the price of a barrel of crude remains above 35 U.S. dollars, the facility will be profitable, said Wang.

The coal liquefaction project is big on recycling. Workers have constructed two 100,000-kw power plants for generating electricity from burning grease stain, and a sewage treatment plant that will go into service in October.

Industry observers say the Erdos project is significant to China’s food and energy security.

“The efficiency of conventional coal use is very low, but the profits from coal-oils can be much higher,” said an expert surnamed Wu. “This takes away the need to process grain such as maize into ethanol.”

Shenhua Group Corporation Limited is a 100 percent state owned venture that came into being in 1995. Its scope of business ranges from coal, power, heat, coal-liquefied oils, coal-based chemical industries and railways to ports.

It produced 203 million tons of coal last year and was the first enterprise whose coal output exceeded 200 million tons in China.

Coal accounts for more than 84 percent of China’s energy reserves.Statistics provided by the Land and Resources Bureau of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region show that proven coal reserves in the region exceed 500 billion tons, double that of Shanxi Province and elevating Inner Mongolia to the top rank in China in terms of coal reserves.

Many believe coal-to-liquid projects are the most practical way for China to achieve self reliance in oil supply…

Source: Xinhua

http://english.people.com.cn/200706/22/eng20070622_386664.html

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By atheo, June 24, 2007 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Paul,

I see “peak oil” and man caused global warming as memes designed to control people through fear. Much the same as the phony “war on terror”. It is as mistaken to attack the messenger who challenges the first two as to impugn the motives of one who questions the latter. Truth seeking is not furthered by continual dirrision of the person presenting another view, that is just a desperate measure to distract from the actual factors being argued.

The reason that I do not blindly accept the recieved wisdom as presented in the liberal “progressive” media is that I see it as just another flavor of thought control prepared by servants of the Rockefeller foundation and zionist funding. It may not rub some of us the wrong way as much as fox does but that simply makes it all the more effective. Let’s face it, why would those who seek to control the parameters of debate only dominate part of the media? I use the term “full spectrum dominance of media” in this regard. Coming at things from this perspective allows me to reject alot of dogma that partisans cling to. Perhaps a reread of this thread would be of value.

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By atheo, June 24, 2007 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Bucko says:
” why don’t you push the notion of “green petroleum,” hydrocarbons excreted by genetically engineered bacteria? Oil IS at its heart an organic chemical, and with the right science, bacteria could be bred that would poo lakes of the stuff.”

In fact we don’t need to engineer the things, read The Deep Hot Biosphere by Gold. Even the concept of “fossil fuels” is unproven and antiquated. The reason that Russia is now the world’s biggest producer of petroleum is because they understand the replenishment process of reserves. Kropotkin has written on this, but his work is avoided in the west.

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By PaulMagillSmith, June 24, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Atheo,
Perhaps I am naive on a number of subjects in a number of areas, but I am making a concerted effort to become better informed. Since information seems to grow exponentially, rather linear, it becomes more difficult with every day, especially with a segment of the population intent on disseminating dis-information, misinformation, and propaganda to advance warped idealogy & political philosophy. I will not apologize, however, for viewing with the eyes of a skeptic, as this has now become a vital approach for the concerned citizen.

I would like to say I am appreciating some of your alternate viewpoints & postings on various sites, because they make me think logically, and make me approach issues with an open mind. The article you posted on Truthout was interesting (A War Crime or an Act of War?).

While we have been in disagreement on subjects like nuclear power, peak oil, global climate change, & others, and I, too, have at times thought you possibly get funding, or have interests in thwarting progress in these areas, you are obviously a complex educated person who keeps me perplexed as to whose side you are on. This is not necessarily a bad thing for these threads because, as I have previously stated, preaching to the choir is not as productive as swaying opinions of someone from the opposition.

I think by now you have a good idea of where I stand on these issues, and certainly about my feelings regarding extant corruption in our government & elsewhere. When I see wrong I tell my true feelings about the matter, and as clearly & non-obfuscatorily as possible. I would hope you would ‘lay your cards on the table’ and do the same. Thanks for keeping us on our toes, even if a bit confused about your motivations.

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By Bukko in Australia, June 24, 2007 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Atheo, you’re waging an impassioned defence against the notions of global warming AND peak oil. By any chance, is your name Dr. Pangloss in real life? What motivates you? Do you make a living with something petroleum related?

Since you bring up Murdoch, and I hear a lot of Murdoch-related news here (he’s now a U.S. citizen, BTW) let me testify that he hasn’t been on the “global warming is real” bandwagon for long. One of his sons from his first marriage (not the one who got sick of Murdoch’s meddling and jumped ship) is convinced, and that persuaded Rupert.

He’s a right bastard, Murdoch is, and I refuse to buy his tabloid newspaper here or subscribe to cable telly, because he has a piece of that. However, he knows that climate change will affect his family’s profits in the long run. So he’s acknowledged reality. Just as the insurance industry has for its underwriting in coastal areas.

Down here, I can attest anecdotally about warming’s effects. This country is known for its droughts, but the current one has been going on for a decade. After a point, it stops being an exception and becomes the new normal. The Age newspaper (the left-of-centre broadsheet) has a box on the masthead each morning listing the percentage that the water catchments are filled. Saturday, it was 28.7%, and that’s AFTER the winter rainy season has started. The ski resorts near here have a bit of natural snow, but only for for the first time in three years. Last spring’s bush fires were the worst in almost a century. We get a lot of iceberg news, being on the Southern Ocean, and there were bergs floating off the coast of New Zealand last summer—unprecedented since the 1930s. Vermont-sized bits of the ice shelf off Antarctica are breaking away.

All this could be written off as coincidence, if it didn’t dovetail perfectly with what is forecast by Al Gore and nearly every serious scientist. And to get back to peak oil, the wars that Dick Cheney is waging to get a stranglehold on the throat of the world petroleum supply fit perfectly with what a vicious, amoral dictator would do if he knew a peak was coming.

One more thing about your rose-coloured picture of energy from oil shale, tar sands and coal gasification. You don’t mention the pollution and resource waste from this. It takes huge amounts of water to process the oil shale in Colorado into anything useful. That’s one of the reasons the scheme went bust in the early 1980s.

Canadian tar sands burn up almost as much energy as they produce to dig out and refine. Heavy oil and coal gasification leave behind massive amounts of toxic material—all the crap that makes them heavy and coaly, basically. The town where I live has a toxic site (with a children’s park built atop it!) where the coal gas plant used to be until the 1950s. I remember many small U.S. cities with similar monstrosities.

You seem well-informed, so I suspect you know about these drawbacks. Like most deniers, you don’t tell the whole story. I wonder what your interest is…

And if you’re really just a disinterested boffin, why don’t you push the notion of “green petroleum,” hydrocarbons excreted by genetically engineered bacteria? Oil IS at its heart an organic chemical, and with the right science, bacteria could be bred that would poo lakes of the stuff. I inject patients all the time with insulin that comes from modified e. coli. If scientists can make something THAT complex, oil should be a snap. Except for the sad fact that it will smother our planet in the end.

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By atheo, June 24, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

rf ghig says:

“The bell shaped curve is real. Everything is governed by it”

Well my bible tells me otherwise! Gee whiz!

As for global warming, I could never fall for something that Ruppert Murdoch pushes! Gosh!

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By rf ghig, June 23, 2007 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

World Peak oil a scam? No way.The 100 year period when most of the world’s oil is being discovered became known as ” Hubberts Peak” . The peak stands in contrast to the hundreds of millions of years the deposits took to form.The bell shaped curve is real. Everything is governed by it. Where are we on the oil curve ? In 1956 oIl production expert M King Hubbert ( Hubberts peak) predicted peak oil production in the United States for 1970 it came true. Come to find out oil wells go through stages in their production life , more when young less when older.Gee, common sense. The worlds largest oil fields are old and declining in production as they all do and no new large fields have been found anywhere for a long time. The easy oil has been tapped . If you believe peak oil is a scam you also must believe that higher oil prices cause inflation , it does not , the fact is most people spend all available money and spending more on gas they have less available money to buy other stuff thus less pressure on prices for goods and sevices.                                                            Yes global warming due to co2 is hard to grasp when apearing before the Commons Commitee on Enviromental and Substainable Development Carleton U. paleoclimatoloist professor Tim Patterson states that co2 levels were 10 times what they are now 450 million years ago and the planet was in its coldest period in the last half billion years and also says there is a correlation between the Earths tmperature and natural celestial phenomena such as changes in the brightness of the Sun.Gee Whiz

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By atheo, June 22, 2007 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

I’m not too familiar with Glenn Beck. Does he have a minor appearance in the video? I mostly focus on the scientists not mini-snippets of news clips. Any MSM production is going to have an objectionable personality involved. If all you can come up with is ad hominem attacks, it shows that you are reaching for excuses to close your mind.

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By cann4ing, June 22, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Atheo, I never said you were connected to the oil industry.  I posed a question:  “What are your personal connections to the oil industry?”

From the content of your latest post, I have to assume that your answer is “none.”  I am certainly prepared to accept that response as factual.

PaulMagillSmith:  Glenn Beck is worse than a corporatist schill.  At times he has set out to prove that he is not one to be outdone by America’s Eva Braun, aka Ann Coulter.  During the May 17, 2005 broadcast of Clear Channel’s “The Glenn Beck Program,” Mr. Beck stated:  “Hang on; let me tell you what I’m thinking.  I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it.  No, I think I could.  I think he could be looking me in the eye, and I could just be choking the life out—is this wrong?”  During a May 11, 2006 broadcast, Beck stated:  “I say we nuke the bastards.  In fact, it doesn’t have to be Iran.  It can be everywhere, any place that disagrees with me.”

And now Atheo wonders why I don’t find this would-be Nazi a credible source on the issue of global warming?????

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By atheo, June 22, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Fuel Crisis Sparks Mass Protests

Pain at the Pump in Haiti
By JEB SPRAGUE

Port-au-Prince.

On Jun. 12 and 13, transport workers shut off their engines, leaving residents of Port-au-Prince and other urban centres largely without the services of taxis or the colourful buses and pick-up trucks known as tap-taps.


...the price of gasoline has become unaffordable for most drivers, rising by 34 gourdes to 207 gourdes per gallon this month. Many workers, with a salary that hovers around 70 gourdes a day, must spend 20 to 40 gourdes on transportation (35.4 gourdes equal one U.S. dollar).

The striking workers drive cars and buses, which the working poor depend on for transportation.

http://www.counterpunch.org/sprague06212007.html

===============

General Strike Over Rising Fuel Price

By SARAH SIMPSON
 

General Strike Over Rising Fuel Price Takes Hold in Nigerian Cities

Shop shutters stayed bolted and young men played soccer on roads that were usually choked with traffic as the first day of an indefinite general strike and fuel shortages brought cities across Nigeria to a hush on Wednesday.

The strike by powerful labor unions is President Umaru Yar’Adua’s first major challenge since taking office three weeks ago.

Unions want a complete reversal on tax and fuel-price increases and on the sale of two state-owned oil refineries, moves that were pushed through in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s final days in office.

The government has agreed to withdraw a five-point increase in the value-added-tax rate, to halve the rise in fuel prices and to review privatization policies, but those moves failed to avert the strike.

“The strike has been quite successful,” said Owei Lakemfa, spokesman for the strike organizers, the Nigeria Labor Congress. “The shops are closed, the schools are closed, the banks are closed, the factories and industry are closed down — so we made quite an impact.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/21/world/africa/21nigeria.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
====================

I’ll be seeing you guys from the other side of the barricades.

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By atheo, June 22, 2007 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Globalists Love Global Warming


by Paul Joseph Watson


A common charge leveled against those who question the official orthodoxy of the global warming religion is that they are acting as stooges for the western establishment and big business interests. If this is the case, then why do the high priests of the elite and kingpin oil men continue to fan the flames of global warming hysteria?

The Trilateral Commission, one of the three pillars of the New World Order in alliance with Bilderberg and the CFR, met in near secrecy to formulate policy on how best they could exploit global warming fearmongering to ratchet up taxes.

At the confab, European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberger and chairman of British Petroleum Peter Sutherland gave a speech in which he issued a “Universal battle cry arose for the world to address “global warming” with a single voice.”

Echoing this sentiment was General Lord Guthrie, director of N.M. Rothschild & Sons, member of the House of Lords and former chief of the Defense Staff in London, who urged the Trilateral power-brokers to “Address the global climate crisis with a single voice, and impose rules that apply worldwide.”

Allegations that skeptics of the man-made explanation behind global warming are somehow doing the bidding of the elite are laughable in the face of the fact that Rothschild operatives and the very chairman of British Petroleum are the ones orchestrating an plan to push global warming fears in order to achieve political objectives.

We have a similar situation to the Peak Oil scam, which was created by the oil industry as a profit boon to promote artificial scarcity, and yet is parroted by environmentalists who grandstand as if they are in opposition to the oil companies.

In his excellent article, Global warming hysteria serves as excuse for world government, Daniel Taylor outlines how the exploitation of the natural phenomenon of “global warming” was a pet project of the Club of Rome and the CFR.

“In a report titled “The First Global Revolution” (1991) published by the Club of Rome, a globalist think tank, we find the following statement: “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”
“Richard Haass, the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations, stated in his article “State sovereignty must be altered in globalized era,” that a system of world government must be created and sovereignty eliminated in order to fight global warming, as well as terrorism. “Moreover, states must be prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies if the international system is to function,” says Haass. “Globalization thus implies that sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but that it needs to become weaker. States would be wise to weaken sovereignty in order to protect themselves…”

Taylor also points out future British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s admonishment that only a “new world order” can help fight global warming.

Other attendees at the recent Trilateral meeting raised the specter of climate change as a tool to force through tax hikes…

 


Tucker writes that an essential means of achieving global government by consent over conquest, as has long been the ultimate goal of the elite, is by “fanning public hysteria” over climate change, encouraging further integration by forcing countries to adhere to international law on global warming…
to castigate individuals for merely questioning the motives behind climate change fearmongering by accusing them of being mouthpieces for the establishment is a complete reversal of the truth.

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By atheo, June 22, 2007 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Ernest,
Your suggestion that I favor privacy for policy formation is completely unfounded and a slur with no basis. An apology is in order also for your erroneous, juvenile suggestion that I have any connection with the oil industry. These personal attacks indicate that your are avoiding arguing on the merits of your weak position.

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By atheo, June 22, 2007 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Paul,
I guess the clock hits midnight once per day, the other half dozen countries pricing oil in other currencies have yet to be attacked. The fact that they invest in London and New York may have something to do with it. It just goes to show that if your analysis is shallow enough you can make a case for anything. The fact that Hussein sold oil in euros also begs the chicken or egg question. All in all you need to come up with a more logical explanation.

BTW, your acceptance that Bush begrudgingly flipped on global warming is naive. Maybe it was set up to look like something he was reluctant to embrace, a smart approach to massive tax increases on the lower classes.

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By PaulMagillSmith, June 22, 2007 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

Ernest,
I believe you are exactly correct when you state Glenn Beck is an un-reliable source of information. That he schills for the establishment becomes evident after only a short viewing. About a month or so ago he made great fun of a device my brothers invented (see nukalert.com), despite the fact the keychain radiation detector will likely save countless thousands of lives when (notice I didn’t say if) a nuclear device is detonated somewhere in the US. After numerous heavyweights (including congress people) called him to task for his ill-informed comments the following night he retracted all his comments from the previous night’s stupid rant. He is too much in the pocket of the right to have any credibility.

Atheo,
The Cheney energy task force is/was criminal. Don’t you think the American people have a right to know what transpired in their ‘private’ (read secretive here) meeting (and who attended) on a matter of such import to national security? Record oil prices, and the Iraq invasion, are the direct result of Cheney’s ‘secret’ meeting.
And it does matter what currency oil is valued in, from a financial & psychological point of view. Why do you think Bush is so intent on Chavez & Hussein (and Iran) going down? All three suggested valuing oil in Euros instead of dollars. Our military is a tool used to enforce US oil policy around the world. I’m not saying dictatorial intent isn’t/wasn’t there with Chavez or Hussein, but how are they any different from the Bush/Cheney mobsters?

BTW, it is only through sustained & increasing public pressure Bush finally & very begrudgingly admitted climate change is fact, despite the ‘spin’ his oil/coal buddies have spent countless millions on in attempts to propagandize people for the benefit & massive profits of these fossil fuel fossils.

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By cann4ing, June 21, 2007 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Wrong, Atheo, although Cheney has worked tirelessly to hide the potato, much of what took place within the Cheney task force has become public since, including the map which listed the various oil sites in Iraq.  Indeed, this is one of the little facts cited by many academics to prove that the Bush administration had its sights set on regime change long before 9/11. 

As to Exxon funding, it is documented at length by the Union of Concerned Scientist’s report.  I suppose next you are going to tell us that the UCS was bought off by Ted Turner.

By the way, I can well understand what Exxon Mobil has to gain by its campaign to deny global warming.  What does Ted Turner have to gain?  With all that wealth available from the oil cartel, why would government agencies advance this great “fraud” as you call it when there is so much more in corruption and graft to be collected from the oil cartel?  Hell, if you’re gonna be a corrupt government official, wouldn’t you do what Cheney does and line up at the oil industry feeding trough?  After all, over the past two years our pals at Exxon Mobil have turned the highest profits of any corporation in human history.

What are your personal connections to the oil industry?

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By atheo, June 21, 2007 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,
You decry funding by Exxon of the video without any substantiation whatsoever, yet it is a known fact that Ted Turner financed the IPCC report with $1 billion. Your use of this allegation falls flat when compared to the $50 billion unsuccessfully spent by NWO government entities attempting to “prove” man caused global warming. Go back and review the exchange on this subject already included in this thread.

Equally weak is your attempt to ascribe your interpretation to what transpired at an admittedly private 2001 energy meeting. Admit it, we have no idea what happened at that meeting. It is disengenuous to assert as fact the “strategies” that you suggest. Perhaps they were getting together to get a big laugh about the success in using their full spectrum dominance of media to create the illusion of anthropomorphic global warming as being an “environmentalist” pushed paradigm. In fact it is just as “establishment” as big pharma, commercial ag, nuclear power, or any other profit center for the corporate/academic nexus. Again, just who do you think is going to collect the carbon tax? The very same Bush/Cheney regime that you accuse me of supporting. In fact it is you who are working toward that end and I who is resisting it.

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By cann4ing, June 21, 2007 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Atheo, I am not impressed with a video put out by the right-wing screed like Glenn Beck—a video we should all suspect as having been financed by Exxon Mobil.  Time and again you come onto this site, citing anyone and everyone you can to deny the existence of global warming while ignoring such reputable scientific organizations as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Union of Concerned Scientists, the latter of which prepared a lengthy 2006 report showing that “Exxon Mobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.” 

You talk about a “global warming swindle” while defending the greatest swindlers ever to inhabit our planet, the oil cartel, which, at every turn, has sought to prevent the development of truly effective alternative energy, has paid for the pseudo-science you now dish out as supposed gospel, and which has everything to gain by continuing to sow the seeds of doubt about global warming.  This is a cartel that met privately with Dick Cheney in 2001, mapping out an “energy strategy” that included details on how they would slice up the fields in Iraq, whose profits have more than trippled since the invasion, yet who received over $7 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies in 2005 alone.

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By atheo, June 19, 2007 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Great Global Warming Swindle
 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1009035127227286104&q=Global+Warming+swindle&total=176&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Though the guy who wrote this has written a lot of bullcrap about GM food, this is a master peice.

Bear in mind that while the “establishment consensus” may back anthropomorphic global warming, they also back food irradiation, nuclear power, GMOs, etc…

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By atheo, June 19, 2007 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Paul Smith,

How exactly will chewing on those facts help resolve our questions? Does that prove global warming? The fact that Bush and Blair are pushing global warming as a way to empower government while at the same time increasing military fuel consumption should give you pause. In fact the whole meme is just as phony as the “global war on terror” they both serve only to empower governments.

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By PaulMagillSmith, June 19, 2007 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

When I get the discs back I’ll find that article, Atheo, but in the meantime chew on these easily Googled facts:

From the DoD: “The Army calculated that it would burn 40 million gallons of fuel in three weeks of combat in Iraq, an amount equivalent to the gasoline consumed by all Allied armies combined during the four years of World War I.

70 % of US military fuel consumption is for jet fuel

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By atheo, June 19, 2007 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Paul Smith,

Your contention that renewables will replace carbon fuels overlooks the fact that outside of hydro, which is for the most part maxed out, renewables do not provide “baseload” power, they are intermittent:

Switkowski told a lecture on climate change and nuclear power…“For baseload generation, there are probably only four options [now in question]: coal, gas, hydro and nuclear.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=26&objectid=10446021

I’d rather stick with natural gas since there is no solution known for nuclear waste.

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By atheo, June 19, 2007 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Paul Smith,

You have touched on yet another disinformation meme put out by the foundation funded fake left media. The dollar is at risk due to military spending, not potential switching of currencies of oil transactions.
The key to maintaining the dollar as a reserve currency is low inflation relative to interest paid on treasuries. The excessive borrowing to fund aggressive destruction of Israel’s enemies has resulted in debasement of the dollar. As to the oil exchange theory, oil buyers could hold dollars and switch to euros upon transaction or visa versa. What is more critical is the longer term investment of the oil sales proceeds, the gulf Arabs have been buying US treasuries through London and the Carribean in a sort of quid pro quo for US protection. It’s a racket.

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By PaulMagillSmith, June 19, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately, Atheo, the reference is not available at the moment. My other laptop crashed, a friend has managed to retrieve my files to disc, but they haven’t arrived yet.

Regarding your geopolitical take on the oil subsidies I have this to add. In the interest of US financial interests, the US, because of the massive debt incurred by this administration to China caused by the Iraq war, cannot afford to have another currency become the fiat currency that oil is traded & valued in. This would make our already devalued dollars worth even less, possibly causing China to make us pay our debt, which would be disasterous to the US economy. Have you ever noticed that we usually attack any country talking about making a switch in the fiat?

I’ll try to backtrack the thousands of files I have saved on my other computer when I get the discs and post the article when possible.

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By cann4ing, June 19, 2007 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Atheo, oil companies take taxpayer subsidies for the same reason every other corporation accepts subsidies—greed!  Geopolitics has nothing to do with it.

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By atheo, June 19, 2007 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Paul Smith,

Thanks for the run down on nuclear, this adds to the points that I have been making. As to your question:

“Tell me why the oil companies, with record profits every quarter, still will take the taxpayer’s hard earned money, when they should be paying with their own ‘dime’ “

I can actually answer that, it’s about geopolitics:
The Us government would like to undermine the competitive positions of Venezuela, Iran, and Russia. Throwing money at US big oil is a poor method in an attempt at accomplishing that goal.

Can you cite a source for your point #2?

From the balance of your post, it appears that you did not read much of or didn’t comprehend much of my posts.

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By PaulMagillSmith, June 19, 2007 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

Well I’m back sooner than I figured, and this time about:

#78755 by Enemy of State on 6/17 at 12:42 pm
(22 comments total)


A report I read about two years ago stated the US military consumes over 11% of the total world production of oil. When you consider we have by far more military still in this country than in Iraq & Afghanistan (and in other places around the world) this figure might be an accurate assessment.

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By PaulMagillSmith, June 19, 2007 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

I started reading the posts from the top, then figured I needed to read them all from the bottom so I would know what everyone was saying and not be repetitious. After 20-25 comments I can’t stand it anymore. I got as far as this one and will weigh in, go back to finish reading, then post some more on this vital subject obfuscated by so much spin & false information:

RE: #78679 by Ernest Canning on 6/16 at 10:28 pm
(355 comments total)

“Atheo, proposals to build nuclear reactors as a supposed alternative energy source are the work of the criminally insane.”

Thank you, Ernest, you know I have seen numerous of your posts, and you also know I value what you have to say on a number of subjects we have discussed on Truthdig (and Common Dreams too I believe).

After looking at a number of your posts, Atheo, I have to agree with Ernest’s comment above. I will just make three points here and continue reading before I post anymore

1) Oil AND nuclear materials for fuel are BOTH finite materials. Once they are gone they are pretty much gone forever (or for thousands of generations anyway). The oil companies (and some oil producing nations, even) have been seriously inflating their numbers about reserves, so it is a pretty safe bet peak oil, assuming we haven’t passed the tipping point already, is closer than we think. While our solar system undoubtedly contains a wealth of fuel for nuclear reactors to use, do you really want a space ship loaded with radioactive material burning through our atmosphere with the distinct possibility of crashing to earth in millions of pieces strewn over at least hundreds (if not thousands) of miles?

2) There isn’t even a need for that scenario, or for more very dangerous nuclear reactors to be built at all. Are you aware that as of June 2005 renewable sources of power generation (even excluding large hydro electric dams) now produce more power than all the nuclear reactors in the world combined?

3) Nuclear power is EXPENSIVE. Proponents of it say it is cheap, but they don’t factor in the cost of the plant to the equation OR the heavy subsidies paid by the taxpayer. To use someone else’s very appropriate example that’s like saying a Rolls Royce is inexpensive to own by disregarding the cost of the car itself and just looking at what gas mileage it gets.

After looking at a number of your posts it wouldn’t surprise me if you weren’t a schill for the oil & nuclear industry and possibly even a Republican trying to do what they do best obfuscate, confuse, spread mis-information, and just flat out cherry-pick certain ‘facts’ to propell their sick anti-people adgendas. Show me I am wrong.

Tell me the facts about how much money is being spent on oil & gas exploration and what is being spent on gearing up non-polluting renewables.

Tell me why the oil companies, with record profits every quarter, still will take the taxpayer’s hard earned money, when they should be paying with their own ‘dime’ (money from profits they have soaked the consumer for).

Tell me why untold thousands of children must suffer through an autistic life because coal companies & coal fired power plants keep delaying cleaning up their act.

Tell me why ethanol fuel is such a great deal (except for already heavily subsidized mega farmers) when the doubling of food prices in a very few years will cause millions to starve worldwide.

Tell me why drilling for gas off the shores of Virginia will be good for the east coast, when the inevitable disaster will cause a major marine life kill, affect at least 500,000 people drastically, and cause $50+ billion in un-necessary financial loss.

We’re waiting…and I’m doing some more reading of posts…

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By cann4ing, June 18, 2007 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Billy, Tao’s critique is broader than just technology.  He is saying that the the Native American survivalist lifestyle and their concept of the relationship of all living things, in which he includes not just plants and animals but the “living earth” itself, is an “organic” form of humanity that does not upset the balance of nature.  He contends that the very process of civilization is at odds with nature and is therefore the source of depravations including the extinction of numerous species.  In short, he is saying that the “civilized” way of life itself is not sustainable.

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Enemy of the State,

How could an “enemy of the state” want to give these new powers to the STATE?

I’m shocked, shocked
Robert Clayton Dean

...to discover that carbon management and carbon credits are scams.

As for the carbon offsets so beloved of our elite Gulfstream Greens:

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.
A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.


Net effect of most carbon offsets: zero, or close to it. The Gulfstream Green crowd’s carbon footprints are just as big as before, in other words, although by writing a check they have given themselves permission to ignore this fact.

And from the statist/authoritarian wing, we have cap and trade, which many proponents like to claim is a market solution. As if a market in an artificial intangible permit issued by government and valued only because of government regulatory scheme is anything other than gussied up rent-seeking.

This system sets an overall cap on carbon emissions, creates a fixed set of carbon credits which add up to this cap level, and then allows companies to trade credits with each other. There really is no upside to this system, though proponents will argue that it does have a firm cap on carbon emissions. The downsides are that industries will cheat, price volatility will be really high, countries will cheat and the system privileges insiders:
By creating tradable financial assets worth tens of billions of dollars for governments to distribute among their industries and plants and then monitor, a global cap-and-trade program also introduces powerful incentives to cheat by corrupt governments. Corrupt governments will almost certainly distribute permits in ways that favor their business supporters and understate their actual energy use and emissions.


And, of course, the final ‘solution’ to global warming is the carbon tax, which, like any tax, will transfer wealth, burden the development of truly poor areas, and (absent a trade war or true Global Total State) be applied only on a local basis and thus be ineffective to reduce carbon output in any meaningful way. Does anyone think that the worlds biggest carbon producer, China, will cripple its economy with this tax?

The three proposed solutions for the carbon problem are ineffective, corrupting, and damaging. Only someone in the grips of green religious mania, or with a profitable angle dialed in, could possibly be in favor of any of them.

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Enemy of the State,

You ask:

“Do you really believe the US government wants to recieve reports that global warming is real? “

I answer Yes. In fact Bush has Mandated ethanol, Blair and Howard are banning incandescent lighting, and look for carbon taxes or carbon credits (that accomplish the same end) to come soon. Sadly, this will be an extraordinarily regressive tax that in no way forces the well off to curtail profligate consumption. It turns out that CFL lights are loaded with mercury and a serious environmental hazard. I think we are all now seeing the results of ethanol on food prices, but many aren’t aware of the elevated ozone levels that will cause worse health problems in urban areas. Then there’s the new generation of nuclear plants.
We all need to stop and decide if Bush and Blair are taking us where we want to go, or if wev’e been had in a big bait and switch scam. Denigrating the dissenting scientists is just being closed minded.

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By Enemy of State, June 18, 2007 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Atheo is using the debunked arguments of the denialists.

  First they claim some other cause for observed global warming. In this case solar UV variability. The reality is it does vary, with the sunspot cycle, which goes up/down in an irregular period of about 11years. But the planet is warming at all points of the solar cycle. And in fact differences in climate are very slight from solar minumum to solar maximum (we are near minimum now). But changes of solar activity within the cycle are much greater than those that are observed over longer periods of time. Basically the tactic is: claim scientists are too stupid to see how things work, but some marginal academic somewhere knows how it really runs. Then the claim is scientists are just producing results that the funding agencies want. Do you really believe the US government wants to recieve reports that global warming is real? No they keep applying political pressure to minimize the certainties, i.e. they are following the Bush Cheney program to tone down the science.  Then of course these researchers who would produce results for money. These are people who spent at least a decade of intense effort to obtain a pretty average income. Any one of them could double their salary by quitting and working for industry -they are not motivated by money.

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By cann4ing, June 18, 2007 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Tao, as always I appreciate and want to understand your comments.  I have some sincere questions:

1)  Am I to understand that, under tiyoshpaye, if the number of humans exceeds the natural organic balance, we must accept that millions will have to die until the instinctive bio-social arrangement is restored?

2)  Am I to understand that, under the Lakota value system, all life is on an even plane so that the life of an animal is on the same level as the life of a human being?

3)  Is it your position that one, such as myself, cannot simultaneously see aspects of “civilization” as being beneficial while, at the same time, being an outspoken opponent of what you describe as the “depravations” such as environmental degradation with a resultant extinction of species?

4)  What is it you saw in my comments that led you to conclude that I was an “apologist” for those depravations?

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker,

I find your input thought provoking and I’m wondering what your feelings are toward the new Native American led government in Bolivia? How would you go forward with gas and oil development if you were in their shoes? Are you a supporter of Hugo Chavez and do you buy gas at Citgo? Is the Bolivarian motto: Liberty, Respect, and Brotherhood, something that conforms to your view of the future?

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By TAO Walker, June 18, 2007 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

The “..massive loss of life…” Ernest Canning continues to worry about (#78946) is apparently limited in his value-system to that of tame two-legged “individuals.”  Meanwhile, a recent issue of Mother Jones magazine carries an article suggesting the extinction of species, attributable directly to the bulldozer of civilization, may be as high as hundreds daily.  How many holes, from microscopic to gaping, does he think can be torn in what some call “the web of Life” here before it shreds completely and blows away on the solar wind? 

Tiyoshpaye, as the natural organic form of humanity within the living body of Mother Earth, remains the instinctive bio-social arrangement for human beings (Witness the ubiquitously misapplied use of “community,” among English-speakers.).  This is as true for the masses and mobs of civilized “individuals” as it is for us Ickche Wichapi, us free wild natural persons.  “Numbers” only signify at the margins, anyhow.  When they rise above the natural capacity of a given “range” to sustain them, something has to give.  When they fall below what is necessary to propagate healthily, it will be the decimated species giving-way to some other more viable one.

It is as difficult to “explain” to domesticated humans how the tiyoshpaye form will undergo regeneration here(as the cheap imitation plastic civilized substitute undergoes catastrophic collapse) as it would be for a free wild Salmon to convey the particulars of the upper Wallowa River country to a fish-farmed suedo-salmon about to be knocked in the head, cut-up, and shipped to a nearby supermarket.  Fortunately, for both “farmed” Salmon and “ranched” humans, their essential nature and millions of years of Life Herownself’s Song ‘n’ Dance here give them at least a GhostDancers’ chance to “make-it,” once restored to their natural “estate.”  In their artificially degenerate condition, however, their chances are nil….except to “feed” the killing habits of some similarly diseased Life-form, that is.

Meanwhile, the wholesale slaughter of those (including humans) who are in the way of that bulldozer, or whose terminally lethal exploitation adds to some corporate bottom-line somewhere, continues apace….as it has here for ten millennia.  No doubt Ernest Canning and others who writeas apologists for civilization and justifiers of its depradations believe there is some way their own little virtual-world can be preserved and extended (in “Time” and “Space”) even as the Living Arrangement from which it has been ripped disintegrates and disappears.  Yet their own biologists will tell them it is the “megafauna,” of which humans are surely one, that go first when some ecosystem enters that condition called “cascading failure.”

But that fools’ bet has now been irrevocably laid-down.  Now we are all going to see just how it pays-off.

HokaHey!

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

Solar Heat into the Geartrain of Climate

The Sun, our star, has its own cycles of behavior (e.g., sunspots with an irregular cycle of about 11 years), which have been carefully studied and are now monitored by satellites. The quantity and spectrum of solar radiation arriving at the Earth at any given time (insolation) is known. Variations of solar radiation are relatively small, and for most purposes the output of the Sun can be taken as constant. The “solar constant” (1340 watts/meter2) is defined as the solar energy falling per unit time at normal incidence on a unit area of the Earth’s surface (ignoring the atmosphere). At any moment, Earth is intercepting 1.7×1017 watts, or 170 million gigawatts of solar power.

The motion of the Earth has several cycles whose collective effect influences changes in climate; these are Milankovitch cycles (Milutin Milankovitch, 1879-1958). One is a 100,000 year “ice age” cycle, which coincides with the periods of glaciation during the last few million years, the Quaternary Period. Milankovitch cycles are the net effect of three periodicities, those of eccentricity, axial tilt and precession. The eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is the “ovalness” of that circuit. The axial tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis (~north-south axis) is the angle between the plane of rotation (~the plane of the equator) and the orbital plane (the plane of the Earth’s orbit about the Sun). The precession is the wobble of the Earth’s axis (like the wobble of a spinning top). Milankovitch cycles are a major factor in climate change, but they do not explain everything about past climate (for which there is data).

The ultraviolet portion of the solar flux begins interacting with the tenuous and ionized upper fringes of the atmosphere (from 50 km to 1000 km), before most of it is absorbed in the ozone layer (25 km) at the threshold to the bulk of Earth’s atmosphere. The visible light streams through a generally transparent atmosphere, except where it is reflected and scattered by clouds and aerosols. Visible light eventually strikes land or water, being absorbed, or it strikes ice and snow and is largely reflected. Solar energy absorbed into the Earth warms its surface, down to a depth of perhaps 100 meters, to an average (equilibrium) temperature of 15° C (59° F). Of course, at the immediate surface (down to at most 10 meters) the temperature is set by the latitude, season and local weather. Below, say 1 km, the heat produced by the Earth’s gravitational compression of its core becomes evident, and temperature increases with depth…

For completeness, we note that the incidence of any low probability natural catastrophe, like the fall of a massive comet, or a caldera eruption (an extremely large volcanic eruption) could radically alter climate.

It is easy to see that there are many, many uncertainties, approximations, and links that any particular subsystem model relies on, and which in turn affect the accuracy and reliability of any global climate model. So, there is more than enough material for critics to point to as serious deficiencies. Where the criticisms are knowledgeable and specific, they will direct the efforts of climate modelers to refine their synthesis. Breakthroughs will come from scientists who put their minds to understanding why certain disagreements between climate models and reality persist. Whether such breakthroughs will put the final polish on the models, or utterly destroy them by giving birth to new conceptions, I cannot say.

by Manuel Garcia

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Enemy of the State,

When you claim your critics receive money for their work, especially oil-industry money, you commit the logical fallacy of poisoning the well. 
   
    Speaking to those who dismiss out of hand, or simply despise at first encounter, critics of AnthropogenicGlobal Warming (AGW) who have received remuneration from the oil industry, the point above has an even more devastating consequence than rendering your argument against those critics void: you open yourself up to having the tables turned on you. If mention of a critic’s receipt of oil-industry money is “allowed” into the debate, a gigantic case can be made against all taxpayer-funded-institution, academia-based conclusions on the grounds of the billions of tax money that has been poured into your sector, in amounts that make ExxonMobil grants of a few thousands look like a tip at the car wash. I will not go down that road, except to say you should fear the argument being turned against you. I will make one last reference, a paraphrase of Upton Sinclair, a hero of the progressives:
   
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his government contract, research grant, tenure, publishing deal, reputation as an anti-capitalist, collegiate prestige or tax funding depends upon him not understanding.”
   
    My suggestion to any pro-AGW activists for whom the above shoe fits vis a vis attacks on critics: resist demagoguery. Slay us with your data and methods, since you hold them to be irrefutable.

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By Enemy of State, June 18, 2007 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

I suspect Atheo is a paid troll of the energy industry.

  In any case, a couple of marginal scientists notwithstanding global warming is a serious phenomena, at least 99% of climate researchers believe that. The argument that we need not worry about Greenland melting assumes the following:
(1) Climate won’t warm very much.
(2) The time span for deconsstruction of the ice sheet is on the order of 5000 years.
  Both of these assumptions are very questionable.
  The second one assumes that only enhanced surface melting is operative. We now know that meltwater lubricating glaciers so that they slide towards the oceans easier is an important effect. How important we don’t know. If it took 5000 years for the icecap to melt, it would contribute about half a meter per century of sea level rise. Somewhat damaging, but slow enough that most infrastructure could be rebuilt inland
as it ages and needs to be replaced. If it is several times faster, adaptation would be very expensive. I don’t think science will be able to quickly answer this one.

  Another problem is that black carbon from natural and man made sources is deposited on the ice sheets. This accumulates on the surface as the melt season progresses. As this stuff absorbs sunlight it warms, and increases melting. Some researchers think this is more important than the greenhouse gases in melting ice/snow, and in the rapid polar warming we are currently experiencing. This only compounds the problem.

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Local scientist calls global warming theory ‘hooey’
Samara Kalk Derby —  6/18/2007


Reid Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, considers global warming a bunch of hooey.

The UW-Madison professor emeritus, who stands against the scientific consensus on this issue, is referred to as a global warming skeptic. But he is not skeptical that global warming exists, he is just doubtful that humans are the cause of it.

There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the “Little Ice Age,” he said in an interview this week.

“However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We’ve been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It’s been warming up for a long time,” Bryson said.

The Little Ice Age was driven by volcanic activity. That settled down so it is getting warmer, he said.

Humans are polluting the air and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but the effect is tiny, Bryson said.

“It’s like there is an elephant charging in and you worry about the fact that there is a fly sitting on its head. It’s just a total misplacement of emphasis,” he said. “It really isn’t science because there’s no really good scientific evidence.”

Just because almost all of the scientific community believes in man-made global warming proves absolutely nothing, Bryson said. “Consensus doesn’t prove anything, in science or anywhere else, except in democracy, maybe.”

Bryson, 87, was the founding chairman of the department of meteorology at UW-Madison and of the Institute for Environmental Studies, now known as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He retired in 1985, but has gone into the office almost every day since. He does it without pay…


So, if global warming isn’t such a burning issue, why are thousands of scientists so concerned about it?

“Why are so many thousands not concerned about it?” Bryson shot back.

“There is a lot of money to be made in this,” he added. “If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can’t get grants unless you say, ‘Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.’”

Speaking out against global warming is like being a heretic, Bryson noted…

http://www.madison.com/tct/mad/topstories/197613

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

@ Billy the DICK

Your argument has me pursuaded! I’m now cowering in fear and ready to submit to the establishments whimsy.

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Billy the Dick,
I’m wowed by your intelectual prowess!

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist, is author of Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently returned from a junket to Greenland, where, among other things, she says she “saw firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality.” True enough, Madame Speaker, but you didn’t see.

New satellites tell us that Greenland — mainly southern Greenland — is shedding ice at the rate of 25 cubic miles per year. If Greenland lost most of its ice, sea levels would rise 20 feet or so. Greenland is by far the largest mass of ice in the Northern Hemisphere, with roughly 10 percent of the world’s total.

Greenland’s total ice volume is 680,000 cubic miles, and it is losing four ten–thousandths of its ice per year. Do the math. That works out to 0.4 percent of its total mass per century.
Never mind that the most recent study of Greenland indicates that even this minuscule rate may have slowed. Pelosi is falling victim to the common misconception that a slight, additional warming of Greenland will lead to the biblical flood, pronto.

Greenland warmer for 50 years That’s the horror–show scenario driving the hysteria. How well does it stack up against the facts?

Data from the United States’ National Climactic Data Center show that temperatures in Greenland for the last decade are hardly unusual when compared to temperatures for the last 100 years. The period from 1915 through 1965 — an entire half–century — was about two degrees warmer than it is today.

Where, at that time, was the catastrophe? With the exception of a few geographers, no one noticed. Where was the acceleration in sea-level rise? There was none. In 1948, Hans van Ahlmann published a paper in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society commenting upon the loss of ice from coastal fjords and the arrival of fish associated more with warmer waters, noting that there was an increase in habitable land.

In 2000, Glen MacDonald and several coauthors published an eye–opening perspective on the climate history of the Eurasian arctic in the highly respected journal Quaternary Research (“quaternary” is the era of recent ice ages, beginning about 1.8 million years ago) in which they examined radiocarbon dates of old trees deposited in the tundra, far north of today’s northernmost trees. In that region, the tree line is generally over 100 miles south of the Arctic Ocean. But for much of the era from 3,000 to 9,000 years ago, the forest extended right to the sea.

Summer temperatures — the same ones that melt Greenland’s ice — are what determine the Northern treeline. MacDonald had to conclude that “Over much of northern Eurasia [during that period], summers may have been 4.5 to 12.6°F warmer than today.”
Moreover, they wrote that the only way this could occur was if there was a massive incursion of warm (Gulf Stream) water into the Arctic Ocean. How does such water get there? By passing between Greenland and Europe. It’s the only way.

So Greenland had to have been much warmer than it is now for six millennia. Again, where are the records of unprecedented rises in sea level? There aren’t any, because there wasn’t any. Sea levels rose to roughly where they are today.

A deafening silence:

The true history of Greenland makes one thing clear: there’s no climate emergency, and therefore no need to legislate draconian regulations on energy use…

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By cann4ing, June 18, 2007 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Bukko, excellent post, especially the reference to Dr. Caldicott’s fine work.  I think there is an element of denial in the global warming critics who will latch onto the work of any individual scientist, any will do, who disputes it while choosing to ignore the significant body of work presented by such reputable organizations as the Union of Concerned Scientists.  The objections to use of batteries in electric cars ignores the fact that the gas consuming vehicles all have batteries, which, unlike plug-ins, are recharged by the gas guzzling, internal combustion engines they are used to start.  The batteries used in the all-electric Tesla Motors Roadster is Lithium-ion.  (At 248 peak hp, the Tesla Motors Roadster is a bit too powerful for my tastes.)

The EDrive Toyota Prius is a plug-in hybrid which gets an estimated 100 mpg.

Finally, despite continued disagreement with him, I must pay my respect to Tao Walker.  Native Americans were able to live in harmony with the environment for more than a thousand years.  In less than 200, us “civilized” types may well be on our way to destroying it.  My only point was that the level of environmental degredation is such that I do not think it possible for a widespread return to the 19th Century lifestyle of our Native American brothers and sisters.  Frankly, I wish I was wrong about that.  If you can explain to me, Tao, how, in today’s already degredated environment, it would be possible for the world’s “domesticated-types” to be transformed into free and wild without a massive loss of life, I would be delighted to read it.

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By atheo, June 18, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Bucko,

I’m glad that you are enjoying Melbourne. I think cities with good public transit are much more liveable (I used to live in S.F.).

As for restatement of reserves, that was Shell, not BP. However that just goes to show the seriousness of stating reserves. I’m not sure that those were proven or estimated. As far as Saudi reserves go, it really doesn’t matter now that the global economy has proven that it won’t collapse at $75/barrel oil prices (3 times the cost of abundant heavy oil).In short, peak oil doom and gloom theories are simply based on the notion that you can’t factor heavy oil because the economy won’t handle the price, that’s proven hokum now.There is no question about the massive Venezuelan heavy oil, Canadian tar sands, and even Colorado and Utah shale deposits. Coal for synfuel is also beyond question and available for development at $45/barrel.
These alarmist propaganda movies and books serve two purposes:

1) aquiescence to high oil prices

2) aquiescence to military aggression

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By TAO Walker, June 18, 2007 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

Ernest Canning (#78761) generously credits us surviving free wild Indians with maybe having something worthwhile to offer our sisters and brothers held captive in the civilized world.  He then proceeds in a typically wasichu way to tell us exactly what that is.  That we might actually know something about the condition the domesticated peoples’ condition is in, something moreover that they themselves are completely unaware of, is a notion he and others in that condition are programmed to reject reflexively, as he does here. 
That what we actually have to offer them is a Way out of the death-trap they’re in is a possibility so “alien” to their received world-view many of them feel compelled to throw-up arguments meant to show how such a thing is virtually unthinkable….again exemplified so earnestly here by Ernest Canning.

One feature of civilized “individuality” that is obvious to those of us human beings who are NOT civilized “individuals,” yet is at the same time totally outside the ken of those who are, is that they spend their entire lives in a state of (partly) self-induced intoxication….which waxes and wanes in its severity but never abates altogether so long as they remain civilized and “individuated.”  The actual biochemistry of civilized “individuation,” which is as addicting as that of most other “altered states,” effectively prevents those in its grip from seeing beyond the carefully maintained confines of their degraded status, even while other agencies at-work here keep the knowledge and extent of that contrived degradation well-hidden from them.

The “....death on a grand scale….” Ernest Canning so sincerely deplores here (as no-doubt would many others, similarly conditioned) is already taking- place, and has been throughout “history.”  Whole species and ecosystems have been and are still being “disappeared” to accomodate the needs of this “global” feedlot and slaughterhouse operation (with tame two-leggeds for “livestock”) that the hapless processees have been trained to virtually worship as “civilization.”

And speaking of virtuality, this old Savage is coming to those who inhabit the virtual world-o’-hurt by-way-of this electro-mechanical gadgetry not because it is a “benefit” of civilization but “....because they have (as in Sitting Bull’s vision on the eve of the Custer fight) no ears.”  So we are left here in these latter days with trying to spell-it-out for them in “cyberspace.”

The tiyoshpaye form of humanity has at certain times in certain places included Buffalo, as it has Corn and Salmon and Deer and Seal and Taro and countless others of our Relatives who give-away to keep it going.  The knowledge of All Our Relations’ unstinting generosity keeps us free wild natural peoples humble.  Our domesticated brothers and sisters, however, including those past and present “native” to Turtle Island, are misled to believe they are “the crown of Creation,” and so see that generosity not as a gift but as an “entitlement.”  That is a deadly delusion.

HokaHey!

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By Bukko in Australia, June 18, 2007 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

So many interesting comments (for once. TruthDig threads this long usually devolve into pro/anti Israel diatribes.)

Atheo, have you seen the movie “Crude Awakening”? It’s all about peak oil. Not as well-done as “Inconvenient Truth” but makes some good points about the Hubbert Curve and the military’s need for oil. It also pointed out that these projections of “proven” reserves that you have such confidence in might be bullsh*t. Remember the recent scandal where BP was caught inflating its claimed reseves? “Crude Awakening” makes the case that Saudi Arabia could be doing the same thing. I was persuaded by the deconstruction of the junk science behind the reserve claims. It makes a lot of sense for the Saudis to lie—makes a despotic desert kingdom seem more important than it will be in the future. The real guarantee is that Western military forces will protect the corrupt rulers from having their heads sawed off on terrorist videos.

When I changed countries, one of the reasons I moved to Melbourne is because it has a great transportation network of trains and trams that runs on electricity from nearby power plants. (Generated, unfortunately,  by burning some of the dirtiest coal imagineable.) I’m planning for a “post-peak” world, assuming I live that long. And my wife and I bought a Prius for the times we go places where the trams don’t run. Say what you will about the supposed environmental disadvantages of hybrids (which I regard as a smokescreen thrown up by defenders of the current gas-guzzling system) but I only put in petrol once a month. That’s ultimately more environment-friendly than guzzing hundreds of litres a month that have to be pumped up, refined, transported and burnt.

As for pro-nuke libertarian Paolo, read “Nuclear Power is not the Solution” by Dr. Helen Caldicott, an Aussie who first became famous in the anti-nuclear weapons campaigns of the 1980s. She devotes an entire book to demolishing every point you make. I’d do it, but it would only belabour the comment, and people who are convinced of their correctness don’t listen anyway.

As for your comment about the “free market” at the supermarket, take some time to learn about the government subsidies that are given to big argibusinesses. There is no free market, it’s just a matter of which corporation rigs the market. America has made the decision to go in the direction of cheap food to keep the people fat and happy. Especially fat. I think it was TAO who once speculated that we civilised bipeds were being fattened for slaughter by some other sinister forces…

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

This commentary by truthdigger Steven Smoliar describes the abject failure of the initial schemes to control carbon. It’s all about geopolitics and wealth transfer I’m afraid:

Carbon Credits Take it on the Chin (again)

This month began with a report that Julian O’ Halloran prepared BBC File On 4 on the failure of the Emission Trading Scheme, the specific “economic machinery” behind the carbon credit for the European Union. O’ Halloran got Ian Pearson, Minister for Climate Change, to admit that the first phase of this scheme had not delivered on its promises; but Pearson hung tough on his conviction that “Phase Two will be a big, big improvement.” Phase Two is supposed to run from 2008 to 2012, and now the World Wildlife Fund is ready to declare it a bust “because of the potential for very heavy use of imported credits.” In other words we are right back where we were at the beginning of the month with O’ Halloran’s description of the Scheme as “essentially a permit to pollute.” This is the sort of plan that smells of either the economic bubble that O’ Halloran declared it to be or a confidence game (or both). Somehow, calling the whole thing a “scheme” gives it just the right connotation!

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

Enemy of the state,

I’m with you on supporting renewables as an improving technology. The trick is not getting sucked into the desperation fearmongering that is designed solely to promote nuclear. Eventually we will have competitive alternatives to carbon based fuels. In the interim, we still have plenty of oil, gas and coal. The science on global warming is not settled, the link between carbon and warming is very weak. Our current warming is minor by historical standards, contrary to the alarmist disinformation being presented by Al Gore.

Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta recently reversed his view of man-made climate change and instead became a global warming skeptic. Wiskel was once such a big believer in man-made global warming that he set out to build a “Kyoto house” in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997.  Wiskel wanted to prove that the Kyoto Protocol’s goals were achievable by people making small changes in their lives. But after further examining the science behind Kyoto, Wiskel reversed his scientific views completely and became such a strong skeptic, that he recently wrote a book titled “The Emperor’s New Climate: Debunking the Myth of Global Warming.”  A November 15, 2006 Edmonton Sun article explains Wiskel’s conversion while building his “Kyoto house”: “Instead, he said he realized global warming theory was full of holes and ‘red flags,’ and became convinced that humans are not responsible for rising temperatures.” Wiskel now says “the truth has to start somewhere.”  Noting that the Earth has been warming for 18,000 years, Wiskel told the Canadian newspaper, “If this happened once and we were the cause of it, that would be cause for concern. But glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years.”  Wiskel also said that global warming has gone “from a science to a religion” and noted that research money is being funneled into promoting climate alarmism instead of funding areas he considers more worthy. “If you funnel money into things that can’t be changed, the money is not going into the places that it is needed,” he said.

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By Enemy of State, June 17, 2007 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

We seem to be degenerating into anti/pro nuke power here. A few facts:

  The Earth is in fact radioactive waste from a supernova. Given that fact it makes no sense to ascribe moral qualities to radioactive substances, or their useage. The results paolo describes are real, fairly recently discovered, and surprising. Apparently low levels of radiation (as well as some other unrelated harmful stimulae) stimulate some sort of healing processes, so that a moderate dosage is optimal for health. But of course large dosages are in fact very harmful. A Nuclear fuel cycle doesn’t produce more radiation than would eventually be given off by nature, but does concentrate it in both space and time. More importantly we usually dig the stuff up from deep underground, where it will have no effect on surface life. So the possibility for taking something that was buried under hundreds of feet of rock, and bringing it to the surface does matter. Also the fact that something that would decay and produce ionizing radiation slowly over hundreds of millions of years, is sped up so that
the energy (and rediation is removed in from afew years -to a few tens of thousands of years. So proper handling of the materials is necessary.

  In any case, I doubt the present expansion of nuclear power will do more than roughly maintain nuclears share of energy production. Having it reduces greenhouse gases, but we are not going to have so much of it that it will cure u of our fossil fuel addiction.

  For that, it is up to the renewables. Some people scoff at these as providing too small a contribution. That is true today, but solar and wind are increasing at about 50% per year. Now people that remember how computers have come from expensive giant clunky things, to cell phones etc, are aware of what exponential improvements of technology can do. Lets take the rate of uptake of solar at 41% per year. That means we double the capacity in two years, quadruple it in four, and increase it 32fold in a decade. If that rate of expansion could be maintained for twenty years that would be a thousand fold increase. Solar and wind are small today, but within ten to twenty years if present trends continue thay will be very big!

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Paolo, ever hear of a thing called “enrichment?”  You really ought to do at least a modicum of research before you run off like that.

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By Paolo, June 17, 2007 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Ernest Canning said:

“The level of radioactive contamination generated as a bi-product of both nuclear weapons development and the generation of nuclear energy far exceeds that which exists in nature.  There are no “safe” levels of radiation, and it is far more expensive than alternative technologies.”

Wrong on all counts. When we mine uranium and refine it into usable fuel, we are concentrating the radioactivity naturally found, but we are not adding any more radioactivity than already exists.

It is not true that there are no “safe” levels of radiation. Actually, you are yourself radioactive. There is a natural amount of normal background radiation to which everyone is exposed. In fact, there is strong evidence that it is unhealthy NOT to have a certain amount of natural, background radiation.

Radioactivity is no different from other compounds that can be harmful in high doses. The old Latin phrase, Dosis venenum fecit (it is the dose that makes the poison) applies as much to radioactivity as to anything else.

There are many areas on earth that have very high levels of background radiation, with no harm to the people who live there. In fact, the tendency is that those areas are known for LOW levels of cancer.

Regarding Atheo’s contention that encasing nuclear waste in non-soluble glass would be harmful: how so? Again, it’s the same radioactive material we first took from the earth and concentrated into usable fuel. Now we de-concentrate it and put it back, only this time encased in glass so that it is less likely to get into human beings.

Regarding the claim that nuclear is much more expensive than other alternative methods: nuclear is still competitive with other forms of energy, even given the high, unnecessary cost of litigation that comes with every proposed siting of a nuclear plant, and all the hoops a company has to go through to even begin constructing a nuclear plant.

But a nuclear plant, in the final analysis, just produces heat to boil water to run turbines to produce electricity. Nothing mysterious here. Get rid of burdensome and unnecessary restrictions and frivolous lawsuits, and nuclear energy is much cheaper than other sources of power.

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By Verne Arnold, June 17, 2007 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

#78826 by Enemy of State on 6/17 at 6:16 pm

Add to that “fuel cell” technology.  Unfortunately there are no elegant, perfect solutions at this time.  We only have the choice of “least” harmful.  Possibly, we’ll survive long enough to find the perfect alternative…possibly.

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By Enemy of State, June 17, 2007 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

This comment thread has moved greatly beyond the original military demand as a (potential) driver of policy question. But we now seem to be discussing diferent types of energy.

  Oil is now mainly used as a source of portable liquid fuel, for vehicles, and remote generators, and as a source stock for chemicals. We used to burn a lot for heating, and central power plant generation, but it has largely ben priced out of these roles. We are currently looking for alternative supplies. As global warming is a serious problem -despite everything the denialists claim, it behoves us to make sure that the alternatives don’t create significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Below I’ll discuss some of the alternatives.

->  Smaller, less powerful automobiles. The basic efficiency of gas engines has increased substantially during the last thirty years, out problem is that we have used all the improvement in efficiency to make vehicles bigger, and increase the power to weight ration. If we can become less greedy, and go back towards smaller less exciting vehicles we could make a lot of progress.

-> Electric vehicles. The main problem is battery technology. They do wear out, and are expensive to replace, and contain some pretty nasty toxic chemicals. The technology is improving, but still poses high risk for a manufacturer. This applies to a lesser extent with hybrids. The manufacturers have been ramping production up very slowly primarily because of the substantial liability should the batteries turn out to have serious safety problems down the road. Recall the zillions of (computer) laptops that had to be recalled because of defective lithium batteries, and you can get an inkling of why the manufacturers want to limit their risk by keeping production volumes low until sufficient experience is gained.

-> Biofuels:  Our currently popular corn to ethanol route will not be capable of replacing more than a few percent of gasoline -and food prices are already rising as a result of fuel versus food competition. If other plant materials can be used the picture becomes brighter, but production volumes will be much smaller than current demand. If we go this route, dramatic improvements in vehicle efficiency will be needed to make the substitution work.

-> Future vehicles, in say twenty years could be hybrid electric/solar/liquid fuel. These would be plugged in at night, and recharge from the sun during the day. For longer trips the liquid fuel would be needed. The main advances needed are improved batteries, and cheaper photovoltaics. It seems very likely that we will have both, but probably not for 10 to 20 years.

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By rf ghig, June 17, 2007 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Coal fired electric plants release tons of radioactive material into the air world wide from the coal itself ,we need to stop it.  nuclear plants can RECYCLE the nuclear waste (spent rods) as the Fench have for 20 years and Japan too, also the French use 80 percent nuclear for power , technology has changed it is safer and cheaper. I understand the storage time after recycle is 40 years not thousands check out the UREX process reducing waste by over 90 percent and the PUREX extracting methods. With enough electric power to heat homes this frees up natural gas for transportation w/turnover time 5 years or electric cars that can be used for storing power to sell back at peak times.  Peak oil does not mean the end of oil ,or we have run out , it is peak production of oil , the flow can not be raised no matter what the royal family says.

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,

The problem with all electric plug ins is generating the electricity. Oil gives us a phenomenal amount of energy, to replace it would require wall to wall windmills and solar panels or much pricier and more dangerous nuclear plants.  Same thing for hydrogen, it still requires a source of energy. The internal combustion engine is going to be around for awhile as there is currently nothing on the horizon to replace it. Asking the world’s billions to forego mobility while the elites fly around in private jets just won’t do.

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

@ Steve

How’s that “war for oil” actually working? Just saying it is easy, flesh out how that works for us.
While your’e at it, explain US policy toward Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Correction:  The Plug in America web site has a 1912 “photo” of a woman plugging in an all-electric vehicle—not a “phone.”  Mea Culpa!

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By Hammo, June 17, 2007 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

It’s about the oil, stupid. Oil has been one of the main drivers of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Much of our foreign policy is based on acquiring foreign oil. We are in bed with very problematic governments and activities abroad to keep the oil flowing.

Food for thought in . . .

“‘Dumbing down’ of Americans may not be working”

PopulistAmerica.com  
Populist Party of America
June 14, 2007

http://www.populistamerica.com/dumbing_down_of_americans_may_not_be_working

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Atheo, the EV-1s were not hybrids.  They were all-electric. The following is from the web site of “Plug in America:”

“In an all-electric car, high performance batteries store cleaner, cheaper, domestically produced electricity, and an electric motor provides propulsion with zero emissions.  In a plug-in hybrid, more batteries than a conventional hybrid allow local all-electric, zero-emission driving with a gasoline engine for longer distances.

“Electric cars are very reliable.  No oil changes, no tune ups.  EVs have fewer than 1/10th as many parts as a gas car.  There’s no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler or catalytic converter.”

The cost of a full recharge of an all-electric vehicle runs from $2 to $4.  The batteries can be charged at night when most power plants have excess generating capacity.  One downside is that a full charge takes about 5 1/2 hours.  One solution [not mentioned on this site] would be service stations with already charged batteries.  Remove the old, slip in the new and off you go.

Another problem with the commercial EVs leased in the late 90s was their limited (60 mile) range between charges, but batteries have been developed that would extend the range to over 300 miles.  (None of this takes into account the potential extension that would flow from the development of EVs with solar panels). The currently available Tesla Motors Roadster has a 200+ mile range and a 130 mph top speed.

The technology has really been with us for ages.  The “Plug in America” web site has a phone of a woman in Cincinatti plugging in her all-electric car in 1912.

The documentary video, “Who killed the electric car?”  is available through the “Plug in America” web site.  http://www.pluginamerica.com/whyev.shtml

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,

I’m no expert on electric cars but Iv’e recently read that due to all the rquisite batteries and copper, today’s hybrids are more environmentally hazardous than simply buying a small light weight car. Bear in mind that while “peak oil” is a hoax peak copper production is a real problem on the horizon.

My understanding is that geothermal is limited to just a small number of regions.

While I understand the attraction of seeing carbon fuel dependance as a conspiracy involving the Rockefeller empire, Peabody coal, etc… I think that the situation is a little more complex today. Back in the 60’s the seven sisters (big oil) payed very little in the way of royalties to oil exporting nations, in that era your notion would have made more sense.Today, switching to nuclear is more about denying sales to Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. I think that if you take a good hard look, you will find that wind and solar simply won’t come close to replacing carbon based fuels.

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Enemy of the state,
I like your moniker!
Iv’e been exposed to the argument that “it is in the interest of the oil exporting nations to exaggerate their future production. Rosy projections of supply will inhibit plans to reduce future oil consumption” but in light of the reality of the oil industry, it doesn’t make any sense. As light (conventional) oil is depleted more heavy oil will go into production. Heavy oil costs more to produce and is vulnerable to oil price pull backs. There are many times more barrels of proven heavy oil reseves than all light oil ever discovered. Therefore it would be a disincentive to develop heavy oil not renewable alternatives.
Keep in mind that the production projections are for development of PROVEN reserves. Lake Marcaibo sits atop a vast tarry mess, it’s not refutable. The fact that it isn’t all being produced is because it costs $25/barrel to produce and if demand fell the investment in infrastructure wouldn’t pay. With guaranteed demand, it could replace every current producer, just as fast as China could deliver pipes and pumps. Canada’s tar sands are more limited by requirement of water which would mean a metered production, but an equally enourmous eventual production. The alarmists get around this reality by simply not counting heavy oil. A complete deception.

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Tao, as I indicated when you were so kind as to provide us with the definition of HokaHey, there is a great deal of insight that native Americans have to offer, and certainly you have provided that on many occasions at Truthdig.  That said, I think your remark that civilization, all civilization, is “the work of the criminally insane” is a bit over the top.

While the negatives of Anglo culture and civilization since the beginning of the sea-to-shining sea conquest that was carried out under the aegis of the racist doctrine of Manifest Destiny are many, there are positives for mankind that arise from many aspects of civilization that have been quite beneficial.  Moreover, your loose use of the word “civilization” implies that none existed in the Americas prior to the Anglo-American conquest of what was Mother Earth for your Lakota ancestors.  This overlooks the sophisticated civilizations of your Mayan and Inca brothers to the south.

While “tiyoshpaye” may still be available in the microcosm of the Lakota lands, it does not offer a realistic alternative to the multitude of people in the 21st Century world.  Indeed, I suspect that even if it were possible to restore all of the lands the Lakota once freely roamed, the Lakota could no longer survive in their 19th Century numbers.  “Tiyoshpaye” was then aided by the massive bison herds which were destroyed at the hands of the Anglo invaders.

I think the most powerful thing the rest of humanity can take from Native Americans is a sense of community and a oneness with Mother Earth and the Living Universe.  All of us are members of a larger tribe, the human tribe.  We are all interconnected, including Lakotas like yourself.  Your internet communications with the rest of us serves to underscore that you, too, have accepted one of the “benefits” of civilization.

I do not accept Atheo’s premise that we have a Hobson’s choice between global warming and nuclear poison.  But I also do not believe that a return “for all” to the 19th Century level of tiyoshpaye of the Lakotas is a realistic option—not without a massive reduction of the world’s population.  And since that latter prospect would entail death on a grand scale, a world-wide effort at tiyoshpaye is simply unacceptable.

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Paolo, you are flat-out wrong!  The level of radioactive contamination generated as a bi-product of both nuclear weapons development and the generation of nuclear energy far exceeds that which exists in nature.  There are no “safe” levels of radiation, and it is far more expensive than alternative technologies.  The areas of solar, wind and geothermal have gone largely untapped and, frankly, if properly utilized within known technology, provide a realistic prospect for resolving both our energy needs and the issue of global warming. 

One tiny example entails the documentary film, “Who killed the electric car?”  At the time California was mandating a small percentage of these emission free vechiles, the technology existed for one to run up to 300 miles on a single charge.  The addition of solar plates could add to that potential.  The problem for the U.S. automakers, aside from the fact of interlocking directorates that have them entertwined in the oil and gas industries, is that, unlike vehicles using the internal combustion engine, those damn electric ones don’t need much in the way of maintenance or replacement parts.  They were too efficient for the corporate bottom line.  So GM recalled all of the popular EVs it had leased, refused a multi-million dollar offer from the remaining lessees to purchase them and then transported them to wrecking yards where they destroyed them.

As Al Gore observed in his most recent work, “The Assault on Reason,” “We have all the technologies we need, though more and better ones are being developed, and as they become available and have become more affordable when produced in scale, they will make it easier to respond.  We have everything we need—save perhaps political will.  And in our democracy, political will is a renewable resource.”

The effort to limit choice between an oil/carbon based source of energy and nuclear power is a scam being advanced by those who stand to make a whole lot of money from the technology, just as the war in Iraq was and is a scam designed to line the pockets of the oil industry, Halliburton, Blackwater and the military-industrial complex.

Finally, while I will leave it to Atheo to speak for himself, from the content of his posts, it appears you are also flat-out wrong in your assumption that Atheo supports nuclear power as an alternative energy source.  To the contrary, Atheo’s reminder that Ms. Whitman was the same person who told us the air was safe at ground zero and his statement that he would prefer global warming to nuclear power reveals that he, like me, is a staunch opponent of nuclear insanity.

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By Enemy of State, June 17, 2007 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Atheo:
  I’d be very cautious in accepting those projected 2015 oil output predictions. Some believe that SaudiOil may may already peaked. The true status of the SaudiFields is such a closely guarded secret that we just don’t know. Be aware that it is in the interest of the oil exporting nations to exaggerate their future production. Rosy projections of supply will inhibit plans to reduce future oil consumption (and other oil production as well). So to them, a too rosy projection works to increase future demand, and price.

  If I take Michaels numbers, military oil consumption is only about a third of a million barrels per day (mbd), total US consumption is approaching 20mbd, so this comes out to under 2%. I doubt it can be that low, but nevertheless if it is under 10% it makes your thesis seem unrealistic. Of course if it is exponentially increasing then all bets are off.

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Paolo,
I’m afraid that I can’t concur with your suggestion that a safe disposal method is known for nuclear waste. The dispersal strategy is not useful due to the fact that such minute particles of radioactive material are simply so harmful. In short, we should never be so desparate as to consider such folly. Continued and increased carbon fuel use poses far less risk. We have centuries worth of current use of oil to come up with a better solution.

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By atheo, June 17, 2007 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,

I concur with the view that nuclear waste and or accidents is the gravest threat we face. Unfortunately, solar and wind power generation do not provide constant “base” power sources and hydro is maxed out already. Therefore any reduction in coal, gas, and oil power generation that occurs through caps or carbon taxes will be due to increased nuclear, and only nuclear. If one is cynical, one could date the “global warming” fear meme back to the immediate post Chernoble era. Was this a cointelpro type of foundation funded dogma that was intended to smooth the way for increased nuclear power? Is the carbon contribution to warming as relevant as we are led to believe? Many climate scientists have well founded doubts. Food for thought: Ted Turner funded the IPCC report with $1 billion dollars. Many of the scientists that they claim support the report beg to differ.

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By Paolo, June 17, 2007 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Atheo is right to support nuclear power. In the long run, there really is no alternative; solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and other energy sources simply do not supply enough power to run a modern, industrial society. A modest amount of research will demonstrate this.

Furthermore, nuclear power, done under modern designs such as pressurized water reactors, is extremely safe. Keep in mind that, at Three Mile Island, water pressure was lost, a small amount of nuclear fuel melted, and there was almost no radioactive material released into the environment.

TMI was a so-called “disaster” in which no one was harmed, unless you include heart attacks due to panic, and the economic consequences of having to shut down an important source of power.

Nuclear power does not create any more ionizing radiation than already exists in nature. I agree with scientists who say “the solution to (nuclear) pollution is dilution.” Instead of concentrating spent nuclear fuel in one spot, where it might conceivably be dangerous, it should be dissipated. Edward Teller recommended the fuel be encased in capsules of non-soluble glass, and dumped in the Marianas Trench. If anyone can demonstrate how this could be harmful, please present your evidence.

At Chernobyl, a huge amount of dangerous material was released by conventional fire, because the reactor was not a PWR design; instead, graphite was used as the “moderator” of the reaction. Of course, graphite can ignite; water cannot.

Now, one may ask why the Soviets used graphite, especially in conjunction with the huge reactors at Chernobyl. There are two likely answers. First, the regime probably figured that human life is cheap.

Second, graphite-moderated reactors are designed to make weapons-grade isotopes. Chernobyl was probably designed to produce a lot of weapons grade material, while also supplying power.

The nuclear fuel used in PWRs is not suitable for making nuclear weapons. This was demonstrated during the Carter Administration, when a team of scientists tried to construct a bomb using power reactor fuel. The result, as predicted, was a complete dud.

For this reason, nuclear terrorism is also not a serious threat. Even if terrorists could manage to somehow shoot their way into a nuclear facility and steal the fuel, they would not be able to make a bomb. They could conceivably powderize the fuel and release it in a conventional bomb, but the fuel would only be harmful to health in a small area.

Bottom line: if you’re a terrorist, there a thousands of cheaper ways to commit your dastardly deeds than stealing uranium and plutonium.

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By GW=MCHammered, June 17, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dot WOD + Dot Com © Dot 9/11 ÷ Dot Realty ^ Dot DOD = Dot U$D
Hey Dot Gov ... F>ing Dot Evolve!

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By Verne Arnold, June 17, 2007 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

#78689 by TAO Walker on 6/17 at 12:40 am

Mr. Walker,

Please be patient, us domesticated two-leggeds are standing in the checkout line as we speak.  Unfortunately for the indigenous peoples (free wild natural human beings) everywhere, the line moves very slowly. 

Us domesticated two-leggeds, lacking patience, will ultimately find a way to speed up the line.

Peace

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By TAO Walker, June 17, 2007 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

What Ernest Canning (#78679) and so many other sincere commentors here would do well to finally come to grips with is the obvious fact that civilization itself is “....the work of the criminally insane.”  The criminals in this case are a gang of wandering wastrels trying to make of our Mother Earth only the latest in a long string of raped, ruined, and murdered “planets”....always with the more-or-less conscious complicity of “local” elites, and the mostly bought-and-paid-for co-operation of as many of the “commoners” as they can manage to co-opt and control (That’s about six-and-one-half billion here today.). 

Even if all that these domesticated two-leggeds here had to “solve” were the depredations of their own home-grown privateering classes, there is simply no way to “save” civilization (and all its illusory “advantages” and false “comforts”) that doesn’t also perpetuate omnicidal rogue regimes and corporate pyramid schemes.  The Hobson’s choice Atheo (#78663) foresees, between “global warming” and “....a million generations of nuclear poison….,” is not really an either-or proposition at all, but an inevitable both-and “product” of the civilization process.

Someone on another thread here observed (citing Dick Cheney as a prime example) that anyone whose “....paycheck depends on believing….” something, whether it is true or not, is almost dead-certain to believe whatever it might be.  When what such people feel compelled to credit has the “unintended side-effect” of systematically destroying a Living Arrangement apart from which they themselves are not viable, they will indeed find their selfs sooner or later between the “rock” of lethal radiation and the “hard place” of catastrophic climate change….among a great many other such “no-win situations” impingeing relentlessly upon peoples’ “comfort-levels” here in these latter days.

Us surviving free wild natural human beings, against considerable odds and despite the worst intentions and best efforts of our domesticated sisters and brothers and their plutoligarch rulers (and/or vice versa), have kept alive here the organic form of humanity called by the Lakotas “tiyoshpaye.”  It is a Medicine Lodge large enough to include all who can find their Way clear of this death-dealing contraption now beginning to do its dirty-work more-and-more out in the open everyday. 

Like everything else in this Living Universe, civilization IS what it DOES….and the virtual world of hurt the tame peoples inhabit today is all there is to civilization.  So here’s the real choice they face….“Your money, or your life!”

HokaHey!

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By cann4ing, June 16, 2007 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

Atheo, proposals to build nuclear reactors as a supposed alternative energy source are the work of the criminally insane.  Setting aside the near meltdowns at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, nuclear waste is a major and increasing threat, and not just from nuclear reactors.  There were six disposal sites; four of which have closed.  The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) has just released a report which reveals that DOE policies are permitting the release of radioactive waste from nuclear weapons facilities into landfills, the result of which, according to the report’s author, Diane D’Arrigo, could lead to “the potential for the materials to enter the recycling stream to make everyday household and personal items or to be used to build roads, schools, and playgrounds.”

The full report can be found at the NIRS web sit at:  http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/outofcontrol/outofcontrol.htm

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By rf ghig, June 16, 2007 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

imho U.S peak oil was 1974 world peak was last Nov. 2006 per king Hubbert colleague Kenneth S. Deffeyes Princeton U.. The royal family lies about reserves to hold on to power .Nuclear ships / power plants keep on truck’in and can make hydrogen or electricity ( I know , I know, most people think electricity comes from magic) You can believe what you want to believe but you don’t have to live like a refugee. sorry . when Tom Petty has meaning we are in trouble. The old chinese curse of “may you live in intresting times” comes to mind.Patrick Moore helped start greenpeace and has come full circle on nuclear power as have I , his article is at www. washingtonpost.com the date was 4-14-06. Please be open minded it will take all power sources so we can shut off the oil forever. Security forces always secure thier own security before anybody’s , in other words those secure sites deep in the mountains are not for you and me they are for security forces , of course so are the natural resources . Take care of yourself the Governments of the world will not or can not , to combat terrorism it may take a grass roots approach. more later Rf Ghig

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By atheo, June 16, 2007 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

More on where we are headed in response to global warming:

By BEN LANDO
UPI Energy Correspondent
WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI)—Former New Jersey governor and federal environmental chief Christine Todd Whitman is heading one of a growing number of coalitions urging the United States to keep—and increase—nuclear energy as part of its energy mix. She’s touring the country with the new mantra that nuclear power is safer and more efficient than ever before—and, thanks to federal subsidies and potential climate-change legislation, economically competitive…

“It’s not going to be the answer for everything and the be-all-end-all only form of power,” she said. “But if you care about climate change and you care about air quality, nuclear power is really the only form of base power that doesn’t produce some of the regulated emissions and doesn’t contribute to global climate change.”


Whitman, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator from 2001 to 2003 after serving seven years as New Jersey governor, is now co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, CASEnergy. The organization, also co-chaired by activist-turned-capitalist Patrick Moore—co-founder and ex-member of Greenpeace—has launched a public relations and education blitz to convince the nation “how nuclear power can contribute to America’s energy security and economic growth,” according to its Web site.

The goal, Whitman said, is “getting people to start to talk about this and think about this ... try to build the public support for this kind of power.”


There are 103 operating nuclear reactors in the United States now—more than any other country. Accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, cost overruns during the last buildup, and the once low and stable price of natural gas led to the three-decade freeze of the U.S. nuclear industry…


The United States hasn’t licensed a new nuclear plant since 1978, so coal and natural gas combined have a majority stake in electricity production. The growing clamor to address climate change has led some states, and possibly in the future the federal government, to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. That wouldn’t affect nuclear’s pricing but could make it more competitive with polluters like coal, a main target of such measures.

As the global industry prepares to increase the number of nuclear plants, supporters in this country have become more visible, and CASE is only one of the players.

“It seems like new and varied groups are coming out in support of nuclear energy just about every week,” said Scott Peterson, vice president of communications for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s trade arm in some form or name since 1953 and sole funder of the CASE Coalition. The latest, Third Way, a center-left think tank, endorsed nuclear power last week.

“Others look at it from the lens of climate change, the lens of economic development in their communities ... and clean, reliable and low-cost electricity,” Peterson said.

Opponents aren’t going to just step aside, though. Anti-nuclear and environmental groups alike want sources like wind, solar and other renewable energy to be given the government backing nuclear has received…And the United States is far from an answer for storing or disposing nuclear waste.

“None of the questions have been answered,” Gunter said of the nuclear opposition’s concerns. “It’s fair to say: ‘Let’s take another look.’ But when you look, nothing has really changed.”

Whitman says she thinks other energy sources are important—though she doubts the role renewables can play and says coal needs to be cleaned up but is too big a player now to go away—in weaning the country from the foreign oil that makes up 60 percent of U.S. consumption.

“Nuclear can certainly help us reduce that foreign dependence,” she said.

============

Whitman, the very same who told us that the air at ground zero was safe.

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By atheo, June 16, 2007 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Vern writes:

“Responsible decisions would be a national priority to get off the oil addiction.  It certainly wouldn’t hurt our behavior either. “

Sadly, the direction we are taking does not seem to be responsible:

Two global reports show nuclear energy’s rise

LONDON, June 14 Nuclear energy continues to grow as a source of baseload electricity generation around the world, including the United States, according to two new reports.

BP’s World Energy Review, an annual look at the global energy sectors, found nuclear energy was the only source without a slowed growth rate in 2006. The report, released this month, found nuclear energy output gained by 1.4 percent.

There are 436 nuclear reactors powering 16 percent of global electricity, 104 of which are in the United States, powering around 20 percent of the nation’s electricity.

That number is expected to increase as dozens of plants are in some stage of planning or construction, a nuclear boom responding to the increased demand for power, rising prices of oil and gas, and a potential charge levied on coal and other polluting fossil fuels.

“Without a price for carbon, there is no mechanism that can guide the energy system towards a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward wrote in the World Energy Review introduction. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency said its new report shows nuclear reactors provided 23.1 percent of electricity for its 30 member states in 2006.

According to Nuclear Energy Data, published Thursday, this is a 1.8 percent increase over 2005.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/72926.html

I’ll take global warming over a million generations of nuclear poison, thankyou very much!

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By Verne Arnold, June 16, 2007 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

We have effectively squandered the last 30+ years by not learning from the “gas shortage” of the 70’s.

It seems to me it is irrelevant (missing the point) whether or not the “known” reserves are increasing or decreasing.  Our continued dependence on oil is driving us to some very bad decisions and behavior, not to mention destroying the environment.

Responsible decisions would be a national priority to get off the oil addiction.  It certainly wouldn’t hurt our behavior either.

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By atheo, June 16, 2007 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Paulo,

Another consideration when assessing motivation for the neocon’s invasion of Iraq is that prior to the invasion, sanctions were imposed by the US in order to RESTRICT Iraqi oil exports. This would seem to call into question the notion of war for oil. It is good to remember that oil exporters are more dependent on selling oil than buyers are dependent on buying. Somehow, Americans have a hard time looking at things from both perspectives.

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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, June 16, 2007 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Billy the Dik said:

“Paolo, come on man, there is no such thing as a “free market” except in textbooks, fantasies, apologetics, and official excuses.”

Answer: It’s all a matter of degrees. Some products are almost pure free market, while others are entirely state controlled. When I go to buy food, the retail grocery operation is largely free market (though subject to many unnecessary controls and regulations), though the supply chain (food production in agriculture) is more regulated (price controls, quotas on produce, price supports, etc.).

When I go to get a haircut, I get a pretty pure free market (though most states have unnecessary licensing requirements).

My point is that, given the choice of going to war, killing thousands, destroying countries; or just buying the oil for the asking price, I would choose buying the oil.

Going to war to get products is a phenomenally inefficient way of getting what you want. And in the end, as is the case with Iraq, you don’t get the product anyway—Iraq, sitting on a sea of oil, has not regained pre-war production. Not even close.

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