The Energy Party Manifesto: Feb. 4, 2007

Since, I’m on my Energy Party kick again, it occurs to me to provide you with something never previously published on the blog: My original Energy Party column from the paper. Since it was based on a blog post to start with, I didn’t post it here. Consequently, when I do my obligatory "Energy Party" link, it’s always to the incomplete, rough draft version of the party manifesto.

So, if only to give myself something more complete to link to in the future, is the full column version, published in The State on Feb. 4, 2007. Here’s a PDF of the original page, and here’s the column itself:

Editorial Page Editor
EVERYBODY talks about the weather, which is as boring and pointless as the cliche suggests. So let’s do something about it.
    And while we’re at it, let’s win the war on terror, undermine tyrants around the globe, repair our trade imbalance, make our air more breathable, drastically reduce highway deaths and just generally make the whole world a safer, cleaner place.
    It’ll be easy, once we make up our minds to do it. But first, you Democrats and Republicans must throw off the ideological chains that bind you, and we independents must get off the sidelines and into the game.
    In other words, join my new party. No, not the Unparty I’ve written about in the past. You might say that one lacked focus.
    This one will be the Energy Party. Or the "Responsible Party," "Pragmatic Party" or "Grownup Party." Any will do as far as I’m concerned, but for the sake of convenience, I’m going with "Energy" for now.
    Like weather, everybody talks about Energy, but nobody proposes a comprehensive, hardnosed plan to git ‘er done. So let’s change that, go all the way, get real, make like we actually know there’s a war going on. Do the stuff that neither the GOP nor the Dems would ever do.
    I’ve made a start on the plan (and mind, I’m not speaking for the editorial board here). Join me, and we’ll refine it as we go along:
— * Jack up CAFE standards. No messing around with Detroit on this one. It’s possible to make cars that go 50 miles to the gallon. OK, so maybe your family won’t fit in a Prius. Let’s play nice and compromise: Set a fleet average of 40 mph within five years.
— * Raise the price of gasoline permanently to $4. When the price of gas is $2, slap on a $2 tax. When demand slacks off and forces the price down to $1.50, jack the tax up to $2.50. If somebody nukes some oil fields we depend upon, raising the price to $3, the tax drops to $1. Sure, you’ll be paying more, but only as long as you keep consuming as much of it as you have been. Which you won’t. Or if you do, we’ll go to $5.
— * You say the poor will have trouble with the tax? So will I. Good thing we’re going to have public transportation for a change (including my favorite, light rail). That’s one thing we’ll spend that new tax money on.
— * Another is a Manhattan project (or Apollo Project, or insert your favorite 20th century Herculean national initiative name) to develop clean, alternative energy. South Carolina can do hydrogen, Iowa can do bio, and the politicians who will freak out about all this can supply the wind power.
— * Reduce speed limits everywhere to no more than 55 mph. (This must be credited to Samuel Tenenbaum, who bends my ear about it almost daily. He apparently does the same to every presidential wannabe who calls his house looking for him or Inez, bless him.) This will drastically reduce our transportation-related fuel consumption, and have the happy side benefit of saving thousands of lives on our highways. And yes, you can drive 55.
— * Enforce the blasted speed limits. If states say they can’t (and right now, given our shortage of troopers, South Carolina can’t), give them the resources out of the gas tax money. No excuses.
— * Build nuclear power plants as fast as we can (safely, of course). It makes me tired to hear people who are stuck in the 1970s talk about all the dangerous waste from nuke plants. Nuclear waste is compact and containable. Coal waste (just to cite one "safe" alternative) disperses into the atmosphere, contaminates all our lungs and melts the polar ice caps. Yeah, I know; it would be keen if everyone went back to the land and stopped using electricity, but give it up — it ain’t happening.
— * Either ban SUVs for everyone who can’t demonstrate a life-ordeath need to drive one, or tax them at 100 percent of the sales price and throw that into the winthe- war kitty.
— * If we don’t ban SUVs outright, aside from taxing them, launch a huge propaganda campaign along the lines of "Loose Lips Sink Ships." Say, "Hummers are Osama’s Panzer Corps." (OK, hot shot, come to my blog and post your own slogan.) Make wasting fuel the next smoking or DUI — absolutely socially unacceptable.
— * Because it will be a few years before we can be completely free of petrol, drill the ever-lovin’ slush out of the ANWR, explore for oil off Myrtle Beach, and build refinery capacity. But to keep us focused, limit all of these activities to no more than 20 years. Put the limit into the Constitution.
    You get the idea. Respect no one’s sacred cows, left or right. Yeah, I know some of this is, um, provocative. But that’s what we need. We have to wake up, go allout to win the war and, in the long run, save the Earth. Pretty soon, tyrants from Tehran to Moscow to Caracas will be tumbling down without our saying so much as "boo" to them, and global warming will slow within our lifetimes.
    Then, once we’ve done all that, we can start insisting upon some common sense on entitlements, and health care. Whatever works, whatever is practical, whatever solves our problems — no matter whose ox gets gored, or how hard you think it is to do what needs doing. Stop whining and grow up. Leave the ideologues in the dust, while we solve the problems.
    How’s that sound? Can any of y’all get behind that? Let me know, because we need to get going on this stuff.

Join the party at my — I mean, our– Web Headquarters:

39 thoughts on “The Energy Party Manifesto: Feb. 4, 2007

  1. Karen McLeod

    Until such time as people are willing to accept reality, I doubt seriously if anyone will pay attention to you. Coal pollution is the evil people know; nuclear energy is the devil they don’t know (yes, the knowledge is out there and easily available, but the very word “nuclear” brings screams of terror and a collective dive under the bed). And of course, as everyone knows, we’re entitled to our Hummers and the gas to run them over everybod–oops, everything we want. “Everybody knows” that if the Middle Easterners would stop playing games, and pump all they can, we’d be down to .18/gal (remember the good old days?). Never mind that China and India are now competing with us for that oil (the oil companies can tell you just how good competition is). And never mind that we’re simmering our planet with our carbon use. We the people should have a better understanding soon–say in 40 years or so. Of course it was clear enough from the 70’s gas lines that we were potentially vulnerable, remember?

  2. Randy E

    Brad’s motto: take the chicken from every pot.
    He’s right about the sacred cow SUVs. Drive around Southern Spain’s main roads and the biggest cars you see are the size of a mid-size BMW. Speaking of which, I believe in Germany the Beemers are 80% recyclable.
    The problem is our sense of entitlement as a country. The conservative creed of every man for himself compounds this, e.g. Fred Thompson brushed aside the whole Big Oil massive windfall profits in his last debate but none of them, aside from Huckabee, said a peep about poverty – Levites crossing the road.
    There is a dire need for a Manhattan energy project. GREEN doesn’t require a Yucca Mountain, can create a new wave of jobs, and wind and sun and more than abundant.
    Ironically, Bush’s “war” of choice may result in turning the tide in the energy situation because of the oil crisis (caused by upheaval in the Middle East, what a shocker). Maybe that was his plan all along!

  3. Brad Warthen

    Upheaval in the Mideast (before and after March 2003) is a factor, but a bigger one is the growing demand in China and elsewhere in developing nations.
    In any case, we’ve got to reduce our dependence on some of the worst regimes for an essential commodity.

  4. Mike Cakora

    Karen –
    When you write “nuclear energy is the devil they don’t know (yes, the knowledge is out there and easily available, but the very word “nuclear” brings screams of terror and a collective dive under the bed)”, what do you mean? Are you for or agin nuclear power generation?
    When you write “And never mind that we’re simmering our planet with our carbon use”, I must point out that even climate change proponents have not demonstrated the cause and effect relationship between higher carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and climate change. In other words it remains possible that higher CO2 levels are but one effect of climate change.
    As for GREEN, total GREEN is not likely in the foreseeable future for a number of reasons. One biggie is that even solar requires non-GREEN storage and release devices (i.e., batteries) for those who would like power at night. As one of the few who celebrates the end of the Dark Ages, I have to take a stand for batteries of all sorts, even the lead acid type.

  5. Lee Muller

    The vague term “climate change” has replaced “global warming”, now that studies show the Earth is 10 years into a COOLING TREND.

  6. Mike Cakora

    Randie –
    Nice try, but no cigar.
    One of my points on another of Brad’s posts was however one wishes to drive technology, one has to have clear objectives with intermediate points at which one can measure progress and evaluate progress. This is project management 101. As I briefly outlined there (and I recommend that you take a gander at that link), the “successes” of the Manhattan Project and Project Apollo are in large part due to their well defined and limited scopes: developing nukes to kill the bad guys before they did so to us or putting some guys to the moon and getting them back alive.
    Doing so for energy would be a waste of resources because the march toward petroleum replacement is already underway. For example, I have no doubt that solar — right now about ten times more expensive than conventional power-generating means — is about to experience tremendous efficiencies.
    Aha, the December 2007 energy bill, right? No, in fact that removed some incentives for solar. So some member of Congress has a new plan, right? Nope. The real reason is that guys like TJ Rodgers are spending their own money to make Moore’s law apply to solar. That’s the key, timing. As a technology guy and wealth creator, he sees opportunity, possibilities from the bottom up. Established outfits like GE will put all their resources into securing a favorable political position in cap-and-trade straddling that benefits their wind turbine and other “alternative-energy” businesses to the extent that their media operations will convince us all that their objective is good, proper, and the American way.
    Rodgers will eschew all that stuff — Nay!, He’ll disparage it — as he proceeds on his own path to success.
    Consider for a moment this assertion: the US Manhattan-Project for Energy has already begun with the ethanol incentives, tariffs, and tax credits. To date it appears that we’ve been able to raise corn (maize) prices worldwide and kill poor folks in the process.
    Rodgers would never do that.

  7. Randy E

    We’re not exactly on any march to alternative energy…more like we’re literally on the march because we can’t afford to fill our gas tanks.
    A well defined scope? Lou Holtz makes a public comment about litter in our state and a frenzy of anti-litter discourse and initiative breaks out. Imagine what a president could do with the bully pulpit.
    Funny how you speak of this “march” because it contradicts your earlier effort to pooh pooh the GREEN energy movement.

  8. Steve Gordy

    In a nutshell: Any set of policy prescriptions that does not lead us, as a nation, in the direction of per capita energy CONSERVATION is going to fail, sooner or later.

  9. Lee Muller

    If the 10 year cooling trend beginning in 1998 is not long enough, where is the evidence of any longer warming trend. Scientific American in the early 1970s had articles about the long term cooling trend and “next Ice Age”.
    The biggest source of all our energy use and point source pollution is the increase in population. The quickest way to reduce pollution 10% in America is to deport the 10% of the population who are illegal aliens.

  10. Phillip

    Brad, while I agree with 90% of the Energy Party platform, I have to say that the plank that reads:
    “…drill the ever-lovin’ slush out of the ANWR, explore for oil off Myrtle Beach…” Etc.,
    seems like the equivalent of the original plan by the Nazis to blow up most of Paris before having to surrender. You know, “if we can’t keep Paris, at least let’s just blast it to rubble.” Or in this case, “well if we can’t keep our petroleum-addicted, environmentally-unsound practices going beyond another 20 years or so, let’s just see how much environmental havoc we can wreak now.”
    Brad, your admirable quest to achieve a bipartisan, or nonpartisan approach to energy and environmental issues has already been achieved as regards ANWR: No Presidential candidate supports drilling there. The consensus has been achieved.

  11. Phillip

    Lee’s idea about deporting the 10% of the population that are illegal aliens (30 million people…really, Lee?) is excellent, especially considering that these illegals are obviously the ones driving the largest gas-guzzling SUV’s, buying the most tickets on airplane flights, and are the ones most likely to own 6000-square-foot homes.

  12. Randy E

    Brad, is Muller the same Lee from a year ago? That Lee pulled from his heiney hyperbole-like statistics regarding illegals.
    Phllip, Brad’s ANWR approach is like creating an anti-smoking campaign in which everyone smokes the every-luvin slush out of cigarettes in the restaurants he frequents until an alternative is in place.

  13. Mike Cakora

    Randy –
    I’ll type a bit slower. I did not disparage GREEN, only pointed out that applying that label to energy is misleading. Wind turbines are noisy, kill birds and bats, take a lot of energy to build, and, as we’re now learning, require a lot more maintenance that what the engineers originally thought. Some types of solar panels also use hazardous materials.
    GREEN legislation (a la ethanol mandates) doesn’t always kill poor folks, but can make the rest of us miserable. It took about five years after the devices were mandated by law for manufacturers to get low-flow toilets that actually saved water by doing the job on one flush. The mandated low-water washers are expensive, take longer to cycle, are quite expensive to fix, and don’t get clothes as clean as the old type.
    And if you search the web for “prius hummer green” you can see why some folks question the environmental impact of hybrids: they’re made with hazardous materials that pose danger throughout their lifecycle.
    As the oldest of nine kids, I asked my mom about the environmentally virtuous life she led by using cloth diapers and got a whack on the head from her cane. True GREENs would ban disposable diapers if they had the guts to face the pitchforks and torches of mothers marching against them.
    Folks like me who don’t like waste welcome GREEN ideas. I’ve got my very own cloth bag for shopping and a big orange one for manly shopping at the big-box hardware store. When we replaced our furnace / AC unit early last year, we went with the highest efficiency; we’ll break even in another ten years! And when I’ve had too many toots at the tavern, I fall asleep in the bushes in front of our house so that they will trap the CO2 and methane I generate. Call me Mr. GREEN.

  14. Lee Muller

    Mike, you care about making informed decisions that actually reduced energy consumption and waste…unlike “greenies” who just like to feel good by following rote behaviors.

  15. Lee Muller

    Actally, these illegal aliens are most likely to drive old beaters, big trucks and vans that get bad mileage and produce lots of emissions.
    But as illegals, they should not be driving anything.

  16. Mr. Fusion

    The biggest problem I have with the current energy debate is the green fad. It was a fad in the 70s and it’s a fad again, and unfortunately the environmental lobby has absolutely no clear political leadership and is never able to come to a consensus on anything. History is merely repeating itself.
    If the environmental lobby were serious about selling its beliefs, it would demonstrate the “iron triangle” between energy policy/environmentalism/public health, national security/foreign policy, and the economy. Our use of carbon-based fuels (this includes ethanol and biodiesel…both of which are as horrendously inefficient as gasoline and diesel due to the thermodynamic constraints of internal combustion engines) is stangling our economy and forcing us to bow down to the corrupt “moderate” Saudi government that enslaves its citizens (wow…no wonder they hate us, we prop up their oppressors). It’s a vicious cycle that is no where near being broken as the different lobbies involved all have “their” solutions.
    The national security guys want the US to drill in ANWR and expand domestic production…possible but will take ages to come online and still leaves huge environmental problems and the risk of crop failure, etc.
    The environmental/public health lobby wants “green” power consisting of hydro (we can’t really build any more), solar (technology at least 5-10 years from being on the same order of magnitude as carbon technologies), and wind (which invites NIMBYism, as well as the fact that wind isn’t an effective method of producing baseload power…same as solar).
    The energy lobby, currently consisting of the major oil companies only, wants us to ramp up refining capacity in the United States and wants more petroleum engineers, since the current generation of engineers is on the verge of retirement. They’re more or less content with the status quo.
    There are two major solutions that will alleviate these problems, plug-in hybrids and nuclear power.
    Plug-in hybrids (which Chevrolet, yes Chevrolet, is currently on the edge with the Japanese in developing) will allow you (in the current iteration of development – 2010 target) to plug your car in at night and travel up to 40 miles or so on each charge purely on electric power. If you just drove 20 miles to and from work every day, you could conceivably never fill up on gasoline. They’ll have a small gasoline, E-85, or (bio)-diesel engine on-board to recharge the batteries if you need to travel more than the charge. They are inherently more efficient than today’s “weak” hybrid designs that run a gas engine in parallel with electric motors. You have tremendous weight savings (no transmission needed) and cut down emissions and fuel usage massively.
    The problem this brings, is the need for cheap and clean electricity. Fortunately, at current rates, running on electric is cheaper than gas (at least in SC), the math is extremely variable, but at current rates electricity beats gas and diesel. The solution for cheap, sustainable, reliable base-load energy is nuclear. The United States should simply mandate all coal- and natural-gas fired power plants convert to nuclear by 2030. This is a realistic goal, if the resources were allocated properly. It would be on a scale larger than the Apollo program or Manhattan Project, but would create a phenomenal number of jobs in science, engineering, and construction (or at least keep jobs in those areas, currently being outsourced, in the United States). Clean nuclear is possible, it is only being held up by politics and misunderstanding of the science. The biggest problem, waste, can be dealt with using reprocessing techniques (remember Chem-Nuclear in Barnwell pre-Carter administration?). There is an abundance of fuel (contrary to popular belief). The problem holding it up is largely Senator Harry Reid of Nevada who has declared that Yucca Mountain will never open. Senator Reid wants nuclear waste stored in leaky 1960s and 1970s-era tanks above an aquifier that provides drinking water to millions across the southeast, and not in a geologically-stable (relatively-speaking) mountain in the deserts of Nevada, tens of miles from anything or anyone. He really should be name South Carolina Public Enemy Number 1.
    Energy solutions cannot easily be boiled down to ten word statements, but unfortunately those statements are what sell ideas to the public.

  17. bud

    Wind turbines are noisy, kill birds and bats, take a lot of energy to build, and, as we’re now learning, require a lot more maintenance that what the engineers originally thought.
    Actually, when cited properly they pose no serious noise problems at all. The bird problem is also largely eliminated with proper citing issues. The newer wind turbines are much more reliable and if the price of the coal is considered actually require far less maintenance per kilowatt than a coal fired plant. Wind turbines are now becoming a much more cost effective, cleaner and safer method of generating energy than virtually any other alternative. And they are scalable. There are many small wind turbines that can be used for home operations. The payback time has dropped significantly in recent years and may be a suitable alternative to using than the power grid once the electricity storage issues are solved.
    Are wind turbine a panacea? No. There are still problems to solve and wind doesn’t blow all the time. Will they be an important player in 21st century energy production. You betcha!

  18. Randy E

    the march toward petroleum replacement is already underway. – Cak
    total GREEN is not likely in the foreseeable future for a number of reasons. – Cak
    Brad suggests we need a national effort, a Manhattan Project, to go green. You certainly didn’t agree with him despite admitting the march to replace petro. You also seem to contradict yourself by admitting this march but also suggesting the move will be thwarted by the obstacles.
    It’s typical politics to highlight the many reasons a goal can’t be achieved, which would seem to explain your dismay with Obama and his message of hope. JFK’s goal for a man on the moon and his clarion call to serve country would apparently be Greek to your ears.

  19. Mike Cakora

    Mr. Fusion makes some great points, but his prescription that the feds “should simply mandate all coal- and natural-gas fired power plants convert to nuclear by 2030” is not, given public-awareness and acceptance. I agree with his sentiments and objectives, but states (California) and cities (New York) have placed natgas-fueled generating plants in places where nukes won’t fit.
    I hasten to add, and acknowledge that Mr. Fusion may have not mentioned this for reasons of space, that “small” nuclear-generating facilities are not only possible but exist in fact in France. Sure they generate electricity, but the key point is that the water that cools the reactor by absorbing its heat is piped to businesses and residential properties to provide heat.
    I also want to chastise Randy, a guy who seems to start off in the attack mode. We’re here on Brad’s blog to discus matters in a civil manner. I am conservative and place greater trust in FedEx than the US Postal Service, but do recognize that the latter has an important role that I support. I am the kind of guy who would allow my indentured servants an hour for worship on Sundays and two full hours of recreation on the Lord’s Day.
    I strongly recommend that folks who choose to participate here write at length about their opinions / analyses / whatevers at home in private before posting, and then summarize their conclusions in their post. When advancing your views, try to incorporate the predictable objections from folks who think otherwise.
    For example, I know that the dirty stinking Commie Phillip is always out there, so I really do try to offer a fact or two in order to counter what I think his objections will be. He typically responds in a reasonable manner offering facts and criticisms in rebuttal, and if I have the time, energy, and wit, I engage.

  20. Phillip

    …sorry, I was out late for May Day celebrations with my Communist brothers and sisters (highlight: 3 hour screening of Jeremiah Wright’s Greatest Sermons) and just got back now to read your comment, Mike, but thanks…and I echo your continued call for civility.

  21. bud

    I hope everyone had a pleasant “Mission Accomplished” Day. Surely this is a day that will be regarded in the same high esteem as Armistice Day. My family celebrated the fifth anniversary of the president’s shameful antics by installing a new toilet. Appropriate isn’t it? The president has spent the last 7 years flushing the constitution down the toilet, so why not celebrate “Mission Accomplished” day with a good ole toilet installation.

  22. Randy E

    “civil manner” Cak? Reminds me of Bill Clinton accusing others of race bating – see your “I’ll type a bit slower” barb.
    I’ve “attacked” your positions – and your point is? You seem to dismiss any holistic and high minded approach (as demonstrated by your out of hand criticism of all things Obama) and I criticized this position.
    Again, my point is to echo Brad’s sentiment that we need a national clarion call to address the energy crisis. Sure, batteries and the limited supply of corn have negative consequences as you cited. These are obstacles to address as bud highlighted by undermining your wind energy criticism.
    We are facing dire consequences with the status quo (as the China Olympics illustrates) so taking on these new obstacles is the better alternative.

  23. Lee Muller

    Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling
    (Daily Tech – February 26, 2008)
    Excerpt: All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously. A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year time. For all sources, it’s the single fastest temperature change every recorded, either up or down. […] Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile — the list goes on and on. No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
    —– Additional news —————–
    * 20-year study of deep ocean temperatures show no change
    * Ice melting in the North offet by ice gains at South Pole

  24. Lee Muller

    The error of looking at a short-term trend in one small part of the Earth:
    Greenland climate not varying from ‘natural climate variability’ (Greenie Watch – Dec. 2007)
    Excerpt: RECENT PAPER ON THE HISTORY OF GREENLAND ICE MASS Showing that, although the Greenland melt has increased during the 1992-2006 period, the melt was even higher in 1900s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. So there is no indication that the current melt is above natural climate variability. Of course people who look just on the 1990 to 2007 period “see” great melting acceleration and influence of carbon dioxide and anthropogenic climate change.

  25. Lee Muller

    ANWR = Saudi oil
    According to the monthly Dept of Energy report, Saudi Arabia typically supplies about 1,500,000 barrels of oil a day to the USA.
    According to the report of the U.S. Geological Survey on ANWR made to Congress in October 2005, ANWR would produce 10.4 BILLION barrels of oil, at a rate of 1,400,000 barrels per day.

  26. bud

    Let’s do a little math exercise using Lee’s numbers. (For the sake of argument let’s just take Lee for his word. Chances are we’ll never see anything like 1.4 million barrels/day from the ANWR).
    1.4 billion barrels represents about 15% of our current oil consumption or about 25% of our imports. ANWR oil won’t come on board for at least 10 years. In the intervening 10 years Mexico will be a net oil importer. Russian oil will peak and decline. North Sea oil will nearly disappear. Production from the North Slope will probably be down to nearly zero. Texas and Gulf oil supplies will be significantly down. The energy costs as measured in barrels of oil to get the difficult to reach ANWR supplies is likely to siphon off much of the production. The end result of all of this is that by the time the 1.4 million/day ANWR oil reaches the market it will barely match what is lost. And then it too will decline. The 10 billion barrels of oil Lee suggest we can obtain will be gone in less than 20 years. The Saudis have nothing to fear from the ANWR.

  27. Lee Muller

    The graph you give looks nice, but the numbers are fabricated, like most enviro-junk. I am citing NASA, NOAA and foreign scientific organizations which say there is no “global warming” trend.
    bud, as usual, after being shown official data that ANWR oil offsets Saudi Arabian oil, veers off into a mumbling about anything irrelevant. Facts can’t change the minds of religious zealots, and environmentalism is a cult.

  28. just saying

    “and environmentalism is a cult.”
    And Lee-Mullerism isn’t? 😉
    You’re citing cherry picked numbers. I’ve posted the rebutals to those interpretations by NASA and NOAA in the past and you don’t seem to want to read them. I haven’t seen anything from your posts that disagrees with my numbers on the average global surface temperature over the past 100+ years. I’d be happy to look at any link addressing that (as oposed to el nino/a induced blips).
    As far as ANWR and the Saudi’s, I don’t think he disagreed with it offsetting it over a limited time period once its on-line. The question he was raising was what do you do until its on line… and what do you do after.

  29. bud

    Justsaying, I’ve long ago quit trying to have a rational, fact-based discussion with Lee. But Lee does a good job echoing the flawed arguments from the right and it’s a good exercise in showing how flawed modern conservative thinking is. There is certainly no mainstream scientific evidence to suggest global warming is not occurring. The evidence is more robust with each passing day. And there certainly is no evidence to suggest we can become independent from OPEC oil supplies by drilling. The real world is a difficult place but with a little planning we can leave a good future for our children and grandchildren. But first we have to stomp out the misguided and dangerous claims from the right. Lee Muller serves as a useful foil in that regard.

  30. Lee Muller

    You don’t understand what “cherry picking” means. It’s what you did with picking 2 years out of 30 where tax spending on USC did not increase, to claim there was no increase over those 30 years.
    I can cite several major studies which show no global warming. I did not “cherry pick” data out of studies showing a warming trend in order to convey a false impression. There are no major studies showing global warming. Fewer than 1% of climatologists, meterologists, and physical oceanographers subscribe to the Theory of Global Warming. Its primary acceptance is on faith, by those unacquainted with the science.
    I will post links to the entire studies, but I don’t expect the True Believers in Global Warming to read any of it.

  31. Mike Cakora

    More on GREEN here.

    Wind, hydro, and all the “alternate” sources of energy have been dubbed “green” because they are supposedly clean, renewable, and sustainable. In fact, what being “green” really means is that they all require vast amounts of land.

    Glen Canyon Dam, which can produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity, is backed up by a reservoir 250 miles square (Lake Powell, in Arizona and Utah). That’s why we stopped building dams in the 1960s – because they were drowning scenic canyons and displacing populations.
    Those 30-story windmills produce 1.5 megawatts apiece – about 1/750th the power of a conventional generating station. Getting 1,000 megawatts would require a wind farm 75 miles square.

    And that’s where biofuels went awry. Nobody ever bothered to calculate how much land they would require.

    Good thing land is cheap and plentiful.

  32. Lee Muller

    The area required for oil production in ANWR is about 2 square miles, 1.4 miles square, 1300 acres.

  33. bud

    Mike, the latest wind turbines are rated at 5 megawatts so using your calculations we can get about 3,500 megawatts of power from that same 75 square miles, an area roughly 1/8 the size of Richland County. And there are millions of square miles of suitable ocean sites that can be used. There is enough wind and land in North Dakota alone to provide the country with all it’s electric needs.
    Besides, the land the wind turbines are situated on is not wasted. Thousands of wind turbines are generating electricity on farms and grazing land that is virtually unaffected by the wind operation.
    It’s clear that oil, coal, uranium and natural gas supplies will run out at some point so we have to explore other options. Wind energy is a mature, clean and safe source of energy that has largely solved every problem raised by the naysayers. Combined with hydro plants and solar we can, within a few years, displace half of the filthy, dangerous coal fired plants.
    Lee, you vastly understate the impact of the drilling in the ANWR. It will require hundreds of miles of roads to bring in equipment. Then there is the necessity of constructing a pipleline to tie in to the aging Alaskan pipeline. The most optimistic figures I’ve seen for production rates have ANWR peaking at 1.1 million barrels per day in 2025. And there is only a 5% chance of ever reaching that total. More likely we can produce about 700k, a mere 3% of what we currently use.
    Given that oil prices are pushing the $120/barrel thresshold without any major disruptions in supply it is clear that we must focus on alternatives. ANWR won’t do much more than provide 3% of our energy needs for 5 – 10 years tops. Given the huge ecological damage it will render this really is a foolish way to fuel Hummers for a few more years. Further, by squandering huge sums of money in the ANWR the Saudis will merely cut back on their own production and wait for prices to go up further. In the end all drilling will accomplish is to further empower the oil-rich nations of the Persian Gulf by extending the oil addiction nightmare a few more years.
    So rather than wasting billions on a dirty source of energy that will do little more than buy a couple of extra years why not invest that money in renewable, clean, safe and proven sources of energy. In the end the country will be far better off.

  34. bud

    Actually the largest wind turbine will produce 7 meg of electricity at peak output. Imagine that. One windmill able to produce enough power for nearly 2,000 homes. With 200 million homes in the U.S. we will need about 100,000 of these behemoths. If we locate offshore 4 per square mile that’s a mere 25,000 square miles of otherwise unused ocean to power every home in the country.
    New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)
    February 3rd, 2008 · 34 Comments
    The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor blade length of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.

  35. Lee Muller

    Insurance companies are too smart to risk coverage on windmills floating in the paths of hurricanes. Never fear, the taxpayer is here. GovCo will spend any amount of other people’s money regardless of the risk or sorry rate of return.

  36. Lee Muller

    Because the only way to achieve more fuel mileage from automobiles is by reducing their curb weight, the Union of Concerned Scientists and many insurance groups oppose arbritrarily higher CAFE mandates.
    Each MPG would cost 3,000 lives and 25,000 serious injuries in vehicular wrecks.


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