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Limousine Liberals

Professor Reynolds likes to say about global warming, "I'll believe there's a crisis when those who say it's a crisis behave as if it's a crisis." Well, a better example could not be found than this:

(Hat tip: Rob of Say Anything)

The damnedest thing is, Al Gore (gag, shudder) has a valid point, and is mostly right. While I think it would be impossible to get off of carbon-based energy within a decade, I absolutely believe we need to develop new forms of energy (and refine those we already use). And while his stated goal is almost guaranteed to be unreachable, "man's reach should exceed his grasp, else what's a heaven for?"

My problem with Gore is twofold. First up, there's the flagrant hypocrisy of the man's lifestyle. I've seen comparisons to the "carbon footprints" of his home and President Bush's Crawford ranch, and I'd really love to see a comparison of Gore's "carbon footprint" of his travel and general lifestyle with, say, an oil company CEO.

Second, the guy's approach seems to be based on scare-mongering and spreading hysteria though any means necessary -- including out and out lying.

The reason we use fossil fuels (or, if you prefer, "carbon-based fuels") is that they are remarkably efficient ways of storing and releasing energy, and incredibly convenient to use -- based on literally centuries of developing it. There is no grand conspiracy anywhere that says ""we need to dump more sulfur in the air! Let's convince everyone to burn oil!" or something. You'd never know that if only listened to the Goracle and the other global-warming hucksters and conmen, though.

So yeah, it would be great if the US got entirely off fossil fuels in the next decade. It'd also be nice if a supermodel who pooped diamonds fell madly in love with me. I'm not sure which I consider more probable.

But if the US moved half -- or even a quarter -- of its current use of fossil fuels to alternative forms (such as, say, windmills off Cape Cod, in spite of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, or nuclear power plants, or solar cell farms in Arizona and New Mexico and Nevada deserts), we'd be a hell of a lot better off.

Getting there, though, is the challenge. And if Al Gore and the rest of his ilk think that the best -- or only -- way to get there is through their lies and fraud and deceit, then to hell with them. Instead, I'll stick with the tried-and-true methods of changing the behavior of the American people -- offer incentives to change (like the various "X-Prize" programs), argue vehemently, and hope for the best.

Winston Churchill said it best: "The American people can be counted on to do the right thing -- once they have exhausted all other possibilities." Just look at how we're reacting to the skyrocketing gas prices -- while some ninnies are running around threatening to use the government against oil companies or trying to sue OPEC or shrugging off more oil development as "it'll take too long" and whatnot, most people are moving into more fuel-efficient cars and driving less. (I know I am).

Al Gore is just part of the "all other possibilities" part of the process. And, sooner or later, enough people will realize that.


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Comments (28)

More people need to know th... (Below threshold)
Kat:

More people need to know that some Liberals do want high gas prices for their own extremist environmental interests. Obambi also admitted it but thought the rise to $4 was too fast, not too much.

"The reason we use fossil f... (Below threshold)

"The reason we use fossil fuels (or, if you prefer, "carbon-based fuels") is that they are remarkably efficient ways of storing and releasing energy, and incredibly convenient to use -- based on literally centuries of developing it."

I have to differ with this at least a little. There are path-dependency, network-effect, and legal-privilege reasons as well, and those reasons might be as strong as or stronger than the ones you cite.

Oil companies historically benefited from special tax breaks -- the "oil depletion allowance" -- that rendered their industry more profitable than it would otherwise have been. Alongside that, legal barriers have been placed in the path of nuclear energy and wind farms that indirectly insulate oil and gas from competition. Also, we have the "it will cost thousands of jobs!" argument perpetually raised by the lobbyists for any threatened industry -- an argument you may be sure would be raised if the many thousands of gas stations were suddenly to face competition from a significant energy competitor.

I'm not dismissing the technological aspects of the thing; I'm a physicist by education and am well versed in such matters. But technology could have advanced considerably further than it has were it not for the considerations mentioned above -- most of them brought to you by politics and the arrogance of politicians.

As for that supermodel that poops diamonds...does she have a sister?

The problem isn't an energy... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The problem isn't an energy problem. Its a liquid fuel problem. Liquid fuel is easy to refuel, store, and burn.

Right now oil products are the only source of liquid fuel that powers nearly all cars.

Help the planet with the se... (Below threshold)

Help the planet with the search engine www.treehoo.com that plants trees with its revenues...

Francis, I think Jay's stat... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Francis, I think Jay's statement was mitigated by this: "based on literally centuries of developing it.".

But you're right too. Our politicians created an environment where there was no competition for the fossil fuel industry, and now have decided the answer to our woes is to punish them for it while pretending it doesn't take two to tango. Many Americans have fallen for this "look, over there!" approach and are happy to go along with them.

And Jay, your "pooping diamonds" quote made me laugh out loud. I opened my mouth to laugh and coffee fell out. You owe me a keyboard.

Jay,Gore is... (Below threshold)
dr lava:


Jay,

Gore is talking about renewables powering electricity generation. Totally do-able.

The grid has to be upgraded and individuals and business's empowered with input access to this grid. The main long lines transferring power from desert CST [concentrated solar thermal] plants will need to be upgraded to HVDC [high voltage direct current}.

Breaking the propaganda stranglehold oil and coal companies have on the American public is the main challenge here. Limbaugh and Hannity are paid big money to keep their listeners in the dark about the green economy and the empowerment of the American people to break their addictions to expensive, dirty energy and take charge of their own energy production.

Vertical axis [pillar] windmills pretty much make the "Cape Cod Debate" a moot point and your description of Al Gores house is incorrect.

The most accessible place to learn about the new sources of energy is Joe Romms site: climateprogress.org


As I look out over the valley from my kitchen window I can see the huge Chrysler plant recently shut down. Someday I hope to see PHEVs rolling out the doors and the 5,000 that used to work there back at their jobs. This isn't gonna happen if you buy into the Limaugh/ Hannity defeatist mindset.


Article explaining CST power plants:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/04/14/solar_electric_thermal/index.html


I hope posters will ... (Below threshold)
dr lava:


I hope posters will read what Gore is talking about. Even I could not sit through his speech. Read it here:


http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/climate.speech.pdf

Lava, you were doing pretty... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Lava, you were doing pretty well until you unleashed your paranoid "Rush and Hannity" are part of the conspiricy line. How about the money Gore is making and is going to make going "green"? Unlike liberals, I have confidence in America. Someone will figure out the problem and bring a solutiont to the table. T. Boone Pickens is starting that trend without the fear and alarmism and the lefts desire to be like Europeans. ww

How many more years of "onl... (Below threshold)

How many more years of "only ten years left" are we going to have to put up with?

I'd like to know what the... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

I'd like to know what the proponents of solar and wind energy sources have in mind for an energy STORAGE system?
If the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow, what is the backup? In order to provide for this, I submit you'd need a backup that provides nearly 100% of projected demand--and it would have to be on tap for immediate useage.
Seems that for the foreseeable future, the energy source (oil) will have to be used until a really viable alternative is discovered. When something with the advantages of oil is brought forth, then I say adopt it--til then, solar and wind are merely adjuncts.

Nuclear power is doable now... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:

Nuclear power is doable now. We have the technology to build more and better plants now, but the eco-terrorists have shut that down for the foreseeable future. They claim that there is nowhere to store the waste. That is a load of crap too. Don't hand me that load of shit that they are dangerous. France (the only thing that they got right in years) has 90% of their electrical power generated from this source. I for one, would like to see all of the oil burning power plants go offline as soon as there is a nuclear plant finished to replace it. This course of action would save 1000s of barrels of oil and that would be less foriegn oil that we would have to import from countries that don't have very high opinions of us anyway.

There is another source of power that no one dare mentions. That is hydro. That is right. Hydro-electrical sources are a very efficient way to generate electricity. As a person that lives in the west, hydro-electric is the the main source of our electricity. Hoover Dam, for example, supplies most of the electricity that powers the electrical needs of Las Vega and Southern California. Yet, there are some that want to have this vital source of power removed, because some damn fish has priority over human needs. That is total male bovine excrement.

There also another benefit to having these dams. That is the farming industry. Without the water that these dams provide, we would be importing all of our foodstuffs (much more than now) from other countries. Areas like the Central Valley of California, the farming districts near Tucson Arizona and other arid places in the Western United States would be all desert.

That video is hilarious. A... (Below threshold)

That video is hilarious. And Jay Tea's post is the post of the week on the blogosphere, IMHO.

Typical Al Gore. Always la... (Below threshold)
Here He Goes Again:

Typical Al Gore. Always late to the party, but pretends to be the host.

May I suggest that Al Gore'... (Below threshold)
Tard Hunter:

May I suggest that Al Gore's noble efforts would be much better spent on genetically developing one of these for the average American:

"...a supermodel who pooped diamonds..."

With Gore's deep science connection, certainly one of his pals should be able to pull this off.

Such a breakthrough would also markedly reduce global warming, as men would be content to lie all day in their caves while allowing their mate to churn out the family wealth.

I read the CNN piece. I do... (Below threshold)

I read the CNN piece. I do not see what Gore's "valid point" is supposed to be, or about what he is supposed to be "mostly right".

May we have some specific clarification, please?

Do you think that burning n... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Do you think that burning non-replenishable fossil fuels maximizes their utility, Acksiom? One needn't be a greenie to understand that there are more important things to do with oil than setting it on fire.

So yeah, it would be gre... (Below threshold)
bnorm:

So yeah, it would be great if the US got entirely off fossil fuels in the next decade. It'd also be nice if a supermodel who pooped diamonds fell madly in love with me. I'm not sure which I consider more probable.
I laughed out loud at this. Well said, Jay.

CHARLATAN: A person who pet... (Below threshold)
Kateliz:

CHARLATAN: A person who petends to more knowledge than he or she posessses. Quack.
Yep...thats our Al.
HYPOCRITE: A person who feigns some desirable or publically approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions or statements belie his or her public statements.
Yep... again, our AL
Just one more bloated failed politician. Although I gotta hand it to him...he sure knows how to exploit the stupid. Thanks to all you pathetic unquestioning "progressives" I guess we can now call him on of the richest Limousine Liberals in the World.

Francis is right. Ya'll sh... (Below threshold)

Francis is right. Ya'll should listen to him. And try to think about the science and economic history. You're wasting your time obsessing over Gore. Just because Bush lied about Al Qaeda collaborating with Iraq, doesn't mean Iraq wasn't hazardous. And just because Gore is a similarly misled zealot, doesn't mean "warming" is fake, not man made or a "hoax." The time limit comes from fears, genuine fears mind you, that methane will be released from places like the bottom of the North Sea and the tundra that will dramatically increase the heating of the globe faster than we can deal with it safely. Faster than even America can deal with it, especially since both our political parties are being led around by concentrations of capital built upon exploitation and not rational economic planning. Disregarding the real science, by zealots, or idiots, on either side is equally stupid and not productive. Fossil Fuels are not "remarkably efficient ways of storing and releasing energy, and incredibly convenient to use." Period.

You do of course know that ... (Below threshold)

You do of course know that Al Gore is made from wood, so he's a renewable resource. But seriously... one of the best proposals for the environment as well as ending America's foreign oil dependence is a plan now being offered by normally conservative Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens to use windpower to create much of nation's electricity and to free up the natural gas now used to create eolectricity to power automobiles.

This plan would not only be good for business, but the environment as well as the American econmoy and trade deficit. It's the best plan I've heard so far.

Thanks for a really great 4... (Below threshold)
Jvette:

Thanks for a really great 4 minute belly laugh!

As for alternate energy sources. I remember my dad back in the early 80's just after the energy crisis of the 70's, looking into investing with companies researching alternate fuels. He is a very smart man, masters in aviation, retired 2 star general in the air force. Someone who does his homework, trust me a serious workaholic. He said then that there wasn't enough money to be made in the open market and that the only people who would make money on this was those who received government grants to study and analyze its possible use.

Where would we be if Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had relied on the government to do the research and development for the personal computer and the internet? These two started with nothing but an idea and the desire to bring it to fruition.

My two cents are these...If there is money to be made, private industry will be all over this and will use their own money to development it.
For those who think that isn't the case, that our "oil addiction" fixes would cause a loss of interest, you are wrong, the time is now, if it's possible it will happen. In the meantime,we are an economy dependent on oil. Drill Now!


Second, The oil companies wouldn't be able to stop it, just like the big telephone companies couldn't stop the cell phone and the competition from other companies. Drill now, somewhere the next Gates or Jobs is on the verge of a huge invention, just give us the oil we need now in the meantime.

Second, the guy's approa... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Second, the guy's approach seems to be based on scare-mongering and spreading hysteria though any means necessary.

The truth can be scarey. For 20+ years the scientific community has been warning of the dire consequences of global warming. The truth is that consequences of global warming will make 9-11 look like a hang-nail in comparison. You should be scared.

I'd like to know what th... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I'd like to know what the proponents of solar and wind energy sources have in mind for an energy STORAGE system?

Answer
Solar powered homes simply divert unused energy into the national powergrid. Home owners get paid for their unused energy. Not a bad deal.

CST plants are abl... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

CST plants are able to store and use heat generated during the day at night. These liquids are heated to over 700 degrees.

For photovoltaic, one storage method uses a PHEV plugged into the grid at home as a method of storage. When your power goes out you should be able to use some of those stored electrons to power your house for a while.

If there is money to be ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

If there is money to be made, private industry will be all over this and will use their own money to development it.

That is reasonable sounding argument and I don't fault you for beleiving it. However, here is why its wrong.

1. US Government performs basic research.
2. Businesses do applied research.
3. At this stage more basic research needs to be performed.

With credit to Wikipedia this is what that means:

Basic Research
Basic research, fundamental research (sometimes pure research), is research carried out to increase understanding of fundamental principles. Many times the end results have no direct or immediate commercial benefits. However, in the long term it is the basis for many commercial products and 'applied' research.

Applied Research
Research accessing and using some part of the research communities' (the academy's) accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state, commercial, or client driven purpose. Applied research is often opposed to pure research in debates about research ideals, programs, and projects.

Government research is also made available to private companies in journals and lectures. Private companies guard there research as company secrets, and understandbly so.

Bush admin. agrees with Gor... (Below threshold)
bob:

Bush admin. agrees with Gore!

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN1748836120080717

When is Bush gonna ride his bike to his next speech?

Dave, The technology is the... (Below threshold)
Jvette:

Dave, The technology is there, the problem is bringing it to mass production at a cost that is affordable but still profitable for the company.

For thirty or more years, there has been research and development aimed at replacing the fossil fuel based energy we have now with renewable alternate sources.

There has been progress made with regard to the technology, but apparently very little made in making it a cost effective product.

I am aware that many of our modern conveniences have been first developed by government, usually for use by the military.

What I'm saying is that for the foreseeable future, there is no viable alternative to fossil fuels. Ease our problems now(or as quickly as possible). Because of the intense demand for alternatives now(which wasn't present after the 70's crisis) we will see innovative products come online over the next generation.

The 70's crisis gave us the... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

The 70's crisis gave us the K Car. When my dad sold his to a farm kid, who used it in a demolition derby, it had 450,000 kilometres on it, but was running on two and a half cylinders. RIP.




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