Screw the planet! We need oil NOW!
04-21-2005 12:02 AM
Screw the planet! We need oil NOW!
Howabout taking that 8 billion dollars and funding R&D into developing a viable alternative energy solution?
04-21-2005 12:17 AM
Running with the Big Boys
Nah that would be too easy to do... not when we can kill ourselves in the process
04-21-2005 12:44 AM
This is a really interesting process about essentially creating oil from waste. Definitely interesting but rarely ever gets any attention.
04-21-2005 03:46 AM
The truly infuriating thing for is that they've already wasted enough money on fighting over such a mediocre supply of oil that there will likely not even be much profit margin without heavy govt subsidies. So basically we're paying for oil twice just to keep some pipeliners in business.
It will pass then they'll have a precedent to drill any wildlife refuge or national monument they want.
The whole thing stinks..unless I get hired to do some monitoring up there so I can go fishing before the spills start lol.
04-21-2005 07:27 AM
Running with the Big Boys
thats just terrible. its a refuge for a reason, not a place to drill for oil, but with big money in oil, those people could give two rats asses about any wildlife.... just sad when you ask me.
04-21-2005 08:11 AM
Only solution is nuclear.
Good luck getting the environuts on board.
04-21-2005 08:26 AM
If they'd take that 8billion dollars and put it towards R&D into alternative fuels, well then that would be a good idea. The technology is there it just needs to be perfected.
But too many of our politicians are in bed with the oil companies - so they make millions while they f*ck over the planet and the future of our country. They've all gotta go.
04-21-2005 08:30 AM
What a sad time for the earth.... what is government thinking? fools...
04-21-2005 10:22 AM
Guys, the planet has survived comet impacts and mass periods of vocanisn, ice ages and warm snaps lasting thousands upon thousands of years. Oil drilling in Alaska or anywhere else for that matter is not a big threat. As for the alternative technologies, yes they're there and they can be developed, but they can't be forced and they will have their own limits just as petroleum does. A government subsidy for oil or hydrogen, either way you're paying for it. It's not just a matter of developing the technology, the entire infrastructure of the world is geared around the transportation and use of gasoline and petroleum. It's going to take a hell of a lot more than 8 billion dollars to switch that around both in direct and indirect costs. That can't be accomplished tomorrow or even in a decade.
As for the wildlife refuge, I hate to break it to you but the Earth is not a static system. It changes constantly. Species arise and go extinct fairly consistently. One could argue the attempt by those who are environmentally inclined to freeze certain portions of the Earth into a kind of stasis is more misguided and costly, especially in lost opportunities, than letting things run their course. For those who are worried about global warming and all that, keep in mind the Earth has gone through cold and warm snaps that far outpace our current warming and there were no SUVs around back then, so it's a little harder than most people think to just up and blame industry for current warming trends which are historically fairly mild. Portions of the Earth that were once oceans or lush green areas over run with life are now deserts. The world didn't explode and life didn't end because of those changes.
So how about a little less hysteria and little more practicality? The world will not end if we drill for oil in Alaska or anywhere else for that matter. I'm sure the oil companies want to protect their political asses and so they'll bother the animals and "the environment" as little as possible. It's time to stop looking at man as something apart from nature and realize we can do our own thing and exist in nature, not at odds with it. And, just as petroleum went from worthless sludge to a world moving commodity, some enterprising business person will figure out an alternative fuel that doesn't disrupt the infrastructure of the world and can work it's way into use in the economy, maybe even become the world mover petroleum now is. It'll happen when it happens, and using the government to force the economy in one direction or another is inherently harmful, so it's best to stop trying and let things run their course.
04-21-2005 11:25 AM
Practicality would be for our leaders to stop worrying about their bank accounts and start focusing on the future of our country.
So how about a little less hysteria and little more practicality?
I agree with you that drilling in AK wouldnt be the end of the world - but throughout the earth's history I dont think there was a race of beings dumping tens of millions of tons worth of pollution into her ecosystems on a yearly basis either. While I dont think the Earth's going to stop turning because of it, the damage humans do to the planet is more harmful to us as a species in the long run then the planet as a whole. *That's* what we should be considering.
Sure, the earth has gone through periods of destruction and rebirth...but last time I checked no one found any non-biodegradable toxic refuse underneath a volcanic ash layer
I'd rather see my money going toward a program that's aimed at developing an viable alternative energy source than lining some oil company CEO's pockets.
A government subsidy for oil or hydrogen, either way you're paying for it.
04-21-2005 12:00 PM
I agree 100% that the world will not end if we start drilling in Alaska; it will be just one more step away from a solution. We need to confront the fact that our petroleum dependence is short lived, and we need to start planning for the future. The longer we wait the longer the greater the likelihood of tremendous social and economic upheaval as the inevitable day arrives (not to mention potential environmental impact).
I can not in good conscience confide in some stroke of brilliance from some hypothetical businessman to save the day with minimal disruption. And there is no guarantee that man is in any way still living in tune with nature. Did you read the reports from the Indian Ocean Tsunami about the incredibly low death rates among animals. Animals are more in touch with planetary disturbance.
Amazingly, there are still many small islands in the Indian Ocean where "primitive" groups live. Rescue workers arrived on shore expecting to find the decimation of the groups. Instead they were nearly attacked by the groups which were virtually unharmed by the Tsunami. Why? B/C they are more in touch with nature, and most of us are not. So we cannot just assume that we are still living in some newfound symbiosis with nature.
Another example of people not living in unison with nature is Haiti. In September, hurricanes ravaged the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti and the Dominican Republic share. I believe the death tolls were something like 12 in the D.R. and 1500 in Haiti. Why such a drastic change? Many reasons, one of which is that the D.R. has historically had strict environmental policies, while Haiti has not. The majority of Haiti was once vegetation, but thanks to overpopulation and irresponsible practices it is now less than 2% vegetation. Not surprisingly, there are no trees so there are no roots to hold the soil firmly to the hills. It rains, there are mudslides and people are buried alive as if it were cement.
You are 100% correct when you talk about previous dramatic shifts in global temperature. As far as we know, there still is no conclusive explanation of what happened to the dinosaurs, but I believe one theory is that it was a meteor impact, and another was climate shift. Either way, we don't want that to happen to us. Furthermore, the contemporary situation differs from those historical shifts in two key ways (probably many many more):
The Industrial Revolution: Never before in history were humans exerting such a tremendous impact on their environment. This is beginning in approximately 1750 in England. It spread through Europe through the 19th century and didn't reach many parts of the world until the 20th. Our massive factories and powerplants (not to mention automobiles) have only been commonplace for a little over a century, not a lot of time in the 6-7 million year history of human life.
Global Population Growth: When the Industrial Revolution began the population of the Earth was still less than 1 billion people. For thousands and thousands of years the population had hovered around 300,000,000. We hit 1billion in about 1800. It took us about 127 years to hit 2 billion; 33 years to hit 3 billion; 14 years to hit 4 billion; 13 years to hit 5 billion; 12 years to hit 6 billion. Now we are at about 6.5 billion. So historically, humans did not have the sheer numbers to exert any significant impact on the planet. Today we do.
I could go on, but that just decreases the chance that anyone will read this.
In closing, I do think drilling in the Arctic is just one more step away from progress. Obviously, the problem is much greater than simple fossil fuel consumption.
Last edited by Beowulf; 04-21-2005 at 12:26 PM.
04-21-2005 12:40 PM
04-21-2005 01:21 PM
I certainly hope that all of the people who complain about oil are walking or riding a bike to and from destinations.
04-21-2005 01:33 PM
I do avoid driving as much as possible, and I drive a MINI, which gets almost 40mpg; but it isn't just about walking or riding a bike; it is about identifying alternative ways to prepare for the future. Volkswagen made a proto car that can drive from NY to Cali to Ny to Cali on one tank of gas. Of course, the cost to buy one is prohibitive right now, but progress in this type of technology would work wonders. I think the current hybrids already have this technology, but simple things like having a system set up that stores the wasted energy from braking for later use.
Originally Posted by size
There are so many possibilities and the human race has produced such staggerring genius, but until the funds and the motivation flow in the direction of the long-term greatest good we will make very little advancement in this area. If this becomes one of the big industries of the future, which it seems that it will have to at some point, this could provide incredible stimulus to our economy. But the U.S. is doing very little about it. Europe and Japan are far ahead of us in this field. We'll be depending on them to our economic disadvantage in the future.
04-21-2005 01:34 PM
Having said all that, I also realize the possiblility that we may not have any significant impact on the environment, global warming could be B.S. and overpopulation will never be a problem. But I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to the future of the only planet that we know of that supports intelligent life.
04-21-2005 01:40 PM
Wow Beowulf, good posting. I agree 100%.
The "historical balancing" argument for planet Earth is scientifically correct, but it assumes that all phases of Earth's evolution are equally inviting for our species, it neglects aesthetics, and it places no significance on quality of life or innovation. It's kind of like saying, a person can live on Snickers Bars and Mountain Dew. Is this scientifically correct? Yes. Will the body adapt? Yes. Are there better alternatives? Of course.
As long as we're here, living on a lush planet is much more desireable than living in protective bubbles on a charred out planet.
I agree that drilling for yet more oil (which won't reach the 48 states for many years, and will have no impact on gas prices) won't impact our planet on a "destroy the planet" level; but it most certainly will keep technological innovation at bay and further prolong the kind of suffering the oil-based industrial complex induces.
And while I agree that direct government action on economic issues appears instrusive or "big government" prima facie, pretending like economic influence isn't the backbone of virtually every major piece of legislation or government action is short-sighted. Every single subsidy, import/export sanction, anti-trust decision, regulatory action, FDA ruling--even labor law--is a direct intrusion into the economy. To imply that governments shouldn't "get involved" is to misunderstand the very nature of government and the collective power that such bodies wield.
You also have to take into account that certain rhetoric is perpetuated by people and institutions most inent on preserving their power structures. In other words, oil companies have very powerful PR teams who strategically place articles all over the place, and can sway public opinion.
04-21-2005 01:47 PM
Running with the Big Boys
i just want the car from Back to the Future that runs off trash.....
04-21-2005 01:49 PM
Someone else is gonna say it, so I'll say it for them: as do Environmentalists. The difference is that one side is motivated by profit while the other is motivated by the desire to preserve the planet for our children and our childrens children, etc. Do we really want to take the risk for someone else's profit?
Originally Posted by Justella
04-21-2005 02:07 PM
Wow Beowulf... Your incredibly intelligent AND i agree with just about everything you said. Thats awesome.
04-21-2005 02:11 PM
Hmmmm, I don't understand the summation that since we would drill in Alaska that somehow we are taking a step backwards.
That is like saying "All alternative fuel research stops while we still use fossil fuel", this is quite obviously not the case. Is it easier to use fossil fuels though, of course.
Lets face facts, the ONLY relatively clean and viable alternative energy source available right now is nuclear power. Sure, home based solar applications help a bit, but not large scale.
Bio Diesel is nice as well.
In the meantime, while alternative fuel research goes on, we must exploit the most economical and viable energy source available, which is of course, oil.
I'm sorry, but not drilling or using oil is not going to magically spawn new tech. It does take time.
In the meantime I do agree with stricter fuel efficiency standards and hybrid tech, it is a step in the right direction.
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