Screw the planet! We need oil NOW!

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  1. Screw the planet! We need oil NOW!


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7574562/

    Howabout taking that 8 billion dollars and funding R&D into developing a viable alternative energy solution?


  2. Nah that would be too easy to do... not when we can kill ourselves in the process
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  3. This is a really interesting process about essentially creating oil from waste. Definitely interesting but rarely ever gets any attention.
    http://www.res-energy.com/technology/index.asp

  4. 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.
  5. tattoopierced1
    tattoopierced1's Avatar

    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.
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  6. Only solution is nuclear.


    Good luck getting the environuts on board.

  7. 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.

  8. What a sad time for the earth.... what is government thinking? fools...

  9. 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.

  10. So how about a little less hysteria and little more practicality?
    Practicality would be for our leaders to stop worrying about their bank accounts and start focusing on the future of our country.

    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

    A government subsidy for oil or hydrogen, either way you're paying for it.
    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.

    BV

  11. Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    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.
    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 01:26 PM.

  12. I certainly hope that all of the people who complain about oil are walking or riding a bike to and from destinations.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by size
    I certainly hope that all of the people who complain about oil are walking or riding a bike to and from destinations.
    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.

    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.

  14. 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.
  15. Excellent Post


    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.
  16. tattoopierced1
    tattoopierced1's Avatar

    i just want the car from Back to the Future that runs off trash.....


  17. Quote Originally Posted by Justella
    oil companies have very powerful PR teams who strategically place articles all over the place, and can sway public opinion.
    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?
  18. Thumbs up


    Wow Beowulf... Your incredibly intelligent AND i agree with just about everything you said. Thats awesome.

  19. 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.

  20. We are taking a step backwards because once again we our choosing our comfort and greed over the well being of the planet not because alternative fuel R&D will stop.....

  21. Comfort and greed?


    Now there is a pretty relative and broad based assumption if I've ever heard one.

    There are many more factors that you don't take into consideration.



    Personally I would be more afraid of a volcanic eruption or meteor strike causing a global environmental catastrophe waaaaay before we humans can make a "charred planet".

    Heck, Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelly because it was so cold in the summer that year due to a volcanic eruption and she didn't have anything better to do.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    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.
    The problem is no one is competent to plan because no one can predict the future. No one could have predited that petroleum would go from being worthless to the fuel of the world in such a short time, but it did. And it did so because of enterprising businessmen, not by government fiat. If the government forces a decision, say to hydrogen, businesses will generally follow those lines, but they will do so at the expense of possibly better alternatives. That's what happens when the government sets a standard, or when any standard is set for that matter. Set a quota for your sales people and they'll hit it, but few tend to go over it. Set a standard for emissions or certain alternative fuel usage goals and people will aim for it, but they do so at the expense and lost opportunity of going for something better. In all of history our resources have always been delivered to us on an as needed basis through economic pressure. Someone notices a need and looks for a way to satisfy it. It doesn't happen through government legislation, and it actually can't happen that way.

    As for the animals being more in touch with the world, that sounds too much like pseudo spirituality than fact. Animals also live in their own **** and die much more frequently of disease or violent attack. I don't see what it has to do with drilling for oil.

    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.
    I wouldn't make such an assumption. The point I was trying to make is that the world is not static. Opposing change is opposing nature, and by definition humans are a part of nature as is everything else that exists. Plus, studying still primitive people to learn something about modern industrialized society is a contradiction. Those people who are still living in primitive conditions are by definition distinctly different from our ancestors. Our ancestors evolved, theirs didn't.

    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.
    True, but you'll find this to be the result of a hell of lot of government corruption. It would seem odd in the least to then go to that self same government to seek a fix for the problem.

    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.
    This begs the question. You're assuming the Industrial revolution had a massive effect on the environment when that's exactly the point we're arguing. I used to believe as you do, when you hear PHDs of a different stripe question theories about human induced global warming the theory gets very, very shaky. It's also not even a true theory as no one has yet found a way to falsify it. If the weather gets to cold, it's because of humans. If it gets too hot, it's because of humans. If the weather gets mild, it's because of humans. If storm activity goes up in frequency and intensity, it's because of humans. A theory for which everything serves as evidence isn't a theory, it's populist nonsense. Everything is evidence, therefore nothing is evidence. A theory needs to be a hell of a lot more reliable than that. Then you get into rather more specific questions, like how do you judge a climate change when estimates of the planetery temperature even in the recent past are very unreliable? If human industrial activity is having such a massive impact on the environment, why is this current climate change so much more mild that ones we see evidence for in the past? Too many questions to justify throwing some serious monkey wrenches into the world's economy.

    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.
    These are familiar numbers, and what they ignore is that population growth slows down as countries get more industrialized. Most of that population growth occurred in third world countries. In order to see population growth as a threat you have to assume something which has never happened in human history and which goes against all available evidence, that growth will never stop or stabilize. This was the assumption of Paul Ehrlic when back in the seventies he predicted all kinds of shortages and famines in the eighties and nineties. Needless to say he and his fellow Malthusians were dead wrong.

    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.
    The Democrats are probably right in that drilling in ANWR probably won't accomplish much, but it also won't hur tthe economy to do it, I think the Carribou will be able to deal, and the Democrat solution is just as bad if not worse than the Republican one. So there's not much to cheer about here either way.

  23. Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf

    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?
    I tend to question the motivations of all people. You don't think all the new money the government will get to rake in to create all new kinds of programs and jobs for their friends and political allies isn't a motivation of theirs? You think a Democrat wanting to subsidize a recycling plant, whether or not it's better for the environment, is different from a Republican wanting to subsidize an oil company? If you honestly think a senator or businessman is doing something out of the goodness of his heart, you've merely bought one line and not the other. I guarantee you someone is getting greased.

  24. Everyone beyond childhood knows that without a profit incentive, there's no real initiative or responsibility. The problem is we are choosing to pursue and subsidize the reliance on petroleum and it's known strategic and enviromental issues , instead of strongly financing the transition to a new and possibly less troublesome alternative power source(s).

    We can spend $300 Billion plus on the war on Iraq, and tens of billions on space exploration, why can't we invest more in hydrogen, or fusion, or ???????? R & D? Of course I know why, and it's stupidly shortsighted.

    Global Warming appears to me to be far less certain and dangerous a threat than the introduction of new plant and animal species from one ecosystem to another as a result of global trade. For example,I've read that everytime a container ship dumps it's ballast into the ocean, around 5000 new to that area species are introduced , and a unknown number of these will establish themselves as a predatory influence on the existing ocean ecosystem. These are finely tuned balances that took eons to create, and in a few years we have and will continue to mix them up without truly knowing the consequences.
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