Bush's Rant of A Press Conference 4/29/08

Global warming. Coal. Ethanol. Hybrid cars. Fuel cells. Hydrogen. Nuclear power. Smokestacks. Solar. Wind. $110/bbl oil. Conservation. We need our planet. Whatever are we to do to preserve it?

Bush's Rant of A Press Conference 4/29/08

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:33 pm

No links: pure opinion.

Today I heard the ghost of Hoover walking the halls of the White House. True, he did acknowledge that there were problems: but he insisted that drilling in ANWR and making the tax cuts permanent would do the trick. Oh yeah, lowering interest rates.

Meanwhile, many Americans now live in apartments after having lost their homes to foreclosure, gas is now at 3.59 a gallon, and sales of rice is being limited. Buddy can you spare a quarter?

I live in a condo complex. We haven't had a new owner in months: one owner wants to sell to live next to her grandkids, but the sign has been outside for months: no takers. We have renters, and nobody has even taken a nibble on our empty units.

But what do we talk about? Reverend Wright. And the irony is that its the Reverend Wrights of the world who are left taking up the slack from a defunded safety net. 8000 members help fund a variety of programs. Right now white people are scared, but how many will have no one to turn to but the Reverend Wrights of the World, or even the dear Reverend himself for help as local budgets, starved for this war, can no longer do more than pay for police and fire?
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Re: Bush's Rant of A Press Conference 4/29/08

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:42 pm

Back to energy. He wants nuclear power. Even if a suitable location can be found, I suspect the cost of building would bankrupt whatever economy we have left, not to mention the environmental costs of storage and cleanup. ANWR was considered inadequate back when China and India mostly rode bikes and used mass transit: now Chinese, Koreans, and Indians drive a lot more now. ANWR cannot even begin to keep up with demand. He would love to no doubt get offshore drilling, but with concerns about tourism in California, fishing, and water quality, we would lose far more than we gain by doing so. And he threatens to veto tax credits for alternative energy (besides corn-based ethanol) probably because it takes away from his oil buddies windfall profits.

My solution would be wind power immediately-there's plenty of marginal land where we could put windmills. And another thing: they don't all have to be linked to the grid like our powerplants. Creating a system where rural power can be generated and stay rural would take a lot of demand off of the grid, not to mention it's a good idea for rural electricity to remain independent and relatively lowcost.
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Re: Bush's Rant of A Press Conference 4/29/08

Postby Ferguson Foont » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:26 am

Well, our "energy policy," such as it is, is what might be expected under the actual circumstances we currently suffer. When your nation is governed by the oil industry, you must expect policy to be set to maximize oil industry profits at the expense of literally everything else, including national security, the dollar, the environment, and the basic health of our economy.

The interesting thing about drilling in the ANWR is how pointless it would be. I personally don't care about the ANWR. I will never go there and I seriously doubt whether anyone I ever know in my life will ever go there. The discomfiture of a few caribou and the trampling of some hardy wildflowers matters not one whit in the grand scheme of things, and if exploiting the ANWR for oil would improve our lives I would urge that they go right ahead. The ANWR is a frozen wasteland, and if anywhere is appropriate for ecologically unsound industries it is such places that are the most remote from human habitation. But first of all, assessments of the amount of oil that can be pumped out of the ANWR are uncertain at best, but even under the best-case scenario it cannot come to market for at least a decade, and will meet only the tiniest fraction of our needs for only a short period of time. It will have nothing even approaching the impact we could achieve with the very mildest conservation efforts. And, most disturbing of all, virtually none of it will come to the United States, just as none of the North Slope oil comes here for domestic use. It all goes to Japan and China, and their increasing appetite for oil will gobble it up as if it were never pumped at all.

Research into alternative sources is being deliberately curtailed, except in those areas where the distribution of alternative fuels can be controlled by the existing oil-based infrastructure. This includes hydrogen and ethanol, which will have to be manufactured in large refineries/distilleries, and shipped to and obtained from service stations, just as gasoline is today. This will preserve for the same individuals their political control over our economy. Electric cars, which run on ANY source including those that can be generated by individuals in their own homes, are being forcibly suppressed. Their unavailability is not related in any way to technological incapacity any more, and it has not been for over twenty years now.

Everything makes sense when you realize that all is abandoned in the name of profits for Big Oil, especially that aspect of Big Oil that sells it by the barrel as crude straight from the ground. We attacked Iraq not to steal their oil but to keep it off the market, driving up prices for those who pump it elsewhere, including Bush's Texas and Bush's buddies in Saudi Arabia. We give tax breaks for purchasing SUVs, for cryin' out loud, but have curtailed them for fuel-efficient hybrids and have none at all for pure electrics. While Big Oil is lavished with many types of tax favoritism, tax breaks for wind and solar have been allowed to lapse, effectively curtailing R&D in the United States and leaving the field to Europe and Japan.

But I myself am something of a fan of nuclear energy. It's clean, efficient, and cheap. It is also far safer than anything that burns fossil fuels of any kind -- how many lives do you think have been lost to our addiction to fossil fuels? Coal mining deaths, refinery explosions, and the thousands, maybe even MILLIONS, of deaths from pulmonary diseases and other causes that come from the pollution generated by burning fossil fuels -- none of these lives are lost to the entire process that fuels and operates fission reactors. Compare the deaths and health impacts of coal and oil to the death rate from nuclear power, which I believe stands at zero over the fifty years it has been in use in the United States, and the choice is clear.

The dangers people cite for nuclear power are either purely speculative (meltdowns) or are caused by the influence of scientific ignorance over political decision-making (waste storage), and are fueled by the phantom specter of mushroom clouds (literally an impossibility). We've been using nuclear power long enough now, with the reactor operators sometimes making the gravest errors that can be made and escaping those errors without consequences, to dismiss the arguments of the Chicken Littles out there. I mean, think: How many speculative dangers can you cite to argue against the absurd proposition that we should pump under high pressure poisonous, explosive gases into people's homes? But we take it for granted.

But likening Bush to Herbert Hoover does a grave disservice to Mr. Hoover. Our economy is being run by the philosophical successors to the Weimar Republic. Our foreign policy resembles that of imperial Japan. Our domestic policies are like those of the French under Louis XVI. Our educational system is being transformed into one resembling Europe's in the ninth and tenth centuries. Our environmental policies remind one of the Soviet Union. Our military policies are foolhardy beyond any precedent, and seem designed specifically to weaken and demoralize our military. We run our elections like Robert Mugabe. And we are rapidly implementing internal security that would be the envy of Augusto Pinochet.

No, I believe you owe Herbert Hoover an apology.
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I agree on an apology to Herbert Hoover

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:26 pm

He was mistaken about economic policy, but was a gentleman overall. Bush deserves no such appellation. About nuclear energy: my concern is about half-lives being longer than human civilization. We can read the warnings now, but can our descendants? Besides, nuclear too is another non-renewable as well. I would use it very sparingly, like oil, and more of a transitional or for those applications where there can be no lapse of generation allowed.

It is getting clearer that the Arctic Ice is what keeps our hemispheric temperatures manageable. The less we disturb this, the better for agriculture. Not to mention a source of fresh water. And the oil is not less valuable for staying in the ground either.

I listen to the farm bill, and to me the link between energy and agriculture policy and housing policy is clear. We have pursued a policy that has paved over the best farmland for housing, and forced millions to an ever-longer commute that consumes more energy. The car itself is not the problem: its what we have run the car with. Electric cars would not be a problem in terms of pollution-we could have the mobility without the waste, leaving petroleum for those farm applications that have yet to have an adequate substitute for it. We can encourage people to start growing gardens on those suburban lawns, easing the food shortage which in turn could ease the strain on farmland elsewhere. We can allow ill-advised housing to go back to the natural state, restoring the fertility of the land, making it possible to retain more water in the water table, and reducing the pressure of commuting by taking land out of housing. No addresses, no need to ever expanding road construction that in turn destroys farmland. We can ease zoning to allow more gardens, windmills for energy (especially once they get down to household size), and mixed housing to allow business to once again locate within walking distance. We can eat better and at the same time stretch our energy reserves if we have the will to do so.
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