Friday, June 11, 2010

The edge of hubris

Dear righties,

Get ready for LOTS of this as the midterms near:



Not withstanding the thousands of gallons of oil pumping into the coast, there are precious few places left to drill, babies. US oil production peaked in the 1970s and has been declining ever since. The low hanging fruit is all but gone. You want to drill, you're going to do it in densely populated or environmentally sensitive areas or in deep off-shore water.

We've arrived at the edge of our hubris. We either get ourselves into oil rehab or drown in our addiction.

When will you realize that?

* * *

35 comments:

Tony said...

Why address this to "righties"? Lefties are just as guilty on this issue. I doubt that Americans will ever willingly choose rehab.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tony. Actually--the mantra Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less was the product of human slug Newt Gingrich. Caribou Barbie just made it sexxxxy.

But in any event, my sugar white beaches are being soaked as we speak, tourism is way down and fishing grounds from La to Fla are being closed.

It's very depressing. No one is to blame and everyone is to blame. Auto manufacturers who eschewed gas mileage in favor of quick profits on SUV's (remember the Hummer?), industrial agricultural practices that require petroleum to work, and our own desire for antipodal kiwis at the supermarket. Cassandras that talked about environmental costs were dismissed--now that bill is coming due. jemison

Erin O'Brien said...

I wholly agree everyone's to blame and I stated as much in this post, but I can't help but shake my head at the delusion of "drill-baby-drill."

And fair or not, it's exactly the ham-handed "drill-baby-drill" attitude that will unbalance the ideological blame of this spill towards the right side of the aisle.

Bill said...

Guilty of what? Do you think other countries are not going to drill in the Gulf? It goes without saying that the spill containment was totally mishandled. Why didn't we accept the Netherlands offer to send skimmers? I'm quite sure that the gov will force us all into smaller, less safe, high mileage, uncomfortable cars but we will need oil for a long, long time. And, we'll buy it where we can. Drill Baby Drill!!

VideoDude said...

Once you are addicted...it is hard to break the habit. It is not the fact that we all want oil. BP, the government (both sides of the aile) never bothered to plan for the worst! Just like the unsinkable Titanic...

Bill said...

Our use of oil is not an addiction! It literally fuels our society. It is no more an addiction than wanting a house or roof over your head or wanting to be able to travel. Will we be addicted to natural gas or windmills? Will those be our methadone?

Lord Basil said...

More leftist propaganda about drilling that ultimately leads to the religion of global warming.

Drilling must begin anywhere and everywhere.

That oil is OURS and you watermellon environmentalists (green on the outside, red on the inside, socialists in drag) aren't going to stop us.

When the hard traditionalists take over Congress, there will be more drilling than you could ever imagine.

Hope that Prius keeps running for ya.

ROTFLMAO!!!

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, I'm afraid I can't help you baby.

Oh. Hello, Lord.

Erin O'Brien said...

Just one thin--maybe Bill's comments make it clearer why I gently directed this post at the righties.

Bill said...

:) You are right! (i mean correct) This does end up being a right/left thing.

Bill said...

I guess, if all of the liberals, progressives, socialists, greenies, treehuggers, holier than thouers, etc., cut their use of petrol products in half, that would reduce our national usage by about 20%. Go for it! Better yet, boycott products made from oil. No travel to Arizona is a good start! Talk is cheap. Action is meaningful.

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, you are a wonderment. You really don't give a damn about anything other than a full tank of gas and you'll damn anything that gets in the way of it. You and your like will take us all down.

Bill said...

I actually walked to my office today. I normally use about 1 and 1/2 tanks of gas a month. Heater at 68 in the winter, AC at 78 in the summer. Freedom works.

jonas said...

Bill (and Erin, I suppose), here's what this debate seems to be asking:

Where do YOUR rights stop, and mine begin? That is, Bill's point about freedom will obviously ring true for alot of people: the government shouldn't be telling me how to live my life. Ok, seems to make sense. Reasonable people should be making reasonable decisions...ideally.
However, that people seem to not make reasonable decisions is the very reason we have government. Like smoking and seatbelts: while it would fine if YOU want to be an idiot and chose not to wear a seatbelt in a perfect world where no one else was affected, that'd be one thing. But OTHER people suffer ($$$, mostly) because you don't, and crash, and die. Oil drilling and usage seems to be in something of a similar category, if on a ridiculously larger scale (global). If we're not smart enough to all consciously make changes, should the government (ie, our elected representatives...US!!) help make that change for us?

I suppose there will be some who continue to believe that there's no possible chance that human development on and of the Earth has in any why changed or will change that Earth. I find that to be, at best, illogical. But, assuming we as a planet more or less agree that our lives are being put as risk because of such activity (see: smoking, seatbelts), change would seem...uh...reasonable?

Here's the thing: we all know a bloody ton of money is really whats being argued here: people want the "right" to continue making it. Ok...fine. Just make it another way! Do we really think companies like BP give a shit what you buy, as long as it's from them?? NO!! Hell, if we all got a hard-on for turnips, they'd find a way to get rich selling us turnips. So, figure out what oil's replacement will be and we'lll happily (and no doubt dumbly) suckle from that energy teet as well. It'd just be nice if that would include not salting the Earth along the way.

Bill said...

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Amy L. Hanna said...

Excuse ME - and not defending anyone in particular - but there are still some of us who DO need that villified full tank of gas to get to our next possible round JOB INTERVIEWS should that mean anything to those of you.

Carry on.

Bill said...

Amy: It's fine if you have to use lots of oil or, if you have a big family and you have to drive a big vehicle. You just have to say that you feel guilty doing it and make it clear that you wish there were a greener way for you to live. Just don't say you like your big vehicle.

Ted said...

I am amused at the irony of "if it feels good do it" rhetoric coming out of the right these days when it comes to energy. Hell, we should have no problems with dope smoking and free lovin', then.

"But conspicuous energy consumption is legal." And so is paid sex in certain counties in Nevada. Your point?

But what truly entertains me are assertions that cars with good mileage are unsafe. My '87 Accord 4-door, 5-seat family sedan easily got 42 actual (not EPA) mpg on the road and had excellent saftey ratings. It gave up its life to save mine and I walked away with only scratches and bruises.

I'd be curious to know: What are we really talking about between '87 and now? A difference between 0.0001% and 0.00001% fatality rate in specific, controlled crash tests on average? Certainly, the Accords morphed into much larger cars with nothing less than a V6 and maybe 28 mpg tops, but I suspect that was more for marketability than safety.

Since when were self-control, frugality and restraint *not* conservative values? :)

(Disclosure: I voted McCain.)

Erin O'Brien said...

I love it when we get lots of exclamation points in the comment section!

VideoDude said...

I wonder how many of these "Drill Baby Drill" proponents will be happy when a hurricane sucks up the oil from The Gulf, and dumps it on private swimming pools in TN, KY, OH and MI?

If only Bush, Cheney, MMS and the oil companies had instaslled that $5,000 safety valve, after all!

A little side question: Where has big mouth Cheney been during the last 2 months?

Once Known as The Badger said...

The "drill, baby,drill" chant and those who speak it remind me of thought control and double speak in the very worst way. This isn't about freedom in any normal sense. This is about profits without and concern for anything else. In Germany there was a wedding of sorts between the huge industrial corporations and the Nazi Party because the Nazis used emotion and fear to control and whip up fervor, while granting free reign to corporate profit. War is good business. You'll note that those corporations still exist in post war Germany. They survived. Too bad about everyone else. So go drill, baby drill.

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks to everyone for making this a vibrant discussion. And also thanks for keeping it polite and intelligent. These here Internets could need all the good behavior they can get.

And to Bill, although you can really infuriate me, I've got to hand it to you for standing alone in this crowd.

Bill said...

Badger: I just love those nazi references. I guess somebody is just going to have to "kick some ass" and get us all in line.

Videodude: Maybe BP will still have money left to pay for cleaning those oily pools after the hurricane dispurses the oil to them.

I heart you Erin.

Once Known as The Badger said...

Bill - I know, Nazi references are thrown about way too much by both "sides". However, the collusion between big corps and the Nazis, including American ones, is well documented. Remember, manipulating fear and fervor through slogans and propaganda can generate a powerful political movement that really isn't in anyone's best interests but the ones at the top exploiting it.

Bill said...

si se puede! yes we can! we're the one's we've been waiting for! bush lied, peopl died.

Anonymous said...

OMGLOL! I just read the names of the posters after having read all the posts, Bill & Ted discussing politics, party on dudes! So sorry for not contributing like everyone else Erin, I just couldn't resist this one.:)


-Can't See Sheep

Two Flights Down said...

It's irritating how the solution to everything is drilling. Nobody wants to address the lack of decent public transportation, and don't even dare to dispute the American image of success that's been pounded into our brains--a house and a vehicle for each member of the family (at least). We've been brainwashed to believe that car=freedom.

As long as we have career politicians who only worry about who is slipping money into their pockets or winning them their next term in office, will real problems ever be addressed?

What ever happened to people serving their term, then having to go home and live with the laws they created? Certainly not how the system works now...

Erin O'Brien said...

Flights, I agree 100%. It's INFURIATING that our public transportation is so inferior in so many places.

But on the other hand, people are so goddamn self-entitled. They don't want to deal with the bus. They don't want to sit next to a bag lady. They don't want to get up 10 mins early. blah blah blah. Cities can't afford public transportation if no one supports it.

Cleveland is pretty good with public transportation. I always took the bus when I worked downtown, but there was no decent route when I worked on 49th and I had to drive each day.

I'll say one thing, when gas was $4 a gallon, people stopped worrying about getting up early. CLE's busses were loaded.

Bill said...

We have BART in the SF Bay Area and it has excellent ridership numbers. We also have a train that runs up and down the peninsula. It's pretty convenient and gets pretty good ridership. The train is running a pretty big deficit. I like taking the train to a Giants game in the city or a Sharks game in San Jose. BART's unions are pretty greedy and it's getting close to pricing a lot of people back into their cars. Buses are the least attractive option. Not because of bag ladies but crime on the buses, mostly from the gang element, is a seemingly unstoppable problem. I live in a limousine liberal area and I can guarantee you that 99.9% of my neighbors never take any public transportation. They will, though, drive their Prius unless there are 3 or more of them. Then they'll opt for the Escalade. It's pretty funny really. The last town hall meeting I attended had an agenda item related to green building. Of course everyone (except me) was in favor of this. I live less than a mile from town hall and walked. Needless to say, the parking lot was full. Do as I say, not as I do. The Al Gore syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Bill's views are best expressed by "The Tragedy of the Commons"--Eric Harden I believe.jemison

Bill said...

Bill's views are best expressed by Bill. But do you, jemison, agree with Hardin that the population needs to be controlled and limited?

Anonymous said...

I been called a lot of things but never a watermelon. These heels are killing my back though.

RJ

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

Want to see how public transportation truly works?

Go to Seoul, South Korea.

There are about 30 million people in the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area.

They have an excellent (and I mean excellent) public transportation system. Rail, buses, cabs, you name it.

And you know what? The streets are still filled with cars. Parking is practically non-existent in most places. Yet folks still buy cars (albeit smaller ones than here) and drive them. Often. Many do every day.

Public transportation is a great thing. In Seoul, it's a great way to get around, cheaply. But ...

People like their cars. They like the convenience. Until such time (as Erin alludes to in the $4 a gallon comment) that it becomes inconvenient (not to mention expensive) folks are going to opt out of public transportation, whether its in Seoul, South Korea, or Cleveland, Ohio.

Al
TRAG

P.S. When I lived in Vermont You Know How I Feel, I didn't have to drive much. It was mainly due to the fact that I lived about 350 meters from school. Had I had to drive, I would have done so. I would have done so mainly because there are no train, cab, or subway options there. Curiously, for a state so enamored of "green" things, Vermont lacks public transportation to a large extent. Just sayin' ....

Anonymous said...

I do Bill, starting with you. Welcome to the wheel of regeneration....jemison

Bill said...

I rest my case.