Random thoughts

Republicans need to to stop denying climate change.   It’s happening, whether you like it or not.  Even without that, it’s ridiculous that they are coming up with new ways to block investments in renewable and/or alternative energy sources.   Old news flash:  Oil is going to run out.  Not necessarily “all oil will be gone,”  but “no cheap oil.”   We’ve found almost all the stuff we can get out of the ground easily.  We are never going to find enough now to make us energy-independent.   We’ve known that since the 70’s.   If you’re willing to pay $20 to $30 a gallon to run your car, great.   No, coal won’t save us either.  Turns out it’s a pretty crappy fuel when you take into account all the other problems, like disposing of the ash, acid rain, and mercury deposition.

When it comes to alternatives, various liberals need to stop their knee-jerk response against nuclear energy.   I’ve heard the same arguments used since the 1970’s.   If you look around, you’d realize that the technology has changed, and most of the old obstacles and objections have been overcome.   Basing your objections on something designed in the 1950’s is ridiculous. Is nuclear power a complete replacement?  No, but automatically dismissing it is dumb.

Bobby Jindal was on television today complaining about federal spending.  Considering the amount of money his state gets, and that earlier this year he was pleading for federal help, I think it’s a good thing for him that hypocrisy isn’t fatal.   I have a great deficit-cutting idea though.  The next governor of any state that complains about federal spending, we cut off the federal money to their state.  Obviously, that’s what they wanted!

The fact that Sarah Palin is being touted by various Republicans as a candidate for President in 2012 shows more about the state of the Party than anything else.  Jindal thinks she can make a compelling case.  I think a compelling case can be made for Jindal being an idiot.  Ye gods, she couldn’t even make it through a term as Governor.

Is it just me, or is there something strange about people who claim that they want to protect the Constitution by advocating a military coup?

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25 Comments

Filed under Politics, Science

25 responses to “Random thoughts

  1. Once again a post I can only agree with for the most part.

    I’m for renewable energies and really know that this country won’t get deadly serious about developing them broadly until that oil really becomes scarce and – as you point out – expensive. Our government could have done a lot more to compel renewable energy over the past 4 decades – but sadly succumbed to – IMO – greed and political fear to push against Big Oil.

    Now I do have a problem with the fear-mongering of climate change. I don’t buy the Chicken Little “sky is falling” of the pro-climate change doomsayers. At the same time I don’t deny change is occurring (I’m very much Aristotelian in where the truth lies).

    Nuclear power is going to need to be a component of any renewable energy program, especially the longer we wait to get a broad infrastructure of renewable energy generation going in the US. Getting going sooner will cut the amount of nuclear energy we must rely on to get through (my personal opinion).

    We do need to cut spending, reduce the deficit, and balance it in a way that protects the future welfare of the nation as much as possible. The alternative is going bankrupt. Though the issue I see is that while the Republicans call for it they have no idea how to go about it intelligently – or in a good bipartisan spirit. No side can do it alone, so dang it they need to work with Dems.

    This is why I think we’ll see the Republicans take a beating in two years. I just wish there was some alternative to this constant back and forth of Republican/Democratic control. It’s not working.

    • I look at climate change no so much as “omg!!! we’re all going to die!”, but as something that’s going to have some consequences for the country both internally and externally. There’s a good study here about what is more likely to happen, and already is, to an extent.

      I agree about the energy – it’s been 40 years since we got the first “warning” and it’s been way too easy to push it off. Nuclear energy has made some serious strides in the past 30 years, and about the only country that isn’t taking advantage of it is – us. Even though it’s not a permanent solution, it’s a good interim (50-100 year) solution.

      Everything I’ve seen so far from the Republicans is telling me that they didn’t get the message that the electorate was sending. I can look at the polls, listen to what people are saying, and they were sent to help fix the economy, get jobs going, and yes, stop the gridlock in D.C. Now you have them saying that they’re going to cut taxes, and if it takes shutting down the government to get their way, they’ll do it. Which is not what people want., and I think they’ll get kicked to the curb in a big way.

      One of the things that irritates me about the media – particularly Fox – is that they have been particularly aggressive against any bipartisan efforts, and the end results are that even when it’s in the country’s interest (and theirs, really), they’ll still be against it.

      • You know if I keep agreeing with you all the time people are going to think I’m a Bluedog Dem at the least! 😉

        But, I agree. The Republicans are misreading the election. What’s worse is that I think they’re doing it intentionally. I finbd it hard to believe they haven’t had it made clear to them what the people were saying. It just doesn’t fir with their “plan” – which they’ve been stuck on for how many decades now????

        Do you sometimes feel it is the media trying to be the administration and the politicians are just following along? All networks and journalists need to get back to reporting the news, not commentating on it every moment of the day.

        FOX should be known as the Republican FOX network. But, I will give them points – they don’t try to hide their bias as much as the other networks.

        I’ll read that climate study you linked to, thanks. But I am in the group you are. There are problems we need to work on, but I won’t be pushed into the “omg” group (led by his nibs Mr. Gore and company).

        • My own viewing of that study, in terms of what I looked at, was that we’re already seeing some of that – there’s an 11-year drought out west, as I’m sure you’re aware, and what that means longer term. Given where the main population growth in this country has been for the past 30 years, extended or more severe droughts in those areas means decreased agricultural production plus not enough water to support the population. So that means we’re looking at population/industry shifts in the country.

  2. As a theoretical matter, I am not opposed to nuclear (though I do have concerns about the amount of nuclear material that would be floating around if nuclear were going to play a major role in meeting global energy demand). My understanding, however, is that nuclear is only able to be viable in the U.S. with massive taxpayer subsidies. Given limited taxpayer resources, I would rather such money be invested into energy efficiency and developing cleaner energy technologies, rather than nuclear.

    • Not really. Most of the technology is already in place, and being fielded. The problem is mostly the NIMBY syndrome, along with the absolute refusal to consider it by a number of groups. I’ve seen some studies which show that a large percentage of the actual expense is just getting through all the approvals and lawsuits.

      In terms of the amount of nuclear material, we already have it floating around, and one of the “not used here” technologies is recycling old fuel into new fuel, as well as giving us a place to “dispose” of all the nuclear material we’ve been stockpiling as we decommission nuclear weaponry.

  3. Alan Scott

    I am a climate change denier and I will not change. Not only have you global warming boosters failed to prove your initial case of man caused global warming, you have failed on something far more important. You have failed to prove that reducing CO2 emissions will reduce or reverse climate change.

    As has been proven, much of the data and analysis on which climate change was based, turned out to be false. The other thing that you people do that is blatantly dishonest, is to say that weather is not climate. Every time my side cited a freak cold spell or snow storm as evidence against Global Warming, you folks used that phrase. Yet whenever there is small stretch of hot weather, a drought, or a flood, or unusual storms, that has to be Global Freakin Warming.

    Now if you want use use climate change as a reason for nuclear power, then you have my best wishes. However, your granola eating, sandal wearing, formerly long haired hippie brethren will never let it happen. If it ain’t wind, solar, or something else which doesn’t work, they are agin it.

    • Wow, I’ve never been called a global warming booster – with good reason, I’m not.

      What I am is realistic about the climate. The planet goes through changes in climate naturally. That is likely what is happening now, with some exacerbation by the pollution caused by humanity. That in turn causes more complication with the over environment. Ignoring that makes you no better than the extremist supporter of the global warming doom-and-gloom crowd. Oh, and weather behavior – to me – is a part of the climate debate/issue.

      Now, the hard left environmental crowd doesn’t like nuclear power – on this I agree with you. But they’ll come to change. They’ll have no choice. Just like the rest of the country when that oil starts getting prohibitively expensive the way we generate power will have to change. And, unfortunately, being a society that lives for the moment – the instant gratification – our nation won’t move forward until we are absolutely forced to. How stupid we are.

      So, unlike you, I am not a denier. I see we have problems to work on, but the state of the issue isn’t as nearly as bad as the sky-is-falling group wants us to believe.

    • Actually, no the data was not false. Which is why you buy into the lie. What happened is that they were discussing the methods of analysis – and whether they were using the correct methodology. Which involved technical questions about corrections for various factors, which was promptly jumped on by the scientifically illiterate to announce that the data was false.

      Now, we don’t have to prove that lowering the CO2 will reduce the temperature. What we do observe is that the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have been rising steadily over the past century. We can also look back at other data – ice cores and sea sediment core, and determine that when CO2 was rising before, there were global warming periods. When it sank, temperatures sank. That’s what we call “evidence.”

      So, given that historical evidence, we can extrapolate that when levels reach certain points, plus observing things like glaciers melting, ice caps receding, and permafrost thawing, along with increasing levels of CO2 in the oceans, it’s a good indicator that the climate is changing. eppur si muove. Look it up.

      Now, regardless of whether you believe it or not, the other reality is that we will run out of easily extractable oil, probably sooner than later. It doesn’t matter if we drill in the arctic, off the continental shelf, you name it. There’s only so much to be had, and what remains will not be cheap. Coal also has a huge set of problems attached to it, and again, the same problems as oil – there’s only so much of it that’s easily extractable. So regardless of whether or not you believe in climate change, the same solutions apply – we need alternatives to generate electricity and other fuels for our economy. Which is a point the rest of the world has grasped.

  4. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    ” Actually, no the data was not false. ” Actually it was. The East Anglia crap was false. Data supporting Global freaking warming was hyped. Data contradicting it was suppressed. Scientists who disputed Global Freaking Warming were punished and silenced.

    ” Now, we don’t have to prove that lowering the CO2 will reduce the temperature. ”

    Then what is the point of reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike you, I can ‘prove’ that reducing CO2 emissions will crash the world economy. Look at the places where they have embraced looney toon environmentalism. First, ground zero for every left wing nut job. Of course it is California. They are functionally bankrupt, functionally brain dead. No money to pay their bills , yet they always have money for windmill farms and climate change .

    Then there is Spain. Someone talked the Spanish into massive subsidies for Solar. A few short years later they are on the verge of bankruptcy.

    ” We can also look back at other data – ice cores and sea sediment core, and determine that when CO2 was rising before, there were global warming periods. When it sank, temperatures sank. That’s what we call “evidence.” ”

    You write so well and use such big words. “Evidence ” is what you call “it “. Does your “evidence” tell you whether the temperature rise was caused by elevated CO2 or whether the temperature rise actually caused the level of CO2 to increase ?

    ” So, given that historical evidence, we can extrapolate that when levels reach certain points, plus observing things like glaciers melting, ice caps receding, and permafrost thawing, along with increasing levels of CO2 in the oceans, it’s a good indicator that the climate is changing. eppur si muove. Look it up. ”

    Trust me, I have looked it up. Long before Al Gore invented climate change I was reading about past climate cycles. Now if we have had all of these large climate swings historically, why can’t the present swing be explained as another natural cycle ??

    ” Now, regardless of whether you believe it or not, the other reality is that we will run out of easily extractable oil, probably sooner than later. It doesn’t matter if we drill in the arctic, off the continental shelf, you name it. ”

    What the heck do you mean it does not matter? It matters. I was around in the 1970s and I remember that by about 10 years ago, we were certain to run out of oil. Somewhere in my stuff I have an article from the early 1920s NY Times that says by the 1950s all of the oil would be gone.

    In my own great State of Pa they are just beginning to tap massive new Natural Gas fields. The Marcellus Shale gas deposits span West Virginia, Pa, and New York State.

    I agree that the remaining energy deposits will get more expensive. That is the point. Let the market decide when drilling and mining is more expensive than green energy. Green energy has been over subsidized. Let it compete head to head with fossil fuel . Let the green geeks match the genius of the drillers who are constantly inventing new drilling technology.

    ” Coal also has a huge set of problems attached to it, and again, the same problems as oil – there’s only so much of it that’s easily extractable.”

    Though I never mined it, I know quite a bit about coal. Mainly anthracite. Again I am not against the development of alternatives. I am against subsidizing their deployment.

    ” we need alternatives to generate electricity and other fuels for our economy. Which is a point the rest of the world has grasped. ”

    Is that what you think? Let me tell you about the rest of the world, the way it really is. Germany is big on alternative energy. They subsidize the crap out of it. But, without Russian Natural Gas they would collapse. Then there is France. Their alternative energy is nuclear power.

    Let’s talk about China. They have a lot of alternative energy. Much of it sits idle. Most of their electricity is from coal. Their coal is some of the dirtiest in the world. They are buying mega tons of coal from Australia and some from the US. The rest of the world talks a good game, that’s all.

    plainlyspoken,

    ” Now, the hard left environmental crowd doesn’t like nuclear power – on this I agree with you. But they’ll come to change. They’ll have no choice. ”

    I argue with these folks all the time. It’s one of my pass times. They are irrational. , they will never ever support nuclear energy.

    • Ah yes, let’s trot out the great conspiracy theories. By the way, what do you feel about plagiarism? Or, how about cherry picking the data? Oh, wait, that’s the guy who wrote the report supposedly rebutting climate change. But heck, it’s OK if you’re a Republican, right?

      Tsk. I’m in New York, and you might want to take a look at this analysis of that “massive” new natural gas deposits you’re talking about. We have them here, as well. First off they’re not quite as massive as you think, and second, there’s a lot of problems involved with “fracking.” But I’m sure you’ll enjoy being able to light your tap water on fire.

      Oh, and yes, China does use a lot of coal. But they’re not letting their “alternative plants” sit idle – they’re building them Including quite a number of nuclear power facilities.

      And since you’re on a “oh, it’s just a scare” routine – you might want to look at how much we’re importing in oil as compared to the 70’s. Helpful hint – we’re giving a billion dollars a day to places like the Middle East and Venezuela, and that’s going up. You might ask yourself, just how much oil is currently being produced in Pennsylvania right now. Compared to the past, that is.

  5. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    Plagiarism? So a Global Warming denier is accused of it. Don’t know if he is guilty or not. Don’t know whether he is anybody I care about, just cause he is on my side.

    I was looking at the global warming link you gave a few paragraphs back and found it amusing. In the next few decades, it predicted droughts and floods and all kinds of whether nasties. I am sure all of those things will happen. Butttt, not necessarily because of man made Global warming. I said before, that I studied weather disasters because I am a history buff. When you look back, you find all kinds of prolonged weather extremes. Stretches of good climate are often the exception.

    ” But heck, it’s OK if you’re a Republican, right? ”

    I do not base my beliefs on this guy.

    ” Tsk. I’m in New York, and you might want to take a look at this analysis of that “massive” new natural gas deposits you’re talking about. We have them here, as well. First off they’re not quite as massive as you think, and second, there’s a lot of problems involved with “fracking.” But I’m sure you’ll enjoy being able to light your tap water on fire. ”

    What left wing moron wrote that piece? So the question is . Let private industry drill and develop Marcellus Shale natural gas, watch them so that any harm they do to the environment or people is paid for. This will lower energy prices. It will inject billions into the local economies and hundreds of millions of taxes into bankrupt state treasuries over the next 20 or so years.

    Or we do what you want. Invest in wind technology. Invest in Solar technology that over the next 20 years will have a negative dollar return. Will further deplete bankrupt state treasuries. Will cause energy prices to increase, which will cost thousands of jobs. There is a track record for your Green Economics. It is called Spain. It is called Caleefornia.

    I saw the burning tap water. I believe that solving that problem, cannot be worse than finding a home for spent nuclear fuel. There are solvable problems to any technology.

    ” Oh, and yes, China does use a lot of coal. But they’re not letting their “alternative plants” sit idle – they’re building them Including quite a number of nuclear power facilities. ”

    Presently I can’t find the material I need to prove my point, but this is a business article from earlier this year. Being the Capitalist bastard that I am, I believe you have to follow the money or investor capital if you want to know what is really happening.
    China is idling 40% of it’s wind turbine manufacturing.

    http://www.investingdaily.com/tes/17201/sell-wind-and-solar-energy-stocks.html

    ” And since you’re on a “oh, it’s just a scare” routine – you might want to look at how much we’re importing in oil as compared to the 70′s. Helpful hint – we’re giving a billion dollars a day to places like the Middle East and Venezuela, and that’s going up. You might ask yourself, just how much oil is currently being produced in Pennsylvania right now. Compared to the past, that is. ”

    Sooooo your point is that Big Wind and Big Solar would slow down the billions of dollars going to Obama’s good buddy and fellow socialist Hugo the Clown Chavez and the ‘good’ Muslims in Saudi Arabia????

    My point is,,,it will not because it is too inefficient and not perfected yet.

    I bet you think I hate solar and wind because I am in love with fossil fuel, because I am a sap for big oil. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would love for the pretty wind mills and solar panels to work. What I hate is subsidizing technology that currently sucks.

    • Right. Well, let me dump some water on your enthusiasm. Here’s something you should look at relating to oil production. BTW, this is one of the more respected industry analytical blogs. Oil production in the US peaked in 1970. Oil discoveries peaked in 1964. An analysis of what this means is not something that you’d want to take lightly. You might also note that while you’re at about China’s coal problem – you see, they might be hitting their limit. There’s only so much coal they have.

      You’re also under the assumption that there’s “billions” to be injected into the local economies. That’ s funny – just how many billions has the fracking operations injected into Pennsylvania’s economy right now? The reason those fields were undeveloped previously is quite simple – they’re not easy to extract. You have to do a lot of work to get the natural gas out, which makes it more expensive to extract. That’s besides the potential damage done to various aquifers because of the fracking operations, and the gas companies unwillingness to tell regulators what is in their mix.

      The funny thing about your calling President Obama a socialist is that he’s anything but. You apparently don’t know the meaning of the term. He’s not a communist either. Socialists don’t do venture capitalism like forcing a car company to reorganize, make it profitable, and then have an IPO so that the government’s stock in the company can be sold off to recover the loaned funds. Sounds more like a venture capitalist and turnaround specialist to me.

  6. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    Obama is a Socialist . Most of us become what we are politically in our late teens to mid twenties. We may completely flip during a mid life crisis, but our President is unlikely to do that.

    First off President Obama’s brand of Socialism is similar to the Chinese brand. It is kind of a crony capitalism, where politically connected capitalists are rewarded by the State. The Central Power determines who gets rich and who fails. This would be OK if the Central Planners were omnipotent and incorruptible. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Fannie and Freddie, and the Stimulus have all proven how totally inept and corrupt our rulers can be. President Obama is the poster man for this type of Socialism. Did not say poster boy because I am afraid of being called a racist.

    Getting back to President Obama’s formative years. In 1983-84 Obama attended political discussions at Cooper’s Union NY, held at the Socialist Scholars Conference, when he was a Columbia University student.

    Then you have loose associations with Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrm, Rev. Wright. One of his 2008 campaign advisors was Peter Dreier, connected to ACORN. The man had so many connections with Socialists through out his adult life and also by appointing them to positions of power once he got into the White House, how can you say that he at least does not have Socialist sympathies?

    Ahh, I forgot the IPO you mentioned. Crony Favoritism Capitalistic Socialism if ever there was favoritism. Do you believe that Government Motors would have been rescued if the bloated pensions of workers other than the Obama voting UAW were at stake?

    We will see just how much of the total money the tax payer really gets back. Plus Government Motors will carry forward huge tax breaks for years. Any other rich capitalist manufacturer company getting those Obama handouts?

    Wait,, I found one, though not so big. California solar panel maker Solyndra, Inc. got a $535 million stimulus loan. 3,000 temporary construction jobs were created at $180,000 a job. It is now likely that the factory they built will stand empty.

    ” Oil production in the US peaked in 1970. Oil discoveries peaked in 1964. An analysis of what this means is not something that you’d want to take lightly. You might also note that while you’re at about China’s coal problem – you see, they might be hitting their limit. There’s only so much coal they have.”

    I am well aware of all of this. My point is that green ain’t gonna solve this. China is going to use up all of it’s coal and import as much as it can. Nuclear and hydro will probably eventually fill the gap. Solar and wind are for show. That is the truth.

    ” You’re also under the assumption that there’s “billions” to be injected into the local economies. That’ s funny – just how many billions has the fracking operations injected into Pennsylvania’s economy right now? The reason those fields were undeveloped previously is quite simple – they’re not easy to extract. You have to do a lot of work to get the natural gas out, which makes it more expensive to extract. That’s besides the potential damage done to various aquifers because of the fracking operations, and the gas companies unwillingness to tell regulators what is in their mix. ”

    Again, you are not telling me anything I do not know. So what is your solution, shut down all of the Marcellus Shale gas development ????Build wind turbines and solar farms instead????

    What is good is that you New Yorkers can do it your way and in Pennsylvania we will go forward. In twenty years we will see just who was right. If you are right Pennsylvania will be a vast wasteland with contaminated watersheds. New York State will be basking in it’s leadership of the green economy and it’s still healthy environment.

    If I am right, Pennsylvania will be running budget surpluses. The environment will be fine and we will be selling you New Yorkers all of the gas you can afford to supplement your failing green industries.

    • You will enjoy any surpluses if they happen, temporarily. That’s the problem with any finite resource. You look short-term, not long-term. It’s called a “boom-bust cycle.” In other words, as those fields deplete – and they will – the money they generate will disappear, leaving you with the cleanup of the mess, and trying to figure out what to do with the loss of jobs, budget cuts, and other problems. How do I know that’s what will happen? Because it happens all the time, it’s happened before – in Pennsylvania, I might add.

      I might also point out that NY has extensive hydroelectric generation facilities already, along with developed wind farms. We even have some nuclear plants. Could we use more? Yes, but the only thing developing the Marcellus shale (or the Utica shale) in this state would garner would be some localized money and some for the state.

      You point out the reason that those fields were not developed previously, but ignore the underlying point. With each level of difficulty, the price goes up. That’s why the price of oil has gone up – the production level has leveled off, and demand hasn’t. We can find new oil – which is what some of the graphs pointed out – but at some point the energy needed to extract that oil or natural gas exceeds the energy returned. Even more, the cost becomes a drag on the economy.

  7. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    Neither of us has any idea what temporary means. Lets assume, shall we, that temporary is twenty years. Twenty years from now the gas is gone. OK. Natural Gas is not the old coal. Plus government oversight is better. So I do not believe the left over environmental damage will be serious.

    Twenty years and $Billions later my state will have used that money to diversify and make it’s economic base stronger. Now it can make the investment in whatever energy technology, be that wind, solar, nukes that other stupid places have bankrupted themselves developing and deploying the last twenty years.

    During that time cheaper natural gas ”will”actually replace some of the middle eastern oil. I used to work in heavy industry and know that some industry can switch back and forth between fuel oil and nat. gas depending on price. At State College Pa ( Penn State University ) the buses run on nat. gas. So this is all a big plus.

    ” You point out the reason that those fields were not developed previously, but ignore the underlying point. With each level of difficulty, the price goes up. That’s why the price of oil has gone up – the production level has leveled off, ”

    My point is price competition. Yes fossil fuel gets harder to produce all the time. That does not mean we stop going after it. Cheap energy fuels jobs, Period. I’m all for green, but let it compete. Stop giving it a pass by subsidizing it. I’m all for nukes, if the greenie weenies would stop blocking it.

    Again cheap energy creates jobs. Subsidizing expensive energy destroys jobs.

    I’m rambling, but what if in 1900 the government said that because the automobile was the future we would mandate cars and outlaw horse and buggies. In 1900 the cars were crap. Wind and solar right now are like 1900s cars. Someday maybe but, don’t force me to go green until you work out the bugs.

    • Funny, but I was just reading about Pennsylvania’s “gas boom.” It doesn’t sound like the management has been all that great, but hey, NY gets to learn from what is being fumbled down there. You have a lot more confidence in the gas companies ability to follow regulations than I do. I might also point out that Pennsylvania, the state, doesn’t get all that much tax benefit – your state is one of the few which does not have a “severance tax” – i.e.; a tax on what comes out of the ground. So any assumed budget surplus means that PA has to pass that tax. The other point is that you seem to be assuming that the natural gas will be used in-state, providing “cheap energy.” Which is not actually proven – more than likely, it will be transferred through the existing pipelines to other areas.

      Subsidizing energy has been done for quite some time. Do you really think rural areas would have had electricity when they did, if it weren’t for government programs? We already heavily subsidize the oil industry through tax breaks and sweetheart deals on drilling leases. The other thing to account for is what’s called “life cycle costs.” Yes, coal in PA was cheap – but none of the price charged for that coal covered what it would cost to properly close and clean up after the mining. That of course, now falls on the taxpayer, so you now have businesses who have socialized some of their costs.

  8. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    You keep forgetting the benefits from having a thriving industry that is not taxed into the ground. The Natural Gas Industry will grow, provide work, and also feed side industries. Outside suppliers will benefit, and this is not some BS limited Government subsidized pretend industry like wind and solar. Pa. will get plenty of tax revenue.

    And this is not coal. And Coal in it’s time raised a lot of families and built a lot of towns. Granted some are now ghost towns, but the same can be said for any 19th century industry.

    Again, I just do not see where the costs of an extinct Gas industry compare with coal. I also have confidence in my Republican Governor, not to let anything bad happen.

    Getting back to coal. At one time Penns Woods which is what Pennsylvania was once called, was pretty much deforested, partially because wood was a renewable fuel, firewood and charcoal. We have trees today in Pennsylvania, in large measure due to good old dirty coal. Look it up.

    • Actually, most of the labor will be imported. Drilling is a specialty, and rig workers migrate around a lot. I know that from having lived in an area that was a major natural gas field. I also noted that none of the economic benefits you’re postulating didn’t really happen there. No major industries, no long-term job creation. A few people got royalties and did well, other than that, nothing much changed.

      A “severance tax” is pretty standard – you might look at what such ragingly liberal low-tax states like Alaska and Texas have, and note just how much it inhibited development. I agree that coal paid for a lot of things in its time – as did oil. You might want to note that the clean-up has been left to the current generation. In other words, if I get to go to your house, throw a party and leave you with the clean-up, it makes your place a great place to have a party – for me.

      You may not see the long-term, and I may not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t extrapolate from existing fields where this method has been done, and it’s not as “neat” and “tidy” as you seem to think.

      The other thing I keep noting is that the gas companies who are pushing the development are making their statements using two major assumptions: That gas is evenly distributed throughout the shale, and that the production will be steady. Neither is the reality. In the currently developed shale fields – and there are several – it turns out there are “sweet spots” which over all are a small section of the field. Secondly, gas wells have a high initial production, then drop off – like within a year or two.

      What does that mean for Pennsylvania and New York? it means that any “economic boom” is likely to be very limited in scope, and very short -lived.

  9. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    Again, so what is your solution? Everytime I read anything about gas in NY State, I see protesters who basically do not want any drilling. We have them in Pennsylvania too, but fortunately they no longer run our State.

    Again, green does not work financially. I do not care what anyone says. If it had a snowball’s chance in hell, it would not have to be subsidized.

    It gets back to drill baby drill. Even with the BP Gulf spill, I believe it is criminal for us not to drill anywhere and everywhere for all available hydrocarbons. All over the world, everybody else is either building nukes, or mining coal or drilling for oil and gas. They may also build “green” crap and talk green, but they are still relying on traditional energy.

    That’s why I fall over laughing when your side makes the case that we are falling behind China and Europe on green energy deployment. I hope we fall further behind.

    You argue that a natural gas boom will be short lived. I do not believe that. Even if you are right, at least it is a boom, a real boom. The green boom, the green economy has so far been a giant waste of money. Even a short term gas boom will be like a stimulus, only one that actually works.

    • Almost all new technology is “subsidized” when it starts. Do you really think that electric power wasn’t? Look up the REA, the TVA, and Hoover Dam. Nuclear was subsidized. We even subsidize the current oil industry by giving them some very good sweetheart deals and tax breaks.

      The reality check is that the reason those other countries are working on -and yes, subsidizing – green technologies is because they recognize something that you don’t seem to want to admit. Fossil fuels – or rather cheap fossil fuels are going to run out, within this century. The “massive” gas reserves we supposedly have will last 7 years at current usage in this country. Coal is expected to hit its peak in about 25-30 years. Oil is at peak. Any new discoveries simply keep that existing level – they don’t increase it. So all you’re doing is at best delaying the inevitable.

      You also seem to believe the gas companies hype. As I said, unless Pennsylvania has a lot of trained rig workers hanging around, those people will be brought in from other states to do the work. Then they’ll leave. Gas wells don’t take a lot of maintenance once their capped and the delivery lines are put in. . The amount of money generated outside of royalty payments to the property owners,isn’t necessarily going to stay in PA. The idea that there’s going to be massive industry around having gas wells available isn’t likely. The other aspect is that there’s a limited life span on those wells. Just like there was for the oil wells. At best, you’re looking at less than a decade of “boom.”

      The reason people in NY are against it is very simple. That field would sit in the main watershed for NYC and a good part of the southern part of the state.

      You might want to take a look again – the stimulus worked. Of course, I also don’t think that Iraq had WMD’s when we invaded it, and that it was sheltering al Qaeda then. But that’s just because I read the documentation.

  10. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    You are quite sure of yourself. Well so am I. You are more intelligent than your liberal brethren. At least you come back at me with what you consider facts. Most lefties by now would have just splattered me with mindless dogma or thrown me off their board. Well enough flatteries. Back to basics.

    ” Almost all new technology is “subsidized” when it starts. Do you really think that electric power wasn’t? Look up the REA, the TVA, and Hoover Dam. Nuclear was subsidized. We even subsidize the current oil industry by giving them some very good sweetheart deals and tax breaks. ”

    There are subsidies and then there are subsidies and then there are payoffs to the politically connected. The royalties and taxes thrown off by fossil energy industries are far more than any goodies their government masters give back. Eventually the subsidies have to be less than the taxes . Here is a little dose o reality .

    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB121055427930584069.html

    Solar Subsidy = $24.34 per megawatt hour
    Wind Subsidy = $23.37 per megawatt hour
    “clean coal” = $29.81 per megawatt hour
    Coal = $.44 per megawatt hour
    Hydroelectric = $.67 per megawatt hour
    Nuclear = $1.59 per megawatt hour
    Non Electric Energy Production
    ethanol and biofuels = $5.72 per BTU
    Solar = $2.82 per BTU
    Refined Coal = $1.35
    Natural Gas = $.03
    Petroleum Liquids = $.03

    ” The reality check is that the reason those other countries are working on -and yes, subsidizing – green technologies is because they recognize something that you don’t seem to want to admit. Fossil fuels – or rather cheap fossil fuels are going to run out, within this century. The “massive” gas reserves we supposedly have will last 7 years at current usage in this country. Coal is expected to hit its peak in about 25-30 years. Oil is at peak. Any new discoveries simply keep that existing level – they don’t increase it. So all you’re doing is at best delaying the inevitable. ”

    Ahhhhh, sorry I just lost it. Everything you say may be true, or what I believe, mankind will keep finding more energy somewhere. The ‘ point ‘ is where do we spend the finite resources we have o’er the next 40 years.

    Many of those ‘ green technologies ‘ will prove to be dead ends. You want to waste $ trillions on technology that will never pay off. Not on development but you want to deploy inefficient technology. Better to spend money on stuff you know works, like gas, oil, coal, nukes, whatever. Then if it runs out, think how much better your green techs will be 40 years from now. And don’t worry development will continue.

    I personally believe that in the long run, the only ‘ green technology ‘ that will pan out is Algae fuels. Solar and wind will only fill very small niche applications such as remote location supply to unmanned installations.

    And as far as running out of Dinosaur goo, I bet we won’t. There are vast untapped sources which we simply cannot exploit right now. Until the 1850s, and Ignacy Łukasiewicz , Petroleum was just a nuisance to water well drillers in Pennsylvania. No one thought it had any value. No one figured out how to collect it. No one could make anything of worth from it.

    The vast untapped source I speak of is gas hydrates. Just like Petroleum a century and a half ago nobody has figured out how to exploit it. I believe at some point, some genius will work out how to get the stuff off the ocean bottom. When that happens the world will have another couple of centuries worth of fuel.

    http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/gas-hydrates/title.html

    Excerpt;

    ” The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth. ”

    Sorry for being long, but one last comment.

    ” You might want to take a look again – the stimulus worked. ”

    Depends on how you care to measure ” worked “. I measure it this way. I measure it a record 19 months of over 9% unemployment for $600 Billion of Pelosi patronage payments to political supporters. I truly hope my Republicans hold House hearings into where the heck all the money went.

    I will argue Iraq with you, another day.

    • Methane hydrates – you don’t even have to go to the ocean floor to get them – they’re in permafrost too. The problem is that they’re not easily extracted, and are likely to be very, very expensive to get. The key phrase is cheap. We’re not going to run out of oil – we’re going to run out of cheap oil. If you’re willing to pay $20 a gallon or more to fuel your vehicle, you can have it. What that does to the rest of the economy, is something else. We’re also heading towards peak coal – that is the maximum production possible – within 30 years. Peak oil is here. Peak gas is probably within this century. The other factor is that you keep denying climate change as a reality. It is. Since you base everything off of denial, it means that you get to ignore every other facet. One think you seem to miss – “find energy elsewhere” as you put it – which is what green technology is. Wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal are all working now and being developed. Geothermal is actually practical – and being used – now. Wind and solar are making great strides and are near the stage of being economically viable beyond what you think. Biofuels are already under development, and pilot plants are being built. You might want to think about the fact that the military and commercial aviation firms are investing in it.

      You do not want to get into it with me about Iraq. Seriously. Every claim and justification Bush made for it has turned out to be a fucking lie. He and Cheney had boners for Saddam, and decided to come up with a reason to take him out. Over 4000 soldiers dead for that, and trillions borrowed that our grandchildren will still be paying off.

  11. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    Again, you are smarter than the average Liberal. The fact that you even acknowledge expensive energy is bad for economies puts you into the top 1% of Liberals. Most of your stripe only object to expensive energy because the oil companies and not the government are getting the money.

    $20 per gallon fuel, isn’t that pretty equivalent to most of your green energy sources? I have not looked it up, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Have you ever considered using wind or solar on a personal level? I have. I am fascinated with vertical axis windmills. Savonious and Darreus. When I retire I might build a few for fun. When you research them and look at how much electricity you get for your capital costs, there is no way you can justify it. Solar is no better.

    Geothermal is great if you live in Iceland. Hydro is great if you have a river you can dam. All are niche sources, not big enough to replace current energies.

    ” Biofuels are already under development, and pilot plants are being built. You might want to think about the fact that the military and commercial aviation firms are investing in it. ”

    Yea, yea, I researched it all years ago. Interesting on a technical level but, they may never pan out. My favorite on this stuff is Butanol. Great stuff, much, much better than Ethanol in a lot of ways, but you can’t produce it cheap enough to matter and trust me Corporations like BP have tried.

    Oh, it is not that I do not want to take you on concerning Iraq, it is just that I wanted to stay on topic and had limited time. I will argue with anyone, almost anytime about anything.

    A lie is when you know that what you are saying is wrong. Bush was a victim of bad intelligence. At any rate, he took out Saddam Hussein when the guy was able to be taken out. By all of the treaties that ended the first Gulf War, we were legally within our rights to exterminate the guy.

    If you knew your history you would see the parallels to Adolf Hitler. If France and Great Britain had done to Hitler what Bush did to Saddam, millions of people would have been saved. In 1934-36 Germany violated all of it’s surrender treaties of WW1 by rearming. Hitler was still weak enough to be defeated at that time.

    We don’t know how many millions Bush saved by taking out Saddam before he grew stronger. At least the Trillions you speak about had measurable results. One clown who hated us is gone. The Trillions Obama has spent rewarding his supporters has had no measurable rewards. And the funny thing about increasing entitlements, they never go away. It’s the gift that keeps giving. Bush’s wars will end.

    • Actually, green energy has been dropping in cost drastically. It’s now becoming cost-effective in many instances. Geothermal isn’t only limited to Iceland, that’s just where it’s the most heavily used. We have quite a few “hot spots” here in this country as well. Matter of fact, one of the biggest volcanoes in the world sits in this country. It’s called Yellowstone. Hydroelectric is already a major power supply – much of the west gets theirs from Hoover Dam, and a few others, and a good part of New York gets theirs off of Niagara Falls and the upper Hudson. I just saw a report today that China is building 300 Gigawatts of wind power installations, and Europe is building an advanced power grid to distribute power between countries from an off-shore wind farm. Biofuels – in particular, algae-based ones – are already nearing cost equivalence to gasoline. You might want to note that companies like Exxon are starting to take active interest – and developing capabilities – in this. Things are advancing rapidly in the few years since you researched it.

      There is no comparison to the situations between Hitler and Hussein. Really. We had destroyed his offensive capability in Desert Storm, and we had him well contained – Iraq was a financial basket case and international pariah that had been greatly weakened by a decade of serious sanctions. As we found out quite quickly when the whole invasion kicked off – and no Bush was not a victim of poor intelligence, the intelligence was quite clear and obvious. He just didn’t want to believe it, so he and his administration lied about it.