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  #61 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2008, 11:11 PM
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Richard:

Mighty big assumption that I know anything about politics - afraid you must have mistaken me for my political kinsfolk. I swear I was just at Boots and Black Tie for the free food and drinks. My side of the family have been beloved auditors, assessors, and tax collectors for centuries. We have a higher place reserved for us in hell than any of my legal, presidential, and congressional cousins.

Seems alot of people have made money destabalizing this economy. I'd put old man Gates in that category for opening windows everywhere and letting the breeze blow away long established bricks and mortar. Per the zealots in the Church of the Apple there is a special place in hell reserved for him - probably across from an Apple shop in Oklahoma City.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
As for Soros, divemaster, that's not a source I put much stock in. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that he finances moveon.org and is an anti-American far-leftist, billionaire or no. He has made his billions by destabilizing the currencies of other nations. Economic stability is not what he seeks.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2008, 01:19 AM
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That's a great theory!
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
There is a role for solar as well, and fuel cell technology is going to play a significant role in future automotive industry.
This is where I want things to go......wind, fuel cell and solar.

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  #64 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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"This is where I want things to go......wind, fuel cell and solar."

Phil & Liz[/quote]

Part of the answer to be sure, but a small part of the answer at best. Nuclear power will be more important than either. It of course produces no greenhouse gases if that's what you are concerned about. More importantly it offers a chance at energy independence, and independence from Arab sheiks, probably the only chance we've got. Unless you are addicted to constant war, that is by far the most important thing.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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Problem with nukes is that they take years to bring on line, stand out as convenient targets, and are made by a limited number of suppliers which has the potential to drive costs upward. Nothing against nukes as I used to work on the flying kind and still audit the stationary type kind that generate power for Texas.

Nukes are greenhouse-gas-friendly sure enough, but they are an all-eggs-in-one-basket-technology - a mainframe if you will - in an era where distributed processing is preferable. One plane cannot take out a Texas windfarm and there will be no public hue and cry if a system operator sends a Texas windmill crashing. Maybe I've been working with NERC too long, but it seems to me that distributed generation presents less inherent risk to the nation's critical infrastructure.

As for oil, save it to lubricate wind turbines and power our cruise ships.


Good discussion. Perhaps there is hope in one young engineer to be who is starting at UT Austin this fall and his 13 year old cousin who is already earning college credits?


Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
"This is where I want things to go......wind, fuel cell and solar."

Phil & Liz
Part of the answer to be sure, but a small part of the answer at best. Nuclear power will be more important than either. It of course produces no greenhouse gases if that's what you are concerned about. More importantly it offers a chance at energy independence, and independence from Arab sheiks, probably the only chance we've got. Unless you are addicted to constant war, that is by far the most important thing.[/quote]
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2008, 11:14 PM
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Everything takes years to bring online. That's why we must start now. (from drawing board to putting power in the grid a coal fired plant takes ten years, let alone a nuke.) Large wind farms cause visual pollution. That's why greenies, Ted Kennedy and Walter Cronkite and their super rich green chums would not allow one to be put out of sight offshore near Nantucket (it interfered with the sailing pleasure of the elite!!)

There is no free lunch. Everything has a risk attached to it -- though the new generation of nuclear power plant technology is far safer than the older version.

Nothing is trouble free, Nothing. It all takes time. Maybe ten years from now. But if we sit on our hands for five more years then it will be fifteen years from now! If we don't start now, our goose is cooked. Delay is deadly -for national security, for the economy -- It's just that simple.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
Everything takes years to bring online. That's why we must start now. (from drawing board to putting power in the grid a coal fired plant takes ten years, let alone a nuke.) Large wind farms cause visual pollution. That's why greenies, Ted Kennedy and Walter Cronkite and their super rich green chums would not allow one to be put out of sight offshore near Nantucket (it interfered with the sailing pleasure of the elite!!)

There is no free lunch. Everything has a risk attached to it -- though the new generation of nuclear power plant technology is far safer than the older version.

Nothing is trouble free, Nothing. It all takes time. Maybe ten years from now. But if we sit on our hands for five more years then it will be fifteen years from now! If we don't start now, our goose is cooked. Delay is deadly -for national security, for the economy -- It's just that simple.
I agree completely with Rich's statement. Inactivity will only cause us to become even more dependent on foreign oil and it will eventually destroy our economy.

We need to go full speed ahead on current, proven, technologies such as; nuclear, wind, coal, electric/battery and use our own resources to their full extent to get us through the next twenty years. During this period there needs to be real incentives (tax and development) to private firms and corporations to develop new, affordable technologies such as fuel cells (sorry folks, they aren't affordable or really feasible yet), fusion and whatever else that inventive minds can come up with in order to provide the mass quantities of power we will need in the next century.

We can't say to hell with nature conservation or pollute our air. Implementation must be done with new technology with safety and to be as environmentally friendly as possible but it is no longer 1970. Technology has advanced in 30 years but because of shackling regulations none of this new technology can be put into place. This is an area where compromise must happen or the consequences will be devastating. Strip mining the planet is not an option but we must allow drilling in very small areas of Alaska, the U.S. mainland and the coastal waters in order to create a temporary solution that will get us through until we have true and lasting energy independence.

Take care,
Mike
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Amen Mike You have the big picture We are on the same page.
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Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Well it's official now......

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080717/D91VH6B00.html

"Jul 17, 5:35 AM (ET)

By RON FOURNIER

WASHINGTON (AP) - Just as John F. Kennedy set his sights on the moon, Al Gore is challenging the nation to produce every kilowatt of electricity through wind, sun and other Earth-friendly energy sources within 10 years, an audacious goal he hopes the next president will embrace."


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  #70 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Al Gore is totally in the pocket of the environmental special interests. They are in fact, and have been for years, the biggest impediment to a rational energy policy and to energy independence. Of course we must do what he asks, wind and solar are indeed important -- but we must do much, much more -- none of which is acceptable to Al Gore or the Sierra Club.

We must develop nuclear energy, (which produces no carbon) and we must continue to develop our carbon based natural resources, Oil and gas, coal, oil shale etc. failure to do so will insure continued reliance on foreign oil, as well as a shaky economy and very precarious national security.

He is right that we must act as we did with the space-race as an all out national priority. Please recall, if you will, that Al Gore's personal 'carbon footprint' is dozens of times larger than that of the average American, In other words he does not practice what he preaches. big surprise.

I am not picking on Al Gore -- there is not a politician from either party over the last 40 years who has not failed us miserably with regard to an energy policy.
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
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Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Default Gas for $2 per gallon?

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/mar...-analysts-say/

Regardless of where the gas prices go, I feel Rich is on the right track, we need alternate energy sources and ethanol isn't cutting it, in my opinion. It's displacing other crops and causing prices to rise on food products across the board. We need to think and act on a much larger scale.

Plus my cruise budget is directly impacted by corn prices. Since I burn corn to heat the house in the winter, rather than propane. So the more corn cost the less I can cruise.... now thats an energy crisis!
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:56 PM
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Just skimmed through all the messages here. Good to know that people are really thinking about all of this and discussing it. I'm sure some will disagree with the ideas presented here, but for the most part I am in agreement and say start shouting it from the roof tops until you are heard.

I think we are living in the good old days and they are getting shorter all the time. I still have hope that we can turn things around, and reading this thread adds to that hope.

Phyll
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2008, 08:44 PM
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Rich,

You're right about nuclear power being carbon-neutral. And it produces a lot of power, cheaply.

But.......

Nuclear power has several problems -- not the least of which is a full-blown nuclear meltdown.

And while the probability of that is very low, it's still possible.

Also, we here in Portland, Oregon had a fission nuclear power plant. It is now closed due to several problems. First, what to do with all of that toxic waste? If we had thousands of these plants around the country, where would all that radioactive waste go?

The second problem at the Trojan Nuclear Plant, was that the cooling rods deteriorate with use, and develop cracks. They are impossible to repair, and must be replaced. And they are very expensive for two reasons: first, the plant must be off-line for several weeks, in order to replace them. And second, the pipes themselves are very expensive.

Our plant was closed because it was just too expensive to operate, and generated that radioactive waste, that had nowhere to go.

Fission is an old technology, with too many drawbacks. Nuclear fusion, on the other hand -- especially cold fusion -- has all the benefits, and no real drawbacks.

I hate to sound like a broken record about fusion, but it's the only power source that makes sense. At some point in the future, we will utilize this technology, and you will wave good-bye to mankind's energy problems. I think it should be sooner rather than the inevitable later.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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I heard yesterday that Nancy Pelosi said there would BE NO VOTE in congress on drilling.
Seems to me, attitudes like that is why congress's approval rating is at 18%.
So she is now speaking for all Americans ? And we are stuck with that decision ?
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Bobby G, exactly correct!
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Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
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RCCL, Carib, 1998
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  #76 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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Dean,
Cold nuclear fusion does have one massive drawback, it does not yet exist. Fission does.


I suspect that the fission plant in Portland that closed was, by modern standards, an 'ancient one' like the one north of Denver that also closed. condemning the latest generations of nukes because of that, is somewhat like saying automobiles should be banned because model Ts were unreliable and had poor brakes.

What do you do with the relatively small amounts of nuclear waste? That one is easy. You put it in Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which has been studied to death for decades and is a great place for it. It is also near the old atomic testing grounds which are already radioactive. Before you put it there you essentially turn it into glass and put it in stainless steel containers, in that condition it can not leach into ground water and there is no groundwater for it to leach into anyway.

Dean, all power plants, including coal-fired ones have to be shut down for weeks at a time every few years for overhaul that is absolutely normal.

As for expense, a 1,500MW coal-fired plant now costs about 2.5 billion dollars. and has to undergo major overhaul every few years. Meanwhile it puts countless tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Nothing in life is totally risk free. life itself is a risk. The truth is that the newest generations of nuclear power plants are just about as risk free as it is humanly possible to make them. They are completely unlike Chernobyl or Three Mile Island -- the scare tactics and propaganda of the powerful environmental lobbyists notwithstanding.
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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  #77 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
What do you do with the relatively small amounts of nuclear waste? That one is easy. You put it in Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which has been studied to death for decades and is a great place for it. It is also near the old atomic testing grounds which are already radioactive. Before you put it there you essentially turn it into glass and put it in stainless steel containers, in that condition it can not leach into ground water and there is no groundwater for it to leach into anyway.
Interesting thought......

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=2013

Authors:
Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/Hydrothermal Systems at Yucca Mountain, Board on Radioactive Waste Management, National Research Council

The site of a proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste from the nation's nuclear power plants is not at risk of ground water infiltration, concludes this important book. Yucca Mountain, located about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, has been proposed as the site for permanent underground disposal of high-level radioactive waste from the nation's civilian nuclear power plants.
To resolve concerns raised by a Department of Energy (DOE) staff scientist concerning the potential for ground water to rise 1,000 feet to the level proposed for the repository, DOE requested this study to evaluate independently the past history and future potential of large upward excursions of the ground water beneath Yucca Mountain."
End quote.

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  #78 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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perhaps both candidates should hold a forum on this topic on a cruise ship and invite all of you to express your thoughts
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:39 PM
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Great idea, Venice!

Only problem is, I would be expressing my thoughts alright.

To a pretty young thing........
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Old July 19th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Dream of gas tax holiday faltered over job losses
Saturday, July 19, 2008 10:24 AM EDT
The Associated Press
By JIM ABRAMS Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The political vision of a summer gas tax holiday died a quick death in Congress, losing to a view that federal excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel will have to go up if they go anywhere.

Despite calls from the presidential campaign trail for a Memorial Day-to-Labor Day tax freeze, lawmakers quickly concluded — with a prod from the construction industry — that having $9 billion less to spend on highways could create a pre-election specter of thousands of lost jobs.

Now, lawmakers quietly are talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel.

With gas prices setting records daily, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and former Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called for a 90-day suspension of the federal fuel tax to give drivers a little relief at the pump. The fuel taxes go into the Highway Trust Fund, which is used for road construction and repair and mass transit.

Clinton suggested making up for the loss by imposing a windfall profit tax on oil companies, an idea that Republicans rejected. McCain said the money could come out of the general Treasury fund, in effect adding to the federal deficit, and is still getting mileage from the idea.

"Some economists don't think much of my gas tax holiday," he said in a speech this month. "But the American people like it, and so do small business owners."

Barack Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, opposed the idea from the beginning and the White House gave it a cold shoulder. Depriving the 52-year-old Highway Trust Fund of $9 billion at a time when it is heading into the red doomed the notion of a gas tax holiday in Congress.

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. James Oberstar, and the chairman of the highway subcommittee, Rep. Peter DeFazio, presented fellow lawmakers with a list of how many jobs and how much money each state would lose. It ranged from $30 million and 1,000 jobs in Vermont to $664 million and 23,000 jobs in California.

"Because the trust fund is already looking at a looming shortfall, it would have moved project cancellations into the construction season," DeFazio, D-Ore., said in an interview. He said it was "highly unlikely" that oil companies would have passed savings along to consumers.

Just three years ago, that trust fund enjoyed a surplus of $10 billion. Even without a tax freeze, the fund is projected to finish 2009 with a deficit of $3 billion. That that could grow as Americans drive less and buy less gas because of higher pump prices.

The consequence is that only about $27 billion in federal money will be available next year to states and local governments for new infrastructure investment even though the current highway act calls for spending $41 billion a year. For many, the solution is to raise rather than suspend or cut federal fuel taxes, which haven't changed since 1993.

The Transportation Construction Coalition, a group of industry companies and unions, said that if Congress does not do something about the shortfall, states will lose about one-third of their road and bridge money in the budget year starting Oct. 1. That would put 485,000 more jobs at risk.

That message carried the day this summer. But now Congress has the bigger task of dealing with the short-term deficit crisis in the fund and coming up with a new spending plan, including revisiting the gas tax issue, when the current six-year, $286 billion highway-transit act expires in September 2009.

Senate Democrats in May tried to add $5 billion to an aviation overhaul bill to replenish the highway trust fund next year; Republicans objected. Democrats tried again in June, but this time for $8 billion; Republicans objected to that, too.

Congress should first reduce spending on pet projects, known as earmarks, argued Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. "I'm not going to let the Senate spend all this money when nobody is looking, especially when we refuse to stop wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on earmarks."

Oberstar, D-Minn., said his committee is working on the next long-term highway bill. He estimated it will take between $450 billion and $500 billion over six years to address safety and congestion issues with highways, bridges and transit systems.

"We'll put all things on the table," Oberstar said, but the gas tax "is the cornerstone. Nothing else will work without the underpinning of the higher user fee gas tax."

At the very least, the gas tax should be indexed to construction cost inflation, DeFazio said.

The nonpartisan National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission concluded in a report this year that the U.S. needs to spend $225 billion annually over the next 50 years to create a highway and transit system capable of sustaining strong economic growth. Current spending, at federal, state and local levels, is about $90 billion a year.

Among other revenue-raising possibilities, the commission recommended gradually increasing the current federal fuel taxes to 40 cents a gallon.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association is calling for a 10-cent-a-gallon raise and indexing the tax to inflation. With construction costs soaring because of competition for building materials from China and other developing nations, the tax rate would have to be about 29 cents a gallon to achieve the same purchasing power as the 18.4-cent rate imposed in 1993, the association says.

Including state and local levies, people in the U.S. pay about 47 cents on average in taxes for a gallon of gasoline. Fuel in many European countries costs $8 to $9 a gallon, with half or more of that going to taxes.

Other ideas that will be on the table when lawmakers write a bill next year including more toll roads and public-private partnerships, congestion pricing and user fees where drivers pay a tax based on how many miles they drive.
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  #81 (permalink)  
Old July 19th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Phil and Liz, yes and the important thing is that the study, according to the book you cite, concluded that the Yucca Mountain site : "is not at risk of ground water infiltration, concludes this important book."
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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the newest edition of GQ Magazine has a very interesting article on this very topic that you might want to read and ponder
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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR
Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster
we have a tremendous supply at our feet, if only the government would step out of the way and let us tap it. At least, that should help while we develop new sources of energy, and build nuclear plants.

Ken
"Sky"
I agree generally with the substance of this string, but I want to point out what I think is a clear fallacy in Ken's reasoning above. Assuming tapping our reserves could bring "instant gratification" in the form of a short-term solution (apparently it can't: it would take years for the oil from such ventures to actually flow), the assumption that a temporary fix would spur work on long-term solutions is very doubtful. History tells us that we are a greedy, short-sighted people that almost never adopt a long-term policy. Witness Social Security, Medicare, maintaining a strong military, etc. We want instant fixes. When we get them we move on to either the next pressing problem or to a false sense of security until we have to go into crisis mode again. There is no reason to assume that Ken's linking of a short term easing of the oil problem with an accelerated effort for conservation/alternative methods would ever come to pass. We'd just heave a sigh of relief and return to consumption as usual.

That's why Tom Friedman has got it right, in my opinion: far from working to cut back the price of oil, we should be establishing a $4.50 or $5.00 FLOOR on gas prices to discourage consumption. Hardship? You bet. Long term gain? Yes.
I agree ALMOST fully. There are two effects that a commitment to renewed US oil production would bring about:
1. A drop in futures prices and the world crude market, not much, but a drop nonetheless.
2. Taxable profits to US corporations and positive effect on trade balances.
Plus, if we go with a tax system that establishes a floor price, every downtick in the world oil price is an uptick in tax revenues, hopefully for mass-transit development. Beyond the economic benefits, a mass-transit system would reduce the need to continue issuing licenses to people who are either incompetent or inattentive drivers, and that would save some lives and hospital expenses.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
Divemaster, you are an incurable pessimist. It is that very pessimism which is driving much of the current irrational economic woe.
You are most likely dead-center correct. I am a retired auditor [4-digit TN license number], and we are all pessimists. Like police officers, we see mostly the bad, because if it were not bad we wouldn't be there. If that avatar is a current picture of Divemaster, he is about at the bottom of his career pessimism curve, so take that into consideration.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
Divemaster, You say, "Don't much care who got us into this economic mess, but we are not getting out without a radical shift in policy."

We are in 100% agreement on that

I don't see much difference in perspective. I spent half a lifetime in the energy business. Among other things I shot coal in a coal mine, worked as a core driller for both coal and uranium, worked on maintenance in a huge coal-fired power plant and drilled Seismograph shot-holes in at least ten states. My partner and I also jumped through all the hoops to obtain all the permits for a 1,500 megawatt, 1.5 Billion dollar power plant in Wyoming, a four year process requiring more than 35 contested hearings.

I say without a viable energy policy, our national security and our economy are both at risk. We'd better get our heads out -- and do it quick.
Richard
Radical shifts in policy sometimes backfire. In 1986, it was the "Tax Reform Act" that yanked the rug from under rental property tax shelters without a grandfather clause and cut the values of thousands of properties in half virtually overnight. Now we are reaping the harvest of past congressional pressure on mortgage lenders to make loans to marginal debtors at market rates. Let's be very watchful if we are going back to the congressional well again. Maybe Divemaster can be our "freezer auditor" to see how much bribe cash each representative has stashed.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
First Richard wants to rig my ocean then Dean wants to drain it of hydrogen. Darned looters, stay out of my private trout pond.

Agree that hydrogen has a place at the table, particularly for short commute minicars. That said, if our companies would just let us all retire early we could solve the problem by trading our gas guzzlers for electric golf carts.

Do I hear an amen?
As the "other auditor" on this thread, "amen", BUT...
My first 2 years at TN Tech were in electrical engineering. Unless the recharging current is either wind, solar, hydro, or nuclear, more fossil fuels are burned in the production of the recharge than would be burned if the golf cart were gasoline-powered. Ditto for Hydrogen. It takes some grunt to separate them 2 H's from the O.
Negative entropy is a lovely concept, but don't hold your breath. Has anyone done any research into the possible effects of massive windmill population on weather patterns? Could reduced shear winds lead to more tornadoes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Dean
Ok, we haven't talked about the real issue here

At some point we WILL run out of oil.

We know it's coming; and we hope it's later rather than sooner. As someone said earlier, it's time -- NOW -- to land a man on the Moon again.

What's the most abundant substance in the Universe? Could it be used as an energy source? If so, wouldn't it make sense to begin work on that project RIGHT NOW? Before we run out of oil?

It's time to begin work on hydrogen fuel cell technology and cold fusion technology. To put the unlimited resources of the Universe to work for us.

These technologies will take much time to develop and implement worldwide. If all goes well, these technologies will be implemented BEFORE we run out of oil.........
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