Obama’s Version Of “Drill Baby Drill” = “Pull A Fast One, Baby, Pull A Fast One”.

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The news this morning seemed surprising, Obama approves of plan to increase drilling. Wow! That’s refreshing.

“The only way this transition will succeed is if it strengthens our economy in the short term and the long run,” the president said. “To fail to recognize this reality would be a mistake.” For more than 20 years, drilling was banned in most offshore areas of the United States outside the Gulf of Mexico because of concerns that spills could harm the environment.

But when you take a peak under the hood, as Ross Perot would say, this is nothing but a tiny morsel of the energy potential that we could get. Obama’s proposal would produce 130 million barrels of oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That sounds nice, but when you look at the numbers, it’s just a drop in the barrel. The plan would only open a very small part of the region for oil exploration. According to this article (dated 2008), if the entire region were to be opened, it could provide us with over 3.8 billion barrels of oil. There will be some new drilling off Florida, but it will be limited. The West Coast could produce more than 10 billion barrels of crude (and help bring in extra tax revenue to help ail California’s severe budget mess), but this is of course completely off limits.

Obama says this:

“While our politics has remained entrenched along worn divides, the ground has shifted beneath our feet,” the president said. “Around the world, countries are seeking an edge in the global marketplace by investing in new ways of producing and saving energy.”

Well, not so much. Many countries such as Brazil, Russia, and the team of China and Venezuela are actively increasing their oil exploration and utilization. The United States, even with the Obama increase, efforts are quite tepid in comparison. And even then, many countries are facing the bad news that green technologies are not delivering the cost savings or energy production that were supposed to make them attractive. In fact, green energy economies are much more expensive to build, and much less jobs friendly than advertised.

This move by Obama is nothing more than an attempt to buy off some votes, the strategy that help the massive and needlessly  expensive health care bill to squeak through congress. Republican Rep.John Boehner notes:

“Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources off the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking ‘Where are the jobs?’

Mr. President, considering how much oil we know is lying in wait off our coasts, it’s going to take a lot more than 130 million barrels to successfully bride the current Republican crowd. Considering what the cap and trade proponents might be able to get in the energy bill, lets just hope that the price of for the vote would be much too high.

Proposed 12775% Tax Increase

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Yes, you read that right… 12775%.

A  California initiative  proposing a 12775% hike in alcohol tax.

These people just don’t get it, do they.  Good luck getting the signatures for that…. Although, come to think of it, this IS California; they will probably get enough to make it on the ballot.

Emission Reductions – How WIll We Meet The New Targets?

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OK, I’ll provide a few details, such as they are:

According to people briefed by the senators, the bill aims to cut carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 17 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, largely by implementing separate caps on utilities and manufacturers. The federal government would sell separate pollution permits to each sector, using a “hard price collar” to limit greenhouse gas allowances to between $10 (£6.70) and $30 per ton, and committing to flood the market with credits if the price ceiling is exceeded.

Forget the dream of 80% by 2050, does anyone understand what it would take to achieve the 17% decrease by 2020? What technologies would be implemented to achieve this? Remember that there was already an agreement to reduce carbon emissions. Its name was Kyoto. How did the countries fair that signed on to it?


…although the country had signed up to reduce emissions by 6% on 1990 levels, emissions were now 28% above that level.

OK. That didn’t go too well. What aboutFance? They claim to have done well with CO2, but methane, the other greenhouse gas… no.

Among the worst offenders are the UK, which may be emitting 92 per cent more methane than it declares under the Kyoto protocol, and France, which may be emitting 47 per cent more.

Briton? They have tried to make the figures look good, but the problem is that they simply outsourced  their energy generation to other countries, much like the US has with oil production.

“If carbon outsourcing is factored back in, the UK’s impressive emissions cuts over the past two decades don’t look so impressive anymore.

“Rather than falling by over 15% since 1990, they actually rose by around 19%. And even this is flattering, since the UK closed most of its coal industry in the 1990s for reasons unrelated to climate change.

In fact, any claim to have come close to those targets is nothing but an accounting gimmick, an emissions shell game, if you will. The EU had the wonderful advantage of being able to purchase energy production from Russia and the former Soviet Eastern Block, who had tons of carbon credits for sale and plenty of room the expand their energy production, as they were well below 1990 emissions levels due to the fall of the heavily polluting Soviet Union a few years before the target date of 1990. The US? We have no neighbors that have that advantage.

Europe has been much more green conscience than the United States. They have turned toward wind energy generation, and even greatly expanded their use of nuclear generation, yet they could not meet the Kyoto protocol goals without accounting gimmick, without basically cheating. Unless Obama truly is a miracle worker, and has a definite plan, and a new technology up his sleeve that will help us succeed, a 17% reduction in emissions within a 9 year time frame is a pipe dream. The promise of reducing them by 80% in 40 years? That is someone who is flat-out  lying to the American people. A couple of Presidents have been impeached for that.

PS. IF you don’t think that Kyoto is a failure, then you should ponder that the Dopenhagen crowd also deemed it a failure. Oh, and the Green Guru himself Al Gore also notes the failure. Note how he also falls back on the scary claim that glaciers that provide water to China will have melted away by 2035, an IPCC sponsored claim we know is false.

Just When You Think You’ve Been Taxed Enough….

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Flush with the success of taxing Americans blind via the health care bureaucratic expansion bill, a”New” Climate Change / Energy bill is on its way. From the Financial Times:

Three senior US lawmakers are piecing together a sweeping bipartisan energy and climate bill, which looks set to include sweeteners to galvanise support among Republicans and industry groups….

Nearly six months have passed since the Senate’s last climate bill failed to win over conservatives and moderates, a political stalemate that cast a shadow on America’s presence at the Copenhagen climate summit. But some Democrats say the passage of healthcare reform has opened the door for climate change legislation, while acknowledging tradeoffs will be needed to secure 60 Senate votes.

So, now that the “buy the vote, spare no expense” strategy has been shown to work, they might as well give it a shot on this piece of legislation. The article gives some possible options that might be included in the bill, but you don’t need to bother to read that since the fine people we send to represent us have already shown they don’t read the bills or think about the adverse consequences when they pass a bill, just as long as they “do something”. It’s business as usual – 2.0.

The bill includes a new petrol tax, which would be passed on to consumers,

Hey, at least someone is being honest about it.

Doggy Rapture!

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A friend of mine, Johnny (aka Johnny Rockstar) recently wrote a post about some observations of the canine variety:

I’ve been watching my dog lately, just observing the way she interacts with the world, and it’s got me thinking. Watching her flip out when I put her collar on has made me wonder when was the last time I was so excited about something that I couldn’t control myself? I mean completely, lose control; as in spinning in circles, jumping up and down, and yelling. I can’t think of a time that I have ever been that excited. Not now when a new video game comes out. Not a few weeks ago when I got my new job and moved to Memphis. Not as a kid on Christmas morning or at a birthday party. Not ever.

I just can’t relate to that level of excitement. I can relate to her barking at a noise in the middle of the night. I can relate to her look of bliss when I scratch her belly. I can even relate to her clinging need to press right up against me when she sleeps. And yet, I just can’t relate to the way she completely loses it when I pick up a ball to throw or pull her leash out of the bag.

I wonder what it’s like to be that lost in excitement. I also feel just a tiny twinge of jealousy that it all comes from something so simple.

It’s the same with our dogs, especially the younger one, Odo (pictured above). When we let him into the house when we first get home, he is absolutely bonkers with doggy joy. And when we break out the leash for a walk, he can hardly contain himself. Our older dog, Judy, though she is slowed greatly by arthritis and hip dysplasia, gets so excited that she seems to almost forget the ailments; she is, for just that little while into the walk, young again.

Johnny is right to question whether we have the capacity to feel joy on that level. Our first romance? Nah. Too messy. Getting married? Wouldn’t know from experience, but it seems there is so much stress involved. Getting hired at a job that you really wanted? Hello! It’s work, remember. I can’t think of ever having the kind of jump-out-of-your-skin type rapture that dogs get from being around us. Maybe that is why we love them so.

A younger Judy.

What Geologists Don’t Want You To Know…. (because it’s so stupid)

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Weeeeeeeee. Isn’t this fun!

…And completely absurd!

As a former Geology student, I must say I was caught completely absolutely off guard when I stumbled upon someone trying to argue the case for the Expanding Earth theory on a blog this last weekend. I had never even heard of this theory, and you know I love a good conspiracy and what. But this is just sooo far out there.

OK, back to the video.

At around 2:16 in the CGI, the tail end of South America both loses then gains mass as it moves away from from everything else. Why is that?

And where does all the extra mass come from to cause the Earth to expand?

And where does all the water come from and how neat it is that it just happens to appear just when the Earth is expanding and not before.

This must be a sign of God!

Here is more of the brilliant Expanding Earth deduction.

At about 35 seconds in, Neal Adams makes a bizarre statement about the center of gravity shifting due to the mass of the continents all gathered on one side, causing the oceans to drain on one side.

Anyone else see the little itty-bitty problem with this reasoning???

Yep. It’s mass… of the whole entire planet. I haven’t done the calculations, but I expect the mass of the continents, if added together, to be something like 1/100,000 that of the entire Earth. I don’t remember the exact figure…. some good all that geology school did me! Anyway, it’s probably less than that, I’ll find the correct figure later today. Since the center of gravity would be based on the entire Earths mass, well Neil’s whole argument falls completely flat (get it, flat Earth?). Besides, as the next video shows, the center of gravity is not just dependent on the mass on the Earth, it varies in relation to the gravitational pull of the sun and, especially, gravitationally locked thing in the sky called the moon. That huge chunk of rock in the sky causes the center of Earths gravity to shift from the center by about 4500Km, which is MUCH more of a degree in magnitude than the variation predicted by Neal Adams. And how does this huge shift in gravitational center affect the oceans today??? Why, high tide and low tide of course! Not a world where the continents are flooded every 23 hours, as would happen if Mr. Adams’s understanding of gravity and the oceans were correct.

See. This is what you get when you put a comic book artist in charge of a scientific hypothesis….. Fun, Colorful Fiction!

Oh, and I just found out Expanding Earth theory also explains global warming….

The heat flux from the midocean ridges could prove to be the primary heat source causing global warming because they are a single and virtually continuous worldwide “linear underwater volcano” (LUV) extruding superheated molten magma (molten rock) and byproducts (chemicals, minerals and gases, plus virgin new H²O) of the core melting process that coagulate or precipitate out to form new basaltic seafloor when they meet extremely cold seawater at the ocean floor.

…Or is the Earth expanding due to global warming??? After all, most mass in the universe expands when it gets hot!

Stay tuned my friends. Stay tuned.

Iceland Wakes Up – Addendum

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A volcano erupts near Eyjafjallajoekull in south Iceland.

After the rash of large quakes around the globe, I wonder if this is the precursor to a massive spreading event. I’m not talking about a massive Al Gore type event, but something that is not expected, such as the plate spreading in fits and starts in a way we don’t expect.  Lets face, we’ve only known about the connection of the mid Atlantic ridge to plate movements for about fifty years. There is still a lot we don’t know about the behavior of the tectonic system.

PS. If you can correctly pronounce the name of the town mentioned above, Eyjafjallajoekull, without cheating and looking it up on the internet, you win a prize.

ADDENDUM – Jeff Alberts won the latest Sonicfrog.net contest. His prize is revealed at the end of the following video.

A Quick Note On Health Care Reform Or, Why You Shouldn’t Love This Bomb.

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I was writing another post concerning the current health care reform bill, but got distracted by the news of the leaked preliminary CBO analysis, and figured I might as well combine the two posts and deem it one.

The CBO projects this legislation will save the federal government $130 over the first decade, and $1.2 trillion over the next ten year period. Color me skeptical. When has one of these long term estimates EVER been accurate, or erred on the positive side of cash flow as far as fiscal health goes? Almost all government spending estimates err in the wrong direction – this will cost much more than they are willing to admit.

Here are a few reasons that this bill will be more costly to us and the government than the CBO is willing to admit. Read more »

Vote For Murray Hill….. Inc.

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OK. I know it’s a silly publicity stunt. But given the piss poor performance of our representatives over the last few years, and given that they’ve all mostly been bought off by special interests, why not just skip the middle man and do this? At least we’ll be getting some sort of transparency, and we’ll actually have representation that has hands-on  economic experience in the real world, vs none, or at best,  a text book understanding of economic theory.

PS. I’m taking another day off from the intertubes. Everything is so boring right now.  There is a certain sameness permeating everything in the news. Nothing seems to be going anywhere.

And The “Now Can You PLEASE Just Go Away” Award Goes To…..

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Michael Newdow, who once again… again… lost another court battle to take any reference to God out of the pledge of allegiance and off our printed money. Look, I’m pretty much agnostic, so I should lean closer to his side. But I just don’t. There are so many more important things to fight for, and you waist you time and ours on this? I mean, really, how anal do you have to be to make something as trivial as banning “In God We Trust” your life’s pursuit.