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« Wrong Rights (Addended) | Main | Misunderstanding Job Creation »

02 October 2011

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Todd Juvinall

Most Americans differentiate between killing a civilian and killing a enemy soldier. These Al Queda scumbags are soldiers of the terrorist state we are at war with. They declared war on us, we responded. I am never disappointed by the left's angst over these actions. It is good theater. I can't believe what they tell themselves in their interpretation of the Constitution. Obama and his minions deserve the credit for getting these head cutters of the planet.

RL Crabb

These scumsuckers are no different than the creep they just offed in Fort Bragg. Mad dogs and murderers deserve no mercy, or due process.

bill tozer

Glad we fried the raghead with some good old Hellfire Missiles. The soldier who was selected to push the button is luckier than a lottery winner. Of course there might be some who disagree with incinerating the guy who planned the December underwear bombing attempt among other failed bumbling deeds designed to murder hundreds of women and children. Yep, NPR hailed the raghead as an articulate moderate who could bridge the gap between the extreme ragheads and the peace lovin' Muslim. Yep, NPR will miss their golden boy. Did not the Fort Hood wacko exchange e-mails with AlAWAlAWAKI free free free before his rampage? But the football game is on, so talk to ya later.

Greg Goodknight

Of course murderers deserve due process. So do traitors. Now, I am sympathetic to most of what Ron Paul actually said, but this isn't an issue of civil or criminal law, it's martial law.

We do have a Constitution. He was a native born citizen of the USA. I don't have a big problem with an assassination of an American directing foreign terrorist strikes against us, but some Constitutional window dressing would have been apropriate.

Greg Goodknight

Of course murderers deserve due process. So do traitors. Now, I am sympathetic to most of what Ron Paul actually said, but this isn't an issue of civil or criminal law, it's martial law.

We do have a Constitution. He was a native born citizen of the USA. I don't have a big problem with an assassination of an American directing foreign terrorist strikes against us, but some Constitutional window dressing would have been apropriate.

Michael R. Kesti

I have little to no problem with this assassination, as they were self-proclaimed enemy combatants and I find that status trumps any notion of due process as traitors. They were enemies, ready, willing, and able to again attack.

I am disappointed with you, though, George. I would think that you could do better than justifying military operations with SWAT teams' errors. Further, dismissing qualms concerning the kill because there were none concerning the hunt seems non sequitur as the hunt was not the front page news that were the kills.

D. King

What is the process for declaring someone a traitor or terrorist?

I would really like to hear from our friends on the left.

Brad Croul

Buh-bye, Bin Ladin wannabes.

Drones, coming to a neighborhood near you.

Steve Frisch

Many of us who those here would define as 'the left' were profoundly disturbed by the events of Ruby Ridge and Waco. I, for one, believe both incidents were unwarranted, even if done legally, and do not support such an overwhelming use of force when alternatives existed. The key question is the one D. King asked, what is the process? The point that we do not know is profoundly disturbing. I am on record supporting the action in Yemen, but think the larger question is do we want any President to have the right to assassinate US citizens without a clear process for third party oversight? I consider such action a dangerous precedent if these questions are not answered.

George Rebane

Good points SteveF. Third party oversight for assassination of US citizens should clearly be exercised. However, it is not clear that it is not exercised at this time. What we need (and I think you imply with "clear process") is that we citizens should know what such clear process is. But does that also mean that the exercise of the known clear process should also be publicized? I think not, else our 'foreign policy' alternatives become severely limited.

In the case of Al-Awlaki the oversight of his killing was pretty much global, and most certainly the stated intention and repeated attempts were known to ALL branches and agencies of our government. This was not the case in Waco where even the press were kept almost a mile away from the scene of the slaughter.

stevenfrisch

I don't necessarily think the process relative to individuals or timing needs to be publicized. Certainly the people on the list does not need to be publicized. But the process, be it a panel of judges who can keep a secret with congressional oversight, or whatever, needs to be approved in advance. I agree that we certainly don't want info out there that can compromise operations or people.

I can honestly tell you George, that although I think both the Branch Davidians and Randy Weaver were dangerous in their own ways, and clearly breaking laws with dangerous intent, I think the appropriate response on both would have been to starve them out rather than shooting them. IN both cases they were in locations where they could be isolated and did not pose a serious threat to any innocent neighbors. But I don't want to be an apologist for the Davidians either--it seems quite clear that they were ready to shoot, well equipped to shoot, and ready to die, and they are equally responsible for the horrendous loss of life.

Paul Emery

How is this different than the thousands of CIA sponsored assignations that have been an illegal part of our foreign policy options for the last 50 years?

Barry Pruett

In order to avoid this situation in the future and provide "due process" to the American-born terrorist, the USA could attempt to expatriate terrorist who are natural born citizens under 8 U.S.C. § 1481. While I am neither advocating for or against expatriation nor opining on the issue at all, after expatriation of the individual/terrorist the executive branch does not run into the problem of killing a US citizen, as the individual will have received due process prior to expatriation.

Just a thought...

Barry Pruett

Below is a SURVEY OF THE LAW OF EXPATRIATION written by JOHN C. YOO
former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Office of Legal Counsel...likely the same Yoo who is the Berkeley professor who wrote the article in the WSJ (I did not check).

http://www.justice.gov/olc/expatriation.htm

Mikey McD

Branch Davidians in Waco TX were brutally murdered by an impatient, blood thirsty, incompetent and immoral FBI. The Branch Davidians were not a threat to society.

D. King

Barry,
Why not trial in absentia; If found guilty, the judge can sentence him to death by Hellfire, which sounds retro but isn’t.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHPVDRXKGfc

Todd Juvinall

The Branch Davidians were not a threat. The pastor was a little goofy but most survivalists have a anti-government bent anyway. Randy Weaver lost a son and a wife (and an unborn child) and was exonerated and then compensated by the Federal government. He was set up on a weapons charge by the Feds. They were completely at fault. The point though is what if we have a President that is a bloodthirsty SOB and willy-nilly decides to exercise assassination. I seem to recall a Executive order forbidding assassination of foreign leaders but am unfamiliar with the protocol on a terrorist American soldier. Clinton wrung his hands and Sandy Berger decided not to shoot Osama when he was in the crosshairs for fear of legal issues. Perhaps there is a policy we all don't know about that was formulated and vetted by the lawyers to make sure Obama is not tried for murder or war crimes. My guess is there is. It is too risky in our nation of laws to not have one to protect this kind of decision.

Brad Croul

The FBI recently raided Gibson guitar works, armed with automatic weapons, looking for contraband wood products.

The FBI ($%#@ing bunch of idiots)

Ben Emery

This sets a very dangerous precedent, an executive branch determining who is a terrorists and having the ability to end that persons life without due process, very dangerous. I don't like it and our nation is in a steep decline where I can barely recognize it- Supreme Court decided elections, Pre-emptive strikes, torture, spying on its own citizens, the three ring circus at the airports, drones, secret prisons, everything about the patriot act, and so on...

It is easy to hold convictions/ principles in good times but a true test of those convictions/ principles are during the hard times, we are failing as a nation.

Mikey McD

I can't help but believe that foreign oil is once again to blame for a slippery slope moral (anti-constitutional) decision.

#1- drill here, drill now (comes with lucky-strike extras like drastically reducing the cost of oil (COL) and increasing domestic employment, strengthening the US dollar, boosting exports, etc)
#2- Any University with an ounce of Federal Funding and a science department must be focusing on alternative energy research(with exceptions such as cures for disease [ED treatments don't count], etc)

Notice that OBAMA WILL NOT SAY HE GAVE THE ORDER TO KILL HERE (SHORT VIDEO ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE): http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65035.html

Ben Emery

Mickey,
I agree with you on the premise that oil has to do with our highly intensified police state and US military imperialism. It has more to do with pay back for big contributors to our political parties ensuring government policies and contracts guaranteeing massive profits.

Are you proposing that the US could remove itself of the world market for oil? We consume somewhere in the pall park of 20 million barrels a day. Are you familiar with EROI? How do you account for the increasing cost of extraction?

D. King

"#2- Any University with an ounce of Federal Funding and a science department must be focusing on alternative energy research(with exceptions such as cures for disease [ED treatments don't count], etc)"

Bingo Mikey.

Don't give up Ben!

Mikey McD

Ben, I concede that big corporations (HAL, etc) continue to use our dependence on foreign oil to push profits. However, I think the US could be a major player in the oil markets and crush the middle east terrorists by 1) adding supply to the market (from domestic wells) 2.) decreasing US and others' demand for foreign oil. The LAW of supply and demand would drive prices down drastically.

The cost of extraction would plummet once our oil service firms brought our infrastructure back to the US (currently they are 'deployed' around the globe).

We could starve the beast(s) by drilling here, now.

Mikey McD

http://www.anwr.org/Background/How-much-oil-is-in-ANWR.php

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/660227927/Oil-shale--Colorado-Utah-deposits-rival-OPEC-reserve.html

"Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined...new methods to separate the oil from the stone for as little as $30 a barrel."

Ben Emery

Again, I don't think the argument is is there enough oil but how much it costs to extract and process it. This includes external costs as well. The easy oil is on the decline and the cost will only increase. We need to have a thousand sources of energy including fossil fuels. Diversity is security against a total collapse. I say save the high energy yielding fossil fuels for the import things that will help move us into the future while developing alternatives for the millions of little things.

Basically it is a short term vs long term investment debate. Drill her Drill now is short term and investing in multiple different alternatives would be long term in my opinion. Until our elected officials muster up the strength to get the Fed and big banks under control our nation will continue to struggle. I say lets invest long term while this money supply issue plays itself out.

Mikey McD

"and the cost will only increase"- can you support this comment?

By increasing supply and decreasing demand (on foreign oil) the price per barrell/gallon would drop.

Mikey McD

One day the market will require the use of fantasy energy. Until then we need to lead (NOW) us out of our dependence on the middle east... comes with lucky-strike extras like increasing domestic employment, strengthening the US dollar, boosting exports, decreasing inflation).

As I stated earlier Universities (not the mention the Dept of Energy) need to help us by researching fantasy energy.

Ben Emery

"and the cost will only increase"
The easy oil is gone, which means it will cost more energy to get the same amount of energy out. This equates to a cost increase.
These two articles don't agree on the definition of peak oil but do agree an increase in cost and energy for the future.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2010/1111/International-Energy-Agency-says-peak-oil-has-hit.-Crisis-averted

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=49&articleid=20100427_49_E2_Someti913433

"The easy oil is gone," Fattahi said. "Now we really have to get in there and bring the oil to the surface in a hard way."

Dixon Cruickshank

Mr Emery that is what free markets are all about - when costs get too high they stop - when they become profitable again they drill - pretty simple stuff. In the past the Saudis would just turn the tap on and flood the market with cheap oil and crush our domestics - can't do that anymore

Mikey McD

I don't agree that the easy oil is gone. I do believe that the market would do more to suppress the price (and cost) of oil than wars and spotted owls.

George Rebane

Gentlemen, your arguments about 'easy oil', 'peak oil', and costs are all resolvable fantasies. Turn the oil companies loose, and see where they will produce and at what price they will sell. OPEC is not going to roll over and play dead, therefore, what our oil companies do is the real deal as opposed to ongoing debates about theories and ideologies.

Paul Emery

Turn the oil companies loose?

What does that mean George.

George Rebane

"Turn the oil companies loose ..." = Let them extract American fossil fuels, create products that will sell, and allow them to compete on the world's energy markets.

Paul Emery

What are the restrictions that are currently in place that prevent that from happening?

Ben Emery

Here is a 2009 Op Ed I wrote about some facts on oil drilling (just after the Drill Baby Drill campaign). What we have seen since is the democratic party loyalists are just as blind. Here is the entire piece.

I say it all the time do not let my disapproval of the republican party fool you into my approval of the democratic party. Although not equal there is plenty of blame to go around.

Why do Republicans vote against their own best interests?

I’m neither Republican nor a Democratic Party member but can’t figure out the Republican Party’s loyalty to corporations and the dishonesty toward their constituents.

But even more confusing is the loyalty members show to their disloyal party.

The facts on oil and gas companies along with their land and drilling permits can be found at resourcescommittee.house.gov/images/Documents/drilling_facts.pdf.

1) More than 91 million acres of public lands and sea have been leased.

2) Only 23 million acres are being used, which leaves 68 million acres leased but not being used.

3) More than 28,000 drilling permits have been given, and more than 10,000 aren’t being used.

4) ANWR has less retainable oil than the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska (NPRA), which has drilled wells (but capped) and has the largest known oil reserves on the outer continental shelf — and isn’t being developed.

5) Government study shows that ANWR, if drilling started there today, wouldn’t be into peak production until around 2025. It would reduce the cost of a barrel of oil by $0.57 cents and a gallon of gasoline by $0.14 cents, according to a U.S. Dept. of Energy report at www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/hr/pdf/sroiaf(2005)04.pdf.

6) Since 2001, the top five oil companies have made more than $550 billion in profits.

On June 10, 2008, Republicans filibustered two bills relating to the energy crisis:

1) Windfall profit tax on the top five profit earners (Exxon Mobil Chevron, Shell, BP America, and ConocoPhilips), which made $36 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2008.

2) A bill that would have extended the tax incentive for alternative energy, efficiency and conservation.

Just the day before, President Bush was stating another false claim about the affect drilling in ANWR would have on our current crisis, which is predominately about the devaluing of the U.S. dollar under his administration.

Another huge factor is oil speculation, which would have been addressed in the windfall profits tax if passed.

President George W. Bush:

“The United States has an opportunity to help increase the supply of oil on the market, therefore taking pressure off gasoline for our hardworking Americans, and I’ve proposed to the Congress that they open up ANWR, and open up the continental shelf, and give this country a chance to help us through this difficult period (June 9, 2008).”

Another outrageous claim that was being propagandized was that China is drilling for oil off the coast of Florida while we could not.

Vice President Dick Cheney:

“(O)il is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. We're not doing it. The Chinese are in cooperation with the Cuban government (June 12, 2008).”

Minority Leader John Boehner:

“Right at this moment, some 60 miles or less off the coast of Key West, Florida, China has the green light to drill for oil in order to lower energy costs in that country... Do congressional Democrats really trust the Chinese that much more than Americans? (June 11, 2008).”

Both of these claims are lies. When will Republicans start holding their party responsible for misleading them into voting against their own best interests?

Paul Emery

Thanks Ben for the details. Grandiose statements are one thing details are something else. Details are the true talking points.

Mikey McD

Neat op/ed piece. It does not disprove the LAWS of supply and demand and makes no comment on the peace attained through drilling here, now. It is surprising that someone who claims to be pro working class cherry-picks soundbites to keep them unemployed, paying high prices and beholden to foreign enemies.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/660227927/Oil-shale--Colorado-Utah-deposits-rival-OPEC-reserve.html

"Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined...new methods to separate the oil from the stone for as little as $30 a barrel."


http://www.amazon.com/How-Economy-Grows-Why-Crashes/dp/047052670X

Ben Emery

Mickey,
The point was there are plenty of opportunities for oil industry to drill for oil but they are holding off. Throwing all presumed environmental impediments out the window to spur more drilling isn't needed. The other point is OPEC controls how much oil is on the world market, it isn't 100% of the oil is always on the market.

paul emery

George, Mikey

I keep asking what exactually do you propose we do to "Turn the oil companies loose ..."

Todd Juvinall

George, I would agree the oil companies should have unfettered right to find and drill baby drill all the oil there is.

paul emery

With what environmental considerations?

stevenfrisch

Isn't it clear Paul? It should be done with as little environmental consideration as possible. Any regulation is too much for these guys. The market will punish companies for environmental degradation, right?

Here is the awful truth, the oil, gas and coal on public lands are the property of the people of the United States. The profit from extracting those resources does not even pay for the review and remediation of the damage on those public lands. Energy companies are returning hundreds of billions of dollars a year to their shareholders, a select few, while the people who own the resources are getting next to nothing.

This is 'crony capitalism' at its worst. We are paying welfare to the big 5 and pretending its a 'free market' approach.

The biggest welfare queens in the country are the American businesses that participate in this farce.

stevenfrisch

By the way, I am not quite sure how we drifted from constitutional principles guiding punishment of US citizens engaged in terrorism, to energy policy, but I thought we had a remarkable amount of consensus from widely divergent viewpoints that allowing the President of the United States to assassinate citizens without oversight was a pretty bad precedent.

Todd Juvinall

Paul, of course there are eco standards.

Regarding subsidies for the oil companies. I believe they are tax credits for exploration. When a mineraL is extracted it doesn't just go into the vacuum of space. It is mined, transported, refined and made into some useful product. Such as gold in these computers, fertilizer for crops and insecticides to guard them (our world's food supply). And millions of other things. If the mining, timber and grazing is on the "public" lands then there are many benefits to the people of the country. In every step of the raw material ending up as a finished product there are a plethora of jobs, most are good paying middle class jobs. Even the washing machine sold at Sears, made of all those raw materials, makes the salesman money to raise his family. Only people who live in a caudled box of fantasy ideas would not understand this. America became the greatest country on the planet because of the innovation of its people and the discovery of oil and its use as the product to allow freedom to prosper. The left thinks the pie is one size whole we know the pie will grow larger.

Ben Emery

Steve,

I agree with you and the Obama administration has been setting very dangerous precedents by the continuation of Bush policies. You and I have commented before on this issue at Sierra Foothills Report.

When does the inherited illegal policies of Bush become Obama's?

Ben Emery

Todd,
Just leave it up to the big boys and they will take care of us. When has the peoples interest ever been the goal of the bigs in any industry?

Mikey McD

Would drilling here increase domestic employment, yes.

Would drilling here bring down gasoline prices, yes.

Would drilling here decrease the magnitude and frequency of US/Middle East conflicts (DEATH), yes.

Would drilling here increase the value of the US Dollar, yes.

Would drilling here provide a catalyst (one of many needed) to boost our failing Keynesian/socialist economy, yes.

Would there be negative environmental impacts, yes. Follow-up... should we be more concerned about POSSIBLE environmental impacts than all of the above.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Economy-Grows-Why-Crashes/dp/047052670X

Todd Juvinall

We are talking about oil. Please tell us all BenE how the people's interest in served if there is no oil or oil so costly only rich people can afford it. Why would you harm a persons ability to buy reasonably priced gasoline and keep them from moving freely around the country? I am amazed. Oil has allowed people odf all income groups to be mobile, why would you be impairing that?

Todd Juvinall

Mikey, you hit the nail on the head. Excellent!

Paul Emery

Nobody seems to want to answer this very simple question

"What exactually do you propose we do to "Turn the oil companies loose ..."

It's all cheap talk without specifics.

Ben Emery

Mickey,
Lets say all of your "yes" answers were true.

"if drilling started there today, wouldn’t be into peak production until around 2025. It would reduce the cost of a barrel of oil by $0.57 cents and a gallon of gasoline by $0.14 cents, according to a U.S. Dept. of Energy report at www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/hr/pdf/sroiaf(2005)04.pdf."

What do we do in the mean time?

The answer to your exit question falls under the category of "cutting your nose off to spite your face".

I try to stay off of the environmental issues at RR because I will be attacked personally instead of the focus remaining on the issue but here we go. The US is around 5% of the worlds population but consumes and produces 25% of the worlds resources and pollution, this is not a sustainable model especially when the very same model is being exported and implemented into 3 billion of the developing population. It would take somewhere in the range of 5 to 7 earth resources to sustain a US type of consumption rate for the entire planets population. That is why other nations governments are aggressively moving towards alternatives. Conservation and renewables are the only energy we should be putting huge amounts of investment and energy towards if we want to remain relevant in the global market.

bill tozer

Ben, does renewables include burning firewood in the stove on a chilly morning? Last I heard timber is the county's most renewable resource.

Greg Goodknight

Paul, removing the wretched and erroneous EPA CO2 endangerment finding would be a fine way to start.

Mikey McD

Paul, end the "permitorium" in practice (make permitting process realistic, efficient, less political)

Provide tax breaks for domestic oil companies (including service companies)

Decreased gas taxes collected at domestic supplied pumps.

Call off the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/).

more later...

Ben Emery

Paul,
You and I know what "Turn the oil companies loose" means.

This hits at another environmental issue since I let the cat out of the bag already. Global Insurance Companies whose livelihood depends on risk assessment have come to the conclusion the global warming/ climate change is happening.

Munich Re
http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/current/flooding_in_china/default.aspx

DANGEROUS EXPOSURE: THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL WARMING ON PRIVATE AND FEDERAL
http://ftp.resource.org/gpo.gov/hearings/110s/35525.txt

Earnest & Young
http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Newsroom/News-releases/Media---Press-Release---Strategic-Risk-to-Insurance-Industry

Ben Emery

Bill,
How many years did your firewood have to mature? Did you replace the tree that was burned so you grandchildren could have the same luxury? It is funny that you mentioned wood/ timber because trees are the product and storage centers of solar energy.

George Rebane

PaulE – It seems that you are of a mind that there are no regulatory impediments to developing more domestic energy sources and permitting a more facile use of Canadian fossil fuels (e.g. the proposed pipeline across the Great Plains to Texas refineries). Your approach in such denials seems to be one that you and others of the left have used before – if you repeat a widely substantiated criticism of the Obama administration, then it is of no merit unless you have the chapter and verse of all the legal and regulatory materials at your beck and call. These are citations that employ literally thousands of private and government lawyers 24/7 in an attempt to decipher them, and when they do, their several interpretations are so far apart that adjudication by the courts is the usual remedy. And you are asking for specifics here in this comment stream??!!

Let’s keep it simple. The US uses crude oil at about 20M bbl/day of which we produce about 5.4M bbl/day.
http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=us&product=oil&graph=production

The recent uptick in oil (not gas) production ballyhooed by the left is due Obama’s re-election politics and the recession. Oil production development takes years. He has finally released for production the sources that were explored, set-up, and approved under Bush2, and then sat on by the Dems. Now, after over-reacting to the Gulf oil spill, it is politic for the community organizer to show that he’s the ‘energy president’ by finally getting out of the way a little of the legacy energy development he inherited.

The Dems have done NOTHING to permit our energy companies to explore, identify, and plan new fields needed in the future. The US Chamber of Commerce and the EIA tell us that if the feds would just permit production of what is already in the pipeline, then we would quickly add another 4M bbl/day and about 550K permanent jobs to our economy. But this would enrage the progressive base and waste a carefully constructed crisis.

Similar stories could be told about shale gas production and increased purchases of Canadian fuels. Arguing that American oil companies want to limit production and watch the money go to the mid-east requires belief in another agenda, or …?

Paul Emery

I don't exactly know what that means Ben. I would like an elaboration from George since he made the statement. As it stands right now it's little more than a colorful statement.

Yes, the insurance companies are a big factor when it comes to the longterm anticipated effects of global warming. When they start to not insuring coastal property people will panic and property values will tumble.

It's already starting to happen

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/global-warming-no-hoax-to-insurance-companies-2011-09-09?link=MW_latest_news

"NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — When it comes to global warming, it’s a tough call deciding whose hot air to believe: Al Gore or those AM radio right-wingers who call it hoax.

Me? I go with the insurance industry. If anyone is going to feel a rise in global temperature — and the destructive weather it causes around the planet — it’s the people who have to pay for the damage.

And here’s what insurance companies are reporting to state insurance commissioners:

“Genworth recognizes that climate change poses significant potential risks to the environment, the global economy and to human health and well being. We also recognize that human activity contributes to global warming.” — Genworth Life Insurance Co. of New York "...........

You need to read the whole thing

D. King

Global Warming?

I'm afarid of Global Warming.

Is there any chance I can pay more money and stop it?

Please tell me we still have a chance...it's not too late, is it?

Please take all my money....PLEASE!

Ben Emery

George,
To pick one specific issue you raised.

Do you know the route of the Keystone Pipeline? It travels over the Ogallala Aquifer that supplies the eight states it sits over plus neighboring states with their drinking, industrial, and agriculture water. I have read around 20 million people directly and who knows how many indirectly. This specific aquifer is recharged by rain water and snowmelt.

Here is an excerpt from the water encyclopedia on the importance Ogallala Aquifer

"The Ogallala Aquifer, whose total water storage is about equal to that of Lake Huron in the Midwest, is the single most important source of water in the High Plains region, providing nearly all the water for residential, industrial, and agricultural use. Because of widespread irrigation, farming accounts for 94 percent of the groundwater use. Irrigated agriculture forms the base of the regional economy. It supports nearly one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cotton, and cattle produced in the United States. Crops provide grains and hay for confined feeding of cattle and hogs and for dairies. The cattle feedlots support a large meatpacking industry. Without irrigation from the Ogallala Aquifer, there would be a much smaller regional population and far less economic activity.

Because of the Ogallala, the High Plains is the leading irrigation area in the Western Hemisphere. Overall, 5.5 million hectares (nearly 13.6 million acres) are irrigated in the Ogallala region. The leading state irrigating from the Ogallala is Nebraska (46%), followed by Texas (30%) and Kansas (14%)."

Read more: Ogallala Aquifer - depth, important, system, source http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Oc-Po/Ogallala-Aquifer.html#ixzz1ZqkGaeSf


Do you not see the potential man made catastrophe being set up?

Ben Emery

Here is a general observations of a strategic flaw in Mickey's/ RR plan.
1) The US does go off of the world oil supply and Georges numbers are correct in US consumption of around 20 million barrels per day, the global rate is in the 80 million range. The US rate dropped over the last two years at its peak it was around 22 million.

2) The rest of the developing world are increasing their consumption. What is happening in Sudan and Darfur has to do with China's oil problem. http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/mar2008/gb20080314_430126.htm

3) The rise of the BRIC nations along with the systematic financial coups (government take over through debt)taking place by central banks is another indicator for rough times ahead. As the BRIC's are increasing their influence we are losing ours as an international leader.

Mikey McD

Obviously more wars/deaths in the middle east is the way to go. There are no other options. There is no way we could build refineries closer to the source. The only way to transport the oil is inches away from the aqueduct. War is the best answer.

Where's the sarcasm font when you need it?

Mikey McD

'Today' thanks to the central planners at The FED American savers are making ZERO on their savings. What about offering tax incentives (similar to Muni bonds) that allow dividends/interest paid on energy infrastructure to be tax free or even deductible?

Oil independence is critical to the economic growth and peace on earth.

Ben Emery

Mickey there are many other options. I would only edit your last comment with this
Energy independence is critical to the economic growth and peace on earth. We need multiple sources of energy and work more towards conservation.

Russ Steele

Ben,

One thing about insurance companies, they like to insure people for things that are not going to happen like global warming. It is good income and the risk goes down with every passing month, there has been no global warming for the last 15 years, and the trend is downward since 2003. Therefore, hyping global warming and the need for GW insurance is a good bet for the insurance companies, in fact Henny Penny Insurance is a real money maker for insurance companies. They just need to keep up the hoax going and stop people from knowing the real truth. Our climate is controlled by the sun, oceans, jet stream and clouds and humans have not control over any of them. We live on a planet in a universe that is chaotic, and crap happens from time to time and we have no control over where and when the next event will happen. According to the ice cores, the time from human compatible weather to the next ice age was about ten to forty years, less than a generation.

Paul Emery

George

In response to "PaulE – It seems that you are of a mind that there are no regulatory impediments to developing more domestic energy sources and permitting a more facile use of Canadian fossil fuels (e.g. the proposed pipeline across the Great Plains to Texas refineries)."

I never said anything to imply that response. Of course there are "regulatory impediments" as there should be. Are you proposing there should be none? I wanted to get some idea from you about which are appropriate and which are not. That can be the basis of an intelligent conversation.

As an example should we allow offshore drilling in California? That's a good place to start to see what your threshold is. Are the increased regulations in place after the Exxon Valdez disaster appropriate? Do we need more regulations after the Gulf oil spill or do we need less to increase production. Is it not appropriate to solidify regulations and enforcement to prevent that from ever happening again?

You state that major changes need to be made to get oil flowing but you offer no details just a broad stroke generalization of what you would like to see as the end result with not even a hint of details.

Ben Emery

Russ,
So the cited statistics are rigged on how much damage is being done by natural disasters over the last decade?

How about the Ogallala Aquifer lying under the route for the Keystone Pipeline, do you see any danger there or is that just more hand wringing?

Do you feel that 7 billion people can live, for long term, at the US standard of living?

George Rebane

BenE - I am very familiar with the concerns about what an unlikely oil leak would do to the Ogalala aquifer. They have been grossly overblown by the same factions that want us to collectively go back to the stone age.

PaulE - given my 1257pm, what details would you like? Would one of them be BenE's concerns about polluting the aquifer? Would another one of them be that the Obama administration has now revoked scores of working permits in West Virginia to mine coal, permits that the state is appealing to have reinstated? What about the fracking delays? Obama wants to play both sides of the street - delay/reduce energy production to play to his far left base, and lambast the right for then spending too much money buying foreign oil instead of supporting his hokey alternative green energy programs.

bill tozer

You people just don't get it. Made made solar panels are heating up our planet. We must stop this behavior of putting solar panels in full view of the Sun before we are battered, buttered and submerged in hot oil like a fried Twinkie at the Iowa State Fair.

Paul Emery

I guess George I'd like some idea of what environmental standards you would require to allow acceleration of oil and gas production. Since you favor eliminating the EPA how do you see this standards enforced?

This is really the essential question in any discussion of the issue.

Greg Goodknight

Don't forget Robot insurance from Old Glory!
http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/old-glory-insurance/229049/

Any excuse for an increase in premium. That's the business. If you don't want the coverage, don't buy it.

The best immediate change to stem the Ogallala misuse is ending the farm subsidies that is pushing the pumping. It's especially insane to throw away an ancient aquifer to grow subsidized corn to produce subsidized ethanol to adulterate gasoline with a net loss of energy in the entire cycle. Madness.

Russ Steele

Ben E,

There is no proven connection between the damage done by natural disasters and climate change.

I am not sure what the mechanism is that you fear will result in the pollution of the Ogallala Aquifer, which is 50 to 500 feet underground. The pipe is not going to be buried in the Ogallala Aquifer, it is going to be well above it. I agree with George, the concerns are overblown. That oil is highly valuable and the pipe line operators are not going to let is run out on the ground. Engineers have developed many monitoring and repaid response valves to monitor and manage the flow.

I will be much easier for 7 billion of people to live in a warmer world. As the planet cool, the misery is going to increase and millions will starve as agriculture failures become more common due to a much quieter sun.

stevenfrisch

Russ may be comfortable with the idea that there is no connection between climate change and extreme weather events and or natural disasters, but a growing body of evidence disagrees with him and other climate change deniers, including NOAA and the US Defense Department. But I do think he makes one good point. Over emphasizing the climate connection serves no one.

First I think it is important to recognize that those who believe in climate change, myself included, believe that the change will lead to increased unpredictability of climate related events such as droughts, heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods and hurricanes. But tying a specific event to climate change is a dangerous assumption, and over emphasizing the role of climatic change relative to other drivers is likely to lead to increased skepticism. The science is still too vague to make a direct connection.

But if there is a connection and we do not study it, recognize it for what it is, and attempt to mitigate the impacts if we can, we risk losing big time in terms of agricultural production, energy use and production, property and life. And mitigating these events, whether they are human caused due to climate change or not, benefits us. That makes acting on the assumption that there is no connection just as dangerous as acting on the assumption that there is.

Lets take just a couple of examples.

Lets say changes in climate lead to warm spells or heat waves. That will mean reduced agricultural yields in warmer regions due to heat stress at key development stages for crops, and increased risk of fire. This will in turn lead to increased demand for water for irrigation, and decreasing water quality in warmer regions due to algal blooms and other bacterial contaminants. Coupled with that will be increased risk of heat related mortality. It will also lead to increasing demand on power supplies to cool buildings and people. In forested areas it will lead to increased demand for fire fighting services to protect people and property. Any rational observer would agree that regardless of the cause, a trend toward warm spells or heat waves would lead us to shift our emphasis on specific infrastructure, such as water supply systems, water treatment, electrical grid, energy production, fire fighting capacity etc.

Lets take another opposite example, heavy precipitation. If long term trends are for increased precipitation in California, this could lead to damage to crops, soil erosion, inability to cultivate land, and the concurrent impacts on water quality from both erosion and fertilizers in our soils. This also has a long term effect on disease vectors and human health. Our current water storage, conveyance and flood control systems are woefully unprepared to deal with these impacts. A classic example would be the practice in heavy rain years to dump water in the spring to make room for storage. Scientists in California have been tracking the probability of the ARK storm, or an extreme weather event where we see 10 feet of precipitation in a concentrated period of time, say 4-6 weeks. Such events have happened in our past, not necessarily having anything to do with climate change. Such an event could damage 1/4 of California's housing stock and cost about $300 billion (a figure many so is low by a factor of 5). One does not have to look father in our past than the great flood of 1861-62 to see what the impacts could be. The Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys were covered in an area 300 miles long more than 20 miles wide. The Los Angeles Basin was flooded from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Palos Verde peninsula. We are talking hundreds of millions of acre feet of water here, not something we can contain, or channel or store.

Now the policies and practices we would put in place to mitigate these events is the same, whether on believes they are driven by climate or not.

On these two issues alone: the risk of heat waves leading to crop failure and fire or the risk of flood leading to property loss and loss of life, we are severely at risk and unprepared in California.

Greg Goodknight

Frisch, name a catastrophic weather event caused by AGW that didn't also occur before AGW. You're just playing Chicken Little here.

"Russ may be comfortable with the idea that there is no connection between climate change and extreme weather events and or natural disasters, but a growing body of evidence disagrees with him and other climate change deniers, including NOAA and the US Defense Department."

The climate has indeed changed over the past few thousand years. Also the last 500 million years. There's no good evidence that CO2 has been a significant driver of these changes.

The posited theory of positive feedbacks by blankets of clouds warming the planet after the introduction of anthropogenic CO2 was originally conceived as a way to help stave off the next ice age; this was during the global cooling scare that preceded the warming scare. That theory remains in dispute, there really is a growing body of peer-reviewed research indicating clouds cause negative feedbacks by reflecting away more heat from the sun than they trap below, and are a regulating feature of the climate system, not a source of instability. The reason the place has been such a nice place to live since our mammalian ancestors started scampering about 250 million years ago, in a 2000ppm CO2 atmosphere.

I expect more instability among the deniers of climate realities in the coming year.

D. King

Geez Frisch, aren’t you tired of the relentless fear mongering?

I know I am.

Todd Juvinall

I guess the anti pipeline folks think there isn't a shutoff valve.

The global warming proponents are obviously losing when they start their screeching about weather event. My dad told me in detail about the typhoons he was in during WW2 in the Pacific. But, I guess that must have been AGW eh? Also, can the eco-fools tell us the affects a volcanic eruption has on the planet?

Ben Emery

RR Conservatives,
What part of CONSERVE do you represent?

For the ridiculous idea there is little potential for disaster is a refusal to learn from history.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/05/03/oil-spill-valves-idUSN0321388420100503

U.S. mulls requiring remote shutoffs for oil rigs

* Brazil, Norway require rigs to have shut-off triggers

* US does not require shut-off triggers; some use them

* $500,000 cost may seem more affordable after this spill

By Tom Doggett and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON, May 3 (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers are focusing on whether lax government regulation that did not require BP to use a remote control "trigger" to shut an underwater pipe exacerbated the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A $500,000 acoustic trigger may have allowed workers escaping from the burning rig by boat to send a remote signal 5,000 feet below the water's surface to close the valve and stop the oil.

Instead, BP (BP.L) is using submersible robots, whose tiny metal arms so far have been unable to move the lever that would cut off the flow of crude.

Ben Emery

Greg,
Just look at the record tornado's (753), flooding, and wild fires of 2011. Did these things exist before, yes. BUT all of these hit records in numbers and in scale, which means most extreme.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/billionz.html

D. King

Ben-

"It is now accepted journalistic practice to make up completely random statistics without actually checking the historical record. China has had much worse floods in the past. Recent floods have been no where near “records.”

Check the records Ben. Don't just buy what is being sold to you!!!

http://www.real-science.com/new-normal-making-flood-statistics

Fool's Gold
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrite

Ben Emery

D King,
Remove flooding from my statement then. Don't change the subject.

D. King

"Remove flooding from my statement then. Don't change the subject."

Morally Killing Al-Awlaki ?

Greg Goodknight

Sorry, Ben, but no, the 'extremes' aren't all that extreme.

Here's a link to a blogpost from Dr. Richard Pielke, Jr:
"The data on events that have captured our attention this year — tornadoes, large-scale river floods (in unaltered river basins), and landfalling hurricanes — shows no evidence of trends in the direction of more extreme events. This should not be surprising, because even if we assume a strong signal in extreme events from human-caused climate change, the statistics suggest that it would take many decades, and probably longer, before such signals would be detected."

http://energy.nationaljournal.com/2011/07/extreme-weather-and-climate-ch.php#2022402

In short, Ben, the sky is not falling, and even if it was, you wouldn't know it by any measure of the weather events of the recent past.

Ben Emery

D King,
I guess you missed my orignal comment. I put a question forward and was ingored.

When does the inherited illegal policies of Bush become Obama's? During a debate in 2010 I called out President Obama's illegal policies, my democratic opponent was very upset that I would hold a democrat accountable equal to a republican.

03 October 2011 at 02:56 PM
"This sets a very dangerous precedent, an executive branch determining who is a terrorists and having the ability to end that persons life without due process, very dangerous. I don't like it and our nation is in a steep decline where I can barely recognize it- Supreme Court decided elections, Pre-emptive strikes, torture, spying on its own citizens, the three ring circus at the airports, drones, secret prisons, everything about the patriot act, and so on...

It is easy to hold convictions/ principles in good times but a true test of those convictions/ principles are during the hard times, we are failing as a nation."

Greg Goodknight

Now, what I think Ron Paul was concerned about was the "legal" killing of al Awlaki, not the morality of the killing, and I think he's right to be wary. I'd like to see any future targeting of Americans abroad to pay better attention to dotting the Constitutional i's and crossing the Constitutional t's.

Just "we got the bad guy, booyah!" is a bit light on the legal niceties. As long as we have a Constitution, let's pretend it's really there.

Ben Emery

Greg,
Why the hyperbole? I'm an advocate for adapting our lifestyle to fit the times from which we live, not for an instant overhaul.

Greg Goodknight

Ben, what hyperbole?

You seem swayed greatly by the empty rhetoric of the Green left. There is no climate crisis. The best action for mankind regarding the climate is to have the courage to do nothing.

Everything you want to do will kill more people than it will help.

Greg Goodknight

Ben, what hyperbole?

You seem swayed greatly by the empty rhetoric of the Green left. There is no climate crisis. The best action for mankind regarding the climate is to have the courage to do nothing.

Everything you want to do will kill more people than it will help.

D. King

Ben,
"D King,
I guess you missed my orignal comment. I put a question forward and was ingored."

...03 October 2011 at 02:56 PM


No Ben, but I asked this almost 12 hours before you.


"What is the process for declaring someone a traitor or terrorist?

I would really like to hear from our friends on the left.

Posted by: D. King | 03 October 2011 at 03:37 AM"

To be fair, Steve F. mentioned it, but, I don't think there is enough information to answer it.

Ben Emery

DKing,

Article III Section III of the US Constitution outlines the process of determining and punishment for treason.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Ben Emery

Greg,
The hyperbole is making a huge jump from my position to the sky is falling.

stevenfrisch

Jeez, Greg and D. King and of course Todd--one cannot win for losing here.

First, I think I was out front on the constitutional ramifications of assassination issue over at Pelline's blog, stating clearly that we need checks and balances on a President exerting this authority. In addition, I think I have answered the when does Obama become responsible question several times, he is responsible on national security policy and continuing a failed Bush/Cheney policy, and not responsible on domestic economic policy, inheriting a depression created by 40 years of gutting the middle class to enrich the few.

Second, I was backing up Russ' assertion that directly linking natural disasters to climate change is difficult.

Third, I posted examples of how the link is actually irrelevant from a practical standpoint, the effects would be the same regardless, so one does not have to believe to be concerned. That's not fear mongering, its simply the facts.

Fourth, I gave examples of a few scenarios that are not only possible, they are likely given our history, and mitigating the impacts would be exponentially cheaper than suffering the damage.

Finally, you may all believe that there is some global scientific conspiracy to promote AGW, but NOAA, the DOD, most of the private sector industries at risk from the impacts of AGW, and almost every professional scientific body in the world disagree with you.

No one will ever change a mind here, so I am wondering what the point of the discussion really is, but for the lurkers I will postulate a few possible mitigation strategies and ways the Sierra Nevada could contribute to the solution:

On heat waves and the stress on our electrical grid:

1) Increase demand response capability for electrical grids so we do not have catastrophic failures
2) Expand energy storage capabilities through thermal storage, groundwater storage, off stream impoundment, and stored biomass feedstock to increase base load capability
3) Expand distributed generation capacity so a lower proportion of local use is dependent upon the western states and ISO controlled grid
4) Reduce building use through promotion of green building (the average commercial structure in California has about a 35 year shelf life)
5) Invest in urban greening and tree planting programs to lower urban island effects


All of these are logical common sense disaster mitigation measures regardless of cause. In most cases the mitigation measures actually save us money in the long run and are cheaper to implement than what we are doing now.

A similar set of measures could be designed around fire threat, flood control, food systems etc.

Todd Juvinall

We all have a tad of agreement on the issue of the Constitution regarding this killing but when a person is rejecting the country and its institutions and is in fact fighting for the enemy, the CinC as the military leader can make this decision and be protected under the Military Law. The rest of the last SF comment was BS.

Ben Emery

Steve F.,
I pretty much have done the same thing. I never say we need to get off fossil fuels tomorrow but to develop alternatives saving the easy high yielding energy for the important things to move us forward.

I generally don't try and argue GW/CC because either one believes it or they don't. So I point to the deniers bellwether "Industry". Not good enough.

Todd Juvinall

Please tell us what you mean by this statement you just made.

"saving the easy high yielding energy for the important things to move us forward."

I think all of us deniers would appreciate the list of important things.

Greg Goodknight

Ben, I think you've confused metaphor with hyperbole. For an example of hyperbole...

"Steve, if you've been told once, you've been told a thousand times: AGW isn't a conspiracy, just bad science groupthink."

Chicken Little remains a fine metaphor for AGW alarmism.

Greg Goodknight

Ben, people are hard at work developing alternatives, and would even without billions of public funds sent down ratholes like Solyndra. That was a double whammy since those are federal loan guarantees... businesses that actually had a hope of turning a profit based on their merits didn't get loans because No Risk trumps Some Risk every time.

The problem with the political push towards alternative energies is that it all comes down to making energy EXPENSIVE to drive down consumption, and the government, when choosing winners and losers in the marketplace, has a wretched record of picking the wrong horses.

Brad Croul

Billions are the new peanuts. I am sure you can find tens or hundreds of examples of billions of public funds spent subsidizing some industry or other. Solyndra is all set up and ready to make solar panels. The Gov. should just buy it like they did the automobile manufacturers. The Gov. could then just start making panels and flood the Chinese market with low cost panels.

Greg Goodknight

Off topic, apologies to George. No, Solyndra is dead, and a billion $ in a tax rate subsidy, or tax credits/accelerated depreciation to buyers of their products, is a whole lot different than billions in guaranteed loans to companies guaranteed to fail.

The Feds are playing Venture Capitalist for risky Green enterprises that fit the political bill. At least the real VC's are playing with their own money, and have a track record of picking winners but starving losers as soon as they stumble.

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