Pardon My Skepticism

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  • by Frank Paynter on July 18, 2024

    Noah T. Winer of emailed me and several million of his closest friends with a video of a speech that Al Gore gave yesterday.

    Mr. Gore reminded me that the future of civilization is at stake. The economy in terrible shape. Our civilized jobs have been outsourced. Gasoline prices and electricity rates are through the roof. There is all kinds of pressure on banks and other financial institutions we depend on to keep score. The climate crisis is getting worse faster than we had anticipated. This has national security implications. Millions of displaced people around the world, climate refugees, will be moving this way and that looking for a better life. That’s a problem.

    Some climatologists in Tel Aviv have evidence that for every one degree increase in temperature, lightning strikes go up 10%. Lightning caused the crisis in western wildfires this summer, lightning and the tinder dry conditions that go along with increased heat.

    Mr. Gore says, and I agree, that a dangerous over-reliance on carbon based fuel is at the center of economic, environmental, national security crises that we face today. The answer, he says, is to end our reliance on carbon based fuels. I can’t argue with that. Mr. Gore is challenging us, Democrats and Plutocrats alike, to convert all our electricity to renewable non-carbon based sources by 2024. The goal, he says, is achievable, affordable, and transformative.

    I’m skeptical and here’s why. Mr. Gore says, “The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.” Mr. Peabody is committed to strip mining the planet. Which of these men has a stronger commitment? Who is the more influential? Which side will Dick Cheney come down on?

    When President Kennedy set our national sights on the moon, we rose to the challenge. But landing on the moon involved building huge rockets and advancing technology that had practical wartime applications. Will saving the planet’s fresh water inspire the Texas business community? How many ragheads can we kill by learning to save the polar bear? I’m afraid the answer is none, so where is the practical wartime application in that?

    The emerging good news for the corporateers involves the opportunity to build scores of nuclear plants. Only dams and freeways use more cement than nuclear plants, and nobody sells more cement than the mob, and the mob killed Kennedy, but they didn’t kill the space program if you get my drift.

    I’m skeptical that environmentalism will have the traction of huge three stage rockets and space satellites. So what is going to motivate us to do the right things? I’m guessing we’ll have to go nuclear.

    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    William "Papa" Meloney 07.19.08 at 4:39

    Beshear wants energy plan for Kentucky

    [Govenor] Beshear says he also wants Kentucky to rely more on renewable energy such as wind and solar sources. Beshear says the state should find ways to make Kentucky coal “cleaner and greener.”

    Robert Novack reporting…

    As co-chairman of the association’s energy committee (with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who gave the Democratic response to President Bush’s State of the Union address this year), Pawlenty proposed state goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But at a “governors-only” session that opened the meeting on Saturday, Pawlenty encountered adamant opposition. Barbour led the way for governors from energy-producing states, including Republican Rick Perry of Texas and Democrat Steve Beshear of Kentucky. The issue of greenhouse gases was “set aside,” Pawlenty told me, “because we realized there was no consensus.”

    Tree Shapiro 07.19.08 at 10:45

    Didn’t G-d ask Noah T. Winer to build an ark, or something?

    Email me if you need to talk - I had to turn off the iPhone because Shirl is on the rampage. I’m just chill-laxing after a productive week at the tables.

    I’ll pick her up a lalique ashtray or something - never fails to work. It’s not like I ran away with an underage “cocktail waitress”. Women.

    madame l 07.19.08 at 11:45

    This is Beyond Belief Sad and Enraging.

    “Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) is the world’s largest private-sector coal company, with 2024 sales of 238 million tons and $4.6 billion in revenues.
    …recently presented $356,000 in scholarship funds to the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe…”

    $356,000!!! For the WHOLE Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe!!!
    That’s significantly less than a third of 1 Scoble house. (Looked it up.) Scholarship fund! One year’s worth. For stealing the ground out from unborn feet ForFuckingEver.

    We are surely fucked.

    And these fucking people that have the balls to tell me that I am a “Truly Vile Person” drive around with nary a thought about the details of who and what is being sacrificed and scarified beyond repair so that they may continue their gluttonous lifestyle.

    And you can be sure one of these self-esteem-manners & courtesy worshipers will say: “But what are YOU doing?” I’m doing as much as I can, which is way more than you - but I don’t tell anyone what I’m doing and crow about my largesse. It’s my responsibility as a human. Even Noticing would be doing more than YOU are doing.

    Peabody Coal Company began strip-mining operations on land leased from the Navajo and Hopi Tribes on Black Mesa in 1968. Peabody operates two mines on Black Mesa: the Peabody Coal Mine, and the Kayenta Mine, the largest coal strip mining operation in the world. This land-use is highly controversial, especially among the Native American traditionalists, who consider Black Mesa to be sacred. At the same time, Peabody Coal employs about 850 Native Americans, primarily Navajos.

    Reclamation from mining activities have transformed a large portion of the mesa from pinyon-juniper to grassland. In addition, over 3.8 million gallons of groundwater are required per day to slurry some of the the coal to a power plant near Laughlin, NV, while the rest is sent to the Navajo Generating Station in Page, AZ by way of electric rail. Since the mid-1990s, the aquifer beneath Black Mesa has been lowering, causing the reduction in flow or in some cases elimination of essential springs. It is unclear at this time whether the aquifer is dropping due to Peabody Coal’s pumping for the slurry lines or from overpumping by other users to the west at Tuba City and Moenkopi.”

    You got a fast car. But I got a little mars. (understatement, overstood)

    Frank Paynter 07.19.08 at 1:33

    I’d like to see all extractive industries nationalized and the profiteers’ wealth from these industries confiscated. That would be a start.

    Fat chance though. We can’t even get Dick Cheney and Karl Rove jailed.

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