Change: The Only Constant

By Nancy Wheaton

Starting with the beginnings of life on earth, change has been a constant and mysterious catalyst for growth. We humans would not exist if it weren’t for change. The comforts we are privileged to enjoy are results of the quest to make a change for the better. Science and the study of historical patterns can benefit the well-being of humans in myriad ways. The science of agriculture allowed our early ancestors to feed more people without the necessity of a nomadic lifestyle–change that encouraged the growth of culture and community.

We humans embrace the idea of control over our environment. Yes, we can predict with varying degrees of success certain events. For example, Mt. St. Helens was predicted to erupt and did so, yet we could not stop it. We know that our climate is changing. We also know from scientific data that our climate has always changed.

The human ability to see and record change can help us prepare for the future. Conservation of natural resources and innovative new ways to live lightly on our planet are positive moves. Forcing the adherence to manmade laws under the guise of saving our planet is a negative move. Force will be met with resistance. Unbiased scientific research and the willingness to give humans the freedom to adapt to change creatively are the valuable tools needed to live in our constantly changing world.

Nancy Wheaton is Media Relations Director at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market think tank.

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  • eagle eye

    If this is supposed to be an argument against taking measures to stop anthropogenic global warming, it is pretty lame. “The climate has always changed, therefore, if humans are drastically changing the climate, not to worry”. Sort of like “disease is natural, therefore, let us dump our sewage in the water supply, not to worry”.

    I’m a skeptic of man-caused climate change, but as an argument against the global warming crowd, this is not helpful, it is not going to play with the public who will be making some big decisions soon.

    • Richard Brown

      The statement actually goes to the heart of the global warming and environmentalism argument plus urban growth planing and land protection. Environmentalism not about saving humanity but humanity is abomination this earth that needs to be limited.

      • eagle eye

        Your statement a good example of my point. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but it’s a loser with the vast majority of the public.

  • Jeff

    I think the point is… is “global warming” aka climate change actually anthropogenic?

    • eagle eye

      I think that should be the point of departure. But too many people on the right take the attitude “manmade or not, who cares”? I read this article that way. And I don’t think that is going to fly. The only thing that has a chance is the argument that the manmade global warming doesn’t exist, or that it’s a small effect, or a small problem. But just burying the head in the sand is not going to work. Just ask the presidential candidates.

  • Bob Clark

    There isn’t a lot of logic behind the state’s push to tax and control control carbon dioxide. In fact, state measures are probably backfiring. What happens is energy intensive manufactures, and the associated jobs, are relocated offshore to places like China where coal is the main fuel and not many plants there are equiped with the latest pollution controls. As a result, far more environmentally damaging pollution, such as carbon black, is being released indirectly because of state and local measures to drive down the relatively minor amounts of carbon dioxide released in this state.

    State and local measures to push ethanol beyond 3% of gasoline composition is another dismal failure. Energy Information Administration studies indicate a 25% or so net energy gain at the point of production in the Midwest. But Oregon has to import the corn to make ethanol from the Midwest via railroads which uses diesel fuel oil. On top of this, existing automobile engines are calibrated to a compression factor of 8 to 10 whereas ethanol burns most efficiently at a compression factor of 14 to 15. As a result, even at only a 10% blend, there may be a loss of 6% or more in btu use efficiency because of the increased ethanol mandates. A 6% loss in automobile fuel efficiency nationwide would be roughly equivalent to the entire amount of ethanol produced nationally, or about 500,000 barrels per day. There’s also the factor that ethanol burns faster than gasoline so there are more frequent stops at the gasoline station for refill, and how productive could this be.

    One thing that doesn’t seem to change is the cycle of government regulation and deregulation. Oil prices have shown for some 100 years to have 10 to 20 year cylces. In the 1920s, government officials worried about peak oil, then again in the 60s and 70s, and now here more recently. The same goes for climate. Government officals worried about global warming in the 1920s, only to worry about global cooling in the 1970s, and back to global warming in the 90s and to present. Government many times uses these natural phenomenon to increase its power and regulation, only to be shown later how awfully wrong its actions.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >One thing that doesn’t seem to change is the cycle of government regulation and deregulation.

      Good point.

      While Ms. Wheaton does point out the folly of humans trying to stop change rather than adapt to it, it is important to remember those things that remain constant.

      Government will always seek ever increasing power. Business will always seek ever increasing profits. If that is kept in mind, Business and Government can be seen as the most honest entities of human endevour, as they will always act in this fashion.

      With AGW we simply have the latest attempt at control by those who would seek to rule others. It really is nothing more than that and nothing less. The last great movement of this nature on a global scale was Fascism/Socialism/Communism. That didn’t take hold on a global scale because it was too slow. People had time to realize it simply didn’t work as a political method as a lot of people tended to get killed and economies were ruined. With AGW it is the same thing, government control on a massive scale with the added incentive of crises. The crises element is there to make sure power can be seized quickly and without notice. That’s what has to be kept in mind.

      I went to bed and woke up 20 years later, it was quiet. For the whole planet was dead, I being the sole survivor in a desolate archipelago of tiny desert islands and giant dead oceans. I checked the thermometer, 71 degrees Fahrenheit. “You basterds, you finally did it, you finally destroyed everything because you didn’t ride a bicycle”. I looked up at the sun and raised my fist in anger and hatred at those who had destroyed my world.

      “You basterds!!!!!!!”

      “Its supposed to be 69.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      In memory of the original Omega Man – Charlton Heston

  • dean

    I draw the same conclusions from the post as Eagle Eye. If the earth’s climate is warming (the evidence for this is very strong) and if the cause is increased atmospheric carbon caused primarily by people (again, very strong evidence,) and if the effects of warming are likely to be very negative (strong evidence, but with a lot more uncertainty than the first 2,) then it is irresponsible to sit around and do nothing with respect to public policy.

    The US can influence China’s energy use by exerting some leadership in global environmental issues. China is an export driven economy and cannot ignore its markets. If we and the Europeans say stop building coal plants, China will stop. But we can’t say that until we (the US) get our own act together.

    Bob is probably right about ethanol. It increasingly looks like a bad policy choice, for many reasons.

    As for whether we are “running out” of oil, we began running out the day we drilled the first well. The issue has always been whether new supplies can be tapped to meet ever rising demand. It appears we have reached a point where demand now exceeds the ability to meet it with new wells, and the only logical result is for the price to keep going up until we get the message and start using less.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >It appears we have reached a point where demand now exceeds the ability to meet it with new wells

      And so the Club of Rome returns.

      Paging Paul Erlich? Paging Mr. Paul Erlich? The gaming tables are open and Mr. Simon is waiting for you.

      (In Re – The famous 1980 wager between Paul Erlich, Julian Simon. Mr. Erlich continued the trend of scare tacticians being notoriously poor predictors of the futures they see so clearly in their crystal balls.)

      Thus the need to restate Rupert’s Two Pillars of Absolute Truth:

      Throughout history there has always been someone making a good living predicting the end of the world.

      Virtually everything tastes better wrapped in bacon.

    • jim karlocik

      *Hey Dean* , appearebtly you missed this from Kramer’s blog.

      > A study by Stanford researcher Thomas Gale Moore found that warmer temperatures were related to lower mortality rates, not higher. Lots of reasons for this, one being there are far more col-related deaths than heat-related deaths.
      > A 1999 book called “The Impact of Climate Change on the U.S. Economy” found that warmer temperatures would increase GDP, due to more productive agriculture and recreation sectors.
      > Many other positive benefits from warmer winters: fewer highway deaths, lower heating bills, reduced energy needs, more usable land, and a slew others.

      But I had to search high and low to find this stuff. Couldn’t really expect a journalist to do that kind of research on deadline. After all, it took hours and hours to type “benefits of global warming” into Google, and find all of these things on the very first page.


  • cc

    “If we and the Europeans say stop building coal plants, China will stop.”

    See, everyone. Foreign policy is just that simple.

    …or is that simplistic?

  • Steve Plunk

    Nancy’s statement seems very sound to me. Change is constant so using short term change as a harbinger of a coming disaster is ridiculous. It has become very clear this issue has been hijacked and molded into something it is not by people intent on changing societal behavior.

    Besides questionable measuring techniques the theory of AGW relies heavily on computer modeling. The first highly touted model by Mann et al has since been proven a fraud. Other models have been exposed as not much more than guess work and are subject to manipulation. In order to secure funding and polish reputations scientists are often given, and yield to, incentives that reward pessimistic predictions. Minor tweaks in any computer model can yield predetermined results.

    Evidence is emerging that supports the theory of cyclical trends from the sun’s energy. There is also evidence of CO2 following rather than preceding earlier warming trends. As with any theory the scientific method must be applied and more work done before anything is “consensus”.

    Al Gore’s recent statement comparing skeptics of AGW to flat earth believers exposes the weakness of their case. Any good scientist would welcome such skepticism and work with those skeptics to ensure the theory is sound (unlike Mann who for years refused to release his computer model coding). The scientific method has been replaced by political and public relations strategies designed to make theory fact before it’s time. That tactic alone should be enough to discredit Gore and his brethren.

    Governments around the world see this issue as a way to gain power over the people in ways not before imagined. Nancy’s piece give us fair warning of this threat. Even if others have made the case before it is worth repeating again and again. The beast of government will always hunger for power and it’s our job to deny it.

    • Phoebe

      Computer modeling has too many times been the reflection of the programer and man as opposed to nature or real events. Computers would be evil in my book, that is if I wasn’t using one atthe moment

    • dean

      Rupert…so your contention is that there is no need to reduce oil use now, and this is based on the Club of Rome projection errors fom the 1970s? Have you filled your tank lately? Frankly I don’t care about the Club of Rome. i care about what is happening before our own eyes.

      Steve…the theory of AGW does not “rely heavily on computer modeling.” It relies on 3 main physical observations. One is the known radiative effects of CO2 (and other greenhous gasses) in the atmosphere (established 100 years ago). The second is the actual, observed changes to average global temperatures over the past 100 plus years (reinforced by physical observations of retreating glaciers, earlier animal migrations, etc). The third is the measurable amounts of CO2 we are casting into the atmosphere, primarily by burning fossil fuels.

      It is the linkage of these 3 phenomena that forms the basis for global warming theory. And this linkage was first shown in the 1890s, long before there were any computers or software designers.

      Yes…climatologists have long known that CO2 increases followed glacier retreat in the past. Inter-glacial periods are triggered by a periodic “wobble” in the earth’s tilt to the sun, resulting in a warming of the northern hemisphere, resulting in ice melt (Milankovitch theory). Jim Hansen of NASA and others apparently predicted the CO2 lag would be found in the ice cores 17 years before it was actually measured. But the inter-glacial lag has nothing to do with what is going on today.

      Scientists are probably the most skeptical people on earth, which is why so few of them believe in God (lack of evidence). The PR strategies run in both directions. Let’s face it, the entire global warming skeptics case rests on casting doubt through blogs, the popular media, and self described “conservative” think tanks. They have no evidence that can stand the test of the peer review of the vast majority of the climate science world.

      Should we be wary of ceding too much power over our lives to governments? Sure. Is that enough reason to stall crafting reasonable energy policies (through our democratic process) that might help avoid screwing things up for our kids and grandkids? Not in my book.

      • Steve Plunk

        Dean, I should have been more specific in describing the AGW theory I spoke of. Many, if not most, believe in the “tipping point” version. I’m sure you’re aware of that one. Mann and then Gore pushed this idea that if we reached a certain point it would effectively be too late for remedial action. This rushing of action is a dead giveaway of shaky science. The point is always just around the corner and if action is taken it seems to be just in time. Computers models such as Mann’s “hockey stick” provide the basis for this version.

        The observed temperature foundation always seems to be a very limited time frame. Rather than go back 500 years or 1000 years it is 100 years or less. Natural trends of warming and cooling could all fit in such a short period. It reeks of cherry picking data to support hypothesis.

        I hate to insult someone but Jim Hansen is a crazy old fool. I don’t know how else to say it. Lord knows I abhor attacking a messenger but this guy is just a blathering idiot. I should say celebrity blathering idiot since he’s doing pretty well trading science for fame.

        I am not willing to ruin the world economy for what is an incomplete theory. It is always prudent to let the scientific method work through the theory before action is taken. Science history is filled with examples of “consensus” later proved completely wrong. I expect this to be another example placed along phrenology, cold fusion, global cooling, and blood letting. The skeptics have nothing to prove for the scientific method puts that burden on those who claim AGW and to date their case is incomplete.

        • dean

          Steve…thanks for clarifying that point.

          On climate modeling, I’m way out of my depth, but I understand science to be the quantification of observations into theories or models, and then using those to make predictions, testing predictions against more observations repeatedly to either validate the model generate ideas for improvements, or prove the theory or model wrong. So “models” are part and parcel of “science”. And they are constantly adjusted.

          The biggest variable in modeling future climate appears to be what humans choose to do with respect to CO2 emisions. There are also widely varying scenarios for the presence of aerosols and methane.

          Cimate models do not make “predictions.” They say if the variables are X, Y, and Z, then in 30 or 50 years the average temperature will rise or lower by this amount.

          The core issue is the link between CO2 increases due to fossil fuel burning and surface temperatures on earth. This link has been clearly established for 100 years or more. More CO2 in the atmosphere increases the earth’s radiative heat balance, and the best estimates are for every doubling of CO2, you increase temperature by 1.5-4.5 degrees C.

          Hansen is a pre-eminent climate scientist. Too bad you discount him. But there are thousands of his colleagues who have reached similar conclusions, so you have a lot more discounting to do.

          I don’t know that any theory is ever “complete,” if by that you mean not subject to new tests or improvements. A geology profesor taught me that all theories are basically the best “story” we have of a given phenomena given what we know at the moment. I mean, has anyone actually seen the so called tectonic plates that we ride upon? But this is the best explanation for continents moving around, volcanos, mountains, the Hawaian Islands, and so forth until someone comes up with something better.

          No one wants to “ruin the world economy” just to keep things a bit cooler. But the level of investment being talked about to make the changes needed is not going to bankrupt us. Iceland, one of the richest nations on earth, gets 80% of its energy from entirely renewable resources that generate zero carbon. Per capita they use way more electricity than we do, and pay a lot less. Why? They made a strategic decision decades ago to invest in 2 abundant local resources: geothermal and hydro power. Every local area on earth has its own advantages. North Dakota and the plains have wind. Arizona has the sun. We have tides, geothermal, hydro, and billions of tons of unused biomass (we have the most productive forests on earth).

          We just need to use our brains, invest inteligently and get on with it. And there is no ironclad law that says “the government” has to be given more power here. It justs needs to use the power it already has wisely. In the end private entrepeneurs and investments will win the day, but they need incentives to get the ball rolling.

          Yes…its possible the present consensus on climate is wrong. But its the best story we have for the moment. To the extent we build some windmills, develop tidal energy, switch to plug in hybrid personal vehicles….those would not be lost investments even if the story changes. At the least, we are in our 6th year of war in Iraq with no good end anywhere in sight. That alone is costing more than we will probably spend on alternatives.

          • cc

            “No one wants to “ruin the world economy” just to keep things a bit cooler. But the level of investment being talked about to make the changes needed is not going to bankrupt us.”

            Another blithe pronouncement from the non-expert on economics.

            “the level of investment being talked about…” is a meaningless term. It lacks ANY specificity and thus holds harmless those who employ it. Suffice it to say that the “level of investment…” appears to be ever-increasing. What possible limit could right-thinking folks put on expenditures to preserve humanity, for God’s sake?

            This is the same sort of muddled thinking that predominates in the AGW world: Global warming = BAD. How bad? We don’t really know and we’ll ignore any data that indicate it might actually be a net good. Oh dear, Oh dear. How will we know if you AGW prophets are right? We’ll tell you when we figure that out – but meanwhile, do A, B & C or you’re BAD!

            If you think it costs too much or worry that it may not be effective then….


            ….unassailable logic, I’d say.

            You know when they start trotting out that red herring, waving the windmills and generally saying: “Look over there!” that their faith is shaky. The “consensus”, that dean is so fond of citing, is fraying. The rate of fraying is accelerating. The question becomes: at what point will it collapse?

          • Steve Plunk

            The Pacific Northwest could take advantage of hydroelectric power but environmentalists will not allow it. Wind power was proposed for Massachusets and shot down almost immediately. New nuclear reactors could be built but since a cheesy movie in the seventies no one will allow them. Sure alternatives are there but the roadblocks are there too.

            Instead we have proposals for more government control. That control does not include offers of alternative energy only caps on our current sources. Government has already proven itself incapable of good decision making with it’s rushed approval of ethanol without considering the consequences.

            Until we have digested this theory and given it the necessary time to be tested we should not be talking regulation. The “tipping point” argument has been debunked so why not wait until we have a better understanding? What’s the rush?

            I would disagree and say climate models are designed to predict. Almost all computer models are designed to make predictions. Whether it’s traffic or climate modeling is used to evaluate the results of changing inputs. The problem is if even one minor mistake is included the results can be hugely wrong. This was discovered by the first climate modelers and documented in the book “Chaos”. Models are so sensitive to input they are essentially untrustworthy.

            We aren’t talking about capping and trading anything to counter tectonic plate movement but are talking about giving government the power to regulate CO2 (a naturally occurring gas). Such regulation will have an effect on our daily lives and our economy. Patience would serve us well before we make a big mistake about this.

          • Tim Lyman

            Wind power was shot down in Mass. because the proposed offshore location would have been in view of the Kennedy compound.

          • dean

            Okay…I’m not an economist. let’s hear from some who are:

            “The International Monetary Fund said in a report released today that sharply reducing the world’s carbon emissions will cost relatively little economically if a carbon-pricing scheme is adopted soon that includes all the major-emitting countries. The report didn’t endorse one specific pricing mechanism, but said that either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system could work if it gradually increased the price of carbon. “There are significant risks from climate change; damages could be severe,” said IMF economist Natalia Tamirisa. “The costs of mitigation could be moderate provided that policies are well designed.”

            Obama and Clinton both propose a Federal investment of $150 billion over 10 years, or $15 billion a year, or 6 weeks of the Iraq occupation.

            A cap and trade will cost something on our energy bills by making carbon a scarcer substance. Not a lot by most estimates, but enough to make a wind turbine or solar array compete favorably with coal. And increasing fuel standards for cars and light trucks will probably make them smaller and lighter and speed the day we get affordable plug in hybrids. It won’t make us walk or ride transit if we don’t want to.

            Corn-based ethanol was not brought to us by climate scientists or even environmentalists. It has always been criticized as a non-solution to CO2, at best a bridge to cellulosic ethanol.

            Steve…a whole lot of us HAVE digested this issue and are ready to move ahead. We appear to have enough of a political majority to make some things happen nationally, since all 3 remaining major candidates for president have accepted global warming as the real deal and have proposals for dealing with it.

            In some places wind turbines have been stopped, but we are about to build a lot of them right alongside the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, where local environmentalists agreed to let a major project go forward after a few modifications were negotiated to lessen impacts to birds, bats, and scenery.

            Like the original post says: “change is the only constant.” Not changing in this case is an option that most have fortunately abandoned.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Rupert…so your contention is that there is no need to reduce oil use now, and this is based on the Club of Rome projection errors fom the 1970s?

            No, I had two contentions. One is that there is no real reason to listen to constant chants that we are almost out of oil as it is getting to be quite a dull tune from those who make a pretty good living from these dire warnings. They are, based on past performance, poor indicators of future results. This is to be expected since they are concerned with either selling books, or increasing their power, not accurate forecasting.

            The other contention was that almost everything tastes better wrapped in bacon.

  • cc

    “In order to secure funding and polish reputations scientists are often given, and yield to, incentives…”

    Steve, Steve, Steve…

    That’s utterly impossible for THESE holy men, errr… scientists. That’s only true of scientists who disagree with AGW or work in fields like pharmaceuticals, etc.

    I tell you, it’s a religion without a God, but with a fully functional shari’a law. The conflation of science and religion has never worked and this is no exception. The enforcement arm of AGW has become more and more shrill as facts have become less cooperative in the last few months.

    Not that facts have ever been necessary for “true believers”.

    The next couple of years should be fun!

  • Anonymous

    “Yes…its possible the present consensus on climate is wrong. But its the best story we have for the moment”

    Oh BS dean. The best we have is the full spectrum of science and it contradicts the IPCC. That consensus is as much bunk as Portland’s claims of CO2 reduction and your eco-friends claims that they are seeing signs of AGW.

    The latest load of bull aroudn here came out in yesterday’s O.

    Mr. Kremer has a rundown over at

    Note the Governor’s Oregon’s Global Warming Commission.

    Guess what Dean? Big suprise it’s yet another stacked deck with eviros and not a single climate expert among them. Not even a scientist period.

    But no doubt you trust their work.

    Not even a related scientis, appointed by Gov. Ted KulongoskiClimate change

    • dean

      Rupert…you seem to miss the picture here. It is not “almost out” of oil. There is still a lot of oil in the ground. It is world demand exceeding world supply at even a $100 per barrel price point. At $200 or $500 a barrel there may be plenty. But what does that do to our economy and our beloved Hummers? And what does it do to our foreign policy (Choice: be very nice to people who have oil or kill them and take it.)

      Anonymous name-calling person:

      “Enviros?” I count 2…maybe 3 who might fit that assumed pejorative.

      Governor’s Oregon’s Global Warming Commission
      Angus Duncan, Chair Pres. & CEO, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
      Jim Rue, Vice-Chair R.B. Pamplin Corporation
      Bishop David Brauer-Riekie Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
      Matt Donegan Co-founder and co-president of Forest Capital Partners
      Andrea Durbin Executive Director of Oregon Environmental Council
      Jill Eiland Oregon Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel Corporation
      Peggy Fowler CEO and president of Portland General Electric (PGE)
      Russ Hoeflich Vice President & Oregon Director of The Nature Conservancy
      Gregg Kantor President and Chief Operating Officer, Northwest Natural Gas
      Eric Lemelson Owner and manager, Lemelson Vineyards
      Bill Wyatt Executive Director, Port of Portland

      Looks like mostly business leaders to me. No, there is no climate scientist, but assuming this is a policy group, why would you need a climate scientist? This group is not doing research or interpreting climate science, they are creating policies to reduce CO2. And they have the heads of all the relevant state agecies on the commission as well to draw technical advice from.

      Kremer…now there is an unbiased, accurate, technically competent source on all things climate. I can now see where you get your information from. Thanks for that.

      Remember: change is good.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Rupert…you seem to miss the picture here. It is not “almost out” of oil. There is still a lot of oil in the ground.

    God, I love how every time someone counters you you constantly return to the “missed the picture” thing.

    However what you said is definitely funny and that’s the main thing. You finally got my point, there is not a finite supply of oil, it just depends upon the extent one is willing to go to get it.

    I gotta love how you turn an “um gee, I guess he is sort of right, those guys did forget about economics” into a way of saying “I missed the point”

    As for oil being $100 a barrel being some sort of indicator of scarcity, get over it, it isn’t. Why? Because oil is not over $100 a barrel.

    Wow Rupert – What an astonishing statement. Do you really mean that? I mean surely you know oil is over $100?

    No, its not, first of all that dollar sign means just that, a dollar. In case you are unaware, the dollar has been falling lately, so a bunch of that increase is simply due to the falling dollar. Additional factors are increased demand from China et. al. the China stuff is real, the inflated price due to our dollar being low ( yay, more money for me ) is fake.

    The fact is the price of oil has far less than one might think to do with the scarcity at the current time because of this precipitously low dollar factor.

    I could cut the price of oil in half tomorrow in three easy steps:

    Step one, start drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, no I don’t give a rip about the environmentalists, the Chinese are going to be drilling there more and more. You think they have an EPA? Have you ever seen pictures of Shanghai? Id just start an ad campaign,

    Black screen, white words:

    “Here is what we want”

    Fade to still picture, man giving finger to sunglass wearing sheik.

    Black screen, white words:

    “Here is what they want”

    Fade to still picture, Shanghai China.

    Black screen, white words:

    “The Gulf is going to get drilled, you choose”

    Step two, rescind the Clinton era national monument payback to the Lippo group. Most of our electrical power comes from coal. You want to build a new coal fired plant? Fat chance, the environmentalists will tie you up forever with their BS. It has to be environmentally friendly. To do that you gotta cut down on acid rain and all the other stuff. How do you do that? Well, low sulpher coal. Where are the worlds only known reserves of this super special low sulpher coal? Under Indonesia ( that’s where the Lippo group, Clintons main benefactor first term runs the show ) and in the US, under the first National Monument ( Escalante National Monument ) Clinton declared. You know, where they filmed Planet of the Apes, “the forbidden zone”? Yep, that’s right, an area in Utah suitable for filming the nuclear wasteland in Planet of the Apes is now a national monument. Not that anyone would go their, but it conveniently the only US reserves of low sulpher coal, which would enable us to convert our coal plants nice and cheaply to be much lower emission was all tied up by Clinton.

    Step three, build refineries ringed by an impenetrable wall of beautiful trees with a banked bike path with a Starbucks located every 100 feet around its circumference. This keeps the ninnies busy and out of the courtroom and allows those of us who are rowing in the boat rather than riding in it to actually get on with our lives. Everybody’s happy.

    • dean

      Rupert…about 70% of the world’s known recoverable oil is under the sands of the Middle East. Most of the rest is in Nigeria, Venezuala, or Russia. The US uses up about 30% of all that is drilled, so do the math. More drilling off Florida is not going to solve this. And by the way, it was Jeb Bush who stopped his brother from leasing gulf sites, not “environmentalists,” whom George Bush would not give the time of day to.

      We just had 12 years of a Republican dominated Congress overlapping with 6 years of George Bush, and Dick Cheney, both former oilmen. Why didn’t they rescind Clinton’s Utah monument? Why didn’t they open the Arctic Wildlife Reguge and the Gulf? Why didn’t they get more refineries built? Why didn’t they get more nuclear power plants built? If these he-men could not get these small tasks done done, how is that going to happen under President Obama (clearly a beta) and a Democratic Congress?

      I apologize. You did not “miss the picture.” You missed reality.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Rupert…about 70% of the world’s known recoverable oil is under the sands of the Middle East.

        Woops, and just when I thought you had grasped the point you haven’t and yet you still insist on saying others don’t get the point as a debating tactic. How silly of you.

        Look, the point is the word “recoverable”. That is a variable that changes with increasing technology, and the economics of oil. This is why “known recoverable oil” is a varying quantity, and thus why Erlich was made to look like a fool in his predictions by Simon. Got it?

        Maybe now you can stop with the childish “you missed the point” stuff as a way of attempting to steer an argument away from a point you cant counter to one you think you can. It really fools no one.

        >Why didn’t they rescind Clinton’s Utah monument? Why didn’t they open the Arctic Wildlife Reguge and the Gulf? Why didn’t they get more refineries built?

        God lord, would you pick up a newspaper, book, watch the news ANYTHING! I mean this was even covered on Sesame Street news.

        They tried. Were you asleep when they tried to get oil drilling going in ANWAR? Were you unaware that one of Bush’s first acts was to try and get rid of some of the Clinton National Monument bribes? I mean it was all a pretty big deal in the news for weeks. For the love of God man, please be informed at least on a cursory level before commenting.

        >how is that going to happen under President Obama (clearly a beta) and a Democratic Congress?

        It wont, neither Obama nor the Democrats want increased US oil production or refineries being built. There will certainly be no increased domestic oil production or refineries built should Obama be elected. Is this part of the Democratic party platform realty hidden from you? Are you unaware of this? I’m astonished.

        >I apologize. You did not “miss the picture.” You missed reality.

        Um yeah, ok. Well Dean I’m not really sure what reality you live in but you are kind of clearly out to lunch on this issue. I mean I am actually amazed you were completely ignorant about attempts to drill in ANWAR etc. It seems impossible to me for someone to have missed this, but then again, sitting in a darkened room playing video games can be a highly addictive thing. I would highly suggest that you put down the Dungeons and Dragons dice, step back from the miniature figurines and try and read up a bit on what you are talking about before entering the fray.

        • Chris McMullen

          You rock, Rupert. However, trying to communicate logic and reason to our resident Marxist is a futile, albeit entertaining spectacle.

          I’ve resigned myself to only passing blows at Dean the Troll’s inane dribble. Usually when I’m in the mood for a good laugh or two.

          • dean

            Chris…you’ve given up on me? So I can cut a new yahoo notch in my belt? Great.

            Rupert…so many unsubstantiated assumptions, so little time.

            1) Yes…recoverable oil changes with investment and exploration. Reality is that new finds are not keeping up with draining the known pools given growing demand. If prices stay high or go up further we will find more alternatives and conserve, demand will go down, prices will go down, and a new temporary balance established. Like magic. But each spin of the wheel yields less oil left to recover, because no more of it is being made. The question is, are we going to let ‘the market” for oil determine our future (meaning be nice to the Saudis, occupy Iraq and hope for the best) or are we going to make long term investments that diminish oil’s grip on our economy and foriegn policy? This is “the reality point” you and others on this site manage to keep avoiding.

            2) Oh. The Republicans “tried.” So your prescription for our way out of high oil prices and diminishing prospects is to what…try the same thing again with even less political support? What is that line about one definition of insanity?

            3) Obama and the Democrats are not against increasing US oil production. If there are any more pools of the precious stuff in Texas or Nebraska I’m sure they will not object to new drilling. They are against drilling in wildlife refuges and in shallow off shore waters that have other resources to worry about. Some Republicans (Jeb Bush, Gordon Smith among others) apparently agree with them, as do a large majority of voters.

            And no…I was not “ignorant about attempts to drill in ANWAR.” Personally I support drilling in ANWAR, but if and only if it is done as part of a comprehensive package that is serious about conservation and alternative energy development. Better ANWAR than Iraq or Iran.

            4) My home office in our shabby old farmhouse has very good natural light from a large south facing window that looks out over our large organic (and weedy) garden. I rarely need to turn on a light, even on cloudy days, and have never played a computer video game, though my son has used my computer for dungeons and dragons. Maybe you were just projecting here?

            5) Lastly, if you wrap everything in bacon (even chocolate Rupert?) you better make sure you have up to date health insurance and regular cardiovascular exams.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            > Yes…recoverable oil changes with investment and exploration. Reality is that new finds are not keeping up with draining the known pools given growing demand.

            Incorrect. You might want to check into the price of oil. It actually fluctuates quite wildly with respect to supply and demand. Reality is you simply made up the above statement.

            >Oh. The Republicans “tried.” So your prescription for our way out of high oil prices and diminishing prospects is to what

            My prescription is irrelevant. My point was to answer your statement your statement regarding your apparent obliviousness to domestic drilling and rescinding the national monuments.

            >And no…I was not “ignorant about attempts to drill in ANWAR.”

            Of course you were. Your statements indicated exactly that. Words mean things, you wrote them, there was absolutely no other conclusion that could be drawn from your statement. Sorry.

            >They are against drilling in wildlife refuges and in shallow off shore waters that have other resources to worry about.

            International waters are shallow? 10 miles out is shore waters? You really aren’t much of a yachtsman are you Dean?

            Look, don’t play games with me landlubber – when it comes to “progressives” everything is either a wetland, wildlife refuge, fragile ecosystem and if all of those fail, there is an endangered sea monkey to be found that will stop any use of the land.

            I mean I really don’t care either way as Obama wont have any say in the matter even if he wins the presidency. Its going to get drilled. Hmm, guess I better look into the currency conversion rates for renminbi.

            >large south facing window that looks out over our large organic (and weedy) garden.

            Natch, a weedy organic garden. Gee, how did I know? Why do I get a picture of a kind cranky Pete Seeger shut in type?

            >Maybe you were just projecting here?

            No, Id say I have you pretty pegged, dungeons and dragons, video games whatever, it doesn’t matter. The point is that for anyone to have somehow missed the Republicans’ attempts to drill in ANWAR, which was a front page story for months, they have to be a shut in. It doesn’t matter if you are shucking your weedy organic corn or rolling 50 sided dice whilst playing with figurines, the results are the same.

            >you better make sure you have up to date health insurance and regular cardiovascular exams.

            Don’t you think that someone as irresponsible as you, in that you didn’t buy health insurance until your forties, is not exactly in a strong position to offer advice to others on these matters?

          • dean


            1) We agree oil prices fluctuate with supply and demand. one way to reduce demand is a downward spiraling economy, which we seem to be teetering on. Not the best solution, but it may work if the rest of the world spirals in our direction. I just heard a news report that truckers back east are going out of business, with their trucks repoed and re-sold overseas. Its a solution of sorts.

            2) My bad. I missed that you meant to put forth an irrelevant prescription. I thought you were being serious. Never mind.

            3) If you insist on saying I was ignorant…that is good enough for me. Never heard of ANWAR. What’s an ANWAR? Glad we cleared that up.

            4) I’ve been to the Florida side of the gulf many times, as me dear mum used to live there. There is a shallow shelf that extends way out. 10 miles? I don’t know. I waded about 1/2 mile out and the water was to my waist. Not a yactsman no. A kayaker. But you could have guessed that. Got stranded way way offshore in Forida when the tide went out.

            5) I am a self-described “progressive.” I can assure you I don’t think everything is a wetland, etc….Some places are worth conserving, others not. Every place is worthy of respect. Even Buffalo or Cleveland.

            6) Pete Seeger? That is the nicest thing you have ever said about me Rupert. Thanks for that. I do play guitar and banjo, but not as well as the Petester.

            7) See #3.

            8) Mid 30s. I went about 8 years without health insurance after I left a job with bennies and opened my own design business. Had to make some hard economic choices, was young and healthy, and health insurance ranked below food, transportation clothing, housing, and good coffee. Transportation was by the way, a 15 year old VW squareback. picture a young, dashing, raffish, bearded Pete Seegerish progressive designer out to conquer the world, but sans health insurance. Sigh.

            Rupert…I’ve grown to like you in an odd sort of way. Go easy on the bacon. Don’t take it from me. Talk to your personal physician about this.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >2) My bad. I missed that you meant to put forth an irrelevant prescription.

            No, I never put forth a prescription. You were the one on about that. I never said I was prescribing anything.

            >3) If you insist on saying I was ignorant…that is good enough for me.

            No, I insist that words mean things. You insist upon deflecting from the obvious content of what you said that indicated you had no knowledge on ANWAR or the Monuments issue. You are now trying to obfuscate that lack of knowledge.

            >There is a shallow shelf that extends way out. 10 miles? I don’t know.

            Oh ok, you said something about shallow waters, I have no idea what the hell you were talking about then.

            >I am a self-described “progressive.” I can assure you I don’t think everything is a wetland, etc

            Then act it, if such is the case then surely you would not have objection to drilling in the Gulf or Anwar. We will use the oil in any event, why export the environmental risks?

            >) Pete Seeger? That is the nicest thing you have ever said about me Rupert.

            I knew it, I just knew it.

            “Come gather you marchers with nasally tones
            We’ve got little books to read, red covered tomes
            For the time they are a changing”

            Yeah, I know that’s not Segar, I just couldn’t think of funny substitute words to “If I had a Hammer and Sickle”

            >Rupert…I’ve grown to like you in an odd sort of way. Go easy on the bacon. Don’t take it from me. Talk to your personal physician about this.

            Of course you do. Everybody likes me. I am quite likable. I am also fairly attractive, and have a voice that can be quite seductive with the ladies.

            Yes chicks dig me. Nothing better than a 40 something height weight proportionate guy who sits around playing sitar, loves to drink and still thinks Skynyrd is a viable rock group to suck in the babes like a plutonium powered shop vac.

            All that aside, my remarks on bacon should not be taken as any indication of my consumption of it. Bacon forms one of the two pillars of truth, but not a major part of my diet. I probably buy three pounds a year at most, with me eating half of that. My looks are smoky, not my breath.

          • cc

            I agree, Chris.

            Don’t reward dean with a response – any response. Just let him while away the hours in his bucolic, organic, sustainable dream world. He doesn’t need us and we certainly don’t need him.

            I propose that we deal with him in the third person. Since he’s so concerned with “consensus”, let that be ours.

            Even acknowledging him will just provoke another fugue of self-aggrandizing blather.


          • dean

            Two new notches? What a day!

          • cc


            Any new words of wisdom from dean?

            The silence is deafening.

            I think he and his ilk are in for a rude awakening when the whole Potemkin village of AGW falls apart. When those who are financially exploiting the very fear they incite (see All Gore, et al.) become more and more exposed by facts, I, for one, will enjoy watching them twist in the wind. In a perverted sort of way, AGW will become the left’s WMD.


          • Chris McMullen

            What’s a “Dean?”

            Sounds like a term given to the nerdy school kid who thinks he knows everything, has no friends, has no tact, but still attempts to glom onto everyone in a futile attempt at significance.

          • dean

            You guys are killing me…really. I’m feeling all verklempt and so alone here.

            cc…wishful thinking is not a strategy for success.

          • cc


            Do you know anyone to whom I could go for some expert advice on “strategies for success”?

            By the way, thanks for your always succinct and entertaining comments.

            I hear we’re in for some welcome GW this weekend, I sure hope dean doesn’t have to turn on the AC. Oh, wait, he’s probably got a squirrel-driven squirrel cage fan to keep him cool. I wonder what he feeds them – nuts?

            Gee, I miss his comments.


          • dean
          • Chris McMullen

            cc, you can feel sanguine in the fact that over the past decade, global warming models have been adjusted down, ie GW is not as severe as the Dean’s of the world hyperventilate over.

            So run that AC this weekend, squirrel-driven or not… 🙂

          • dean

            Yes…party on boys and girls. Turn up the air and rev up the engines. Global warming can be someone else’s problem. Our kids?

            Rupert…you may have missed my ealrier post. I’m not opposed to drilling in ANWAR, whatever that is. But my personal support (not relevant to whether it gets drilled or not) is contingent on a wider energy policy agreement that weans us off the stuff. The difference between ANWAR (which I don’t know anything about) and the Gulf is that in the former case the locals by and large support drilling, while in the Gulf the locals (mostly retired insurance salesmen who fish, and vote Republican, not environmentalists) reject drilling so far. I’m not interested in imposing my liberal elitist perspective on the local boys in this case.

            You have your charms. But don’t over do it. I like bacon too, but eat a lot less of it since I live with an inconsistent vegetarian. I say inconsitent because we have 60 pounds of lamb formerly known as “Murphy-I-won’t-stop-head-butting-you-sthe-sheep” in a freezer, and there is nothing left to do but eat him bit by tasty bit. Oragnically raised, pasture fed, very inexpensive…not bad.

          • dean

            Rupert…i’m not meaning to rub this in, but, from the Spokane Review in 2004:

            Bush prevents oil, gas drilling off Florida coast
            Government to buy back leasing rights

            From wire reports

            Associated Press
            President Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush meet in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

            WASHINGTON — With his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, looking on, President Bush sealed a deal Wednesday to prevent further oil and gas drilling off the white sand beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast and in the cypress swamps near the Everglades.

            The unexpected announcement would require the federal government to repurchase $235 million worth of oil and gas leasing rights in the Destin Dome area, about 25 miles south of Pensacola, and in three wildlife areas including Big Cypress National Preserve.

            Jeb Bush acknowledged that the Oval Office announcement would boost his re-election campaign in Florida, the swing state in the 2000 presidential election and a tourism mecca *where polls show 75 percent oppose offshore drilling*.

            Afterward, the clearly buoyed governor spoke to Florida reporters on a car phone and was not at all flustered by a suggestion that his brother George W. Bush was only mining environmental votes in Florida and oil contributions in Alaska, where the
            president supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

            “I disagree with that, but you know what?” Jeb Bush said. “I don’t really care. How about that? I’m the governor of Florida and I am incredibly proud that this historic day has come.”

            75% is a whloe lot of “environmentalists,” wouldn’t you agree?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >But my personal support (not relevant to whether it gets drilled or not) is contingent on a wider energy policy agreement that weans us off the stuff.

            Why? If we pursued domestic drilling we would be self sufficient in oil production. Why wean off something if you have it?

            >You have your charms. But don’t over do it.

            Why not? If you’ve got it, flaunt it. I’ve got it so I do. To do otherwise would be a disservice to humanity everywhere. It has always been my contention that if my essence permeated every single living being, the world would be a better place. It is my intention to follow vigorously that charted course. It is my destiny man, don’t you get it?

            >WASHINGTON — With his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, looking on, President Bush sealed a deal Wednesday to prevent further oil

            Wow, news flash, the Bush didn’t pursue domestic oil drilling. This is news to you?

            Good God man, put down the banjo, get out and smell the weeds in your organic peace and love garden. Everyone is aware of the fact that Bush’s pursuance of domestic oil production has been weak. This is not news.

          • dean

            Rupert…truth is the banjo needs new strings and I have not cracked the case open in weeks. Pete would be dissapointed in me.

            You really think that we could be self-sufficient in petrol if we drilled ANWAR (wherever or whatever that is) and the Florida gulf? Seriously? For how long?

            “Weaning” is a sooner or later proposition. We already missed out on sooner. The Europeans beat us to that punch a long time ago. We are well into early later…and the more later it gets the harder it will be to break away from mommy oil.

            Bush’s entire domestic energy policy, as far as I could make out, has been tax breaks to his friends in the oil companies (while they make record profits) and opening anything up to domestic drilling that he could wherever his brother was not governor (not much as it turned out). Bottom line is the US oil sponge has been squeezed nearly dry. Its either alternatives and conservation or keep on kissing the Saudi’s behinds, occupying Iraq until McCain reaches 100, tolerate Hugo Chavez, and make nice to “Pootie.” Our choices are diminishing by the day and the tanker load.

            Back to the beginning. Change. Try something else. Try a serious effort at something other than oil.

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