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Good to know the use of the official far-Right playbook of cherry-picking, key word usage, misdirection, and core ideological utterances are still the primary go-to tactics for denying the inevitability of facts and reality! That little of it is helpful for any issue whose shelf-life continue reading…

I’m passing along some useful/informative Peak Oil-related articles of note [and some political ones, too, which in one way or another will have considerable bearing on what we do and don’t do as Peak Oil makes its presence felt], all of which crossed my desk during the prior month … in case you missed them!

Enjoy.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/06/05/dangerous-times-as-energy-sources-get-costlier-to-extract/

Stephen Leeb
06.05.13
Dangerous Times As Energy Sources Get Costlier To Extract

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http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatism-is-the-problem-2013-6

Josh Barro
06.06.13
I’m Not A Conservative And You Shouldn’t Be One Either

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http://www.nationalmemo.com/the-grand-old-party-needs-a-reboot/

Cynthia Tucker
06.01.13
The Grand Old Party Needs A Reboot

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http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/1674152-post-carbon-institute-goes-to-washington

Asher Miller
05.31.13
Post Carbon Institute Goes to Washington

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http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2013/06/04/about-those-plunging-oil-prices/

Robert Rapier
06.04.13
About Those Plunging Oil Prices

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/06/04/the-morning-plum-behind-jubilation-about-scandals-gop-is-rudderless-and-adrift/

Greg Sargent
06.04.13
The Morning Plum: Behind jubilation about scandals, GOP is rudderless and adrift

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http://truth-out.org/news/item/16757-exposed-fracknation-deploys-tobacco-playbook-in-response-to-gasland-2

Steve Horn
06.04.13
Exposed: “FrackNation” Deploys Tobacco Playbook in Response to “Gasland 2”

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http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-06-03/will-the-eagle-ford-shale-bankrupt-local-communities/

Deborah Rogers
06.03.13
Will the Eagle Ford Shale Bankrupt Local Communities?
[Original article: http://energypolicyforum.org/2013/06/02/will-the-eagle-ford-shale-bankrupt-local-communities/]

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http://blogs.law.widener.edu/climate/2013/06/02/the-anti-agenda-21-disinformation-campaign-part-2/

Donald A. Brown
06.02.13
The Anti-Agenda 21 Disinformation Campaign, Part 2

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/opinion/blow-a-nation-divided-against-itself.html

Charles M. Blow
06.19.13
A Nation Divided Against Itself

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http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/15/2163531/fracking-is-already-straining-us-water-supplies/

Tom Kenworthy
06.15.13
Fracking Is Already Straining U.S. Water Supplies

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/06/13/why-americas-shale-oil-boom-could-end-sooner-than-you-think/

Christopher Helman
06.13.13
Why America’s Shale Oil Boom Could End Sooner Than You Think

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/21/shale-gas-peak-oil-economic-crisis

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed
06.21.13
Shale gas won’t stop peak oil, but could create an economic crisis

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/transcanada-whistleblower-pipeline_n_3415701.html

Lynne Peeples
06.11.13
TransCanada Whistleblower Warns Of Shoddy Pipeline Practices

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http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/26/2202141/the-anti-science-climate-denier-caucus-113th-congress-edition/

Tiffany Germain, Ryan Koronowski, and Jess Spores
06.26.13
The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 113th Congress Edition

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http://www.onearth.org/blog/this-is-your-town-on-fracking-williston-north-dakota

Elizabeth Royte
06.13.13
This Is Your Town on Fracking

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http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/big-oils-big-lies-about-alternative-energy-20130625

Antonia Juhasz
06.25.13
Big Oil’s Big Lies About Alternative Energy

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Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth. (Sarcasm at no charge).
            – Look for my new website coming soon

 

 

 

 

An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Paul Gilding.

Like many, I feel a great impatience sitting here on the edge of it all. Waiting for it to be clear to everyone that it’s time to stop pretending the old models will somehow get back to normal. We lurch from crisis to crisis, but never seem to face up to the reality that old normal is gone, that step change is now our only option….
[B]ut building the momentum of the new takes time. And perhaps of more immediate concern, the dismantling of the old economy and the decline of the fossil fuel industry is being fiercely resisted by those who own it. To be fair, you can’t really blame them. I can’t imagine I’d take kindly to everything I assumed about the world being proven wrong and all my success now being blamed for the potential collapse of civilization. Denial and delay would be quite appealing!
But none of that really matters because the end of their world is going to happen regardless of anything they do. You can buy your way to political influence but you can’t buy new laws of physics. So we will change, not because of any great moral battle between good and evil, but because people and economics will respond to physical limits – the limits of the climate’s capacity to absorb our waste, the limits of our food production to keep pace with our demand, the limits of living on one planet.
Thus the need to act is no longer just a moral imperative, it’s now a social and economic necessity.

Facing great change is daunting to anyone and everyone. Who the hell wants that? The comfortable and familiar business as usual (or at least business as usual before 2008, when we paid the price for both the excesses of the prior decade and our failure to take a moment or two to consider outcomes suggested by facts and reality) is an infinitely better option. Who wants more struggles and more difficulties and more sacrifice? Denial is indeed a coping strategy.

The problem is that denial as a strategy will in due course (sooner rather than later) lead to its inevitable outcome. And when that happens, facts and reality will still be there bright as ever, but the time we could have used to think more clearly and plan more effectively will have slipped into the past. We’ll be left with less time, fewer resources, greater challenges, and increased urgency to get more done for a larger population faster and all at prohibitive cost. Hell of an option!

We can still rely on the Magic Technology Fairy to come racing to our energy rescue before we all really start feeling the effects of the peak in oil production (tar sands/tight oil hype notwithstanding). So too can we rely on economic ideologies which have consistently failed us for more than three decades, choosing the option that invests less on research and education and community well-being and women and the middle class, but more on the well-to-do at our expense, and hope that the facts and reality are all wrong.

Denial and misrepresentations and pandering and playing to fear soothes the soul today, but lead us to a very unpleasant future for which we will be woefully unprepared to face. Short term gain, long-term pain. Who benefits more? Who suffers more?

Accepting the facts and evidence and reality standing before us will surely be unpleasant now in their own right. But once we move past that by summoning the will and confidence and courage and wisdom we each and all possess, we can then begin the slow but steady process of planning for a future with different energy resources as our engine. Short term pain, long term gain.

* My Photo: Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester MA – undated

 

 

 

 

As I explained in the first part of this brief series, we have some other issues to ponder before next Tuesday.

You can add the commentary in this four-part series to your musings about [among other considerations]:

* who should appoint our next several Supreme Court justices [the same Supreme Court whose majority in its wisdom decided that corporations and the ultra-wealthy are free to corrupt democracy simply by writing bigger checks than any of us, as they are actively attempting to this day];
* whose policies will govern women’s reproductive rights [see this];
* whose concerns for the well-being of the middle class are genuine—consistently so, and not just since America got a first-hand look at one candidate’s genuine thoughts and feelings about the 47%;
* whose policies are directed to serving employees and employers rather than just the latter, wealthiest group, and
* whose policies for investing in our future and making the best use of our national government and resources are best-positioned to address the concerns about our future and the challenges we’ll face.

These are the things that matter. The fear-mongering and misrepresentations and blatant displays of disrespect for their constituency which one party has so ably demonstrated have served a purpose—not an especially honorable one. But that game must come to an end.

The future matters, too.

A few observations for starters, with more to come:

It’s no great insight to point out we’re stuck in an age of truthiness, where factchecking has been relegated to a section in the paper….When I say ‘policy analysis is missing’ I’m not talking about coursework from the Kennedy School of Government.  I’m talking about the math that says you can’t cut taxes 20% across the board and balance the budget.  Trickle-down doesn’t work.  Climate change is a real threat.  Occupying other countries without clear benchmarks and goals is not in our interest.  If we deeply cut federal spending, we can’t invest in public goods including education, economically productive infrastructure, a safety net, pollution abatement, and so on–investments that matter to many of all political stripes.
But again, what bothers me about the Romney campaign and the current moment is not just the policy agenda.  It’s their ability to completely deny that agenda and gain ground in the polls.  It’s Romney’s ability to very successfully argue that he doesn’t really have a big tax cut (the first debate), that the tax cut he doesn’t really have can be paid for by magic math, that his foreign policy is the same as the President’s (the last debate), that his plan will add 12 million jobs—the number that forecasters tell us we’re likely to see regardless of who wins.
How did we devolve to a country where someone like this can just assert things with virtually no backup from reality and not only be taken seriously but be allegedly gaining ground on a President with a solid, if not inspiring, record?  A President who can, with building evidence, make the case that were heading out of the economic woods, who’s got a budget that’s been scored by the CBO to stabilize the debt within the next decade, who plans to implement historic health care legislation that will unquestionably help tens of millions of people? [1]

 

Scientific knowledge and new technologies are the building blocks for long-term economic growth — ‘the key to a 21st-century economy,’ as President Obama said in the final debate.
So it is astonishing that Mr. Romney talks about economic growth while planning deep cuts in investment in science, technology and education. They are among the discretionary items for which spending could be cut 22 percent or more under the Republican budget plan, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the plan, which Mr. Romney has endorsed, could cut overall nondefense science, engineering, biomedical and technology research by a quarter over the next decade, and energy research by two-thirds.
Mr. Romney seems to have lost sight of the critical role of research investments not only in developing new medicines and cleaner energy sources but also in creating higher-skilled jobs.
The private sector can’t do it alone. We rely on companies to translate scientific discoveries into products. But federal investment in research and development, especially basic research, is critical to their success. Just look at Google, which was started by two graduate students working on a project supported by the National Science Foundation and today employs 54,000 people.
Richard K. Templeton, chief executive of Texas Instruments, put it this way in 2009: ‘Research conducted at universities and national labs underpins the new innovations that drive economic growth.’ [2]

Ideology + policy/no-policy + action/inaction = outcomes/results/consequences. Who benefits more? Who loses more? Not just today and next week, but the future—all of it.

Look at the facts, not the spin from those with vested interests in keeping the citizens who are dependent on them for advice and information at best misinformed with half-truths, irrelevancies, or—if all else fails—pure nonsense. How will the ideologies and policies play themselves out here in Reality Land, which one party visits only on rare occasions?

What kind of a nation are we? What kind of a nation will we be?

* My Photo: The Day After Sandy – Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, MA

Sources:

[1] http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/how-did-things-get-so-screwed-up/; How Did Things Get So Screwed Up? by Jared Bernstein – 10.28.12
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/29/opinion/want-to-boost-the-economy-invest-in-science.html?_r=0; Science Is the Key to Growth by Neal F. Lane – 10.28.12

 

 

 

 

But, honestly, it’s time to get real about things. Honestly, it’s time for someone to ‘politicize’ this storm for what it is.
Based on what the various candidates actually have told the people whose votes they are soliciting, over the past 48 hours, it has been far better for the nation that Barack Obama and Joseph Biden are running the executive branch than it would have been had those jobs been held by Willard Romney and Paul Ryan. Both of the latter are on record — and on audiotape, and on video, and all over the Intertoobz, and, for all I know, bellowing from the fillings in your teeth — as recommending that the federal government’s responsibility for things like disaster relief be either handed back to the states, or privatized entirely. They have made this argument in public. They have made this argument as part of the reason why you should vote for them. They also have similar plans for the National Weather Service, and for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and they have made those arguments as part of the reason why you should vote for them. If those ideas had prevailed, and those plans had been passed through the Congress, and signed by President Romney, more people would have died because of this storm, and more people would still be dying from this storm two or three weeks from now.
What they are saying now in an attempt to walk back their earlier arguments is almost assuredly nothing but a barrel full of lies. They’d be out there saying the very same things today if they hadn’t gotten blindsided by this storm. Do you honestly think, absent the arrival of Miss Sandra along the east coast, Willard Romney and Paul Ryan would be out there refining their opinion on federal disaster relief? That they would have abandoned the notion of handing disaster relief back to the states, or to their various corporate cronies. That they would have distanced themselves from barely camouflaged bigots like John Sununu, who repeatedly calls the president ‘lazy’? [1]

Can any of us rationally contemplate what kinds of relief efforts might be taking place right now in the eastern third of the country under a Republican “leadership” which believes that disaster relief is better left to the states; better still to private industry? [See this.] Whatever efforts might be employed would of course take place after decreased funding for the very research and technology which enabled forecasters to serve us all so well in the many days leading to the arrival/onslaught of Hurricane Sandy. [See this.] The good news is that the very wealthy would get a tax break! I guess that evens it out?

Ideological pronouncements have their place, but in the real world, actions and words have consequences. Ideological beliefs which serve as the foundation for policies and non-policies likewise have consequences. Followers who blindly accept the rantings of “leaders” whose interests clearly diverge from those millions whom they arguably serve are not immune to what happens in the real world. They too will have to endure the repercussions of limited government in a world where the rare catastrophes aren’t so rare any more.

How’s that going to work for us?

Ask residents of New York City (where our daughter has been without power since the storm hit) or New Jersey how delighted they would be with scores of state agencies and private companies tripping over each other as they each try to get a handle on the thousands of considerations which must be addressed in an undertaking of this scope. Who needs coordination and the power of a national operation when you can have chaos instead?

And through it all, the media can’t even get Mitt Romney to acknowledge their presence, let alone answer a simple but important question: What does he plan on doing with FEMA and other federal government disaster relief efforts? We’ve all seen his answer already, which pretty much amounts to “Good luck to all of you!” [See this terrific summary by Alex Kane.]

Of course, by the time you read this, it’s entirely possible Romney will have completely reversed his position, as he has with tax policy, the auto bailouts [see this and this], and on and on it goes [for example] … but I digress.

As we regain our footing in the aftermath of the awesome display of power Hurricane Sandy wielded at the expense of millions of residents, we have some other issues to ponder as well before next Tuesday.

So between now and the election, I’m going to take advantage of my little soapbox and offer some observations/quotes worth noting … and pondering further, as we approach the election. Thinking for ourselves would be a good thing, and each of us is capable of doing just that.

I’ll reserve most of my comments on each for other times. For now, the narrative offered via these independent yet interrelated quotes are sufficient on their own.

I’ll do so for reasons admirably expressed by the always-reasonable and thoughtful Jared Bernstein:

Yes, it’s time to start thinking again, but more pointedly, it’s time to realize what a potentially wonderful country we have here in America and to once again embrace the responsibility for its stewardship.  Right now, that means making the effort to see through shape-shifting flim-flammers whose platform reduces to ‘tell me what you want and I’ll tell you that I can give to you at absolutely no cost.’ [2]

Facts matter.

* My Photo: The Day After Sandy – Long Beach, Rockport, MA

Sources:

[1] http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-romney-hurricane-sandy-14261227; Sandy: Evidence That Romney Is the Wrong President by Charles P. Pierce – 10.30.12
[2] http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/how-did-things-get-so-screwed-up/; How Did Things Get So Screwed Up? by Jared Bernstein – 10.28.12

 

 

 

 

An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Leonard Pitts, Jr.

The point here — this cannot be overemphasized — is not ideology. Rather, it is about the fact that we cannot effectively debate ideology if we do not have a body of facts in common.
Under such circumstances, political discourse must devolve into incoherence. We cannot discuss what color to paint the room if we cannot agree on what constitutes red or green — or the room. We literally have no shared language with which to even have the discussion.
This is the legacy of the War on Reality. Some of us live under a new ethos, fueled and abetted by Fox, the Internet and talk radio, which holds that facts are optional and reality, multiple choice — and that anyone who questions this is part of the conspiracy against you. The results have not been pretty. When, in the history of American political discourse, have conservatives — some, not all — seemed more paranoid, put-upon and ready to believe themselves the victims of outlandish plots?

Is there (will there ever be?) a point in time when those who continue to deny and/or delude themselves—and others dependent on their public platforms for information—come to a painful realization that these “strategies” have at some not-too-distant moment created almost insurmountable challenges for all of us?

It’s a free country, and we’re all entitled to our opinions and ideologies. But (paraphrasing Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan), we are not entitled to rely on our own selected, convenient facts as we contend with problems and issues affecting our communities and our nation. If a thirty-year track record proving that tax cuts for the wealthy is not the answer is nonetheless one’s choice, then understand the consequences. Every choice and decision and belief leads to an outcome. Pretending otherwise may work today, but tomorrow is still going to arrive. What then?

This puzzling approach to reality is not limited to the liberal vs. conservative battleground of American politics.

We may want desperately to believe that a bit more ingenuity and technological savvy are all that we need to ensure ourselves a future of unlimited energy abundance and never-ending growth and technological progress. Who wouldn’t want that option?

But facts, evidence, and reality all make it quite obvious that the supply of crude oil which powered us all to an era of awe-inspiring prosperity and advancement is now on the decline. That same combination of truths also tells us that the substitutes (tar sands, tight oil) are simply not up to the task of just stepping in as adequate replacements in such a way that life/business goes on as usual. Every day we heed the voices of those whose self-interest trumps the public good is a day lost to meeting the challenges with a bit less pain and sacrifice.

Shouldn’t we demonstrate our highly-touted and well-deserved “exceptionalism” by dealing with unpleasant and inconvenient truths today so that we give ourselves and our children the best chance for better tomorrows?

[NOTE: I am planning my usual Thursday post, but Hurricane Sandy may have other ideas, so if power is out, I’ll post as soon as I can]

* My Photo:  Moonlight at Good Harbor Beach, MA 09.25.07

 

 

 

 

 

An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Chris Nelder.

Declining availability and increasing competition for the remaining fossil fuels will make it progressively more difficult to manufacture, transport, and install renewables and efficiency improvements. Within 25 years, the world could lose 25 percent or more of its oil supply, and nearly all of its available net exports. Any interruptions in oil supply will have immediate and far-reaching effects on our globalized world of resource production and manufacturing, and cause systemic dependencies to break down.

So what’s the benefit of insisting on a balls-to-the-wall strategy of drill, baby, drill—producing just a bit more of an increasingly inadequate and more expensive resource—while relegating any and every other reasonable alternative to waiting in the hallway, funding themselves from whatever scraps are left after the Big Money actors have fed at the trough?

Can we expect these “leaders”—so full of themselves now with their great wealth and power—to own up and assume responsibility for their mind-numbingly selfish, short-term, screw you strategies today? What can we expect from them in the years to come to help out everyone else not so blessed? How are we going to explain this narrow-minded, shortsighted denial nonsense to our children?

At what other time in this nation’s history have so many relied so thoroughly for so much important guidance on what can charitably be described (at best, and I’m being very charitable) as a pile of half-truths? It’s become the standard MO for one group of politicians and media sycophants—facts be damned—but should we really be rewarding anyone for “success” gained dishonorably? If you lie, mislead, or cheat to win anything, is that such a good thing now?

Is that the new message to our children, our athletes, our students, our significant others, our businesses? Seriously? Consequence-free living would be great, I suppose, but that’s not happening here.

Who will we turn to for answers and options when there is that much less of the very resource we will need to transition away from that ever-declining and ever-more-expensive resource? What will we do? What will we be able to do? The admission that “we really should have been working on this for years” won’t be much of a consolation.

I’m sensing a potential problem or two. Are you? When would be a good time to start having intelligent conversations about the facts and reality?

* My Photo: Sunset at Good Harbor Beach, 09.23.12

I’m passing along some useful/informative Peak Oil-related articles of note [and some political ones, too, which in one way or another will have considerable bearing on what we do and don’t do as Peak Oil makes its presence felt], all of which crossed my desk during the prior month … in case you missed them!

Enjoy.

~~~

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11293-labor-day-and-the-election-of-2012-its-inequality-stupid

Robert Reich
09.03.12
Labor Day and the Election of 2012: It’s Inequality, Stupid

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http://billmoyers.com/2012/08/30/money-in-politics-where-is-the-outrage/

Bill Moyers and Bernard A. Weisberger
08.30.12
Money in Politics: Where Is the Outrage?

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http://www.nationalmemo.com/romney-will-solve-the-crisis-with-the-exact-same-gop-plan-of-2008-2006-2004/

Mike Konczal
09.03.12
Romney Will Solve The Crisis With The Exact Same GOP Plan Of 2008, 2006, 2004….

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http://truth-out.org/news/item/11304-the-party-is-over

Bill Moyers
09.04.12
How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted

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http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/energy-futurist/obama-vs-romney-who-has-the-best-energy-plan/573?tag=nl.e660&s_cid=e660

Chris Nelder
09.05.12
Obama vs. Romney: Who has the best energy plan?

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http://www.countercurrents.org/goulka100912.htm

Jeremiah Goulka
09.10.12
Confessions Of A Former Republican

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http://www.psmag.com/politics/romneys-energy-plan-lets-stick-to-a-fossil-fuel-future-46458/

Lisa Margonelli
09.11.12
Romney’s Energy Plan: Back to a Fossil Fuel Future

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http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/10-6

Chris Hedges
09.10.12
Growth Is the Problem

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http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jmogerman/jaw-dropping_shell_filings_und.html

Josh Mogerman
09.12.12
Jaw-dropping Shell Filings Undercut Tar Sands Industry Rhetoric

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http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/david-korten/growth-or-equality-two-competing-visions-for-americas-future

David Korten
09.11.12
Growth or Equality: Two Competing Visions for America’s Future

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http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2012/09/has-opec-misled-us-about-size-of-its.html

Kurt Cobb
09.09.12
Has OPEC misled us above the size of its oil reserves? Does it matter?

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http://citiwire.net/columns/a-billion-new-consumers-is-the-world-ready/

Neal Peirce
09.07,12
A Billion New Consumers: Is the World Ready?

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http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2012/09/tar-sands-oil-shale-and-heavy-oil-why.html

Kurt Cobb
09.16.12
Tar sands, oil shale, and heavy oil: Why the conventional wisdom about unconventional oil is likely to be wrong

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http://www.nationalmemo.com/to-be-presidential-romney-must-first-be-truthful/

Jonathan Alter
09.14.12
To Be Presidential, Romney Must First Be Truthful

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http://www.alternet.org/environment/north-dakota-oil-fracking-boom-creates-clash-money-and-devastation

Gary Rivlin and Barbara Ehrenreich
09.22.12
The North Dakota Oil Fracking Boom Creates Clash of Money and Devastation

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/a-reality-check-for-the-promise-of-the-oil-sands/article4560688/

Nathan Vanderklippe
09.22.12
A reality check for the promise of the oil sands

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http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2012/09/global-oil-exports-in-decline-since.html

Kurt Cobb
09.23.12
Global oil exports in decline since 2006: What will importing nations do?

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-23/how-high-oil-prices-will-permanently-cap-economic-growth.html

Jeff Rubin
09.23.12
How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth

~~~

http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2012/09/energy-transition-we-need-to-do-it-fast.html

Kurt Cobb
09.30.12
Energy transition: We need to do it fast and we’re way behind

~~~

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/until-republicans-fix-this-problem-they-cant-fix-any-problems/262657/

Conor Friedersdorf
09.21.12
Until Republicans Fix This Problem, They Can’t Fix Any Problems

 

 

In fact, we will become more vulnerable over the long run, because the renewed embrace of fossil fuels will induce us to postpone the inevitable transition to a postcarbon economy. Sooner or later, the economic, environmental and climate consequences of intensive fossil fuel use will force everyone on the planet to abandon reliance on these fuels in favor of climate-friendly renewables. This is not a matter of if but of when. The  longer we wait, the more costly and traumatic the transition will be, and the greater the likelihood that our economy will fall behind those of other countries that undertake the transition sooner. [1]

In its continuing quest to fashion a vision for a great future (assuming your present is … say, 1831, and the “future” is an eleven-day period), the GOP platform is now calling for an end to funding for Amtrak and a renewed focus on highway spending at the expense of public transportation (and of course also at the expense of biking and pedestrian programs.) Who knew that narrow-mindedness was a virtue?

If that isn’t enough to convince one that the GOP’s pandering to right-wing nonsense is not a complete relinquishment of integrity and reason, the platform also asserts the Republican Party’s opposition to Agenda 21. That is a twenty-year old United Nations resolution encouraging sustainable development. (We cannot have intelligent planning with due consideration for the future. That would be … uh, I’ll get back to you on the rationale.)

Apparently, the fact that Agenda 21 is nonbinding, with no force of law here in America (as is repeated endlessly by those who enjoy facts, logic, reason, and reality) nonetheless both puzzles the Right and raises their Paranoid Meter to orange status. Would it not be cheaper to guarantee the wingnuts a lifetime supply of tin foil hats? True patriots, it seems, would at least offer a few hints to the rest of us about the Anti-Consequence Bubble they will apparently be occupying as Peak Oil, climate change, and various Screw-Everyone-But-The-1%ers economic policies gain a firm grip on our future. (Then again, outright lying as a strategy may continue to be “useful,” as does maintaining residence in a fact-free present.)

The snarky jabs are fun to toss about, but the reality (for those of us who think that matters) is that these incredibly short-sighted ideological positions actually affect us all. As purely academic discourse they may serve a purpose, but when those philosophies are turned into policies with present and long-lasting impacts, the snarky jabs take on more ominous shadings when reality starts poking holes in narrow-minded bubbles. Maybe the Right’s leaders don’t care about you (obviously) and surely they do not care about me and my family and my friends and my community … but I do!

At what point does a modicum of intelligence, integrity, and common sense start to factor into the Right’s expectations, hopes, and plans for America beyond a week from next Friday? The GOP’s transportation objectives and opposition to even consider some thoughtful guidelines to prepare us for a future with less energy sources at the ready is guaranteed to create only more problems for all of us in the years to come. But hey … if it gets votes today and protects the wealthy, who cares about the future, because … because, uh, why is that good?

* My Photo: Eastern Point, Gloucester MA 08.04.11

Sources:

[1] http://www.thenation.com/article/166521/americas-fossil-fuel-fever; America’s Fossil Fuel Fever by Michael T. Klare – 02.29.12

 

 

 

 

I’m passing along some useful/informative Peak Oil-related articles of note [and some political ones, too, which in one way or another will have considerable bearing on what we do and don’t do as Peak Oil makes its presence felt], all of which crossed my desk during the prior month … in case you missed them!

Enjoy.

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http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10661-stone-cold-sober-an-interview-with-mike-lofgren-author-of-the-party-is-over

Leslie Thatcher
08.03.12
An Interview With Mike Lofgren, Author of “The Party Is Over”

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http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/08/failure_supply_side_econ.html

Michael Ettlinger, Michael Linden
08.01.12
The Failure of Supply-Side Economics
Three Decades of Empirical Economic Data Shows That Supply-Side Economics Doesn’t Work

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http://www.salon.com/2012/08/05/republicans_slouching_toward_theocracy/

Mike Lofgren
08.05.12
GOP Insider: Religion destroyed my party

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-02/romney-tax-plan-on-table-debt-collapses-table-.html

Ezra Klein
08.02.12
Romney Tax Plan on Table. Debt Collapses Table.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/romneys-tax-plan-defies-the-rules-of-math.html

David Firestone
08.11.12
A Tax Plan That Defies the Rules of Math

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/can-we-save-american-capitalism/2012/08/31/800de6be-f04e-11e1-ba17-c7bb037a1d5b_story.html

Steven Pearlstein
08.31.12
Can we save American capitalism?

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http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/energy-futurist/energy-policy-follow-the-money/547?tag=nl.e662

Chris Nelder
08.08.12
Energy policy: Follow the money

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http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=154136

Brad DeLong
08.07.12
Things Wrong with Hassett, Hubbard, Mankiw, and Taylor “The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Jobs”

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http://www.tnr.com/article/magazine/politics/105740/republican-voter-suppression-pennsylvania-id?

Timothy Noah
08.02.12
Art of War: How Republicans mastered voter suppression.

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http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/07/another-bad-day-for-romney/

Joe Klein
08.07.12
Another Bad Day For Romney

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http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2012083208/what-calculation-behind-romneys-campaign-lies

Dave Johnson
08.08.12
What Is The Calculation Behind Romney’s Campaign Of Lies?

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http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/07/13163204-the-scandal-behind-romneys-new-attack-ad?lite

Steve Benen
08.07.12
The scandal behind Romney’s new attack ad

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http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528786.300-were-still-on-the-slippery-slope-to-peak-oil.html?full=true

David Strahan
08.20.12
We’re still on the slippery slope to peak oil

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http://transitionvoice.com/2012/08/portrait-of-a-climate-science-denier-piers-corbyn/?

Erik Curren
08.20.12
Portrait of a climate science denier: Piers Corbyn

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http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-08-23/end-industrial-revolution

Paul Gilding
08.23.12
The end of the Industrial Revolution
[Original article: http://paulgilding.com/cockatoo-chronicles/cc20120823endindustrialrevolution.html]

~~~

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-stopping-the-gop-assault-on-democracy/2012/08/20/796742d2-eb04-11e1-b811-09036bcb182b_story.html

Katrina vanden Heuvel
08.21.12
Stopping the GOP assault on democracy

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http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-08-23/building-resilience-changing-climate

by Richard Heinberg
08.21.12
Building resilience in a changing climate
[Original article: http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/1070682-building-resilience-in-a-changing-climate]

~~~

http://www.nationalmemo.com/the-big-lie-of-the-day-fabricating-a-failed-obama-presidency/

@LOLGOP
08.21.12
The Big Lie Of The Day: Fabricating A Failed Obama Presidency

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http://seekingalpha.com/article/832831-the-natural-gas-ponzi-scheme

Jonathan Verenger
08.28.12
The Natural Gas ‘Ponzi Scheme’

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http://robertreich.org/post/30413604638

Robert Reich
08.28.12
How Romney Keeps Lying Through His Big White Teeth

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http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2012083529/hard-truth-about-romneys-republican-party

Robert Borosage
08.29.12
The Hard Truth about Romney’s Republican Party

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http://robertreich.org/post/30103417736

Robert Reich
08.24.12
Romney’s Lying Machine

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http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/george-lakoff-how-romney-ryans-budget-would-destroy-americas-soul

George Lakoff, Glenn W. Smith
08.22.12
How Romney-Ryan’s Budget Would Destroy America’s Soul

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9500667/Peak-cheap-oil-is-an-incontrovertible-fact.html

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
08.26.12
Peak cheap oil is an incontrovertible fact

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http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2012/08/peak-oil-light-sweet-crude-production-has-peaked-globally.html

Casey Research
08.29.12
Peak oil: light sweet crude production has peaked globally

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http://www.fcnp.com/commentary/national/12495-the-peak-oil-crisis-summers-end.html

By Tom Whipple
08.29.12
The Peak Oil Crisis: Summer’s End

* My Photo: Crystal Cove State Park, CA Sept 2004