More on Peak Oil

Interesting article today in the Guardian on peak oil. The scariest line:

According to the IEA, demand rose faster in 2004 than in any year since 1976. China’s oil consumption, which accounted for a third of extra global demand last year, grew 17 percent and is expected to double over 15 years to more than 10 million barrels a day — half the United States’ present demand. India’s consumption is expected to rise by nearly 30 percent in the next five years. If world demand continues to grow at 2 percent a year, then almost 160 million barrels a day will need to be extracted in 2035, twice as much as today. That, say most geologists, is almost inconceivable. According to industry consultants IHS Energy, 90 percent of all known reserves are now in production, suggesting that few major discoveries remain to be made.

It’s way past time we started looking at alternative energy sources as a total replacement for oil. Let the rest of the world fight it out. Here is a perfect opportunity to lead the world and make big money off new innovation in clean and efficient fuels. It’s too bad that the entire Bush regime has its roots in the oil industry. Time to wake up, people. It’s a matter of national security.

Terrorism at Highest Level In Recorded History

Each year the White House holds its breath as the latest “Patterns of Global Terrorism” is released, hoping and praying that the report will be a glowing endorsement for the terrible decisions and bumbling mistakes they’ve made. Last year they had Colin Powell, who still had some kind of minute credibility at the time, come out and proclaim the whole report a mistake when it was proven that the administration had tried to statistically skew the numbers in its favor. This time, according to Salon, the numbers are the highest they’ve been in 37 years of recordkeeping. If you see this report mentioned anywhere on FOX News, I’d love to hear about it.

Bloom Today

The past few days have been just gorgeous on Long Island, and today was the first day that I saw the trees start to bloom. Of course, for a while now I knew this was coming as my allergies have been completely out of control. Perhaps it’s the fresh spring air that is helping me feel a little more optimistic about the state of our union today. Primary in my thoughts of paranoia over the past few weeks has been the concept of peak oil, and whether or not we’ll be prepared as a country for the end of the fossil fuel age. By all accounts, it will be less than a decade before the oil companies reach peak oil production, and from there it’s all downhill. As a matter of national security, I severely hope we get our ducks in a row before that happens. But this leads to another question — as the world’s dirty fuels dry up, what happens to greenhouse gases? Will we use it all up before the earth has lost its ability to keep in balance? Is it possible that the growing industrialized nations of the world that will be depending on big oil more than the United States will go through the last supplies of oil, coal and natural gas before the tipping point has been reached?

Obviously, some think the tipping point has passed, and that’s entirely possible. Even if we stopped all oil/coal/forest burning right here and now, it would still take the earth time to recover, if it could at all (well, of course the earth will go on with or without us).

All this stuff has been running through my head since it was recently discovered that ExxonMobil had spent unprecedented dollars trying to promote the notion that global warming is a myth. Of course, they have also funded scientific research to the tune of some $10 million a year, but really… What is ten million bucks in the whole scheme of oil company profits?

Anyway, taking today for what it is, the air is relatively clean, it’s a breezy 64 degrees out, and the birds are singing. I’m hoping that when my 15-year-old is my age he’ll be able to look back on this time in history and that it will be viewed as simply a rather large hiccup when the United States had its priorities severely messed up, then corrected itself and joined the global community in fostering peace and health throughout the world.

It’s so much easier to dream of good things when it’s so nice outside.

Rush On Drugs Again?

How else would you explain the following outburst?

LIMBAUGH: When does he start up this stupid little network? August? Yip yip yip yahoo. You know what Gore said about this? It’s going to be liberal. It’s going to reflect the point of view of young people. What the hell is that, Al? What the hell is the point of view of young people? Blow jobs, that’s what they’re doing out there. They’re out there getting oral sex all day long, that’s what they’re talking about. That’s the point of view they can’t wait that your boss, Al made sure that’s become the number one sport in high school today. So, I guess you’re going to have a BJ network out there, Al, is that what you’re going to do? You’re going to call your network the oral sex channel out there, start competing with MTV? No, it’s not going to have any of this stuff out there, folks, it’s going to be talking about liberalism, no, no, no, that’s not what we’re about. Classic cannot even admit who he is.”

First of all, I haven’t really been following this whole GoreTV idea, but wasn’t the point going to be that it will be unbiased? Gore was one of the first Senators to call attention to the damage that we’re causing to the environment with his book, “Earth In The Balance,” and since he’s been so strong on that subject, I recall hearing that this is something that’s going to get a lot of attention on his channel. Buy how does concern about the environment relate to oral sex? Not only that, but Rush is outright lying when he said “Al said it was going to be liberal.” In fact, Al has said the following:

We have no intention of creating a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, a TV version of Air America. That’s not what we’re about. We’re about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s to engage in a dialogue of democracy and to tell the stories about what’s going on in their lives using the dominant medium of our time.

So why the hostility, Rush? Why do you have to downplay anything constructive that a liberal person, or any Democrat, wants to do? I hear you talking all day long about how we have nothing to say, nothing to offer, so when someone comes along and gives kids a chance to talk about what is affecting their lives, you start talking about all they want is oral sex all day long? Is that how you’d treat your kids? Where are your family values, Rush? Do twenty-somethings have nothing to say? Is that what you’re saying? I would hope that if they had the audience that you did, they’d find something more constructive to say with their valuable airtime than “What the hell is the point of view of young people? Blow jobs, that’s what they’re doing out there. They’re out there getting oral sex all day long, that’s what they’re talking about.”

You need some serious help, Rush. Please. Get into detox as soon as you can.

Memogate II Debunked

If you’ve listened to right-wing talk radio (or even the McLaughlin Group) lately, all the GOP-paid commentators have been spreading the claim that the infamous Schiavo GOP memo passed around on the Senate floor was a fake, typed up and released by some Democratic Party operative. After all, they said, who else would misspell so many words and try to make it look like the Republicans are not only opportunists, but uneducated as well?

So who actually did write the memo? The Washington Post has the whole story, and it doesn’t look good for the GOP. Turns out a legal counsel for Florida Republican Senator Mel Martinez wrote the memo. Martinez initially stated that he did not read the memo, but did admit that “he inadvertently passed it to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who had worked with him on the [Schiavo case].”

And while Martinez himself may not have written the article, it was culled from statements that he, himself, made to his general counsel regarding his views on the issue.

So the next time the Republicans go screaming about how they’re being mischaracterized by Democrats, please remember this line, presumably spoken by Senator Mel Martinez to his general counsel, regarding an issue where a family’s plight was seized upon for political purposes:

“This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.”

Finally, Enough Rope…

How did it take so long? Why did it take so long? The power of change in this country moves at glacial speed (although despite John Stossel’s assertion to the contrary, that speed also seems to be increasing). Today’s USA Today has an interesting poll out today that seems to spell very very bad news for the Neo-Cons, and it would appear that the Terri Schiavo case was the tipping point for most traditional Republicans who are now starting to realize that their party has been hijacked by a group of radicals.

The highlights? Here’s a doozy: A solid majority of Americans believe that “Republicans are trying to use the federal government to interfere with the private lives of most Americans” on moral values. Gotta love it. The party that claims to “get government out of your life” is now seen by most Americans as one that’s trying to get involved in your most personal matters. How’s that for a turnaround? And if the public starts to believe that the GOP is lying on that front — saying one thing and doing another — it’s a terribly slippery slope that the party will have to tread to maintain any kind of legitimacy on any claim they make about anything. Of course, the mainstream press will continue to spread the propaganda, so potential damage might be minimized by that factor.

Here’s another one I got a chuckle out of. By a margin of 2-to-1, Americans now believe that the religious right has too much influence on the Bush administration.

Now we can take this two ways. Either there’s a code yellow (or red) alert coming up from the Department of Homeland Security, in which case the Neo-Cons will attempt to scare everyone into voting for them again, or the 2006 elections will usher in a new era of accountability in politics.