Archive for the ‘energy’ Category
Controlling a large number of people isn’t easy. The United States alone consists of 312 million people spread out across nearly 4 million square miles. Add on nearly 500 million for the population of the European Union and another nearly 4 million square miles of territory. Then pile on Canada with 34 million people and another 4 million square miles, Australia with 22 million and 3 million square miles and a few other stragglers here and there, and the postmodern rulers of the progressive empire have to cope with nearly a billion people spread out across 15 million square miles.
Large territories and large numbers of people are very difficult to govern. Structures tend to break down and people further away from the centers of power don’t listen to the boys at the top. The only way to make a going proposition of it is to consolidate as much power as possible at the center and the very act of centralizing power leads to tyranny.
The most direct chokehold possible is physical. China’s rulers, faced with vast territory and population, turned to the water empire. The modern West is quickly rediscovering a more sophisticated form of hydraulic despotism, cloaked in talk of saving the planet and providing for everyone’s needs.
Western resources are not innately centralized, which makes seizing control of them and routing them through a central point more difficult. This has to be done legislatively and has to be justified by a universal benefit or a crisis. One example of this is FDR’s Agricultural Adjustment Act which allowed the government to control wheat grown on a farm for private consumption. Another is nationalizing health care by routing the commercial activity of medicine through government organs. Both services and commodities can be controlled in this manner.
But the larger challenge is that the West is rich and a water empire depends on scarcity. Central control is much less potent if there is plenty of the commodity or service available. It’s only when shortages are created in bread or health care that the system really wields power by rationing a scarce commodity or service.
If a resource is scarce, then the water empire has to distribute it efficiently. But if a resource is widely available, then the water empire has to find ways of making it scarce, until the demand vastly outstrips the supply.
The modern water empire is dependent for its power on manufactured shortages. The rise of the progressive state was closely tied to its exploitation of shortages. Its challenge has been to win the race with industrial productivity by manufacturing shortages and destroying wealth faster than it could be created. While the machine of industry created wealth, the machine of government destroyed it. Today the machine of government is very close to winning the race, creating a state of permanent shortages.
Manufactured shortages are the great project of modern governments. This manufacture is done by prohibitively increasing the cost of creating and distributing products and services, by controlling the means of production in the name of wealth redistribution and by prohibiting the production on the grounds that it is immoral or dangerous. Over the 20th century the transition was made from the first to the second and finally to the third.
After decades of paranoid hemming and hawing, last month the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management finally approved oil exploration in Federal waters along the Atlantic coast from Delaware to Florida.
‘The announcement is the first real step toward what could be a transformation in coastal states,” says the Associated Press report, “creating thousands of jobs to support a new energy infrastructure. But it dismayed environmentalists and people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.”
Alas, this “dismay” afflicts only the greenies from Delaware to Florida. From New Jersey up through New England the greenie hysteria against offshore oil exploration prevailed. This superstition among the local worshippers of Earth Goddess Gaia proved as intractable as the one that once mandated burning witches by New Englanders no less “enlightened.”
“With today’s decision,” whined Claire Douglass, campaign director at the environmental group Oceana, “President Obama is bowing to pressure from Big Oil rather than listening to the thousands of voices calling on him to protect our natural resources and coastal economies.”
Well, allow me to present the call of “thousands of voices” and specifically from “people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.” Their call, based on over half a century of experience with offshore oil production (including the ultimate test: the BP Oil Spill!) says: “Drill, Baby, Drill!”
With over 3000 of the 3,700 offshore oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico off her coast, Louisiana provides almost a third of North America’s commercial fisheries. As a trivial sideline these oil production platforms also extract 80 percent of the oil and 72 percent of the natural gas produced in the Continental U.S. This “sideline” (as us fanatical fishermen see it) by itself would offset the hardships (in any rational calculation of national priorities) of the relatively few “people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.”
But a study by LSU’s sea grant college found that majority of Louisiana’s offshore fishing trips (among the state’s top tourist attractions) target these structures. Recreational fishing and diving trips to these structures generate an estimated 5,560 full time jobs and $324 million annually for Louisiana.
“Oil platforms as artificial reefs support fish densities 10 to 100 times that of adjacent sand and mud bottom, and almost always exceed fish densities found at both adjacent artificial reefs of other types and natural hard bottom,” says a study by Dr Bob Shipp, professor at the Marine Sciences department of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, and currently, the vice-chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council.
In fact, the most prolific and diverse marine ecosystem ever recorded by marine scientists was created by offshore oil production. Acting as artificial reefs over the past half century, the teeming fish life, coral colonies, and “bio-diversity,” created by offshore oil platforms is amply documented in several studies commissioned by none other than the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.
One recent report by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Minerals (a division of the U.S. Dept.
By Alan Caruba
My thought is that, as long as Obama is on vacation things cannot get much worse here at home, short of a foreign invasion. Oh wait, we are being invaded by a horde of “undocumented” aliens from south of our border. Most, we’re told, are here to join their undocumented families who are already here. What is wrong with this picture?
The delay of the Keystone XL pipeline is a perfect example of the way President Obama and his administration has engaged in, not just a war on coal, but on all forms of energy the nation has and needs. Even his State Department admits there is no reason to refuse its construction and, as turmoil affects the Middle East, there is an increased need to tap our own oil and welcome Canada’s.
The latest news, however, is that Canada has just approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a major pipeline to ship Canadian oil—to Asia.
The pure evil of the delay is compounded by the loss of the many jobs the pipeline—that will not require taxpayer funding—represents to help reduce the nation’s obscene rate of unemployment and to generate new revenue for the nation. That’s what oil, coal, and natural gas does.
Less visible has been the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency that has, since Obama took office on January 20, 2009, issued 2,827 new final regulations totally 24,915,000 words to fill 24,915 pages of the Federal Register. As a CNSnews article reported, “The Obama EPA regulations have 22 times as many words as the entire Harry Potter series which includes seven books with 1,084,170 words.” Every one of the EPA regulations affects some aspect of life in America, crushing economic development in every conceivable way.
The worst part of the EPA regulation orgy is the fact that virtually all of it is based on a hoax. As reported by James Delingpole, a British journalist, “19 million jobs lost plus $4,335 trillion spent equals a global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees Celsius. Yes, horrible but true. These are the costs to the U.S. economy, by 2100, of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired electricity generating plants by 30% before 2005 levels.”
Citing a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Delingpole reported that the new regulations will cost the economy another $51 billion annually, result in the 224,000 more lost jobs every year, and cost every American household $3,400 per year in higher prices for energy, food, and other necessities.”
This is an all-out attack on industry, business, and the use of electricity by all Americans.
There is absolutely no reason, nor need to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas on which all life on Earth depends because it is to vegetation what oxygen is to all living creatures. It is the “food” on which every blade of grass depends. More CO2 means more crops and healthier forests.
Disastrously, even the Supreme Court—the same one that signed off on Obamacare as a tax—has not ruled against the EPA’s false assertions about CO2. In late June, however, it did place limits on the EPA’s effort to limit power plant and factory emissions blamed for a global warming that does not exist. The Earth has been cooling for seventeen years, but the Court ruled that the EPA lacked authority in some cases to force companies to evaluate ways to reduce CO2 emissions.
Three years before Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki would be forced out of his job because of the veterans who had died under him, he visited the Massachusetts National Cemetery. He wasn’t there to see the men and women who had died because of him.
The Massachusetts National Cemetery was getting a wind turbine so that the dead veterans would have all the sustainable energy they needed.
A VA press release about the cemetery turbine boasted that “under the leadership of Secretary Eric K. Shinseki… VA is transitioning into a 21st century organization that better serves America’s Veterans.”
Shinseki arrived in person at the dedication ceremony to flip the switch on the cemetery wind turbine.
“Nationally, VA continues to expand its investment in renewable sources of energy to promote our Nation’s energy independence, save taxpayer dollars, and improve care for our Veterans and their families,” he said.
The cemetery turbine had cost $533,000. Veterans were dying to save the VA a few hundred dollars. Shinseki had made his order of priorities clear. Green energy boondoggles came first. Improving veteran care came last.
Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro told the crowd, “With one of VA’s first wind turbine projects, the Massachusetts National Cemetery is leading the way in the use of renewable energy while providing the burial benefits that New England Veterans and their families have earned.”
Muro had made the entire macabre spectacle worthy of a Joseph Heller novel. Obama’s people had not only killed veterans, they had killed satire.
When the VA wasn’t installing a wind turbine at a cemetery, it was installing solar panels at cemeteries to better serve the dead veterans that it was killing.
The Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery’s solar panels cost $787,308. According to the press release, the solar panels in the cemetery would “reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.
$742,034 worth of solar panels was put in at the Calverton National Cemetery. The San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery got an $800,000 solar panel setup. The Riverside National Cemetery got a $1.3 million solar system.
“We are investing in clean energy and renewable energy projects at our national cemeteries to reduce our environmental footprint,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki declared. ”The transition toward these renewable energy sources helps VA continue to be a leading example of going green in the federal government.”
Vets might be dying at VA facilities, but they would have solar panels and wind turbines over their graves so that Shineski could provide Obama with a leading example of “greenness”.
The cemeteries may have been where the VA’s scandal of shorting care for vets ended, under the shade of solar panels and wind turbines, but it was not where it began.
The VA scandal began at the Phoenix VA Health Care System where administrators earned promotions and bonuses by shunting patients who needed treatment into fake waiting lists.
As many as 40 veterans had died while waiting for care and 1,715 veterans in the Phoenix VA Health Care System had waited more than 90 days for an appointment.
Americans are feeling the same fear for the future that preceded the Civil War when the incompetent James Buchanan left the mess that Abraham Lincoln had to address. I don’t think we have ever had a President with less knowledge of history than Barack Obama and less ability to solve domestic economic problems and address threatening foreign ones.
“Rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” said former Vice President Dick Cheney, along with his daughter Liz, in a June 18 opinion published by the Wall Street Journal. Liz has been a deputy assistant secretary of state for eastern affairs.
My fear now is that the President is not, as I originally assumed, driven just by ideology, but that he keeps demonstrating the illegal use of powers that he does not have under the Constitution, coupled with a disdain for the other branch of government, the Congress.
If Obama is eminently impeachable, but Congress is so divided that this is not an option.
Despite what his Justice Department told him, Obama disobeyed a law requiring him to give Congress a 30-day notice for the exchange of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay. His use of executive orders may meet some legal standard, but they are often his way of getting around legal limitations such as his wish to open America’s borders to the flood of illegal immigrants we are seeing.
There is some comfort in being someone who warned against electing him both times, but there is no comfort in reviewing the harm he has done to date. Only a major Republican victory in the November midterm elections will offer any protection against him until he leaves office.
Let’s just do a quick review:
He traded five members of the Taliban’s highest ranked detainees from Guantanamo for an alleged prisoner of war who deserted his unit in Afghanistan, negotiating with the Islamic criminal group, the Haqqani, known for extracting high ransoms but no mention of money has been made.
Having initiated negotiations with Iran in a futile attempt to get them to cease seeking their own nuclear arsenal, there is conjecture the U.S. will enlist Iran’s help in addressing the jihadist attack on Iraq, but Iran has been the declared enemy of the United States since it seized our diplomats in 1979 and held them hostage until President Reagan was sworn into office. Iran is the world’s greatest supporter of terror. It was behind the truck bomb that destroyed our embassy in Beirut in 1984 and a few months later killed U.S. Marines in an attack on their barracks there. It provided weapons to our enemies during the Iraq war.
He has driven the nation’s debt up so high that, for the first time in its history, its credit rating was reduced. That debt continues to grow and is pegged at $17 trillion. The price of food is beginning to soar.
Unemployment now affects the lives of those unable to find work—literally millions—and those who have ceased to look. Raising the minimum wage will only serve to further reduce job creation and opportunities. Millions are on food stamps while millions are receiving disability benefits. There is likely no way to know who legitimately deserves assistance and who does not.