Poll: Has the massive oil spill in the Gulf spurred you to do more to conserve energy?

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 7:46am
Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 7:55am.

I have to admit that I had no idea how environmentally devastating an oil rig failure could be. I think the upcoming environmental catastrophe is going to be a wake-up call for America. If the slick swings around the East coast and pollutes a good chunk of the Eastern seaboard, I would expect that we will see some major changes in energy policy. We've already seen the long-delayed wind farm in Ted Kennedy's old district finally approved.

For those of you that plan to reduce your energy consumption, what are your plans? Do you plan to downsize your vehicle? Buy an electric/hybrid? Reduce energy consumption at your business and residence? Install solar panels? Move off-grid?

I'd like to hear what others are planning to do to see if I can adopt similar measures. I can't in good conscience continue to mindlessly consume energy as if it there are no environmental consequences (which is pretty much what I've been doing).

Submitted by patientrenter on May 2, 2010 - 8:18am.

IForget wrote:
...
I'd like to hear what others are planning to do to see if I can adopt similar measures...

Nothing major will change unless we apply significant new taxes on oil.

A doubling of its price would have a real impact. To minimize economic disruption, it should be implemented gradually and predictably. For example, we could apply taxes that increase, on a pre-determined schedule, by 5% every year for 20 years.

By spreading the pressure of the adjustment evenly over a long period, there would be an incentive to start adapting immediately, but there would not be massive disruptions. By giving lots of time and laying out the end result clearly, it makes it possible for investors to plan energy alternatives, housing developments, transportation etc around the future prices.

The extra taxes could be used to pay the costs of our military and expenditures in the Middle East, most of which are ultimately to protect oil sources. Eventually, the taxes collected would exceed those costs, but then we all knew there would have to be extra taxes anyway to pay for the baby boomers' retirements, and at least this tax is economically efficient.

Of course, since this is economically efficient, it will never happen in the US. Like medical care and housing finance and a host of other issues, we seem incapable of focusing on what is economically efficient. Some day a serious power will emerge that is focused on that, and we will lose out. Oh, wait....

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 8:18am.

It's good to see that there are at least two environmental terrorists who post here. No doubt they are looking forward to leaving behind a desolate, enviro-wasteland to the next generation.

Drill, baby, drill!

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 8:24am.

patientrenter wrote:

Nothing major will change unless we apply significant new taxes on oil.

A doubling of its price would have a real impact. To minimize economic disruption, it should be implemented gradually and predictably. For example, we could apply taxes that increase, on a pre-determined schedule, by 5% every year for 20 years.

I'd actually like to see the price go up faster than that. Maybe a 15% or so increase every year until we get to $10/gallon or so and then 5% per year after that. Our oceans are going to be filled with oil if we keep extracting fossil fuels at the current rate.

patientrenter wrote:

Of course, since this is economically efficient, it will never happen in the US. Like medical care and housing finance and a host of other issues, we seem incapable of focusing on what is economically efficient. Some day a serious power will emerge that is focused on that, and we will lose out. Oh, wait....

Who's the new superpower that is doing things right?

Submitted by meadandale on May 2, 2010 - 8:59am.

By 'energy consumption' you probably mean driving, right (since you seem to focusing almost exclusively on the cost of gasoline)?

The vast majority of electrical power in this country is generated using coal, natural gas and nuclear in probably that order.

By switching to hybrid/electric cars this means that we will be burning more coal/gas or splitting more atoms in order to fuel your vehicle. Are you ready to allow more power plants to be built to fuel your vehicle? Are you willing to let them build wind turbines near your home (consider how long that Kennedy worked to kill the wind project off of MA even though he was supposedly an environmentalist, because it would have spoiled his view).

Don't forget that virtually everything you buy is wrapped in plastic that comes from oil, and virtually everything you eat is grown using fertilizers made from oil and farm equipment that runs on oil. Let's also not forget that all the drugs you take use oil as the source of the chemical raw materials that are used in their manufacturing.

And I've obviously left out things like synthetic materials that are used in the manufacturing of clothing and many other products.

Get the picture?

So, by reducing 'energy consumption' to reduce our reliance on oil you REALLY mean: eat less, buy less crap and take fewer medications, since those are large contributors to our oil consumption in addition to its use as a fuel. This also means that $10/gal gas will likely mean that all those things I mentioned above will skyrocket in price.

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 9:26am.

meadandale wrote:

So, by reducing 'energy consumption' to reduce our reliance on oil you REALLY mean: eat less, buy less crap and take fewer medications, since those are large contributors to our oil consumption in addition to its use as a fuel. This also means that $10/gal gas will likely mean that all those things I mentioned above will skyrocket in price.

Sounds good to me. Oil-based products should reflect their true costs (including all externalities), which they currently do not.

We already have the technology to make plastic out of organic materials:

http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/30/japanese...

If the government would quit subsidizing oil, I'm confident that something more environmentally feasible would be found to replace it.

Submitted by Hobie on May 2, 2010 - 9:25am.

meadandale wrote:
By 'energy consumption' you probably mean driving, right (since you seem to focusing almost exclusively on the cost of gasoline)?

The vast majority of electrical power in this country is generated using coal, natural gas and nuclear in probably that order.

By switching to hybrid/electric cars this means that we will be burning more coal/gas or splitting more atoms in order to fuel your vehicle. Are you ready to allow more power plants to be built to fuel your vehicle? Are you willing to let them build wind turbines near your home (consider how long that Kennedy worked to kill the wind project off of MA even though he was supposedly an environmentalist, because it would have spoiled his view).

Don't forget that virtually everything you buy is wrapped in plastic that comes from oil, and virtually everything you eat is grown using fertilizers made from oil and farm equipment that runs on oil. Let's also not forget that all the drugs you take use oil as the source of the chemical raw materials that are used in their manufacturing.

And I've obviously left out things like synthetic materials that are used in the manufacturing of clothing and many other products.

Get the picture?

So, by reducing 'energy consumption' to reduce our reliance on oil you REALLY mean: eat less, buy less crap and take fewer medications, since those are large contributors to our oil consumption in addition to its use as a fuel. This also means that $10/gal gas will likely mean that all those things I mentioned above will skyrocket in price.

Right on the mark.

We can never replace oil for all the reasons mentioned. The only scalable solution to replace burning fossil fuel for energy is to ramp up nuclear.

Submitted by meadandale on May 2, 2010 - 9:33am.

IForget wrote:
meadandale wrote:

So, by reducing 'energy consumption' to reduce our reliance on oil you REALLY mean: eat less, buy less crap and take fewer medications, since those are large contributors to our oil consumption in addition to its use as a fuel. This also means that $10/gal gas will likely mean that all those things I mentioned above will skyrocket in price.

Sounds good to me. Oil-based products should reflect their true costs (including all externalities), which they currently do not.

We already have the technology to make plastic out of organic materials:

http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/30/japanese...

If the government would quit subsidizing oil, I'm confident that something more environmentally feasible would be found to replace it.

Are you prepared to pay $15 for a loaf of bread? $10 for an apple? $20 for a pint of beer?

These prices (if not higher) is what you could expect if oil costs go through the roof.

Submitted by Hobie on May 2, 2010 - 9:51am.

Of course, the solution is right in front of our eyes.

http://www.flixxy.com/zero-pollution-aut...

Submitted by patientrenter on May 2, 2010 - 9:54am.

meadandale wrote:
...

Are you prepared to pay $15 for a loaf of bread? $10 for an apple? $20 for a pint of beer?

These prices (if not higher) is what you could expect if oil costs go through the roof.

We spend less than 5% of our GDP on oil. If we doubled the price, that would increase average US prices by 5%. Spread that over 20 years, and it's 1/4% per year. I don't like inflation or taxes, but given that higher taxes are coming anyway, I think this one makes more sense than most alternatives.

Submitted by GH on May 2, 2010 - 9:56am.

I know most are against this kind of thinking because it reaks of Socialism, but if the Federal Government "printed" another couple of Trillion Dollars - Whats that along side the 10 Trillion on the line for banksters which has got us nowhere? and set a project to put solar panels on the roof of every outhouse, apartment, house and building in America, within 10 years we could be 100% energy independent, and in the short term would create tens of millions of much needed jobs. Once Energy Independent, we would not need oil, and our economy would be positioned for real gains.

Too bad this will NOT happen. Big oil will not have it, big power will not have it, the military industrial complex will not have it, and frankly, everyone with a vested interest in the collapse of our fragile economy will not have it, and trust me there are plenty of folks waiting in the wings to swoop in like vultures and carve up the loot once things really go south...

In the mean time, we will continue to wage war in the middle east, while at the same time sending a vast percentage of our GNP there to help fund Islamic extremists like Bin Laden...

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 10:09am.

meadandale wrote:

Are you prepared to pay $15 for a loaf of bread? $10 for an apple? $20 for a pint of beer?

These prices (if not higher) is what you could expect if oil costs go through the roof.

I merely want to pay the true cost. Whatever that is. No more government subsidization of oil. No more not requiring oil companies to install $500,000 acoustic blowout-preventers which would have prevented the multi-trillion dollar ecological disaster we are about to experience.

Are you aware that this oil well is expected to gush for 3 more months and spew between 100 million and 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf? The entire Eastern seaboard of the U.S. could be wiped out because people like you don't want to pay a bit more for gas. Short-term thinking idiot, you are.

Submitted by svelte on May 2, 2010 - 10:34am.

IForget wrote:
Has the massive oil spill in the Gulf spurred you to do more to conserve energy?

Yes. I don't plan on getting my arse out of my chair all day today.

Submitted by meadandale on May 2, 2010 - 10:42am.

IForget wrote:
meadandale wrote:

Are you prepared to pay $15 for a loaf of bread? $10 for an apple? $20 for a pint of beer?

These prices (if not higher) is what you could expect if oil costs go through the roof.

I merely want to pay the true cost. Whatever that is. No more government subsidization of oil.

Then clearly you want the government to stop subsidizing agriculture, especially corn? After all, these are not small family farmers, by and large, anymore but huge multi-national conglomerates.

Submitted by meadandale on May 2, 2010 - 10:44am.

IForget wrote:
The entire Eastern seaboard of the U.S. could be wiped out because people like you don't want to pay a bit more for gas. Short-term thinking idiot, you are.

Typical elitist liberal...

I'd suggest that you analyze your contribution to the demand for oil before you start throwing stones there pal. Unless you are living in a grass hut in the mountains you are contributing to the demand for oil every day.

Submitted by garysears on May 2, 2010 - 11:01am.

"Of course, the solution is right in front of our eyes.
http://www.flixxy.com/zero-pollution-aut..."

I hope that is snark. The concept of the compressed air car as an improvement over internal combustion cars is a scam. The claims are fraudulent. Google is your friend.

Submitted by meadandale on May 2, 2010 - 11:06am.

garysears wrote:
"Of course, the solution is right in front of our eyes.
http://www.flixxy.com/zero-pollution-aut..."

I hope that is snark. The concept of the compressed air car as an improvement over internal combustion cars is a scam. The claims are fraudulent. Google is your friend.

I love these claims of 'zero polution' cars. They still pollute...they just shift the pollution to the electricity generating location (yes Virginia, we still get most of our electricity from burning 'stuff').

Submitted by mike92104 on May 2, 2010 - 11:12am.

What's really needed is a reduction in consumption all together. We're going to continue to use oil because it is still the best bang for the buck. I don't understand a previous post saying it is not efficient. Also, if you really wanted to help out the environment, you would drive your current gas guzzling, pollution belching car until the day you die. The energy, and materials used in making a new one outweigh the slight savings in gas used.

As far as the gulf spill, I am upset that there wasn't an immediate response to contain the spill. It seems as if they are just watching it all float away. There should be a containment team ready to go at the first sign of trouble.

Submitted by afx114 on May 2, 2010 - 11:13am.

meadandale wrote:
They still pollute...they just shift the pollution to the electricity generating location (yes Virginia, we still get most of our electricity from burning 'stuff').

This is still desirable because the pollution generation is shifted to a central location. It's much easier to make a single centralized location (plant) more efficient than it is to make millions of individual distributed machines (cars) more efficient. For example, you can install emission capturing and storage technology on the plant, but try doing that to millions of individually owned vehicles.

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 12:13pm.

meadandale wrote:

Then clearly you want the government to stop subsidizing agriculture, especially corn? After all, these are not small family farmers, by and large, anymore but huge multi-national conglomerates.

Most definitely. I try to eat as little of that GMO crap as I can (yes, I realize corn is in most processed food, but I try to minimize my family's consumption of that crap).

I don't want any evil corporations to be subsidized -- including Haliburton, Monsanto, Exxon, BP, Government Sachs, AIG, JP Morgan, etc.

I make enough money that I'm definitely willing to pay a few bucks more for food. I don't want to put myself or my family at risk just so that Monsanto/BP/GS can make a few more bucks in profit.

Why the hell would you think anyone other than BigAG/BigOIL/BigFinance would be in favor of government subsidization of BigAG/BigOIL/BigFinance?

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 12:55pm.

No. Where's my Hummer?

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 12:55pm.

IForget wrote:
It's good to see that there are at least two environmental terrorists who post here. No doubt they are looking forward to leaving behind a desolate, enviro-wasteland to the next generation.

Drill, baby, drill!

Actually, there's 13 now... Looks like you're in the minority.

Submitted by patientrenter on May 2, 2010 - 1:05pm.

mike92104 wrote:
....We're going to continue to use oil because it is still the best bang for the buck....

If we double the price (in the slow and predictable way I describe above) then we will find more and more other things that give a greater bang for the buck.

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 1:20pm.

IForget wrote:

I make enough money that I'm definitely willing to pay a few bucks more for food. I don't want to put myself or my family at risk just so that Monsanto/BP/GS can make a few more bucks in profit.

...and what about all those people who live on minimum wage? You plan to subsidize them by Obama-wealth-redistribution plan and pay more to feed others...Or do you expect the more "wealthy" to pick up the tab for that too? Sure, no one *minds* if everyone else has to *pay more*...as long as it's not your own money and as long as it doesn't drastically affect yourself. Forget about everyone else around you.

Submitted by ybitz on May 2, 2010 - 1:19pm.

Yes, we do get most of electricity from burning fossil fuel, but that's gradually changing. Though I have no source to cite, I think it's less polluting to burn fossil fuel to produce energy to power electric cars, then for the cars themselves to burn fossil fuel for power. Think about efficiencies gained by scaling up, and ease of pollutant control with one big source as opposed to millions of individual polluting sources.

Anyone else thinking about getting a Nissan Leaf when it comes out? I don't consider myself much of an environmentalist or early adopter, and I'm generally unwilling to voluntarily pay more for what's better for the environment, but I think Nissan Leaf electric vehicles are cool. With the federal/california tax break, it's ~$21k. That's not bad for a new car that's cheaper to operate than any other car out there. I know I cannot single-handedly wean off US's addiction on foreign oil, but I'm glad to do what I little I can to help.

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 1:23pm.

ybitz wrote:
Yes, we do get most of electricity from burning fossil fuel, but that's gradually changing. Though I have no source to cite, I think it's less polluting to burn fossil fuel to produce energy to power electric cars, then for the cars themselves to burn fossil fuel for power. Think about efficiencies gained by scaling up, and ease of pollutant control with one big source as opposed to millions of individual polluting sources.

Anyone else thinking about getting a Nissan Leaf when it comes out? I don't consider myself much of an environmentalist or early adopter, and I'm generally unwilling to voluntarily pay more for what's better for the environment, but I think Nissan Leaf electric vehicles are cool. With the federal/california tax break, it's ~$21k. That's not bad for a new car that's cheaper to operate than any other car out there. I know I cannot single-handedly wean off US's addiction on foreign oil, but I'm glad to do what I little I can to help.

And how to they generate electricity out here in CA? Hint, not majority from wind power/nuclear or hydro electric...If you're just talking about getting more MPG, you're better off going diesel and running part on bio-diesel.

Here's your fill-up locations, if you don't make it yourself in your own garage.
http://www.nearbio.com/

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 1:31pm.

IForget wrote:
meadandale wrote:

Are you prepared to pay $15 for a loaf of bread? $10 for an apple? $20 for a pint of beer?

These prices (if not higher) is what you could expect if oil costs go through the roof.

I merely want to pay the true cost. Whatever that is. No more government subsidization of oil. No more not requiring oil companies to install $500,000 acoustic blowout-preventers which would have prevented the multi-trillion dollar ecological disaster we are about to experience.

Are you aware that this oil well is expected to gush for 3 more months and spew between 100 million and 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf? The entire Eastern seaboard of the U.S. could be wiped out because people like you don't want to pay a bit more for gas. Short-term thinking idiot, you are.

Shit happens. Don't blame the entire technology, blame the co. that was negligent. By your logic, if a pilot error that crashes a plane, is that enough for you to say, no more air travel because it's environmentally unfriendly? Also, no one's stopping each of us to live green. If you want, you really should consider not using a lot of what you use around the house. TV, computers,etc. A lot of that is unneccesary energy usage. Furthermore, blog entries here are contributing 0 to our productive society and wasting resources too. At that energy being used to cool down datacenters, all the toxicity from the PCB boards of computers that are tossed out, etc. If you want to put a true tax on things environmentally unfriendly, I wouldn't mind if folks started paying $3k+ again for a PC or $1k for a cell phone.

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 1:39pm.

flu wrote:
IForget wrote:
It's good to see that there are at least two environmental terrorists who post here. No doubt they are looking forward to leaving behind a desolate, enviro-wasteland to the next generation.

Drill, baby, drill!

Actually, there's 13 now... Looks like you're in the minority.

Do you have something against minorities?

Submitted by Hobie on May 2, 2010 - 1:41pm.

garysears wrote:
"Of course, the solution is right in front of our eyes.
http://www.flixxy.com/zero-pollution-aut..."

I hope that is snark. The concept of the compressed air car as an improvement over internal combustion cars is a scam. The claims are fraudulent. Google is your friend.

Just being funny here ;)

Submitted by ybitz on May 2, 2010 - 1:45pm.

flu wrote:

And how to they generate electricity out here in CA? Hint, not majority from wind power/nuclear or hydro electric...If you're just talking about getting more MPG, you're better off going diesel and running part on bio-diesel.

Here's your fill-up locations, if you don't make it yourself in your own garage.
http://www.nearbio.com/

Flu...I looked into bio-diesel. NPR did a segment on this not too long ago, and the problem comes down to the amount of energy required to produce bio-diesel from corn (the main source available right now) is extremely high, and the overall energy balance is about neutral. In other words, you have to burn the equivalent of 1 gallon of bio-diesel to produce 1 gallon of bio-diesel, so it's not a viable option. I think electric cars get much better mpg than bio-diesel cars, according to EPA's wacky conversion for "equivalent" mpg for purely electric vehicles. I assume the calculation takes into account how much oil must be burned to create enough electricity to charge the car.

Where can I find out the source of electricity in San Diego? I couldn't find anything on the SDG&E website other than saying current CA law requires 20% to come from renewable sources, and by 2020 33% must come from renewable sources.

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 1:48pm.

flu wrote:

as long as it's not your own money and as long as it doesn't drastically affect yourself. Forget about everyone else around you.

Not sure if you've been paying attention, but that's exactly what the big corporations have been doing.

Examples:
-The oil industry lobbies against $500,000 acoustic blowout-preventers that can prevent multi-trillion dollar catastrophe's like the one that's about to happen in the Gulf and on the East coast. The oil industry doesn't give a fuck about the environmental destruction as they only care about the $500,000 they can add to their bottom line for each rig..

-The financial industry lobbies against regulation of derivatives. The derivatives blow up costing American taxpayers trillions, meanwhile the finance fuckers take the government bailout money and use it to pay themselves massive bonuses.

-Monsanto creates GMO corn whose pollen subsequently contaminates all varities of corn around the world. Monsanto doesn't give a rat's ass because they got theirs.

All I want is for things to reflect their true costs -- including externalities. I'm not asking for any special treatment and am happy to pay my fair share.

Submitted by ybitz on May 2, 2010 - 2:14pm.

flu wrote:

as long as it's not your own money and as long as it doesn't drastically affect yourself. Forget about everyone else around you.

Perfect example of tragedy of the commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_...). Individually, we're all better off not paying a few more bucks to ensure we're not destroying the environment. Without a third party enforcer (government) it has been proven over and over again that a large population will never do what is best overall for the group since the individual incentive to cheat is too high. Libertarianism is a wonderful concept, but without checks, our selfishness leads to disaster. Hey, I hate taxes and subsidizing poor people who don't make enough to pay their own share of taxes, but if making oil/food more expensive so that we don't screw ourselves down the road, that's what needs to be done.

Submitted by Hobie on May 2, 2010 - 2:33pm.

IForget wrote:

-The oil industry lobbies against $500,000 acoustic blowout-preventers that can prevent multi-trillion dollar catastrophe's like the one that's about to happen in the Gulf and on the East coast. The oil industry doesn't give a fuck about the environmental destruction as they only care about the $500,000 they can add to their bottom line for each rig..

Anecdotal examples just don't fly as it misses the complete picture. Maybe the, "$500k acoustic blowout" device just may not be the best equipment for the location of a particular well. Different technologies for different applications.

Don't see the logic with stating the oil industry doesn't care about 'environmental destruction'. The last thing they want or need is to be shut down preventing them from making the untold billions by some environmental disaster.

By the way, there was not a drop of oil lost during both the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. And rigs were severely damaged.

I suggest to hold you fire until they determine the exact cause of this rig failure.

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 3:18pm.

Hobie wrote:

Don't see the logic with stating the oil industry doesn't care about 'environmental destruction'. The last thing they want or need is to be shut down preventing them from making the untold billions by some environmental disaster.

Oil companies are only worried about next quarter's P&L statement.

Hobie wrote:

By the way, there was not a drop of oil lost during both the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. And rigs were severely damaged.

Where'd you get that info? From Dick Cheney?

Why the BOP failed is not just a matter of history but the central question to which teams of engineers working round the clock in a command centre in Houston are seeking answers. If it can be reactivated in the next few days the total volume of oil released by the Deepwater Horizon well will still be a fraction of the 6.5 million gallons spilled in the Gulf as a result of Hurricane Katrina. If not, the Gulf Coast spill will eclipse the Exxon Valdez disaster within weeks. If caught in the Gulf Stream, it could eventually curl round the Florida Keys and poison
much of the US Eastern Seaboard.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo...

Damn that liberal media and their facts!

Hobie wrote:

I suggest to hold you fire until they determine the exact cause of this rig failure.

See above. Or continue to post away mindlessly like you've been doing.

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 4:12pm.

IForget wrote:
flu wrote:
IForget wrote:
It's good to see that there are at least two environmental terrorists who post here. No doubt they are looking forward to leaving behind a desolate, enviro-wasteland to the next generation.

Drill, baby, drill!

Actually, there's 13 now... Looks like you're in the minority.

Do you have something against minorities?

Nice, try. Technically, I am a minority. But just pointing out the flaw in you thinking most people would give a hoot about this and alter their lifestyle.

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 4:13pm.

By the way, the reason for using an acoustic Blowout-Preventer instead of the one that BP was using is because an acoustic BOP can be operated remotely (using acoustics). The cheaper BOP that BP was using has to be operated via wire, and the wires are now at the bottom of the ocean.

So for a mere $500,000 (the cost of an acoustic BOP), this multi-billion (maybe multi-trillion) dollar ecological disaster could have been prevented.

Hobie,

What was that BS you were spewing about oil companies and the environment again?

Submitted by IForget on May 2, 2010 - 4:14pm.

flu wrote:

Nice, try. Technically, I am a minority. But just pointing out the flaw in you thinking most people would give a hoot about this and alter their lifestyle.

This poll confirms my previous assumptions: Most posters on this board are idiots.

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 4:17pm.

IForget wrote:
flu wrote:

as long as it's not your own money and as long as it doesn't drastically affect yourself. Forget about everyone else around you.

Not sure if you've been paying attention, but that's exactly what the big corporations have been doing.

Examples:
-The oil industry lobbies against $500,000 acoustic blowout-preventers that can prevent multi-trillion dollar catastrophe's like the one that's about to happen in the Gulf and on the East coast. The oil industry doesn't give a fuck about the environmental destruction as they only care about the $500,000 they can add to their bottom line for each rig..

-The financial industry lobbies against regulation of derivatives. The derivatives blow up costing American taxpayers trillions, meanwhile the finance fuckers take the government bailout money and use it to pay themselves massive bonuses.

-Monsanto creates GMO corn whose pollen subsequently contaminates all varities of corn around the world. Monsanto doesn't give a rat's ass because they got theirs.

All I want is for things to reflect their true costs -- including externalities. I'm not asking for any special treatment and am happy to pay my fair share.

Well, that's the problem with your statement. Unless you're willing to pay for your share AND everyone else's share that isn't as fortunate as you are to be able to afford to pay more if costs go up significantly, who else do you expect people to pay for these people? In addition to paying more for just your expenses, are you willing to pay say an additional 25% in taxes just to support those who aren't as fortunate as you? ...Or do you just expect to pay for "your fair share", and expect everyone else richer than you to pay for their fair share + everyone else that isn't as lucky as you are.....Because if you are really as concerned about this, you could start donating 20%-25% of your income right now to those less fortunate on a voluntary bases already.

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 4:21pm.

IForget wrote:
flu wrote:

Nice, try. Technically, I am a minority. But just pointing out the flaw in you thinking most people would give a hoot about this and alter their lifestyle.

This poll confirms my previous assumptions: Most posters on this board are idiots.

Hey, you're posting on this. Or are you excluding yourself from the idiot list too, just like you like to exclude yourself from anything but "your fair share"?

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 2, 2010 - 4:17pm.

i really wish seat belts were never mandated and there really should be no seat belt law whatsoever. we need to allow some truly self-imposed risk to thin the herd.

Submitted by Hobie on May 2, 2010 - 4:18pm.

IForget: Your smug reaction hinders your learning therefore your sound judgment. First your news source colludes all petroleum releases as a result of hurricane Katrina/Rita. I am focusing on the offshore element only. You can't mix a natural caused event and its associated damage into the current situation.

The Department of the Interior notes only 500BBS of oil were released off shore due to the hurricanes. To put that in perspective, there is about 70 BBS of natural oil seepage in Santa Barbara Channel daily. (And more prior to our drilling that relieved pressure) So when I say not a drop was spilled during two massive hurricanes you can now see my frame of reference.

I don't like an oil spill any more than you do. Frankly, I am pissed that there wasn't a larger spill response while it was still on fire. I don't know if the rig was leaking then or after it sank before it started. And, since the leak was over a mile underwater it would take a while for it to float to the surface and even then may have been attributed to the rig fire only.

Take a look at this attached article before you launch into any rhetoric from the other spills associated from Katrina.

http://www.tos.org/oceanography/issues/i...

See you at the voting booth.

Submitted by Coronita on May 2, 2010 - 4:28pm.

scaredycat wrote:
i really wish seat belts were never mandated and there really should be no seat belt law whatsoever. we need to allow some truly self-imposed risk to thin the herd.

Scaredy, your should learn by now...Americans can't take care of themselves. That's why they need government to tell them what to do.

Seatbelt law, helmet laws are a few of the better laws

Define irony: consider this

1)Social security: for people can't save for themselves
2)Mortgage bailouts: for people that can't afford to pay for their homes
3)Credit reform bill: for people that can't afford to pay for the credit bills and/or can't read the about all the finance charges that CC companies ream you with if you just make mimimum payments

Submitted by Arraya on May 2, 2010 - 4:26pm.

Whether the switch could have prevented the accident is beyond knowing. Though, profit over safety is the rule, not the exception with these types of things. Just like the mining accident the other week. The mining company was in constant violation of a myriad safety codes for years. Things like that are done strictly on cost benefit analysis. This was a black swan event surely predicted as an extremely low possibility not to effect the cost benefit analysis. Unexpectedly is the word of the decade.

Deep sea drilling like this is at the edge of human technological ability. If anything should remind you that oil is getting harder and harder to get, this should. We are talking 5000 ft below sea level and 30,000 ft below that. Talk about junky mentality -- all to keep shipping plastic junk back and forth to increase McGDP

Civilization is tremendously out of balance with the flow of planetary energy. The consensus assumption of civilization is that an exponentially expanding consumption of material resources can continue, based on dwindling resources and a dying ecosystem. This is simply absurd and balance will "unexpectedly" be restored.

Whether anybody likes it or not we will be consuming less oil collectively. We really don't have a choice in the matter. The totalitarian bitch that is "earth" will see to it.

Submitted by afx114 on May 2, 2010 - 4:46pm.

Remind me again how much a gallon of gas costs in Europe?

Submitted by davelj on May 2, 2010 - 4:58pm.

IForget wrote:
flu wrote:

Nice, try. Technically, I am a minority. But just pointing out the flaw in you thinking most people would give a hoot about this and alter their lifestyle.

This poll confirms my previous assumptions: Most posters on this board are idiots.

So, IForget... I assume you don't drive, right? And you don't have any kids, nor are you going to have any, yes? And your total carbon footprint is below that of the average human on earth (recall, average would probably mean a relatively poor person in India or China without a car and other mod cons), yes?

I'm just trying to make sure you're really an environmentalist, that's all.

Submitted by no_such_reality on May 2, 2010 - 5:56pm.

Yes, I'll be more environmentally aware. I'm going to establish new policies at my company this week in view of the environmental impacts of our massive oil consumption.

Henceforth, all supplementary and non-core competency positions will be eliminated as the obvious external costs of the employees commuting to the office outweigh their value added efforts.

In addition, my company can realize significant cost savings in labor be telesourcing the administrative and HR assistance from calls centers in India. The India labor pool is preferable since domestic sourcing will just encourage the excessive US consumption model. I'll be able to use the cost savings to cover the cost savings by switching myself too green power from the DWP.

I still have to source janitorial and professional cleaning services, but I'll be requiring the providers to insist that their workers commute by human power means or pay to be picked up in a company approved zero emission vehicles. To minimize unnecessary consumption, we will require the workers to stay in company mandated housing that is pedestrian distance away which will be provided a wholly own but legally separate LLC for a nominal fee generating a fair profit.

To eliminate the subsidizing of farmers that leverage excessive oil consumption, all employees will be required to shop at the company sponsored farmers market that is allowed on the former parking lot once a week. Employees will also be required to sign affidavits certifying that they only eat three meals a week with land based animal protein as it is a massive over consumer of petroleum based fertilizers. All protein must be purchased from the company certified organic and sustainable ranchers and fishery.

I feel good knowing I am doing my part.

Submitted by garysears on May 2, 2010 - 6:49pm.

My thoughts on energy and why I voted "no":

Oil and cheap energy in general is what allows our current standard of living and the current population of the earth and productivity of farmland.

We humans as a rule will not voluntarily lower our standard of living. If the United States lowers its standard of living by voluntarily reducing energy consumption (via regulation), other developing nations will not. No country wants to sacrifice growth for the sake of "the planet." Cheap energy fuels the modernization of nations.

This is a grab all you can get while you can get it scenario. We are going to hit the end of cheap energy wall. That seems certain. Until that happens nothing will change.

As far as climate change concerns and carbon, this means as much carbon as man can feasibly get into the atmosphere is going back into the atmosphere at a rate only impacted by economics. Whether we like it or not those dinosaurs are going to get into the air. That WILL happen regardless of U.S. policy on the matter.

I voted "no" on the poll. For me energy use is a question of individual economics rather than a moral issue. I agree it seems certain that significantly higher energy prices are coming... but in an unclear amount of time in the future. Until that time, the return on energy reduction/efficiency increase for the investment is not compelling. I cannot even be sure I'll live where I live now or be in the house I live today when energy gets expensive enough to make economic sense to change my ways. I will not voluntarily make sacrificial changes today if I'm not certain to see the benefit. Legislation can change this. But that is why I personally wait, like most others.

Some people have the means to throw away money at non cost-effective energy efficiency and "green" technology. I believe this does more for the ego than the planet. I will drive my 10 and 17 year old vehicles until they are no longer cost effective to repair. I believe my approach does more for the health of the planet than scrapping them for newer more fuel efficient models.

Submitted by Arraya on May 2, 2010 - 7:03pm.

garysears wrote:

This is a grab all you can get while you can get it scenario. We are going to hit the end of cheap energy wall. That seems certain. Until that happens nothing will change.


...

Well, we are there, no need to conserve.

Consider it a natural emergency brake on economic activity. Just sit back and watch the economy shrink.

I wouldn't expect high prices necessarily. Volatile is more like it. Spikes followed by a shedding of economic activity. >$120 puts the economy in a tail spin.

Submitted by Arraya on May 2, 2010 - 7:20pm.

So, they're gonna try and cap it with cement domes.

http://bit.ly/cnEeJY

"There is nothing unique about the situation that should have prohibited the BOP from working as designed," Holt said of the device.

The containment boxes being built to stop the leak — 40 feet tall, 24 feet wide and 14 feet deep — were not part of the company's original response plan. But they appear to be the best hope for keeping the oil well from gushing for months.

The approach has been used previously only for spills in relatively shallow water. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said engineers are still examining whether the valves and other systems that feed oil to a ship on the surface can withstand the extra pressures of the deep.

"This is a completely new way of dealing with this problem," said Greg Pollock, commissioner of the oil spill prevention and response program at the Texas General Land Office. "Generally speaking, nobody's ever tried anything like this on this scale."

If the boxes don't work, BP also has begun work on its only other backup plan: a relief well that will take as long as three months to drill.

If that does not work the will drill relief wells which could take three months.

And it could start spewing 100,000 bbl per day. Which is about 35 Exxon Valdezs over 3 months. Which should knock out all gulf fishing industries and tourism. Which will decrease consumption -- see it's naturally regulating. No need to do anything.

The last GOM leak of this magnitude was back in 1979 which took 10 months to contain and it was in shallow water <200ft

Submitted by briansd1 on May 2, 2010 - 7:41pm.

I've already done my part.

I live in an apartment, downtown, not in a McMansion.

I drive a small car when I'm not pulling cargo.

I'm not procreating. Procreation is the most environmentally destructive, high-carbon impact behavior.

People who are procreating should be the ones making the most sacrifices for their progeny.