This post and comment from Think Progress:
From today’s Social Security event in Galveston, Texas:
MR. BENTLEY: And we’re operating in central Iraq. I’ll be back there next week.
THE PRESIDENT: How many children you got?
MR. BENTLEY: We have two children. We have a four-year-old son named Patrick, and a three-month-old daughter named Elaine that I just got to meet for the first time.
THE PRESIDENT: Really?
MR. BENTLEY: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: No wonder you’re emotional. (Laughter.) That’s awesome.
MRS. BENTLEY: She was born two days after he deployed.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, great.
Is this what it means to be a compassionate conservative?
The Monday Night ConversationHis response:
Every once in a while, it is good to sit back and review reader comments and emails...Monday evenings, we'll try to pick a couple of threads/ideas that are going through our comment/email boxes and expound on them.
The sentiment I want to address tonight has come from a two or three emailers as well as a commenter a couple of posts back...and can best be summarized as:
"How about having some guest bloggers, one's that can talk about steps to move us forward from where we are now. There must be some very brilliant people out there that are involved in urban planning & renewable resources, and and other grass roots people out there that are pushing for more public transportation, sustainable development, etc.
You research is great, and your site deserves much more exposure. But somedays my glass is half full, and I'd like to hear some positive news. Or at least some positive ideas... Shit, I am thinking about bringing kids into this world soon."
Baloghblog:Click here to read the rest of his post.
Part of the long-term plan is to get some other bloggers on here to talk about energy alternatives and the many other issues involved with peak oil. We're working on that as we speak, actually.
However, I want you to remember that this is a tough and real topic that we must discuss and think through. Unfortunately, it's going to be a downer a lot of the time because of the facts. We try to add levity now and again, really...but it ain't all that easy.
The ideas are complex, the actors multiple and powerful, the ramifications so severe, that I have to be honest, some days, I just don't know if I can talk about this anymore. In fact, I remember the feeling you're experiencing quite well. Then I decided I had to try to tell people about it, and then I ran into HO, and hence this blog.
The other thing to remember is that public transportation, sustainable development, and all the things we very much advocate, are only going to be helpful if they are accomplished QUICKLY and enacted in a coordinated manner BEFORE our resources run out. If we wait too long to use what we have to build the bridge to non-petroleum based economy, then we're pretty fucking stupid.
(See, unfortunately, it's no fun realizing your future is likely fucked...or at least going to be very different.)
And that's exactly the case, unless we get all of the following (and rather quickly):
1. A few dozen technological breakthroughs,
2. Unprecedented political will and bipartisan cooperation,
3. Tremendous international collaboration,
4. Massive amounts of investment capital...
Matt Savinar has links to some good tips to help us prepare (no hint of preventing this one I guess.)
This is a great site (The Path Project) that Matt links to, that aims to help make us a little more self-sufficient.
The bloggers at The Oil Drum are well articulated, and back up their statements with a lot of research. I prefer it in small doses to let it sink in, after initially delving into it. I hope to continue to implement ways that I can be more self sufficient, and gain knowledge that I can pass along to my children. They are the ones that will have to be dealing with the worst of it.
I think that the one thing that most of us could do short term is to reduce our debt burden. I know that that is the financial way that we are preparing to start. The second is to look at ways to make our home more energy efficient. Not only to conserve energy for the good of society, but also to help ease the coming utility bills that could be 2-3 times as high in the coming years. The third way that I am begining to prepare for this is to start pushing local politicians to look again at ways to boost public transportation and ridership by making it more convenient and accessible.
To every one that visits my blog, you definitely owe it to yourself to head on over to The Oil Drum
You know that scene in Being John Malkovich, where John Malkovich walks into his own brain and everyone keeps chanting "Malkovich"?
The media obsession with blogging is kind of like that now. CNN, MSNBC, and FOX might as well talk about "blogging blog blogerfically bloggish blogger blogs".
UPDATE: CNN's secret plan to beat Fox (via baloghblog) [<-- go to his site and click on CNN's secret plan]
out of those 83 thousand sold, how many were American made?
New hybrid vehicle registrations totaled 83,153 in 2004, an 81 percent increase over the year before, according to data released today by R.L. Polk & Co., which collects and interprets automotive data.
Still, hybrids represented less than 1 percent of the 17 million new vehicles sold in 2004. But the U.S. hybrid market has grown by 960 percent since 2000, when 7,781 were sold, according to the Polk data, and major automakers are planning to introduce about a dozen new hybrids during the next three years.
Ford sold 2,566 Escape hybrid sport utility vehicles, or about 3 percent of the market, Polk said. (emphasis mine)Granted, the hybrid still takes gasoline to run, but a lot less of it. You'll see, the demand for hybrids will spur more production, and more production will lead to competitive prices. (It's already happening...) Then I think it will be a very difficult sell for a GM salesman:
"sure this Chevy Malibu costs $21,265 and gets 22 mpg. She's a real beauty..."
"yep you heard me right, this Prius gets 60 mpg, and costs $21,875." [I included the $1000 mark up due to current demand. Actual retail $20,875]
This is a picture of my garden from the window upstairs. Yes there is 2 rows of peas poking thru, and some miniscule carrot greens starting. It's pouring out though and 40 freaking degrees, I'll take pix of the pea plants soon.
FYI, my blog has achieved a small stepping stone, with over 450 [update: 500] page loads. (Some day I plan on celebrating my 10,000th!)
Thanks to all those checking it out. Come back semi-daily, and I'll continue to post.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Shortly before the House began debate Wednesday on an energy bill aimed primarily at making the country less dependent on overseas oil, a House committee chairman involved in the legislation bluntly dismissed a key provision to boost the use of hydrogen fuels.
House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-California, a key proponent of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, whispered, "This is bulls--t," to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt as the two men stood listening to Rep. John Doolittle, R-California, talk about the benefits of hydrogen fuel at a crowded Capitol Hill news conference.
Rep. Walsh avoids the real energy problem of huge vehicles with poor mileage, and votes against an amendment that would have increased MPG standards to 33 mpg (over 10 years!) from the current 25 mpg standard.
An aside in the Post Standard states that automobile manufacturers and autoworkers unions were against this increase. I think that it has become time for autoworkers to reconsider their stance as well. Companies like Toyota and Honda are driving the future market of hybrid autos. When gas goes to $3.00+/gal and no one is buying SUV's except the very well off, then how happy will the newly laid off auto workers be, and their employers who will see their stocks plummet even further.
From Motley Fool:
GM continues to focus on producing large SUVs and pickups in spite of higher gas prices. The company plans to introduce an all-new lineup of full-size SUVs and pickups for 2006. GM has obviously benefited from the high margins provided by SUVs and pickups, but with high fuel prices seemingly here for the foreseeable future, the public is shifting toward more fuel-efficient vehicles. Which leads me to...
Where's the hybrid vehicle? How can the world's top automaker not have one true hybrid in its lineup? All GM offers is a hybrid version of its Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 large trucks, which, by the way, are really the same truck. But that's it. Where's its one true hybrid vehicle? I realize the margins aren't as high as those of SUVs, but that's not the point in this case. It's about giving customers what they want and proving the technological capabilities of the company. I realize GM is working on fuel-cell technology, but that could be 10 or more years away. Meanwhile, Honda (NYSE: HMC - News) and Toyota (NYSE: TM - News) can't seem to keep hybrids on the lots.
Once again Rep. Walsh voted against raising fuel efficiency standards. Will he be voting for the Feb 2007 auto industry bailout?
Props to Rep Boehlert who stood up to his party and voted with his conscience. (He was the sponsor of the higher fuel efficiency amendment.)
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, voted against the bill after delivering an emphatic speech against it on the House floor.
"The House of Representatives had the chance today to pass sensible energy legislation that would reduce our reliance on foreign oil by investing in alternative forms of energy and promoting conservation and energy efficiency," Boehlert said after the vote. "Unfortunately, we squandered the opportunity."
Now, I know that Rep. Walsh has "served our area well in the past." He seems a lock to remain in the congress with no foreseeable challenger in sight. But we still can let him know how we feel. If you so desire, here is his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher fuel efficiency standards will help the US auto industry remain in step with the world. There isn't going to be cheap oil again. We need alternative fuels, conservation, increased investment in the public transportation system, and reduced reliance on foreign oil.
I wish that Syracuse would revamp their bus system. The route numbers are not even listed on the bus stops, and there is no way to map out your desired route on the internet. It makes a system that few desire to use, nearly inaccessible for those who are interested in using it.
In NYC we just typed in the street address of our location and our destination and it mapped out the subway or bus route, and linked to the schedule. The centro website should do the same.
More thoughts later, I am off to work...
FYI this is what 17 billion dollars looks like:
$17,000,000,000. Think of 1 million dollars. 17 billion = 17,000 x 1 million dollars.
The most ever made in one year in the history of the world as profit. And Bush wants to give a tax break to these motherfers that are reaping record profits from our wallets.
Read this post from Tom Paine
Many people, including myself, grew up on American cars (mine was red though) and loved them. When shopping for my last car, I just couldn't find a car that had good gas mileage, had AWD, and was less than $22,000 that was made by an american car co. And most importantly was deemed reliable by Consumer Reports.
A bill by the way that does nothing to lower gas prices in the short term.
Insana: Some of your loyal opponents on Capitol Hill today made some cynical comments suggesting that you don't mind way high oil prices because they help some of your friends in the oil business. How would you respond to statements like that?
President Bush: I, I'm the president of everybody. And I -- look, I go to Fort Hood, Texas, and I sit down at a table with a young solider and we're talking about his tour of duty. And one of the first questions he asked me is what are you going to do about gasoline prices, Mr. President?
I mean, here's a kid who has, you know, put his life on the line for our nation's freedom and for peace and he's worried about gasoline prices. 'Course I'm worried about gasoline prices. And a high price of crude drives the price of gasoline.
And listen, I've been talking to Congress for three or four years now about getting a plan in place, getting a bill to my desk that reflects a comprehensive energy plan. And in all due respect to the members of Congress who are -- might be somewhat critical of the administration, it's time for them to stop debating and time for them to get a bill to my desk.
Now I just wish that someone would follow up with a tougher question. For the transcript of his interview click here.
This news story is well written, and unbiased. It is worth a read. Slightly Orwellian.
From Kelley Beaucar Vlahos at FoxNews:
"These events are clearly so carefully crafted that they can't be considered 'open forums' anyway," she said. "They are pep rallies. This is a new thing in terms of having an administration that tries to have absolute tight control on public perception of events and of reality."
To those interested, and who live in NY State. (Believe it or not it effects us "upstaters" too...)
As a result, Cablevision has prevented Time Warner from providing these channels, thereby leaving Time Warner customers unable to view the New York Mets and New York Knicks games carried by these networks. We realize this inconvenience may seem insignificant to some, but it is one that affects a good portion of the city's residents and businesses, and it interferes with the pursuit of a diversion that New Yorkers have enjoyed for more than 150 years...Please take the time to sign this petition.
Thanks for the link Kerry
I know that this is off topic, but I am pissed and need to vent. Stay away from Microsoft. Use Mozilla's Firefox instead of Microsoft Explorer. Purchase a Mac. Every little bit helps. I told them that this was such a petty BS thing not to fix this, and it deters me from being a loyal customer, apparently they don't give two shits when they realize that they are a monopoly.
The Better Business Bureau serving Oregon and Western Washington
Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau's Online Complaint System.
Your complaint has been assigned case # XXXXXXXX
A confirmation will be emailed to : XXXXXX@xXXXX.rr.com
Please print a copy of this for your records.
Filed on : April 14 2005
Filed by :
Filed against :
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond WA 98052
My Xbox gaming console was purchased for me in Nov 2002 for Christmas 2002. I enjoyed using it for several years, until this spring, April 2005. At this time I purchased a new game - Tiger Woods Golf 2005. The xbox produced a error message stating that the disc could not be read, or was damaged. I called the manufacturer of the disc - EA Sports and they walked me through the troubleshooting process. It was determined that the disc might be faulty, and I was advised to return it to the store that I purchased it from for a new copy. Target was happy to do this for me at no charge. I was dismayed however, that the new copy of the game did not work either. I then moved on to Microsoft web support for the Xbox. I chatted on-line with an employee. They told me that I needed to speak to someone on the phone. I called the number and was told, given my circumstances that the fault was with my Xbox console, and not with the game and that it would have to be returned to be serviced at my expense of Shipping to Tennesee, and then $79.99. No explanation was given for why my machine would play older games and not the new one. I decided to think about it, and initially declined the "offer" to have my Xbox serviced at my expense. I did a quick search on Google, and found that there were hundreds of other consumers that were in the same boat as I was. I even found an entire website dedicated to the problem. Armed with the knowledge that I was not the only one having purchased a defective machine, I called back the help line. I spoke to a rep, explained the situation, and he put me on with his supervisor. The supervisor explained to me, "Your Xbox may need to be serviced for an _upgrade_ to allow it to read the new Xbox games." I explained to him that I hadn't heard that a new version of the Xbox had come out that I needed to purchase to allow me to play the new games. He said, no that wasn't the case, but that the older versions of the Xbox were not recognizing the new video games. I do not believe that this is fair business practice, to produce a product that is marketed to be compatable with all video games labed "Xbox", and then to say to the customer, too bad that you have an older version, you will need to spend $79.99 + shipping to have your machine upgraded. At the end of the conversation, I was told that the best that he could do for me was give me 25% off the repair cost. This outcome didn't satisfy me, I believe that when a product is marketed and sold to be compatable with all games, it should be the responsibility of the manufacturer to repair or upgrade the product to perform as indicated. Information: Xbox MFG date XXXXXX XXXXXXXX Manufactured in Mexico Phone call tracking number #XXXXXXX (xbox customer care) Thank you for your assistance.
Your Desired Resolution:
Replacement of Xbox console with a system that allows me to play all games that are marketed as compatible for the Xbox gaming console.
This case will be reviewed by a complaint specialist at the Better Business Bureau, and then forwarded to the business for their response. You will be notified when the business has responded.
Trying to learn how to be more self-sufficient. One small step at a time. The composter starts this week too.
I'll post pictures when anything starts growing.
Sounds like someone is even more upset than me...Friday, April 08, 2005
Today's News Linkage and Wrap-up
Here's today's news clippings.
Today, I want you to notice how LITTLE the American MSM is paying attention to the peak oil issue and the policy decisions that are being based on what's coming. (Note also all of the links to New Zealand, Australia, and the like! (that's why I left the addresses exposed...). Sure there have been some mentions lately, but actually relating peak oil to policy like these piece do...? Nope.
Corporate fucking poser-whores! Hey MSM, get off your asses and do something. Maybe even learn about something new...
(sorry, had to let that out, it's been festering all morning...)
This web essay is one of the darker ones, but if you sift through, there are some really great points, and interesting if troubling thoughts.
(an aside, and a clarification: Since I have gotten my Sirius Radio, I have fallen in love with listening to the radio again. It is my favorite invention. I actually have access to progressive talk radio now. My selection before? NPR, Rush, O'Reilly, Deep cuts of Boston, and the 30,000th time I've heard Money, by Pink Floyd. I love that I can hear people like Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Shultz. It's just that it's the same old shit, the same rants that Rush has been doing for 15 years, now they are just substituting 'Neo-con' for 'Liberal' and 'Bush' for 'Clinton'. Once in a while, something new comes up, there is real discussion and I actually consider putting my 2 cents in. But then again I have this blog, and my 3 (?) loyal readers. So I guess that is enough outlet for me.)
Type in your address, hit enter. Then click "satellite" for an overhead view of the address from satellite.
Greenspan expressed a hope that higher prices would spur conservation by businesses and consumers and greater energy exploration by energy companies. That should help get prices under control, he said.
I am not hearing anything about how meaningless the production of more oil would be given the fact that China and India will eat up any available surplus with their growth.
The Bush administration has been pushing Congress to enact energy legislation. Lawmakers in the House are working on a bill with the aim of promoting increased production of a broad range of energy sources -- from coal to natural gas. The measure is not expected to have much impact on the price spikes seen in recent weeks, however.
Congress has been trying for five years to enact broad energy legislation. A compromise on a bill fell apart in 2003 in a dispute over liability protection for manufacturers of a gasoline additive and concern about the bill's $31 billion price tag.
Greenspan also said that the higher energy prices will not only stimulate new exploration but also research and development ``that will unlock new approaches to energy production and use that we can now only scarcely envision.''
i.e. It is a good thing that we've waited until prices are through the roof, and the oil companies are filling their pockets enough that they now have some spare money (ours) to dedicate to finding new sources of energy. (Instead of a proactive government that provides incentive and funding for new technologies and forms of energy.)
Still trying to figure out if it is powering the driver or the car's engine... here
I made OneGoodMove's blog this week...
My friend Kara's thoughts from the West Coast, which I echo are below. I couldn't have put it better.
I however plan on learning to make really good or really potent wine. I will use this to barter for everything I need. (or to help me forget about my troubles...)
random thoughts here. i'm just freaked out.phew. at least there's hope for the pacific northwest. some of you may be screwed. how's that for a "move to beautiful portland" pitch?it would be easy to chalk this up to paranoia, liberal agendas, take your pick. this article illustrates how science has not only been ignored but twisted and forced to speak pseudo-truths about the very real oil crisis. at some point a cultural lobotomy was done, and we've been going along with a prozac-induced grin ever since. i'm terrified, personally, and thinking of my time spent in texas, i think it must be even worse. there's a level of realization in the northwest and northeast that seems nonexistent in the southeast and southwest. there is too great of a divide between those who have accepted that this dependence on oil has dominated our morning to night, our politics, our lifestyle of consumption. and then there are those who believe they're entitled to this. it is ours to take. it's there, isn't it? and unfortunately, the numbers are not in our favor. i'm afraid it will indeed take a complete cultural shutdown for every! one to finally believe we actually can destroy this planet. strength in numbers, and we humans have outnumbered ourselves and therefore overwhelmed mother earth. i would love to be overreacting, and maybe i am. i'd love to admit i'm wrong here. it just seems like common sense, though. it feels like we've overdone it.i can only hope that the inevitable transition from an oil-dependent nation to the next great hopes (solar, hydro, wind, bio-diesel) doesn't lead to some orwellian/vonnegut-like existence where humanity is torn to shreds. i feel like a doomsayer. but i think of great civilizations of the past that seemingly just disappeared. gone like that. how does that happen? i used to wonder about the incans, easter island, macchu picchu, all of it. and i think maybe we've overstayed our welcome. "there was a period of several hundred years when the united states of america dominated the world........." to readers, that will sound incomprehensible, just as when the ottoman empire dominated sounds odd to us. that's if there are any history books not yet burned.i look at my house now. it seems too big. i have too many things. i'm ready to head for the hills, but i don't think i could get a decent internet connection there.in the meantime, i think i'll turn my living room into a hydroponic garden of potatoes and carrots. just in case.i'm not ready to give up on solar, wind, or plant fuel options. both my home and the pub's electricity is solely provided by wind-powered sources. i give my veggie oil from the fryers to a bio-diesel co-op. i think that's a start, if a late one at that.but better late than never, right?
I had to sit and look around at what Mrs. Baloghblog and I have for possessions, and the size of the home that I live in. How would I heat this thing if the gas wasn't flowing? What purchases would seem extravagant in the future if the economy takes a dive? It really makes you wonder what is important.
About the only thing that we do that is "environmental" is we compost in the summer, and we recycle. Otherwise, I drive about 150 miles a day average to see patients in a rural setting. (I imagine that I would con't to get reimbursement for my gas to be able to provide healthcare, but who knows...)
We have a small garden that can provide enough veggies to keep my "pet" hedgehog fat.
We live a mile away from the grocery store, so I guess we'd be in walking distance.
We have as much debt as the average household, but enough to make me worried if we weren't making good money.
I guess there is a million things you could stress about, thinking about what would happen in an extended gas shortage. I guess all you can do is start to make some changes now. I'll post again on this when I figure out exactly what those things might be.
All I have so far is that my wife and I will commute together if gas hits $2.50/gallon.
I am considering how to make our home more energy efficient, including updated windows, and insulation. (I don't think the sun shines enough in Syracuse to get solar panels, although we have had a record 5 sunny days in a row here.)
Any other ideas? Let me know.