October 14, 2009
Will Natural Gas Shale Plays Replace Dwindling Oil?

In recent years the development of technology for extracting natural gas from shale has boosted natural gas production from the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and Barnett shales. While Peak Oil still looks to be on schedule the good news is that much larger supplies of natural gas might make our transition away from oil much easier. Natural gas can power vehicles, albeit with less range than gasoline-powered cars. The United States might have enough natural gas to last most of the 21st century.

The U.S. consumes about 23 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas a year, according to the Department of Energy's Energy Information Agency (EIA). The Potential Gas Committee (PGC), an organization headquartered at the Colorado School of Mines, put the country's potential natural-gas resources at 1,836 TCF in a biennial assessment released in June. That's 39 percent higher than its estimate of two years earlier. Add to that the 238 TCF that the EIA has calculated in "proved reserves" (the gas that can be produced given existing economic conditions) and the PGC pegs the future supply at 2,074 TCF. In other words, there is enough natural gas to supply the country for 90 years at current consumption rates. Even if we used natural gas to totally replace coal in generating electricity, domestic supplies would last for 50 years.

The shale gas extraction technologies might also boost natural gas production in Europe and in other parts of the world. European dependence on Russian natural gas will be lessened. The US and Europe will both benefit from lower costs for importing energy than otherwise would have been the case.

Currently oil is selling for about $13 per million BTU of heat energy versus natural gas at about $4.50 per million BTU. So natural gas is a cheaper source of heat energy. If the shale plays turn out to be cheap enough then natural gas could substitute for gasoline for some transportation uses. Currently the United States gets about 95% of its transportation energy from oil. Compressed natural gas could supply an alternative if the price difference between oil and natural gas stays large as oil prices rise.

While lots of optimistic stories are being written about the prospects of the natural gas shale plays wouldn't you know it there's some guy saying the emperor has no clothes. Arthur Berman has doubts about the economic viability of the gas shale plays. He thinks shale natural gas production will decline much more rapidly than some of the natural gas companies expect. Is he right? I have no idea. The next couple of years will tell.

Update: 2009-Nov-8 See Gail The Actuary taking a look at the controversy over decline rates and costs for natural gas shale plays. The correct answer matters a great deal for our energy future.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 October 14 11:30 PM  Energy Fossil Fuels


Comments
JAY said at October 15, 2009 10:40 AM:

Gee advances in technology have made more gas recoverable at reasonable cost. Could such a thing happen in other energy fields, like, for instance, oil?

Hong said at October 15, 2009 10:55 AM:

Not in this hysterical political climate. Green is God and oil doesn't stand a chance.

Reid said at October 15, 2009 6:21 PM:

What about coal-to-liquid fuel process? The technology is old and proven. The Germans used it in WW II and South Africa produces a significant portion today.

One hundred year projections are meaningless. It doesn't matter whether your projecting population, climate, energy reserves, etc.

Technology in 100 years will probably be unrecognizable and magical by present standards. Projecting energy requirements for such a scenario is almost guaranteed to be wrong. Fortunately, those making the predictions will be long gone and forgotten and won't be held accountable for their nonsense.

Fat Man said at October 15, 2009 7:27 PM:

"The United States might have enough natural gas to last most of the 21st century."

That is good news, because the only electric generators that have been allowed in the past few years have been gas powered.

PacRim Jim said at October 15, 2009 9:13 PM:

Persian Gulf. Horizontal drilling. Know what I mean? Wink. Wink.

Randall Parker said at October 15, 2009 9:27 PM:

Hong,

Obama's opinion of the oil industry has little influence outside of the US where the vast bulk of the remaining oil fields are to be found. New tech will continue to be developed in the oil industry.

Jay,

There's more money in oil than in natural gas and there always has been. So far that money has brought us drilling in all sorts of inhospitable land terrain on land and also in very deep water and many forms of enhanced recovery. Yet the level of world oil production has been on a bumpy plateau since 2005 in the face of quite high prices and continued technological advances.

Fat Man,

How long the natural gas lasts depends on how rapidly we use it. If oil production plunges then natural gas consumption will rise and it won't last as long.

PacRim Jim,

No, do not know what you mean. I know about horizontal drilling and it is used by Persian Gulf nations. Beyond that I do not get your point.

JAY said at October 16, 2009 10:31 AM:

Randall, A few years (you cite since 2005) doesn't tell the story. Try 150 years to get a sense of oil production growth and oil price reduction. The direction of commodity prices over the long haul is down, down, down. The portion of the earth that's been subject to exploration is very small. The portion of the earth that has been subject the most modern exploration techniques is far smaller. Energy prices will continue to fall in real terms as adjusted for inflation and will fall even faster as a percentage of income.

Hong said at October 16, 2009 10:33 AM:

Perhaps you are right but then what chance do we have of applying new oil drilling tech offshore or in Alaska? As Venezuela and Saudi Arabia makes clear, using foreign sources of oil is a risky and losing proposition.

Hong said at October 16, 2009 10:35 AM:

My last comment was directed at Randall. Sorry for any confusion. Jay posted sooner than me.

Broca de Wernicke said at October 16, 2009 12:07 PM:

Randall, nationalized oil companies, who control most of the world's oil reserves, kicked out the more productive, more advanced international companies. Their infrastructures are going to rust.

Oil underproduction has more to do with slipshod poor maintenance national oil companies, combined with the desire to maintain high oil prices and avoid overproduction.

North America has had millions of exploratory wells drilled. The Persian Gulf area has had only a few thousand. When you have oil running out your ears you are more worried about producing too much oil and driving the price down. You want to save some for the future, and you want to keep prices high.

Eventually your equipment falls apart, so you have to let the international companies back in to shore things up. Then you nationalize all over again and start the cycle anew.

Randall Parker said at October 17, 2009 8:53 AM:

Jay,

Hubbert predicted in 1955 that US oil production would peak in 1970. He was right. We are in decline. We have lots of competing oil companies (and I own stock shares in some of them) trying to get more oil out of the ground. Even though prices have gone way up since 1998 US oil production has not recovered. That's not just since 2005. That's since 1970.

Other countries have hit production peaks since 1970 including Britain, Norway, and Iran. The list keeps getting longer.

The direction of commodity prices: Depends on the commodity. The direction of oil is NOT down down down. Several years of high prices have NOT brought online large amounts of new production enough to boost production substantially. Instead we are at the moment above $78 per barrel.

I expect the direction of the cost of solar photovoltaics to be down down down. I expect some drop in wind electric's price as turbines get bigger too. But the cost of oil has gone up as the Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI) has gone up along with capital costs to reach deep offshore oil.

The long run ceiling on oil's price is a combination of substitutes prices and the ability of the economy to pay. When the price of oil goes above 4% of GDP we go into recession. US oil consumption has peaked. US oil per capital consumption peaked in 1978. Here's the data:

211,909,000 population in America 1973 with 17,308,000 barrels per day. 29.8 barrels per capita per year.

222,585,000 population in America 1978 with 18,847,000 barrels per day. 30.9 barrels per capita per year.

293,655,400 population in America 2004 with 20,731,000 barrels per day. 25.8 barrels per capita per year.

Wow, the US peaked in per capita oil consumption in 1978.

The US is now down to about 18.7 mmbbd as of April 2009 with a population maybe at 305 million (not sure exactly). So we are now at 22.4 barrels per capita per year. So per capita oil consumption in the United States has declined 27% from peak.

One of the causes of that decline was a shift from oil to natural gas for electric power generation. We've gradually moved anything from oil-powered that could more easily go. Trucks (to natural gas) and trains (to electric power) will shift away too. So will cars eventually.

Randall Parker said at October 17, 2009 9:32 AM:

Hong,

Environmentalist opposition to drilling offshore and in ANWR in Alaska has the net effect of delaying when the drilling will happen. Instead of drilling when is cheaper the drilling will happen when oil becomes more expensive. Given a high enough price of oil the public will demand more drilling.

Curiously, what the environmentalists are really doing (and this is not their intent) is to delay the use of oil to when we need it more. We'll use the OCS and ANWR oil when world oil production is decreasing yearly.

Hong said at October 17, 2009 5:47 PM:

Randall, I'm highly doubtful the Democrats will ever drill offshore or in Alaska. Thus far, they've been impervious to public opinion on this issue and almost eager to pass the Cap and Trade energy tax.

Randall Parker said at October 17, 2009 8:06 PM:

Hong, Read my post from back in June 2008 which showed American public support for more drilling rose with the price of oil. Whether the Democrats will support it is irrelevant. It'll become a winning issue for many Congressional races. A high enough price for a long enough period of time will bring us more OCS and ANWR drilling.

Engineer-Poet said at October 17, 2009 9:52 PM:

Don't expect too much of shale gas.  As I heard at the ASPO conference, some of these shales are under such pressure that proppants (sand and other granular material used to keep cracks open after fraccing) are either crushed or embedded.  Others are too soft; one comparison was to peanut butter.  No matter how much gas is in those shales, we cannot get it out at an energy profit.

Engineer-Poet said at October 17, 2009 9:57 PM:

Oh, and regarding horizontal drilling:  Ghawar (and presumably every other major reservoir in the region) has already been re-drilled with horizontal bores using multiple laterals.  There are throttle valves to minimize water cut.  Despite this, the reservoir still needs to be "rested" to avoid water breakthrough, and water cut increases relentlessly.

This is the endgame.

John Moore said at October 18, 2009 9:45 PM:

It would be very interesting to know what things are like, in that alternate universe where oil sayted at $140/bbl. I suspect things would be very different today - especially politically - if the oil had not dropped suddenly. Opposition to drilling and to nukes might have faded quite a bit. In that sense, I was disappointed in the drop in the price of oil (except for the money I made on put's on oil ETF).

Hong said at October 19, 2009 9:43 AM:

American support won't change the Democrats policies or politics. They are beholden to the Enviro extremists. The Liberal Democrats would prefer to lose the election than change direction. Perhaps they will make some grumblings about drilling offshore as they did last year but once prices fall during Autumn, the issue will be quickly forgotten. Despite sky high prices last summer, was there any substantive change in policy?

Randall Parker said at October 19, 2009 8:16 PM:

Hong, Sustained high prices are needed to sway the public. We are going to get those sustained high prices. Look where we are right now, in the depths of a recession. Yet oil almost hit $80 per barrel today.

Hong said at October 20, 2009 11:14 AM:

We'll see Randall. Sustained high prices might bring more drilling but it would more likely lead to Al Gore's wildest dreams come true. Higher gas prices to justify more taxes and subsidies to his enviro-business connections. Europe has $5 a gallon gas yet I see no effort at new drilling. More likely rising prices will serve only to benefit the Gorists in their neverending drive to force inefficient solar and wind energy upon an unwilling public.

Engineer-Poet said at October 20, 2009 12:11 PM:

Europe has $5 (and even $8) gas and doesn't drill because there is no oil there.  That's one of the reasons they tax gas, to keep money in their own economies!  When oil gets to be 4% or so of GNP, they go into recession; high taxes keeps that figure down by suppressing demand and making efficiency pay.

The USA has been a net oil importer for decades, and hasn't been the swing producer since 1970.  We are long overdue for adopting the same strategies as the Europeans.  Unless, of course, it is already too late; we may not have the surplus to invest in changing over, because we've already let our wastrel ways continue into the period of scarcity and burned up the capital we should have invested in alternatives.

Hong said at October 20, 2009 4:27 PM:

As I remember the so-called green jobs in Germany are heavily subsidized at the rate of nearly $240,000 per job. It drives out cheaper and more conventional energy sources by locking so much into so-called green technologies.

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/germany/Germany_Study_-_FINAL.pdf

Hardly an efficient use of public money so it should be a cautionary tale against leaping head first into wasteful and inefficient 'alternative' energy industries.

Engineer-Poet said at October 20, 2009 9:32 PM:

Lost the argument on petroleum taxes, so you change the subject?  Typical.

Hong said at October 21, 2009 4:39 AM:

I'm not the one who I think lost anything here. Now it's all connected as far as I see. If I didn't directly address your point on high oil prices perhaps it was because they were not particularly convincing or believable. Using 'wastrel ways' and such language hardly makes you a balanced observer of events. Now, have you considered what energy taxes might also suppress besides demand? Economic activity, and it seems apparent thats which drives innovation, not top heavy government fiats. Does it keep money in their economies or drive industries overseas to more hospitable climes? Our own national experience with high corporate taxes makes clear it encourages job migration.

So my point still stands that green energy doesn't deliver at nearly the rate fossil fuel or nuclear. I chose to address your claim that Europe has made a successful 'changeover' from fossil fuel. And if I'm not mistaken the taxes on gas are used to subsidize the inefficient and wasteful greenie tech. A subsidy which the link I offer clearly shows doesn't pay or aid the European economy.

Now don't offer a lecture about how there is more than economics at stake here because I already agree. However we disagree on the method of securing healthy environmental standards at reasonable costs. If the greenies have their way, the taxpayers would fund wasteful and trendy projects. Don't throw away your bearing just because your industry favorites is an emperor unclothed. It never pays to be enthralled by enviro-activist dogma.

Engineer-Poet said at October 21, 2009 8:50 AM:
If I didn't directly address your point on high oil prices perhaps it was because they were not particularly convincing or believable. Using 'wastrel ways' and such language hardly makes you a balanced observer of events.
No, I'm not a "balanced observer".  I'm an auto-industry insider, having worked for 2 of the majors and a number of suppliers.  I've been watching Detroit slit its own wrists for nearly three decades.
Now, have you considered what energy taxes might also suppress besides demand?
Import costs and emissions, to name two.
Economic activity, and it seems apparent thats which drives innovation, not top heavy government fiats.
The "economic activity" you're talking about is just money changing hands.  If that money goes for petroleum, it leaves the USA very quickly.  If it goes for hardware, most of it stays.  Substituting hardware for petroleum is good for the economy.

There is no economic advantage to a 13-MPG vehicle when a 30-MPG vehicle will do the same job.  Banning Hummers or pricing them out of the market might affect some of the manhood-challenged, but they can find other compensations.

Does it keep money in their economies or drive industries overseas to more hospitable climes? Our own national experience with high corporate taxes makes clear it encourages job migration.
Again, you change the subject.  Petroleum taxes and corporate taxes are two very different things; taxes on the pump price in Wausau do not affect corporate competitiveness with Warsaw.  Either you are weak-minded and cannot grasp the difference, or you are just a troll.
So my point still stands that green energy doesn't deliver at nearly the rate fossil fuel or nuclear.
I'm pro-nuclear myself but I have to admit that wind in particular has advantages over nuclear with regard to planning horizons, and the price is coming down faster because of more units being made with the consequent design and manufacturing improvements.  I suspect that wind and nuclear (from molten-salt or other high-temperature reactors) combined with compressed-air energy storage may be the "sweet spot" for overall electric supply.
I chose to address your claim that Europe has made a successful 'changeover' from fossil fuel.
Now I know you can't read, because I never said any such thing.  Europe does have much lower motor fuel use per capita than the USA and a much higher fleet fuel economy.  We have the technology to do as well or better, and it would benefit the nation to do so.
And if I'm not mistaken the taxes on gas are used to subsidize the inefficient and wasteful greenie tech.
Taxes on gas are used for a number of things in the USA (including the highway trust fund), but not "greenie tech" to any significant degree.  And I don't see how that makes a difference; if taxing fuel to $5/gallon got people to drive 35-MPG sedans instead of 18-MPG trucks and buy half-ton pickups with 4-cylinder diesels as work trucks instead of 3/4 ton V8s to keep up with the neighbors, the nation would only benefit.  I've pulled 3 tons up a mountain with a 4-banger, I have a very visceral appreciation of the difference between "want" and "need".
Don't throw away your bearing just because your industry favorites is an emperor unclothed. It never pays to be enthralled by enviro-activist dogma.
Says the troll who gets his talking points from AM radio.

Hong said at October 21, 2009 11:03 AM:

"I'm an auto-industry insider, having worked for 2 of the majors and a number of suppliers. I've been watching Detroit slit its own wrists for nearly three decades."

Unlike you I don't claim special insider status on the issue. I'm just a layman who probably should've paid more attention to these issues years before.

"Import costs and emissions, to name two."

I'm not convinced of either. Reason magazine cited a European commission that showed record high driving activity in Europe. It may not be a 'balanced' enough source for you but there it is:
http://reason.org/news/show/as-gas-prices-rise-well-adapt

Drivers aren't going to shed their automobiles even with higher taxes. It's more likely to me that they will agitate for lower taxes.

"The 'economic activity' you're talking about is just money changing hands. If that money goes for petroleum, it leaves the USA very quickly. If it goes for hardware, most of it stays. Substituting hardware for petroleum is good for the economy. "

It's more than just money changing. It's called trade and it's usually good for both parties. The buyer and the seller. The argument can be made buying cheaper petroleum is better for the economy. Lower energy costs reduces the overall cost of business and encourages greater trade and economic activity from companies and individual drivers. If the demand for green alternatives exist, it will appear naturally and more efficiently through the market rather than through bureaucratic command control.

"There is no economic advantage to a 13-MPG vehicle when a 30-MPG vehicle will do the same job. Banning Hummers or pricing them out of the market might affect some of the manhood-challenged, but they can find other compensations."

Personal liberties should not be infringed by greenies or anyone unless it's a lawn dart. If a consumer wants the additional power of a Hummer over a less robust vehicle it's his or her decision not yours. Applying your seeming subjective value of each vehicle doesn't make good govt or economic policy. Infringing on personal taste ought to be avoided if we don't want the rebirth of the Trabant.

"Again, you change the subject. Petroleum taxes and corporate taxes are two very different things; taxes on the pump price in Wausau do not affect corporate competitiveness with Warsaw. Either you are weak-minded and cannot grasp the difference, or you are just a troll."

I don't think I'm changing topics since the price of energy is connected with nearly all economic activities of the republic including corporate taxes. Energy taxes and corporate taxes are both a tax and deserve equal treatment in my opinion. Are you saying oil and gas prices don't affect corporate competitiveness? I would argue nearly every industry is affected by higher oil and gasoline prices in some way. Now if I'm guilty of anything it's expanding on the topic since your participation opens up a broader vista of the debate. Applying insinuations out of debate frustration isn't something you've apparently have not learned to control but the burden is on you rather than me. I've done my best to debate fairly without the childish gotcha attitude.

"I'm pro-nuclear myself but I have to admit that wind in particular has advantages over nuclear with regard to planning horizons, and the price is coming down faster because of more units being made with the consequent design and manufacturing improvements. I suspect that wind and nuclear (from molten-salt or other high-temperature reactors) combined with compressed-air energy storage may be the "sweet spot" for overall electric supply."

You clearly seem to favor government subsidies to encourage development. My question is taxpayer money going to realize this change sooner or later? A clumsy bureaucracy may travel down the wrong path as my original link illustrated locking out other avenues of energy development. And does the ends justify the means?

"Now I know you can't read, because I never said any such thing. Europe does have much lower motor fuel use per capita than the USA and a much higher fleet fuel economy. We have the technology to do as well or better, and it would benefit the nation to do so."

I'm having trouble comprehending your failure to recall your own thoughts. Are you Anita Dunn? You stated:
'We are long overdue for adopting the same strategies as the Europeans. Unless, of course, it is already too late; we may not have the surplus to invest in changing over, because we've already let our wastrel ways continue into the period of scarcity and burned up the capital we should have invested in alternatives.'

The above quote were your own words. Clearly the implication is that Europe has made a largely successful changeover while we ugly Americans have failed miserably. Are you saying they didn't? Because it doesn't sound that way with this prime declaration of our 'failure' to follow in Europe's footsteps to high gas prices, inefficient green tech and a less robust economy. Now if your point was not to be as extravant in praise of Europe than it's your failure to make it clear. I can hardly blame myself for taking you at your own writings. lol Now I can see it's you who's guilty of trolldom. Typical trolls accuse the other of not deducing what casual readers would see from their words.

And perhaps you're right and Europe has achieved much higher fuel economies. It hardly seems to have benefitted them much has it? Anemic economic growth and dependence on Russian and Middle Eastern fuel sources. Not a pretty picture any way you try and paint it.

"Taxes on gas are used for a number of things in the USA (including the highway trust fund), but not "greenie tech" to any significant degree. And I don't see how that makes a difference; if taxing fuel to $5/gallon got people to drive 35-MPG sedans instead of 18-MPG trucks and buy half-ton pickups with 4-cylinder diesels as work trucks instead of 3/4 ton V8s to keep up with the neighbors, the nation would only benefit. I've pulled 3 tons up a mountain with a 4-banger, I have a very visceral appreciation of the difference between "want" and "need"."

I was speaking of Europe not the United States. Try to actually read what I say before accusing others of that failure. And the link I posted makes a strong argument that's not working out so well over there.

And perhaps you have a point on the types of vehicles we're favoring but strongly doubt artificial caps spiking consumer demand would succeed anyway.

"Says the troll who gets his talking points from AM radio."

Meaning you, the frustrated liberal troll admits defeat and now resorts to predictable personal hate and venom. That's sooo Olbermann.

Now you've done a poor job of advocating your opinion my hateful troll. You disappoint me. For a self described insider you project a gross ignorance of common sense on energy. If you can't do better I'll leave to you to your ramblings...lol

Randall Parker said at October 22, 2009 8:02 PM:

Hong,

Taxes on gasoline mostly (probably 90% or near that) go toward highway construction and road maintenance. It is a real problem that the US federal gasoline tax has not gone up with inflation. So the US Highway Trust Fund doesn't have the money needed to do all road work that ought to be done. A similar phenomenon is at work with some state gasoline taxes. The problem is becoming more acute with Prius drivers who are paying much less in gasoline tax per mile driven and this problem will get even worse with electric cars.

E-P said:

'We are long overdue for adopting the same strategies as the Europeans. Unless, of course, it is already too late; we may not have the surplus to invest in changing over, because we've already let our wastrel ways continue into the period of scarcity and burned up the capital we should have invested in alternatives.'

He didn't say the Euros have stopped using gasoline. Look, you shouldn't attack strawmen just because you do not like his style of argumentation or disagree with his assertions.

The above quote were your own words. Clearly the implication is that Europe has made a largely successful changeover while we ugly Americans have failed miserably. Are you saying they didn't?

You are reading something into what he said that is not there. No, that is not his implication.

E-P, btw, is not a liberal as far as I can tell.

Hong said at October 23, 2009 3:47 AM:

"Taxes on gasoline mostly (probably 90% or near that) go toward highway construction and road maintenance. It is a real problem that the US federal gasoline tax has not gone up with inflation."

Randall, these were my words:
'I chose to address your claim that Europe has made a successful 'changeover'
from fossil fuel. And if I'm not mistaken the taxes on gas are used to
subsidize the inefficient and wasteful greenie tech. A subsidy which the
link I offer clearly shows doesn't pay or aid the European economy.'

So you see I didn't mention the US at all. That wasn't my point. My comment was about how gas taxes in Europe is funding alternative fuel techs that aren't producing the efficiencies at reasonable costs. The highway fund was thrown in by E-P so it doesn't concern me here.

"He didn't say the Euros have stopped using gasoline. Look, you shouldn't attack strawmen just because you do not like his style of argumentation or disagree with his assertions."

Not really a strawman argument since I never claimed Europe stopped using gasoline. Apparently there's some confusion here from you two. I disagreed that Europe has made significant progress in alternative greenie tech. Based on the German study that shows heavy state subsidization of each greenie job, I argued that the money has been largely wasted and a diversion from oil production. Statism often crowds out private investment. This is true of greenie wind, solar tech or Defense policy.

"You are reading something into what he said that is not there. No, that is not his implication."

Then let him defend himself more clearly because the quote of his words show, in my opinion, an exaggerated belief in successful European fuel strategies. An assertion I found to be misinformation.

"E-P, btw, is not a liberal as far as I can tell. "

He certainly spews like an MSNBC clone when flustered. lol

Nick G said at October 23, 2009 10:36 AM:

Hong,

Europeans only use about 18% as much fuel per capita as Americans, for personal transportation. High fuel taxes have been very successful at achieving this.

Oddly enough, they use relatively inefficient trucking for freight much more than the US, and I believe this accounts for their oil consumption not being as low as one might expect. I suspect this reliance on trucking is due to pre-EU national boundaries.

BTW, use of terms like "greenie" suggests a disrespectful attitude towards those with whom you disagree. Worse, it suggests that you think in terms of "us and them", and take your ideas from the authority of the group with whom you identify (Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, etc). Don't you want to be a rational, independent thinker (or at least look like one)?

Engineer-Poet said at October 23, 2009 10:37 AM:

This idiot can't read, though he's good at putting talking points in people's mouths.  (Much like the ditto-heads I hear when I'm driving cross-country and only AM comes through.  Not that the left-wing radio is any more listenable, and don't get me started on the content-free hypnotic stuff on the idiot box.  Almost all the good TV news coverage is coming from Comedy Central these days, which speaks volumes and none of it reflecting well on us.  I'm so tired of it I haven't had a usable TV receiver for several years.)

First, Europe's approach is to tax motor fuel to discourage consumption.  They did it.  It works; CAFE in Europe is around 35 MPG, and they aren't even using the full suite of technology now available.  Had the USA done that instead of (or in addition to) CAFE regulations, the PNGV vehicles (which nobody would have wanted to cancel) would have had a market long before the 2008 price surge and our petroleum imports would be perhaps half of what they are today.  More US freight would travel by rail, and that rail might be electrified and use no diesel at all.

Second, it's much easier to convert if you have already laid the groundwork.  If the PNGV cars had gone into production in 2006, the USA would now have a set of platforms ripe for PHEV variants and even existing vehicles suitable for retrofit.  Our vulnerability to oil-price shocks and supply disruptions would be radically reduced.  The animosity of the Bush administration and Detroit toward Al Gore (PNGV's most visible proponent) closed that door, which gave up a huge amount of national security.

Third, I'm a gun-toting advocate of nuclear power who routinely argues with multi-culturalists and the Politically Correct (who often accuse me of listening to Glen Beck, another clown I only know from a few shows on cross-country trips).  Anyone who thinks I'm a "liberal" in the current USA-centric sense (in Europe, I think it means a free-marketeer) just proves that they haven't the mental horsepower to get beyond binary distinctions.  Ditto anyone who thinks I'm a "conservative".  My last 3 Presidential votes were Bush, Kerry and Barr, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Hong said at October 23, 2009 12:20 PM:

"Europeans only use about 18% as much fuel per capita as Americans, for personal transportation. High fuel taxes have been very successful at achieving this."

It almost seems that they're less efficient then if they're using 18% more. Isn't their population in decline and aren't their economies less robust than ours?

"Oddly enough, they use relatively inefficient trucking for freight much more than the US,"

That does sound odd given the high taxes they are spending. Do you offer an explanation?

"BTW, use of terms like "greenie" suggests a disrespectful attitude towards those with whom you disagree."

I do have little respect for their extremism. Their attempts at statism and enviro activist doctrine suppress the very instrument that might solve our oil dependance by taxing energy and inefficiently subsidizing environmental pet projects. And the study I linked offered little to support the notion that all the money shoveled into green tech has been efficiently converted to alternative tech.

"Worse, it suggests that you think in terms of "us and them", and take your ideas from the authority of the group with whom you identify (Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, etc)."

Calling someone a trekkie instead of trekker doesn't signify an us vs them mentality to me so why would a disparaging name be so? You're not falling for the lazy canard that all skeptics are sheepishly listening to talk radio are you?

"Don't you want to be a rational, independent thinker (or at least look like one)?"

I consider myself quite independent as are any who disagree with the global warming alarmists. I don't buy the claim that calling the Gorists greenies to be a symptom of irrational thought. Perhaps we are the more observant ones.

Hong said at October 23, 2009 1:12 PM:

"This idiot can't read, though he's good at putting talking points in people's mouths."

Funny coming from the troll who couldn't read my statements about European oil taxation correctly. I certainly don't know what 'talkin points' you're referring to. My differing opinion? Oh my, sorry I won't censor that for your ranting pleasure. Your hatred and robotic devotion to your own gradiosity will have to remain frustrated.

"First, Europe's approach is to tax motor fuel to discourage consumption. They did it. "

Having lost the argument on driving activity in europe, you've chosen simply to robotically repeat your opinion as fact. Typical.

Go ahead and retreat from the Reason magazine article I linked which is hardly a right wing news source given their preference for gay marraige and such. A quick check on PNGV describes some valid criticisms such as it's reliance on diesel which isn't without it's own problems. It was Ralph Nader himself who disliked some aspects of the program, certainly no ditto-head. However enthralled you may be for PNGV you'd think the $980 million invested into the program would've produced more concrete results. Blaming big bad Bush or bad America sounds like a convenient cop out to me which ignores the genuine and legitimate problems with adopting such an approach. And Bush far from being the obstructionists on greater fuel efficiency sought $850 million for the fuel cell concept car so all this money produced a handfull of light vehicles which I wouldn't feel safe driving. The maligned SUV and Hummer can probably offer me greater security from collision than your favored cars.

And it's nice that you avoided the point I made questioning just what Europe has bought for adopting such a different approach? Russian energy, Mideast oil, high unemployment, and sluggish economic growth. It doesn't sound like the appealing road you furiously advertise. Typical...

So no, I'm not convinced that adopting the greenie path a la Europe is the way the go here. It sounds incredibly stupid to sacrifice economic well being while gaining seemingly little in strategic value.

"Anyone who thinks I'm a "liberal" in the current USA-centric sense (in Europe, I think it means a free-marketeer) just proves that they haven't the mental horsepower to get beyond binary distinctions. Ditto anyone who thinks I'm a "conservative". My last 3 Presidential votes were Bush, Kerry and Barr, so put that in your pipe and smoke it."

You're behavior clearly contrasts with your self righteous claims of being non-liberal. I've seen Michael Moore worshipping trolls show better decorum and sense than you have here with me. How quickly you lose your bearing when someone disagrees with you or offers a countering opinion with an actual study. And btw, voting for Kerry when he was wrong about nearly everything he said about Iraq? I've got to say it wasn't me smoking anything...

You've achieved the low standard I had for you here. It's hard to treat seriously anyone who so quickly resorts to personal venom and hate. It was sooo easy to mistake you for a driveling liberal troll. If you had a point, it was lost in the haze of bitter jack assery you've displayed here. Thanks for making it easy.

Nick G said at October 23, 2009 1:56 PM:

Hong,

It almost seems that they're less efficient then if they're using 18% more.

They're only using 18% as much as we do. That means they're using 82% less.

Isn't their population in decline

No, though their fertility rate is below replacement. Which is also the case for similar US citizens (affluent descendants of western European immigrants).

and aren't their economies less robust than ours?

No, they're different. France has a similar GPD per hour worked, they just choose to work fewer hours - perhaps they have the right idea. Germany, and the EU as a whole, has a much better trade balance.

That does sound odd given the high taxes they are spending. Do you offer an explanation?

I did offer one: until recently Europe wasn't integrated - that makes a continental freight train system harder to develop.

I do have little respect for their extremism.

But expressing disrespect in that way is ad hominem. It suggests a desire to intimidate the person with whom you're debating, rather than dealing with the facts.

Calling someone a trekkie instead of trekker doesn't signify an us vs them mentality to me

As I understand it, Star Trek fans consider "trekkie" disrespectful. Do you? If so, then aren't you suggesting that they are, as a group, inferior, and you would never, ever considering being one?

You're not falling for the lazy canard that all skeptics are sheepishly listening to talk radio are you?

Not at all - that would be just as simplistic.

I consider myself quite independent as are any who disagree with the global warming alarmists.

How do you know that? Wouldn't you agree that some of the people in this debate (on both sides) are just mindlessly agreeing with an idea because the social group with which they identify has pronounced it as orthodoxy?

I don't buy the claim that calling the Gorists greenies to be a symptom of irrational thought. Perhaps we are the more observant ones.

Observation can tell you that someone has made a factual mistake. How is observation connected with lumping a large number of people who like things like wind and solar power into a single group by calling them "greenie"?

Don't you think a rational, independent thinker would find some things to disagree with in the platform of any large group, whether it's Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative? Think of an idea you dislike (like a gas tax), and ask yourself: would I agree with this idea if it came from a leader of the group you like the most, instead of from someone you don't like (which clearly includes Al Gore)? Conversely, think of an idea you like and ask yourself: would I agree with this idea if it came from a leader of the group you dislike?

Randall Parker said at October 23, 2009 7:23 PM:

Hong,

You continue to exaggerate what E-P said and you continue to try to discredit him by attacking a strawman version of what he actually said.

Reason not right wing: Libertarians are far more on the Right than the Left. I used to subscribe to Reason and read it for years when Virginia Postrel was editor. Now under Gillespie I think Reason makes a bigger effort to reach out to the Left on cultural issues. But the Reason folks still want less government and the Left still wants more.

BTW, science writer Ron Bailey of Reason believes Global Warming is a real problem.

Engineer-Poet said at October 24, 2009 1:33 AM:

Discussion here has proven beyond question that Hong cannot read for content.  His apparent command of grammar aside, he is as stupid as he looks.  Attempting to convince him of anything is a waste of time, because he cannot comprehend even what is laid out in simple terms.

Hong said at October 24, 2009 5:11 AM:

Nick

"They're only using 18% as much as we do. That means they're using 82% less."

Sorry without sources, I'm finding that number impossible to believe. Discounting Russia and Turkey you're talking about nearly 550 million people using 82% less gasoline then us?

"No, though their fertility rate is below replacement. Which is also the case for similar US citizens (affluent descendants of western European immigrants)."

In other words a recipe for a declining population. Excluding muslim immigration of course.

"No, they're different. France has a similar GPD per hour worked, they just choose to work fewer hours - perhaps they have the right idea. Germany, and the EU as a whole, has a much better trade balance."

I'm sorry but if it was such a great idea, their unemployment wouldn't be so high today and Sarkozy wouldn't have relaxed the limit. These 35 hour work weeks came at heavy cost in the form of taxpayer subsidies to companies. Alain Lambert estimated the low work week cost the country $17.6 billion each year in lost revenue. And the awful memory of the summer of 03 is quite a teachable one in that the loss of so much of the hospital workforce due to excess leisure and vacation time is directly a result of the 35 hour work week.

"I did offer one: until recently Europe wasn't integrated - that makes a continental freight train system harder to develop."

No, you referred to trucking, not freight carriage. And how would gasoline consumption affect the freight rail system?

"But expressing disrespect in that way is ad hominem. It suggests a desire to intimidate the person with whom you're debating, rather than dealing with the facts."

I disagree, I don't think ridiculing the ridiculous is ad hominem or particularly wrong. I'm not personally calling anyone here an idiot as the troll E-P does, now that's ad hominem. lol

And really, I can hardly intimidate anyone sitting behind a keyboard using ridicule can I? I think I've approached all this hate and fury from Engineer-Poet with a great deal of affable good humor. It amuses me to watch him implode with nuclear fury and urination!

"As I understand it, Star Trek fans consider "trekkie" disrespectful. Do you? If so, then aren't you suggesting that they are, as a group, inferior, and you would never, ever considering being one?"

Whatever it signifies, it's not the paranoia you suggest it is with your 'us v them' mentality. When I ridicule stupid things, I do so not from fear or concern but out of a desire to belittle what is clearly unbelievable or silly. Do I consider being a greenie or trekkie inferior? Silly perhaps but that's a long way of accusing me of a hate crime. And if it bothers you so much I wonder why you're not offering this lesson to E-P. Is it only because you agree with his hateful opinions and not my dismissal of them?

"How do you know that? Wouldn't you agree that some of the people in this debate (on both sides) are just mindlessly agreeing with an idea because the social group with which they identify has pronounced it as orthodoxy?"

I think the fact that global warming has becoming the prevailing doctrine is a symptom of how far group think has traveled on this issue. And any who opposes it is quite mindfull of the social costs of exposing themselves by expressing skepticism. They experience the backwash of hate and ridicule seen on late night TV. That's not a behavior for an orthodox sheep, but I think an act of deep personal bravery.

"Observation can tell you that someone has made a factual mistake. How is observation connected with lumping a large number of people who like things like wind and solar power into a single group by calling them "greenie"?"

Is that what this is about? You think I'm generalizing here? lol, I'm referring to the extremists as greenies or Gorists. It's one thing to 'like' wind and solar. I 'like' wind and solar what I don't like is imposing immature technologies with heavy govt subsidies onto a people while more efficient alternatives are still available. And observant people notice that such ham fisted behaviors generally are a worse cure than the disease itself. So there really is nothing irrational in pointing this out or refusing to go along. Wouldn't you agree?

"Don't you think a rational, independent thinker would find some things to disagree with in the platform of any large group, whether it's Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative? Think of an idea you dislike (like a gas tax), and ask yourself: would I agree with this idea if it came from a leader of the group you like the most, instead of from someone you don't like (which clearly includes Al Gore)? Conversely, think of an idea you like and ask yourself: would I agree with this idea if it came from a leader of the group you dislike?"

In response to your didactic inspiration, I have chosen to make a concession. I did find that I agreed heartily with Obama's disdain for taxing marijuana--until he ruined my esteem of him by effectively legalizing it in 13 states! lol

Now, if you're implying that I agreed with everything in my political party, I most certainly didn't. I disagreed with expansion of Medicare, the nomination of Harriet Myers, and this horrible TARP bailout. I disagree with how my party is run or how some have shown so little backbone in opposing the doctrine of global warming and it's supposed cures.

Hong said at October 24, 2009 5:19 AM:

Randall,

"You continue to exaggerate what E-P said and you continue to try to discredit him by attacking a strawman version of what he actually said."

I think it's quite unfair for you to say that. I think if anybody is guilty of exagerating it Engineer-P. He fooled you into believing I made a point about US gas policy that I never made. I He proclaims virtual success in European energy alternatives while I point out the various kinks and bugs to their changeover. It isn't my problem he refuses to read my links or my arguments.

"Reason not right wing: Libertarians are far more on the Right than the Left. I used to subscribe to Reason and read it for years when Virginia Postrel was editor. Now under Gillespie I think Reason makes a bigger effort to reach out to the Left on cultural issues. But the Reason folks still want less government and the Left still wants more."

So we agree they're no reason to ignore Reason magazine as a news source as some right wing source. It certainly makes a better argument than on derck that's churned out daily on late night television.


"BTW, science writer Ron Bailey of Reason believes Global Warming is a real problem."

A real problem perhaps but a man made one? And is the solution heavy and clumsy government intervention in an undeveloped technological field?

Hong said at October 24, 2009 5:27 AM:

E-P

"Discussion here has proven beyond question that Hong cannot read for content." Attempting to convince him of anything is a waste of time, because he cannot comprehend even what is laid out in simple terms.

Lol, this from the guy who's still too afraid to admit he lied about my statements on US gas taxation. You must be the troll you invented those phony racist quotes from Limbaugh

"His apparent command of grammar aside, he is as stupid as he looks."

Oh so you know how I look like? Are you peering at through a window somewhere? Hmm.... Or is this suddenly a racist attack because of my last name? Sad but not unusual from Democrat trolls...

"Attempting to convince him of anything is a waste of time, because he cannot comprehend even what is laid out in simple terms."

Congratulations, you continue to meet the low bar I've placed for your intellect and debate honesty. Now my little troll, I rebutted nearly everything you attempted to sell here as fact. It's you who couldn't muster the nerve to address the German study or the link to Reason magazine I posted. It's you who never answered my point about the costs Europe pays for higher gas taxes. But that's too much to hope from a proven coward like yourself. Thanks again for being such a weak opponent.

BTW, if this is how you try and convince people, I would suggest calling Dr. Phil boy. lol

Nick G said at October 24, 2009 12:35 PM:

Hong,

That means they're using 82% less." - Sorry without sources, I'm finding that number impossible to believe. Discounting Russia and Turkey you're talking about nearly 550 million people using 82% less gasoline then us?

Actually, less than that, because Europeans use diesel for 50% of their personal fuel consumption. But..that's a quibble. I'm really talking about oil and oil-product consumption.

Europeans consume 18% as much fuel for personal transportation as US'ers: 50% as many cars per capita, 60% as many KM's per car (not the 75% shown in the article), 60% as many liters per km. I don't have sources at hand for all of this, but here's one for KM's per car: The French, for instance, travel via motorized ground vehicles about 14K KM per year (per http://www.cfit.gov.uk/docs/2007/ebp/index.htm Ch. 2) vs about 26K KM per yr for the US (per http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/#front_matter ).

The Reason article has some good points - I agree that newer tech, if applied properly, can solve our energy-related problems, and that free markets need to be central to any solutions. Nevertheless, economists of almost all stripes would agree that free markets are only as good as their accounting (e.g., FASB rule on stock options), and pollution (and other costs, such as security costs) needs to be included in our accounting ("internalized"). Only government (or quasi-governmental organizations such as the FASB) can do this. To think otherwise is, at best, wishful thinking.

In other words a recipe for a declining population. Excluding muslim immigration of course.

Precisely the same thing applies to the US (substituting Mexican for muslim, of course).

Regarding France's 35 hour work-week: yes, it creates it's own problems. My point was, simply, that there is no evidence that "their economies (are) less robust than ours? " I would suggest, further, that a bit of "us vs them" thinking is involved here: I know it's comforting to think that "we" are better than "them", but it tends to confuse one's thinking.

Humans are vulnerable to tribal thinking. We evolved as part of relatively closely genetically related family groups, and it was very important to know who we "belonged" to. "We" were humans, and outsiders were "less-then humans", that could be attacked, enslaved, stolen from. We can see this in WWII propaganda, where the Germans and Japanese became caricatured demons. We can see it today, where all muslims become towel-heads, fanatics who oppose us just because of a crazy religion.

This kind of thinking leads us to not examine in detail the positions of our opponents, so that we really understand why they oppose us. Instead, we bypass the hard thinking, and just assume that our cultural leaders have all wisdom. Could it be, for instance, that many Iranians are angry at and deeply distrustful of the US, not because "they hate our freedoms", but because 1) the US helped depose Iran's first democracy in 1954 and installed a dictator, and 2) the US has since then invaded and deposed the regimes of Iran's closest eastern and western neighbors (Afghanistan and Iraq)?

No, you referred to trucking, not freight carriage. And how would gasoline consumption affect the freight rail system?

I'm talking about European freight transportation, which mostly goes by truck, rather than by rail as is more common in the US. Rail uses 1/3 as much oil (diesel) as trucking, per ton-mile, and can be electrified relatively easily. And, even though Europe does have the freight problem, they still use 40% less oil per-capita than the US.

I disagree, I don't think ridiculing the ridiculous is ad hominem or particularly wrong.

Ridiculing ridiculous ideas, while a waste of time, isn't the same as ridiculing people, or creating artificial groups like "greenies".

I'm not personally calling anyone here an idiot as the troll E-P does, now that's ad hominem.

Yes.

And really, I can hardly intimidate anyone sitting behind a keyboard using ridicule can I?

Well, ask yourself - why do people get into angry "flame-wars"? Just because comments are written and not verbal doesn't mean people's feelings can't be hurt.

When I ridicule stupid things, I do so not from fear or concern but out of a desire to belittle what is clearly unbelievable or silly.

But why the desire? And why belittle people personally?

Do I consider being a greenie or trekkie inferior? Silly perhaps

Well, how do you feel if someone uses language like that for a group with which you identify?

if it bothers you so much I wonder why you're not offering this lesson to E-P

Perhaps I should. OTOH, I think he already knows most of it, and just can't restrain himself.

global warming has becoming the prevailing doctrine...That's not a behavior for an orthodox sheep, but I think an act of deep personal bravery.

Someone can be brave, and still not be thinking. Many, many soldiers have died for their unit, or their country, without considering the historical details of why they're on the battlefield. I repeat: wouldn't you agree that some of the people in this debate (on both sides) are just agreeing with an idea because the social group with which they identify has pronounced it as orthodoxy?

You think I'm generalizing here?

Yes.

I'm referring to the extremists as greenies or Gorists.

Yes, when you refer to "the extremists", it looks to me like you're falling into the mistake of grouping everyone who happens to agree on a particular issue into an homogenous group. And, when you say " greenies or Gorists", it looks like you are attempting to substitute personal putdown for reasoned argument.

I'm glad to hear that you disagree with many positions in "my political party". I suggest you consider the possibility that you are subscribing uncritically to the ideas of a smaller, more conservative group.

Nick G said at October 24, 2009 12:38 PM:

oops, a correction: deleting a parenthesis that refers to something irrelevant, the 3rd paragraph should read:

Europeans consume 18% as much fuel for personal transportation as US'ers: 50% as many cars per capita, 60% as many KM's per car, 60% as many liters per km. I don't have sources at hand for all of this, but here's one for KM's per car: The French, for instance, travel via motorized ground vehicles about 14K KM per year (per http://www.cfit.gov.uk/docs/2007/ebp/index.htm Ch. 2) vs about 26K KM per yr for the US (per http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/#front_matter ).

Hong said at October 24, 2009 2:08 PM:

Nick,

"Europeans consume 18% as much fuel for personal transportation as US'ers: 50% as many cars per capita, 60% as many KM's per car, 60% as many liters per km. I don't have sources at hand for all of this, but here's one for KM's per car: The French, for instance, travel via motorized ground vehicles about 14K KM per year (per http://www.cfit.gov.uk/docs/2007/ebp/index.htm Ch. 2) vs about 26K KM per yr for the US (per http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/#front_matter )."

Your links prove the American motorist drives more. That wasn't too surprising to me. Less congested, urbanized environments will encourage greater mobility. The only source I found that comes close to backing up your assertion is this one it shows 70% or US daily oil demand. Now it doesn't break it down to driving habits but I find it extremely incredible to see 70% drop to 18%.

http://www.wavestrength.com/wavestrength/marketreport/20070307_Oil_Consumption_Statistics_and_Global_Markets_Market_Report.html

"Only government (or quasi-governmental organizations such as the FASB) can do this. To think otherwise is, at best, wishful thinking."

An interesting opinion. You must know government agencies are frequently subverted by political orthodoxy as our most recent experience with the Obama administration is proving. Please tell me you see that. Am I going to place my trust and dependence on a politicized institution as government? I think you must argue a better alternative.

"Precisely the same thing applies to the US (substituting Mexican for muslim, of course)."

Last I checked the United States birth rate hovered over 2.3 percent while Europe fell below 2 percent. I think that decline even accounts for muslim immigration. That's below replacement levels and some scholars estimate that half of France will be muslim by 2050. Nobody makes similar conclusions about the United States.

"My point was, simply, that there is no evidence that "their economies (are) less robust than ours?"

The unemployment rate of europe, especially France has consistently been over 10 percent for the last 20 years so I'm quite comfortable with the belief that that a symptom of lower performing economy. Is that not a glaring deficiency to you?

"I would suggest, further, that a bit of "us vs them" thinking is involved here: I know it's comforting to think that "we" are better than "them", but it tends to confuse one's thinking.Humans are vulnerable to tribal thinking. We evolved as part of relatively closely genetically related family groups,....where the Germans and Japanese became caricatured demons. We can see it today, where all muslims....Could it be, for instance, that many Iranians are angry at and deeply distrustful of the US, not because "they hate our freedoms", but because 1) the US helped depose Iran's first democracy in 1954 and installed a dictator, and 2) the US has since then invaded and deposed the regimes of Iran's closest eastern and western neighbors (Afghanistan and Iraq)?"

My goodness, I'm not involving myself in your tribalist arguments here. I'm merely stating 'we' as represented primarily by the geographic United States and 'them' as Europe. As for you Iran argument, yes I'm sure there's resentment as there was and is among blacks, asians, etc towards Europe and the United States. Can it not also be true that the Mullahs are simply crazy and exploiting old resentments to their villainy?

"Ridiculing ridiculous ideas, while a waste of time, isn't the same as ridiculing people, or creating artificial groups like "greenies"."

Again I disagree on one point. I think ridiculing ridiculous ideas is productive as a spotlight for others to understand the absurdity of said ideas.

"Well, ask yourself - why do people get into angry "flame-wars"? Just because comments are written and not verbal doesn't mean people's feelings can't be hurt."

But again my point. Does it intimidate them? Trolls may attempt to bully you but through ridicule and mockery it removes much of their venom and makes them appear as nasty, hateful and ultimately silly. Sometimes, I believe intolerance to intolerant internet trolls such as E-P is almost patriotic and sometimes quite fun. :)

"But why the desire? And why belittle people personally?"

I think I answer that above. ;)

"Well, how do you feel if someone uses language like that for a group with which you identify?"

I think I answer that two answers above. Heh heh

"Perhaps I should. OTOH, I think he already knows most of it, and just can't restrain himself."

I suppose your complimenting me on the power of my self control and for being the adult. However, I find that turning the other cheek with a troll only encourages them. They've earned reciprocity.

"I repeat: wouldn't you agree that some of the people in this debate (on both sides) are just agreeing with an idea because the social group with which they identify has pronounced it as orthodoxy?"

Again I answer by asking how a minority held view be considered 'orthodoxy' when the conventional wisdom declares it excommunicatus? Some are influenced by those with in their group but the miracle of the skeptics is that they've broken away from the herd to expouse the opposite view despite the personal cost. And yes, that is morally brave.

"Yes, when you refer to "the extremists", it looks to me like you're falling into the mistake of grouping everyone who happens to agree on a particular issue into an homogenous group."

They are homogeneous if they all agree to the same opinion now isn't that true?

"And, when you say " greenies or Gorists", it looks like you are attempting to substitute personal putdown for reasoned argument."

To you perhaps, but I don't simply bloviate but substantiate with links and a layman's common sense on the issue. I had hoped you'd see that.

"I suggest you consider the possibility that you are subscribing uncritically to the ideas of a smaller, more conservative group."

And I'd suggest you remember the liberal orthodoxy has had control for much of the last 60 years with very disappointing results.

Hong said at October 24, 2009 3:12 PM:

Nick

"Europeans consume 18% as much fuel for personal transportation as US'ers: 50% as many cars per capita, 60% as many KM's per car, 60% as many liters per km. I don't have sources at hand for all of this, but here's one for KM's per car: The French, for instance, travel via motorized ground vehicles about 14K KM per year (per"

The study shows that American drive more. That's not a terrible surprise to me given we're less urbanized and congested. Our dispersion encourages greater mobility. The closest I could find to corroborate your claims was a study that showed Europe using only 70% of the oil per day that the United States uses. Again, no surprise given the heavy taxation and subsidies offered to green tech. A pattern that even greenie stalwart Germany is slowly divesting itself from.

http://www.wavestrength.com/wavestrength/marketreport/20070307_Oil_Consumption_Statistics_and_Global_Markets_Market_Report.html

"Only government (or quasi-governmental organizations such as the FASB) can do this. To think otherwise is, at best, wishful thinking."

Interesting opinion. The experience with the Obama administration should give you pause in declaring govt as the breadwinner. There is clear evidence of political tampering with this administration on a variety of issues as perhaps there was with the Bush administration. I would never trust a politicized government entity for the gospel truth. Would you?

Yet last I checked the US rate of population growth is 2.4% while Europe's falls below 2%. I would assume that includes Muslim immigration.

"Humans are vulnerable to tribal thinking. We evolved as part of relatively closely genetically related family groups,....,not because "they hate our freedoms", but because 1) the US helped depose Iran's first democracy in 1954 and installed a dictator, and 2) the US has since then invaded and deposed the regimes of Iran's closest eastern and western neighbors (Afghanistan and Iraq)?"

I won't involved myself in your tribal arguments. Only to point out that the United States is different from Europe and those differences are significantly more complicated than simple tribal ones. As for Iran, yes there are legitimate gripes but the Mullahs are also insane. And they skillfully use resentments to fuel their religious paranoia.

"Ridiculing ridiculous ideas, while a waste of time, isn't the same as ridiculing people, or creating artificial groups like "greenies"."

I heartily disagree on one point. Ridicule is not a waste of time but sometimes an important spotlight on the absurd activities of others such as E-P. I make no apologies for it and don't really need to.

"Well, ask yourself - why do people get into angry "flame-wars"? Just because comments are written and not verbal doesn't mean people's feelings can't be hurt."

I can certainly hurt someone's feelings without intimidating them. I certainly haven't stopped E-P's insane ad hominem ramblings here...lol

"But why the desire? And why belittle people personally?"

I thought the answer was obvious. When someone attempts to 'intimidate' or bully you the best response is to meet it with scorn, ridicule, and mockery. Reciprocity is the best defense on such behavior.

"Well, how do you feel if someone uses language like that for a group with which you identify?"

If it's an unjust accusation than I would reply with the response I outlined above.

"Perhaps I should. OTOH, I think he already knows most of it, and just can't restrain himself."

Now don't credit him with too much sense. But I should thank you for crediting me as the only adult in the room dealing with him. You're welcome. :)

"I repeat: wouldn't you agree that some of the people in this debate (on both sides) are just agreeing with an idea because the social group with which they identify has pronounced it as orthodoxy?"

No. The group is already geared to believe the Gorist simplification of the environment. They are hammered daily in the news, their schools, and the nightly talk shows with the message that our greed and selfish attitudes are polluting us into a greenhouse inferno. No, it's an act of moral courage to reject such herd mentality and argue the opposite. I might almost think it a patriotic duty to point to the inconsistencies to the doctrine of global warming.

"I suggest you consider the possibility that you are subscribing uncritically to the ideas of a smaller, more conservative group."

I suggest you consider the fact that our country has been governed along liberal principles for much of the past 60 years with quite disappointing results.

Hong said at October 24, 2009 3:39 PM:

Forgot to add this Nick:

"Regarding France's 35 hour work-week: yes, it creates it's own problems. My point was, simply, that there is no evidence that "their economies (are) less robust than ours? " I would suggest, further, that a bit of "us vs them" thinking is involved here: I know it's comforting to think that "we" are better than "them", but it tends to confuse one's thinking."

Best to remember that France's unemployment has consistently been above 10% for the past 20 years. Not a good indicator of a healthy economy by any standard.

Nick G said at October 24, 2009 6:04 PM:

The study shows that American drive more.

A lot more.

Our dispersion encourages greater mobility.

True.

The closest I could find to corroborate your claims was a study that showed Europe using only 70% of the oil per day that the United States uses. Again, no surprise given the heavy taxation and subsidies offered to green tech.

OK, so So, you agree that Europe's energy strategy has succeeded in
1) keeping personal transportation fuel consumption far below that of the US (given that both miles per capita and fuel consumption per mile are much lower than the US) and
2) keeping it's oil consumption well below that of the US?

A pattern that even greenie stalwart Germany is slowly divesting itself from.

Look closely at your source: it says that "In 1993, Germany was consuming 2.89 million barrels of oil a day. By 2003, the country was consuming only 2.68 million barrels a day. Today, they are consuming 2.44 million barrels a day, nearly a 9% drop....The European Union has been extremely proactive in cutting its oil consumption over the years. High gasoline taxes funnel cash into renewable energy research. That’s something we’re not likely to see here in the United States with folks complaining when gasoline costs $3 a gallon."

That looks like a successful oil-consumption-reduction strategy to me.

The experience with the Obama administration should give you pause in declaring govt as the breadwinner.

When did I suggest "govt as the breadwinner"?

I would never trust a politicized government entity for the gospel truth.

How is this related to the discussion?

last I checked the US rate of population growth is 2.4% while Europe's falls below 2%. I would assume that includes Muslim immigration.

Yes, and Mexican, which is larger. The US would have a fertility rate slightly below replacement without illegal Mexican immigration. I'm not making a judgment about Mexican immigration - it just doesn't look like a difference that supports the idea that "their economies (are) less robust than ours".

I won't involved myself in your tribal arguments.

Why not? I'm suggesting that you may have fallen into the trap of thinking in terms of "us" and "them". Isn't that important?

Only to point out that the United States is different from Europe and those differences are significantly more complicated than simple tribal ones.

I'm talking not about Europe, but about everyone. We all have a built-in vulnerability to identification with narrow groups. Kids get divided into Reds and Greens...and they compete to see who wins. You can see it in high school (and adult) sports fan, who get insane over who wins. You can see it in nationalism: he's French, she's Chinese, and you're American...and that's seen as important. Religions fan it by calling their members brothers and sisters, whether it's Baptist or Muslim.

As for Iran, yes there are legitimate gripes but the Mullahs are also insane.

Well that's my point: there are legitimate gripes. That tends to get lost in nationalist rhetoric.

And they skillfully use resentments to fuel their religious paranoia.

And US politicians don't?

Ridicule is not a waste of time but sometimes an important spotlight on the absurd activities of others such as E-P. I make no apologies for it and don't really need to.

I disagree. Ridicule doesn't provide information, either to the person you're arguing with, or to any other audience. If it does sway anyone, it does so by playing on negative emotions, which will only enhance divisiveness and discourage clear thinking. The only place I can see for it is in political comedy or satire, where the audience knows what you're doing.

I can certainly hurt someone's feelings without intimidating them.

And hurting feelings is good?

I certainly haven't stopped E-P's insane ad hominem ramblings here...lol

Yes, it doesn't seem to have accomplished anything, except to hurt your credibility (as E-P's behavior doesn't really advance his arguments either).

When someone attempts to 'intimidate' or bully you the best response is to meet it with scorn, ridicule, and mockery. Reciprocity is the best defense on such behavior.

Well, it may make you feel better. I can understand that, but it does concede the point that words can hurt.

More importantly, it may make you feel better, but it doesn't convince anyone.

I should thank you for crediting me as the only adult in the room dealing with him

No, I would say that you both sank to the other's level, in successively lower rounds.

The group is already geared to believe the Gorist simplification of the environment.

So, you're not willing to agree that any of those who disagree with climate change are taking someone else's word for it, even though there's an extremely strong correlation between views on this issue and political party? 100% of those who disagree with climate change have looked at the climatology journals, read the IPCC report, read opposing views, done the math and studied the charts to come to an educated opinion?

I suggest you consider the fact that our country has been governed along liberal principles for much of the past 60 years with quite disappointing results.

There isn't a group that you would identify with? Perhaps Libertarian?

Best to remember that France's unemployment has consistently been above 10% for the past 20 years. Not a good indicator of a healthy economy by any standard.

Yes, that's a real problem. OTOH, the US has a much higher rate of poverty, and a chronic trade deficit. How strong is the dollar today vs the Euro?

To introduce a new topic: I'm curious - who/what would you say is the best scientific authority for your views on climate change?

Hong said at October 24, 2009 7:23 PM:

"OK, so So, you agree that Europe's energy strategy has succeeded in
1) keeping personal transportation fuel consumption far below that of the US (given that both miles per capita and fuel consumption per mile are much lower than the US) and
2) keeping it's oil consumption well below that of the US?"

I wouldn't exactly call that a success since it involves a trade off of lighter, arguably less safe cars both in the United States and Europe.

"High gasoline taxes funnel cash into renewable energy research.
That looks like a successful oil-consumption-reduction strategy to me."

At what cost? A heavily subsidized green sector that crowds out cheaper conventional energy generation like coal, oil, or nuclear for expensive solar and wind at an enormous price tag of $240,000 per job. Residents complain of the noise and power agencies complain of the higher costs of accepting solar/wind voltage to the electrical grids. Is it any surprise the move towards nuclear has restarted under Merkel? It doesn't sound successful to me.

"When did I suggest "govt as the breadwinner"?"

A clumsy turn of the phrase, merely that relying on government agencies as gospel sources is fatally flawed. Especially under this heavily politicized presidency.

"How is this related to the discussion?"

I merely relate to you comment on the relative trustworthiness of government accounting as stated here:
'Only government (or quasi-governmental organizations such as the FASB) can do this. To think otherwise is, at best, wishful thinking.'

"it just doesn't look like a difference that supports the idea that "their economies (are) less robust than ours"."

A substantially lower birthrate than ours doesn't support the notion of potential economic trouble down the way? A 1.7 percent birthrate as Greece has is not a good indicator of future economic prospects when replacement workers fall below the number needed.

"Why not? I'm suggesting that you may have fallen into the trap of thinking in terms of "us" and "them". Isn't that important?"

Not really since this isn't about paranoia but the facts as we see them. My opinion is not racist or colored by hate. It therefore strikes me as odd that you chose to offer what was to me a sidetracking lecture on ethnic tensions. It's a rather strange and pointless distraction to me.

"And US politicians don't?"

I'm trying to imagine who you possibly could be referring to. Certainly not 'The One'? lol

"I disagree. Ridicule doesn't provide information, either to the person you're arguing with, or to any other audience. If it does sway anyone, it does so by playing on negative emotions, which will only enhance divisiveness and discourage clear thinking. The only place I can see for it is in political comedy or satire, where the audience knows what you're doing."

Who says I'm interested in changing some trolls opinion? But ridicule can offer a moral speed bump to drive by trolls who feel fit to judge with prejudice what an opponent has the right to believe.

"And hurting feelings is good?"

Were we discussing good or bad? No, we were talking about intimidation and sorry I'm not the Philadelphia Black Panthers.

"Yes, it doesn't seem to have accomplished anything, except to hurt your credibility (as E-P's behavior doesn't really advance his arguments either)."

Perhaps but with E-P it's really pointless to care about credibility issues when embarrassing a dishonest troll like him is the objective. When I wish to further an argument I don't employ such ridicule as I try with you. You have been civil and I reciprocate.

"Well, it may make you feel better. I can understand that, but it does concede the point that words can hurt."

I never said otherwise. I think we all learn by at a young age. Don't you agree?

"More importantly, it may make you feel better, but it doesn't convince anyone."

As said before, when I engage in reciprocity, it's not my intent to sway your opinion but spotlight the hate and venom with good humor.

"No, I would say that you both sank to the other's level, in successively lower rounds."

Ah but yet you appeal to my reasoning while surrendering hope with the one whose opinion on the ecological you seem to agree with. I find that suspicious. If you think I'm a degraded as E-P why make the effort? I certainly won't respect someone who doesn't respect me so just what are you accomplishing with these lectures on tribes and hurt feelings? You will not censor me or succeed in changing my tactics with lib trolls or with groups and ideas I find steeped in ridiculous zombie mentalities.

"So, you're not willing to agree that any of those who disagree with climate change are taking someone else's word for it, even though there's an extremely strong correlation between views on this issue and political party?"

Simply because you belong to the same political party doesn't mean that common understanding was tainted by some form of brainwashing. I would argue that my political spectrum arrives at it's opinion precisely through independent thought while the opposition are the drones. Of course you're free to disagree.

"100% of those who disagree with climate change have looked at the climatology journals, read the IPCC report, read opposing views, done the math and studied the charts to come to an educated opinion?"

Although it might help, you don't need such detailed knowledge but the application of good sense, reading bloggers, news reports, listening to commentators should all play a role. And it really doesn't take thorough knowledge of scientific journals to understand that the global warming issue is politicized by those whose agenda runs counter to free trade and personal liberty including members of the scientific community.

As for the IPCC report, now that's a deeply flawed document. There are scientists who didn't know what they were signing since the report later on was actually altered significantly to favor the alarmist point of view.

http://www.sepp.org/Archive/controv/ipcccont/Item05.htm

"There isn't a group that you would identify with? Perhaps Libertarian?"

I certainly carry sympathies with libertarians, hence the link to Reason magazine.

"Yes, that's a real problem. OTOH, the US has a much higher rate of poverty, and a chronic trade deficit. How strong is the dollar today vs the Euro?"

Europe also has a larger problem with it's muslim minorities and a rationed, financially unstable healthcare system etc etc.

As for currency issues. I'm not diving into that snakepit just yet. I don't pretend that the US economy is healthy at the moment or that the recovery is truly underway, only that all the green drives in Europe has come at a steep cost to their productivity and general well being.

"To introduce a new topic: I'm curious - who/what would you say is the best scientific authority for your views on climate change?"

Not the UN, not MoveOn.org, not any George Soros funded operation, not the White House or their many sheep like worshippers in the press. Get an idea?

Engineer-Poet said at October 24, 2009 8:56 PM:

I find it most entertaining that Hong accuses me of trolling, when e.g. his blatant and deliberate mis-interpretation of others' facts and figures (such the 18% number above, which was pretty obviously both per-capita and personal even before it was clarified) is classic troll behavior.  I LOLed when I read that.  Not many people go from newbie to jumping the shark that fast.

If my friends read FuturePundit, I'd start a pool on how long it would take him to burn out or be banned.  I'd start another pool on how long it would take him to catch on to the origin of a set of climate facts from e.g. Real Climate, but I'll just spill the beans and say that's the first place I look when I want a climatologist's take on some issue or talking point.  Almost always, they've got it covered with references.  They're as good as the combination of talkorigins.org and The Panda's Thumb for refuting creatonut claims.  Obsessing on Soros and MoveOn is telling, again.  (Who here pays attention to them?  I sure don't.)  This clown is either paranoid (seeing "lefties" and "greenies" behind every position that runs counter to his politics) or doing a damn good act.

But as long as he's ranting and raving here, he might as well entertain us on topics of interest.  For instance, what is the economic advantage of taking someone to work in a Hummer vs. a Mini Cooper (which I'm sure is much more of a blast to drive)... or a Tango 100?  A Tango full of lead and steel would give most cars a run for their money in a collision, and doesn't burn any petroleum at all.  What's the merit of the Hummer, again?  How does it generate economic benefits that don't run straight out again for military expenses and Homeland Security?

Hong said at October 25, 2009 4:48 AM:

"I find it most entertaining that Hong accuses me of trolling, ""

When you post ad hominem attack then what defense can you offer? I'm happy it makes you happy that you behave like a jackass troll.

"his blatant and deliberate mis-interpretation of others' facts and figures (such the 18% number above, which was pretty obviously both per-capita and personal even before it was clarified) is classic troll behavior. "

And as for misrepresentation you haven't owned up to your distortion of my statement of European gas taxes where I was largely accurate on your characterizations on their greenie tech policies. The 18% figure has still not been substantiated and I'm still waiting...

"I LOLed when I read that. "

When you read what a jackass you made of yourself each and every time here. I agree that is funny.

"Not many people go from newbie to jumping the shark that fast."

Not many go from veteran poster to infantile troll and hate monger on a dime. I'm certainly not the first to note that here or other threads. You quick use of ad hominem for those who disagree with you is an interesting pattern of self defeating implosion. How quickly you're easily tripped over into classic troll territory. How does that feel?

"If my friends read FuturePundit, I'd start a pool on how long it would take him to burn out or be banned."

If you had any friends whose brainpower reach beyond your grade level post here I'd ask them to seek better company. lol. Like a classic troll you burned with desire to have the last word, hence your post here on Saturday even after expressing time and time again that it was a waste of time arguing with me. Hmm, so how much worse does that make you?

BTW, like a little yapping puppy I noticed how you'd quickly you'd troll a comment after Randall. I just know you're aching for him to ban me since you can't really prove your case. Certainly without pissing yourself with hate and bigotry. And what was that comment on my looks again?

"I'd start another pool on how long it would take him to catch on to the origin of a set of climate facts from e.g. Real Climate, but I'll just spill the beans and say that's the first place I look when I want a climatologist's take on some issue or talking point. Almost always, they've got it covered with references. They're as good as the combination of talkorigins.org and The Panda's Thumb for refuting creatonut claims."

An interesting take from a blogger on Real Climate that questions their gospel virtue. I suppose any website that deals with global warming will not be capable of truly objective status and apparently this one fails it too. Maybe you ought not sink you head so deep into the toilet next time E-P on this one.

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/real-climate-blogger-accurate-truthful-you-decide/

"Obsessing on Soros and MoveOn is telling, again. (Who here pays attention to them? I sure don't.) This clown is either paranoid (seeing "lefties" and "greenies" behind every position that runs counter to his politics) or doing a damn good act."

There's nothing paranoid in seeing the correlation between much of the propaganda about global warming and the leftist agenda. Your clownish attempts at misdirection aside, Gore, and the Socialists aimed to leverage this issue to impose their vision of the control. I just loved the release of this video about Greenpeace and getting caught on one of their serial exaggerations.

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/08/19/greenpeace-confesses-to-ice-cap-melting-exagerration/

And if it's all paranoia why would the IPCC need to alter their documentation so blatantly? Of course I can't expect a serious answer from you who did I think I was writing to lol.

"But as long as he's ranting and raving here,"

I'm certainly not the one posting a hate filled commentary so soon after mine on a Saturday night even after stating time and time again that it was stupid. Could that not be a obvious cry for help to Randall? lol

" he might as well entertain us on topics of interest. For instance, what is the economic advantage of taking someone to work in a Hummer vs. a Mini Cooper (which I'm sure is much more of a blast to drive)... or a Tango 100? A Tango full of lead and steel would give most cars a run for their money in a collision, and doesn't burn any petroleum at all. What's the merit of the Hummer, again? How does it generate economic benefits that don't run straight out again for military expenses and Homeland Security?"

Not every car is measured in economic benefit, it is also a matter of personal taste. And if economics were all that we cared for we would simply ride bikes or take transit. I think the verdict has already come down one which car drivers would prefer when gasoline is cheap and affordable. Light trucks wins out judging by the SUV sales. A little Tango with a crash cage may be safer than your typical golf cart but I'm still going to chose a truck if I still get the choice. Your hatred for the hummer is strangely obsessive as is your obsession with me. Again, quite entertaining.

And you've again reached for the lowest common denominator with your latest post. I'm glad to see you still have more depths to sink to. E-P

Hong said at October 25, 2009 5:17 AM:

More critics on your favorite global warming activists Real Climate. If you have the heart to read it. Believe me there's plenty more...

http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/07/truth-about-realclimateorg.html

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/1742/Climatologist-slams-RealClimateorg-for-

Engineer-Poet said at October 25, 2009 6:17 AM:

A matter of personal taste, huh?  Is a traffic violation rate ahead of any other vehicle on the road also a matter of taste?  It looks like a matter of public safety to me.  The grossly excessive fuel consumption is not a personal issue either, it is a matter of economic (and thus national) security; world oil supply has peaked, so the Hummer has to bid high enough to destroy demand equivalent to 2 Toyota Corollas.  This takes oil away from e.g. industry.  The Hummer doesn't make anything, industry does.

And a hint for you:  adding up a list of your deficiencies as demonstrated by your use of logical fallacies and false claims of fact is not ad-hominem.  It's character analysis.

Hong said at October 25, 2009 6:42 AM:

"A matter of personal taste, huh? Is a traffic violation rate ahead of any other vehicle on the road also a matter of taste? It looks like a matter of public safety to me."

And they pay higher insurance premiums and gas costs. That's the trade off owners make buying a larger vehicle. That's the nature of choice. Yet, arguably any hummer will make a person more secure than tinier cars. If you want to regulate public safety the question is where it should end. Your subjective standard notwithstanding what constitutes the threshold where personal choice is robbed by big brother?

"The grossly excessive fuel consumption is not a personal issue either, it is a matter of economic (and thus national) security; world oil supply has peaked, so the Hummer has to bid high enough to destroy demand equivalent to 2 Toyota Corollas. This takes oil away from e.g. industry. The Hummer doesn't make anything, industry does."

This brings up the point you've consistently ignored. What has alternative green tech brought for Europe? What security have they achieved when they become more dependant on Russian gas or Middle Eastern oil. Had they listened to the critics and pursued cheaper, domestic conventional sources would they be so vulnerable?

"And a hint for you: adding up a list of your deficiencies as demonstrated by your use of logical fallacies and false claims of fact is not ad-hominem. It's character analysis."

Actually you've done nothing of the sort. My criticism of you has largely been accurate while I doubt people can say the same with you. Even Randall seems to have gone silent on the issue. And, BTW, you're not performing any service when you call people idiots or denigrate or misrepresent their opinions are you've done here. I just want you to admit it like a man instead of cowering behind Randall. lol

anonyq said at October 26, 2009 2:30 AM:

Hong, how can you call the Euuropean economy less robust when they had a smaller slowdown than the USA with high oil-prices.

Nick G said at October 26, 2009 3:14 PM:

Hong,

I'm disappointed. You're really not listening to new ideas - for instance, that Europe has succeeded in keeping personal transportation oil consumption much lower than the US.

The most glaring: you refuse to acknowledge that most people on both sidesrely on others' authority for things like AGW. That's just... absurd. Heck, I know more about most energy-related issues than most people, and because I haven't had the time to really research climate change, I rely on others, like, you know, climatologists. Climatology is a sophisticated science - you really can't have an educated opinion about it based on reading a few blogs and listening to political analysis. Furthermore, people just don't have to time to learn about most of the world's complex issues that aren't related to their career or daily life - it's just an obvious truth.

By refusing to acknowledge this obvious truth, you show that you're really not willing to listen to new ideas or have a constructive conversation. I suppose this kind of aggressive, one-sided pushing of ideas may work some places, but I don't think it will work here. In any case, I see no point in continuing. If you want to reply..well, feel free, but I probably won't respond unless you show some clear openness to new ideas.

Hong said at October 26, 2009 5:13 PM:

Anon,

"Hong, how can you call the Euuropean economy less robust when they had a smaller slowdown than the USA with high oil-prices."

I think the answer lies with their choice in economic policy. While this president has set a determined course to more govt spending and bailouts the Europeans have actually pursued a more conservative approach. There are no huge stimulus packages from Brussels. That's my short and simple answer. If you disagree feel free to but this thread is wearing itself out.

Nick:

"I'm disappointed. You're really not listening to new ideas - for instance, that Europe has succeeded in keeping personal transportation oil consumption much lower than the US."

Wrong, I don't accept your ideas or the ones pursued by the radical greens. And the point I've repeateddly made is that there's more to the economic picture than keeping the consumption down if it's also depresses the economic turnout.

"The most glaring: you refuse to acknowledge that most people on both sidesrely on others' authority for things like AGW."

Also wrong, I never said people don't use other sources to help form their opinion but that our side aren't so slavish in their repetition of alarmist talking points.

"Climatology is a sophisticated science - you really can't have an educated opinion about it based on reading a few blogs and listening to political analysis."

Agreed but it also depends on who you gain your information from. You named the IPCC, E-P cites RealClimate, both are leftist and biased in their analysis. You must know that or else you can't make an informed decision.

"I see no point in continuing. If you want to reply..well, feel free, but I probably won't respond unless you show some clear openness to new ideas."

I have been remarkably open to your opinions but you seem not to have reciprocated. I answered you point for point and tried my best to be honest and thorough. I simply don't agree and you chalk it to narrow mindedness. I sense it's you who's having trouble letting go. Feel free to respond but, I might not bother until you acknowledge that truth.

Grego said at August 18, 2011 5:47 AM:

The US alone consumes around 400 Billion cubic feet of natural gas a year in the Haber-Bosch process to manufacture fertilizer to sustain our unsustainble population (for ignorants out there - FOOD). When this amazing gas plan comes on line you are significantly bringing the peak gas point forward. Dwindling oil is about various forms of mobile enrgy use. Trucks cars tanks etc. Gas is about food and heating etc. So the whole world switches to gas and basically we sit right back here in a few years time discussing a similar problem. We running out of gas. This is typical capitalist growth greed profit bullshit. When the F&ck are we going to learn that the growth model is dead. All resources are finite. We need poeople with brains and policticians who actually lead. i.e. one way or another we are all done for! The Chinese are right. If people can't control themselves then Governments must. Restict who can have children and how many. If you destitute, a druggy, a criminal, then no KIDS for you! Children without families must be adopted first before kids are allowed. Severe but necessary. The alternative is to watch them starve to death. The longer we postpone suttainable energy and sustainable living the worse the problem gets. Ultimately within 100 years all resources will be exhausted. Thats simply a fact. Ever met a politcian who thinks about tomorrow?

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