At the beginning of the Iraq War the Defense Department gamed out scenarios in which the US could be ultimately defeated and the scenario that wound up defeating the US was Saddam Hussein effectively adding radiologic material to the oil in Iraq & Iran thereby making it unusable. The Deep Horizon gusher has leaked about 2 million barrels of oil so far. I tend to think this is about 10 % of what the US uses in a year. It is located in an area believed to be similarly rich in oil deposits. It would seem that setting off a nuclear device could potentially contaminate the entire area and its oil reserves. In all honesty, this would probably pose minimal health risks to end-users of said oil, but you know how people are about radioactive materials. I don't see how that would be better.
But more importantly - Charles Lemos is a member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil? Will he ever cease to amaze? I saw a very persuasive talk about Peak Oil at the American Geophysical Union conference about a year ago. The speaker contended that we would never reach the 2 X CO2 scenario considered by the IPCC because we simply don't have enough oil. I'm an ardent environmentalist, but really, is anyone prepared to live in a world that effectively runs out of oil? It kind of makes you wish for sea level rise instead.
I think Salazar needs to go, but this isn't the time to do it. I'm not willing to write Obama off yet. Honestly, I don't see what throwing a hissy fit in front of a microphone accomplishes. To me, the best strategy is to focus on stopping the leak and cleaning up right now. Once it is over, use the moment to move public opinion on the importance of government regulation. To Obama's credit, he's the only Democratic Presidential nominee or President that I can remember speaking favorably about the role of government in our lives. This is a prime example of that. You even have these faux-libertarians now saying that Obama should be doing more. There is an important narrative here that the Democrats jettisoned a long time ago.
I partially agree with what you're saying. But only in the sense that the government agency meant to regulate these activities fell down on the job completely.
As far as "forcing" BP to drill in deep water, I have no idea what you're talking about. I've spent time at sea along the Gulf Coast and I can tell you that there is a veritable maze of oil and gas rigs beginning basically at the water's edge and extending far out to sea. In Alabama, coastal property owners receive mineral rights because gas rigs are drilling literally under the coast. At night, the lights of scores of oil and gas rigs are easily visible from the shore. I can't tell you how many blue helmets with the label "Roustabout" I've seen along the beaches in Alabama. I don't get this notion that we've cornered energy companies in anyway whatsoever.
It's not realistic to think any of this is going to change. What needs to change is the regulatory environment and the understanding that something like this could happen a hundred times over.
That's the worst part of this. I mean, it isn't realistic to think that we're going to stop drilling for oil in the Gulf, but allowing this to happen at this point in time shows a complete lack of understanding of the feelings people have about the spill. Talking about climate change and better "blowout preventers" isn't going to cut it. The narrative is there, Obama has to capture it: stop the leak, set a moratorium on drilling, dedicate political capital to returning government agencies to some semblence of functionality, and remind people that government bureaucracy can work the way it is intended.
And this is why I supported Obama in the primaries. But to be fair, I wouldn't necessarily say this is a "Clinton" or a "Democratic" problem. The problem is mercenary strategists and the way they tend to lead policy decisions, messaging, and the way politicians hedge every action against swing groups in swing states. I think Obama is slightly different from this mold. Only slightly.
That said, I'm currently in the process of re-thinking my allegiances due to the Gulf Oil Spill disaster. At some point, what is needed is action, not supporting a party because of its purported reputation on certain issues. I'm tired of this "the Democrats aren't quite as bad as the Republicans" calculation that needs to be made on almost every issue. I'm tired of rooting for the Democrats even though I have to make excuses for all their hedging, bungling, and corporatism.
Thanks. You speak with the wisdom of experience. I don't do very much of the online community thing, but I've always found the MYDD crowd to be to my liking. Personally, I don't think it all comes down to the technical changes to the blog. They may have hastened the exit of a few folks, but I think you're correct that as primaries and national-scale races heat up, we'll see more energy on the blog.
It's kind of amazing, isn't it? Take a look on the right side of the page. At the time of writing this comment, my diary is the only one with any comments at all. And I didn't really say anything in this diary. Before this one, the only one with comments was titled "Evan Bayh should rot in hell".
That is that any incumbent polling under 50 % is in trouble, is probably overstated somewhat. But given the fact that this guy is Mr. Arizona Senator and was Mr. GOP-nominee just two years ago probably doesn't bode well for him. I'm sure a good portion of the discontent comes from the right, but it's hard to see McCain winning too many of those people over. So a McCain poll under 50 % may actually give the Dem a chance.
In a way, this goes back to McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for VP. Once he did that, he killed his Maverick circa A.D. 2000 incarnation and had to go full-on crazy black helicopter. That move precluded his running as a respectable independent a la Charlie Crist.
to say that the pundit class over-reacted to the wins by the GOP in New Jersey & Virginia. This election is not in the bag for the GOP. I'm sure they'll make gains, but there's a good chance the Dems hold both Houses. That would be a remarkable achievement for them.
Honestly, what would accomplish anything on climate change? No one has the stones it would take to dramatically reduce C emissions in the range that would be required to really curtail global warming. Plus, the IPCC estimates that those cuts would need to last 80+ years, surviving more than 20 Presidential Elections. Think about that. How much of our legislative infrastructure is in place from 1930? The best things that could come out of this bill is a "business as usual" in the carbon emissions front, much tighter regulation on drilling & digging practices, plus some extra funding for alternative energy and mass tranportation. If this results in a decrease in air & water pollution of the traditional variety (lead, mercury, sulfates, nutrients, sediments, polluted runoff), then it'll be a remarkable success. If anyone really wants to curtail the obscene ag practices out there, that almost certainly has to be done in the Ag Bill.
I usually miss out on the gaffe bandwagon because I tend to be forgiving of verbal miscues and I get tired of pile-ons pretty quickly. But this one had a particular resonance because it shows how idiotic the alternatives to HCR really are.