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The North American Energy Revolution

North America as the new fossil fuel powerhouse. We’ll look at the blessing, the curse and how it may reshape geopolitics and energy politics.

In this Friday, July 20, 2012 photo, workers are pictured on a drilling rig near Calumet, Okla. Oklahoma is one of several states, including North and South Dakota, that has enjoyed a boom in the energy sector driven in large part by new and improved drilling techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which cracks open fissures in rock formations to retrieve oil and gas. (AP)

In this Friday, July 20, 2012 photo, workers are pictured on a drilling rig near Calumet, Okla. Oklahoma is one of several states, including North and South Dakota, that has enjoyed a boom in the energy sector. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)

The new and exploding fossil fuel abundance of the United States is still sinking in. Oil and gas are now being pulled in huge quantities out of American shale. The United States is projected to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s number one oil producer by 2020.

The implications are still settling in. Do we still need to keep the Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Middle East sea lanes? Should China deal with that? And if we fully use our new fossil fuel abundance, what climate will we have left?

Up next On Point: The blessing, curse and just plain big changes of America’s new fossil fuel energy boom.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Antoine Halff, head of the International Energy Agency’s Oil Industry and Markets Division.  He was the lead author and editor of the agency’s “Medium-Term Oil Market Report” which was released last week.

Michael Levi, senior fellow for energy and the environment and director of the program on energy security and climate change at the Council on Foreign Relations. Author of “The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future.” (@levi_m)

Richard Heinberg, senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. Author of the upcoming book, “Snake Oil: How the Petroleum Industry’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future.” (@richardheinberg)

Show Highlights

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg: Oil Shockwaves From U.S. Shale Boom Seen by IEA Ousting OPEC — “The U.S. shale boom will send ‘shockwaves’ through the global oil trade over the next five years, benefiting the nation’s refiners and displacing OPEC as the driver of supply growth, the IEA said. North America will provide 40 percent of new supplies to 2018 through the development of light, tight oil and oil sands, while the contribution from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will slip to 30 percent, according to the International Energy Agency.”

The Atlantic: What If We Never Run Out of Oil? — “This perspective has a corollary: natural resources cannot be used up. If one deposit gets too expensive to drill, social scientists (most of them economists) say, people will either find cheaper deposits or shift to a different energy source altogether. Because the costliest stuff is left in the ground, there will always be petroleum to mine later. ‘When will the world’s supply of oil be exhausted?’ asked the MIT economist Morris Adelman, perhaps the most important exponent of this view. ‘The best one-word answer: never.’ Effectively, energy supplies are infinite.”

Tweets From During The Show

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    “The North American Energy Revolution” is a good thing. It buys the Americas the time we need, to weather the baby boom retirement problems that are coming, creates the real wealth necessary to provide the capital we need to develop alternative energy resources and provides an immediate “fix” to budget deficit and trade deficit problems. The revolution helps to ensure sounder money and prevents a banking collapse that would probably result, eventually, if we were not pulling energy rabbits out of our hats. Lastly, the revolution will provide the dollars to the Americas, necessary to continue the incredible technological gains that are occurring.

    Now, to those on this thread that are concerned about the impact this revolution will have on global warming, I ask that you consider this fact of life; The Americas will never be able to dictate to all relevant international competitors’ energy policies, without the economic muscle to back up any deals that may be struck in the future.

    ———————-

    The fundamental driver of our environmental impact problem is “ too many people”. A moderately falling birthrate is NOT good enough.

    http://paa2007.princeton.edu/papers/7192

    ———————-

    The United Nations would like us to eat insects. That is their solution !
    No thanks ! I will continue to invest in money making, food buying investments.

    http://rt.com/news/un-world-hunger-insects-211/

    —————————————–
    Increased US production of energy will result in a healthier US balance sheet and a renewed manufacturing advantage.

    http://www.pwc.com/us/en/press-releases/2012/manufacturing-resurgence-press-release.jhtml

    ——————————————–
    General Motors Hy-wire still is a possibility.

    http://www.ask.com/wiki/General_Motors_Hy-wire?o=3986&qsrc=999

    ————-
    New Chevy Cruze, diesel, will get 46 miles per gallon on the highway.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130418/AUTO0103/304180390

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Diesel fumes cause Cancer. Yes with a capital C.
      This is not my opinion, it is scientific fact. But by all means, let us continue manufacturing diesel powered engines… It’s good for the economy right?

    • Don_B1

      I like a lot of what is in your post, for raising the issue if not for the conclusion it points to.

      1) The North American energy boom has the potential to help “weather” the transition to sustainable energy sources, but that will be if, and only if the money is spent to speed that transition, starting NOW. The development of “our” fossil fuel energy sources will NOT, repeat NOT, reduce the cost of fossil fuels. At best it will reduce the rise in the cost of fossil fuels, for multiple reasons:

      a) Oil is “fungible” in that it is sold in a world-wide market as it can be shipped to the highest bidder anywhere in the world. One of the few places with lower costs is the American MidWest, because currently oil wells there have little piping to ship oil out, but new pipes, particularly Keystone XL, will eliminate this small advantage for the MidWest.

      b) Natural gas, currently experiencing a surge in supply which has lowered its American price from near $12/1000 BTUs to less than $3, has driven requests for development of export ports, so that it can also be shipped anywhere in the world where it can get a higher price. This will probably double its current American price in less than 5 years. Some fracked wells are not currently in production because of the low natural gas price compared to the extraction cost.

      c) The easily extracted fossil fuels have largely been exhausted (extracted) already, so any new sources will be more costly to extract. For an informative presentation on fracking (natural gas from the Marcellus Shale), watch:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSWmXpEkEPg

      This is why some price must be put on carbon, either a direct tax, with a per capita return to energy users, which has difficulties in determining the tax rate to achieve the desired result or a cap-and-trade type tax where the compensation to low-income energy users is more difficult.

      —-

      Certainly the U.S. cannot “dictate” carbon prices to the world, nor should it want to. But it can lead the way and every government in the world (except the Republican-controlled parts of the U.S. government — and the conservative Canadian government is recanting on previous commitments) has recognized the need to move away from fossil fuels and China is currently doing more than the U.S. China’s pollution problem will give it a lot of credibility with its people in this effort. But the big reason they are able to continue rampant pollution is that they are able to point at the U.S. as not doing anything.

      —-

      While population growth is a real threat, the current level of the world population is sufficient to push the world into a climate untenable for higher life forms if everyone is to use fossil fuels on a per capita basis comparable to that of the developed world. The hope is that, as the world’s population grows more middle-class, the birth rates wil drop fast enough to not drive the climate change effects beyond “tipping points.” That is ONLY a hope, however. That is why the shift to sustainable energy sources is more important than ever.

      —-

      There are many cultures (many/most in Africa) that currently get some of their food from insects (ants are considered good), so the UN study is not a fantasy; note that it does not expect insects to become a staple of the American diet. But insect burgers could taste just fine for all I know.

      —-

      The current manufacturing edge provided by cheap fracked natural gas will be short lived for the reasons I gave above. But sustainable energy prices have been coming down and offer the prospect of continuing that manufacturing advantage much longer into the future than fossil fuels.

      —-

      Electrification of transportation, either through the electrical grid or a new hydrogen generation/distribution system can provide a system that will be less expensive than the current fossil-fuel system will be and will be less destructive of the environment.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        DonB1, I always try to read your post. I don’t always agree with you but I do respect your opinion, very much. As far as your current post goes all I will say, now, is, ’ I feel confident that all of these problems can be worked out, eventually. ’

  • BOBinRSI

    More oil will bring cheaper prices and more consumption and eventually, if history is any indicator, another crisis of some sort. We don’t need more oil we just need a serious tax on what we have. Its the only way we will ever get pointed in a different direction.

  • madnomad554

    The Federal Government mandates that the big 3 auto makers entire fleet, collectively gets a certain overall mileage and that number goes up about every 3 to 5 years. Now we all know that a cars mileage is based on both city and highway mileage. The highway mileage being based on 60 MPH. Yet the federal government has the interstate speed limit set at 70 MPH. Effectively undoing the very standard it requires of the auto makers. And at best only 5% of those on the interstate are doing 70, most are doing between 75 and 80.

    Mathematicians and economists will both tell you that anything over 60MPH has a negative compounding effect regarding fuel consumption. So here’s an idea, SLOW DOWN!!! Drop the speed limit back to 60 MPH and buy more 4 cylinder engine cars. Why is Detroit still pumping out 300 and 400HP, V-8 engine cars is plain stupid, oh because the mass consumer keeps snatching them up.

    This country has a need for speed mentality. It’s got to be fast. it’s got to handle like a race! Every car made in this country is sold on the premise of its 0-60 ability. What difference does it make how fast it is, if your commute to work is one of those 2 hour grid lock commutes? Or even worse, what does 0-60 do for you if your sitting in the drive through waiting on your Big Mac?

    Look at it this way. Do you ever think you will go down to the Daytona 500 and find the parking lot full of Priuses and Leafs and so on? Not likely. Big 800HP race cars, consuming fuel at a rate of 2 miles per gallon with a parking lot full of Priuses and Chevy Volts. That’ll be the day!!!    

    • Acnestes

      Speaking of Big Macs, how about abolishing drive-throughs?  How much gas gets wasted and pollution put into the air by those poor souls sitting in line because it’s oh-so-much trouble to park and go inside?

      • adks12020

        Hey now…if it weren’t for the people that are too lazy to get out of their cars my occasional morning bagel at Dunkin Donuts wouldn’t be so quick. It blows my mind that people ignore the fact that there is one person in line inside and 10-15 cars in line at the drive through.

        Seriously though, not a bad idea that you’ve got here.

        • madnomad554

          I see your point and concern, but we both know that bagel could be enjoyed just the same with four cylinders under the hood.

          Blueberry bagel and black coffee, I’m on my way 

      • madnomad554

         And whats even worse, they don’t want the pipeline running through their backyard, “Not in my backyard” they say. “Shame on BP for what you did to the Gulf”, something else they shout.

        And there they are, sitting in that 6000lb SUV, while sitting in the drive-thru on the way to the Daytona 500.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         LOL.  My hybrid shuts off at the drive through.

        It is a personal choice.

        btw – you remind me of Nanny Bloomberg.

        • Acnestes

          Oh well, gosh, as long as it’s a personal choice it’s all good then.

          You confirm my view that if any country ever needed a nanny it’s this one, full of self centered four year olds that can’t give up the slightest personal convenience for the common good unless they’re compelled to.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I actually don’t disagree with your gripe.  However your solution — abolishing drive-thrus — is an anathema to the freedoms on which our country was founded.

            I hear Bloomberg is hiring.  He is always looking for good Nannys.

          • Acnestes

            “abolishing drive-thrus — is an anathema to the freedoms on which our country was founded.”

            This kind of mindless, parrotted crap is the reason I don’t generally even bother with you guys.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Get back to me when you call for abolishing toll booths.

            So you think I’m mindless.  Thanks for that. btw – who was I parroting?

          • Acnestes

            Actually I mostly agree with you on the toll booths.

            You may not be mindless, but anyone who spouts the tired, “(insert personal inconvenience of your choice here) is a violation of our freedoms!”, every time someone wants to install a traffic light then it opens them to suspicion.  Freedom is not what you’re really interested in – what you really want is license to do whatever you want without taking responsibility for the consequences to everyone else.  If it were just your own nest you wanted to soil you’d have my blessing.  But you think you should be, “free”, to soil everyone else’s as well.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            On Point!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Thanks for telling me what I think.  I appreciate it.

          • Don_B1

            Actually toll booths are on their way out.

            The “Easy-Pass” system is able to collect tolls through transponders on cars (travelling at all speeds) and cars not so equipped get their license plates photographed and a bill sent to the car owner.

            A few of these bills and the owner is likely to sign up for the transponder.

            Cars may well come from the factory with them installed in the future.

      • Don_B1

        I suspect that the significant amounts of gas wasted in “Drive-throughs” is dwarfed by the amount wasted in traffic jams or even at red lights.

        At least at red lights, traffic moves in discrete steps of movement then stops, where the time stopped is long enough for the motorist to shut off the engine, saving gas (an engine needs only to be off for 15 to 30 seconds to use less gas than starting up from being off). That is the benefit of hybrid cars that basically do that automatically.

        The people living near the roadway would also benefit from motorists who turn off their engines and do not pollute the air during that period.

        • Acnestes

          All true.  The reason I mentioned getting rid of drive-throughs in particular, even though they are admittedly a drop in the bucket, is that they are such an obvious and unneccesary waste, would be completely unmissed and getting rid of them could be accomplished pretty easily, relatively speaking.

    • donniethebrasco

       Time is a limited resource.

      • Don_B1

        That is one of the advantages of public transportation, from trains and planes, where the traveler can do other (more productive) things while traveling.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Feel free to slow down to 60mph.  Just make sure you stay to the right so others can pass.

      • madnomad554

         You must live in Texas where they recently raised the speed limit to 80MPH. I guess the, “who cares factor”  is bigger in Texas as well.

         If 60MPH isn’t fast enough for someone, then I say that someone may just want too much.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           No, I live in MA where traffic usually prevents us from driving the speed limit

          Traffic congestion is the true killer of fuel efficiency.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Need for speed? If our lust for thrust was the motivator we’d all be driving electric vehicles. Electric motors produce FAR more torque than internal combustion engines. The result? Faster 0-60 times as you put it. You also mentioned Handling. Electric vehicles can have their heaviest components (batteries) mounted at the lowest central point. What does this achieve? An ideal center of gravity and superior handling characteristics.

      You’re right about the Speed Limit debacle. The problem could be solved by doing nothing more complicated than changing gear ratios. Of course that would increase fuel efficiency and carry negative economic impact to the providers of our poison of choice. This has ALWAYS driven me nuts. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the environmental benefits of having more adequately configured transmissions.

      It seems to me that we have more of a need for belligerence and self-destruction than we do a need for speed. Electric motors don’t make as much noise as that Hot Rod with straight exhaust or your favorite Harley. How big a role does the desire to piss others off and to force them to pay attention to us when we rev the throttle play? A pretty big one I’d imagine.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        How close are you to metro Atlanta?

        Because I want to get someone’s impressions about “growth areas” such as Phoenix, Atlanta and Houston, and you’re in Georgia.

        At some point the conversation can’t be just about speed limits, or adding an extra lane to a loop highway. The future of metro Atlanta can’t be just another New Jersey, can it*?

        (*Albeit with better biscuits.)

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Not close to ATL thank goodness, I have traveled through and around it for decades though. Atlanta is a great example of what not to do in my opinion. The only place that traffic has seemed more oppressive to me was Chesapeake Bay. Houston was also terrible the times I’ve been there. In all three places public transportation is sorely lacking. That seems to be a nationwide deficiency though.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I proffer the not-original idea that transportation policy and development planning need to be done together. Otherwise we have little more in our future than more “foreclosurevilles”, subdivisions dozens of miles from anywhere, adding lots of VMT for very little additional payback.

            (Disclaimer: My extent in Atlanta is two connections at ATL. I’ve driven to and through New Jersey, but know better than to travel into NYC by auto.)

      • madnomad554

         Name one sanctioned motor sport that is taking advantage of your first paragraph suggestions? None.

        This country will race tractors, buses, semi’s, jet skis, snowmobiles, motorcycles(pavement, dirt, snow and ice), dragsters(pavement and dirt), boats, airplanes and even LAWNMOWERS.

        Where are the electric motors in all of that? And that is without mentioning monster trucks, nascar, indy and all of the dirt track events. This country most certainly has a need for speed culture. They go too Bonneville with jet engines and gas, seeking the land speed record.

        When you can get a NASCAR to go 500 miles on batteries, then the fossil fuel problem will be solved. Until then, I’m afraid the pipelines, tar sands and oil spills will continue. 

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It should go without saying that I agree with your sentiments. All of the things you mention could continue without literally killing us though. If we did what is necessary to compensate for it that is.
          Cover every square inch of roof in the US with the most efficient solar sheeting / panels available, convert all freight and public transportation to electric, build an adequate national electric grid, and the list rolls on. We could more than compensate for our more inane pursuits, we just need to find a way to foot the short-term bill. It’s a shame we can’t ever seem to acknowledge that the long-term benefits of changes like those I mentioned FAR exceed the short-term costs.

          • madnomad554

            Agreed…such as lowering the speed limit. But at no time since 05′ when gas first went above $2 a gallon, have I heard anybody but myself suggest lowering the speed limit.

            My electric bill last month was $63 and that feels great. I plan to hand build my new house in a couple of years, currently I rent, and the back side roof is slated to have solar panels, I’m looking forward to it.

             

          • hennorama

            madnomad – as to your potential new house – site planning and solar orientation can go a long way toward reducing the energy required for heating and cooling, as well as optimizing the potential for both solar and wind energy.  And don’t forget the potential use of geothermal.

            There are also very simple passive solar design features you can incorporate into your home, such as extended roof overhangs that shade windows and walls in summer and allow them to heat up in winter.

            No doubt you have taken all this into consideration already.  I mention this for the reader who may be unaware of such concepts.

            See:

            http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/passive-solar-home-design

            http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/guide_to_passive_solar_home_design.pdf

  • wauch

    Please this is just another case of kicking the energy can down the road and insisting on not absorbing the externalities of hydrocarbons. Here in Ohio we have a Republican administration and Republican dominated house that has taken “home rule” away from folks which is completely antithetical to the supposed libertarian ethos. Furthermore the severance tax here in Ohio is beyond friendly yet the industry continues to state that it gets in the way of further development. Shale Gas is second only to tar sands in the Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI) as the worst on this coarse estimate of dirty fuels.
    Great

  • donniethebrasco

    Let’s tax gas to $10/gallon.

    That’s the only way to get alternatives.

    We can also pay off the debt.

    But wait, if gas is $10/gallon, our economy will slow, China will go bankrupt.  They will call our debt.  We will go bankrupt.  The dollar will be worthless.

    We will have the weakest currency.  We will become the cheapest place to make textiles and steel.

    We will re-industrialize.  Everyone who works at NPR will work in a factory.

    At least we know what will happen.

    • 1Brett1

      …and then the terrorists will have won!

      • jefe68

        The level of irrelevance and hyperbole is wanting in that chaps comments. Why bother responding anymore?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Because this is public radio. An unmocked, unanswered right-wing arglebargle post is what public radio feels compelled to make “part of the conversation”, no matter how pointless. (Ask NPR’s ombud.)

          This is distinctly different from the largely ignored sewers message boards on other mainstream media.

        • Gregg Smith

          Click your profile.

  • donniethebrasco

    Ban bottled water!
    Abortion allowed even after baby crowns!
    Ban large soft drinks!
    Sugar is poison!
    No school choice!
    Stop prayer in my earshot and cigarettes in my carbon footprint!
    Ban alcohol and cocaine, but pot is cool!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      To the Moderator: The account of Donniethebrasco has been breached and impostor has taken his place.

      My evidence is that the impostor has put all their bullshit into one post, something the genuine would never do.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        lol

  • psinotte

    Keystone XL doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be inevitable. Here’s a link, tweeted this morning by Bill McKibben, to a great New Yorker article:

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2013/05/27/130527taco_talk_kolbert

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The article states the tar sands oil IS inevitable.  The pipeline keeps the oil out off of trains.

      Environmentalists should be supporting Keystone XL.  Why? You may ask. 

      Tar sands development is funding the development of the Terrestrial energy’s IMSR.  Initially IMSR will be used to generate heat in a environmentally friendly way (no natural gas needed) and eventually IMSR will be a cheaper and safer energy alternative to fossil fuels.

      So the oil industry is funding its replacement technology.  Why would you want to slow that down?  We should speed it up.

      http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/alternative-nuclear-energy-race-heats-up-as-canadian-company-enters/18211

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         From your link:
        “Canadian startup Terrestrial Energy Inc.”

        How is Terrestrial “the oil industry” that is funding its own replacement? I see nothing in the article that says the tar sands oil is funding TE Inc. The closest thing is that there are executives from Tar Sands drillers on the board.

        In fact, the Terrestrial web sight suggests the Tar Sands drilling would be looking to get power from THEM.

        According to the Terrestrial website:
        “Molten Salt Reactors (“MSRs”) were extensively developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (“ORNL”)
        from the 1950’s to 1980 with two reactors successfully operated, and thousands of man-years of effort
        invested by the top minds of the day.”

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          ” Tar Sands drilling would be looking to get power from THEM.”

          Exactly.  They are the initial target market and will in effect be funding the development.  Once the technology matures it can be used to replace fossil fuels.  For instance, the high temperature output of the reactor can be used synthesize liquid fuel alternatives for less than $50/barrel.  Pretty cool.

      • Don_B1

        The New Yorker article does say that stopping the Keystone XL pipeline would not halt the extraction of tar from the tar sands with by itself implied.

        It does say it would put a brake on the process, which is necessary. Once the tar sands extraction has a head of steam, it will be next to impossible to stop, unfortunately because the extractors will be able to buy the political process.

        While I like the idea of safer, and therefore cheaper, nuclear power, note that the first reactors would not begin certification, etc. for nearly 10 years and the first working plant not for 20 years or more, which will be much too late to make even a dent in the necessary sustainable energy needed in that time frame.

        The cost of current new nuclear power is double what sustainable power costs today and the cost of the latter sources is going down rapidly.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           “current new nuclear power”

          This could be a breakthrough technology.  Too bad we killed nuclear development in the late 70s.  Otherwise, it could have been on line now.  One of the benefits of this technology is it is cheaper than coal (and other alternatives).  It also doesn’t create the volume of nuclear waste that plagues current nuclear technology.

  • Gregg Smith

    It should be pointed out that this boom is a result of private investment on private land. It has happened despite, not because of, our energy policy.

    • northeaster17

      Water always finds a way. A way to go where it will. Fracture the bedrock, give it some time, and watch all that privately polluted water turn up in the public relm.

      • Gregg Smith

        This has been looked at very closely and the evidence does not support your claim. But I get your point, there are always unknowns. The thing is that is always the case. We need energy and right now at least fossil fuels drive the industrial world. 

        Bald Eagles are being slaughtered by windmills but the government is not imposing fines or punishment. 

        When an electric car is in a crash it can require a hazmat team. There is no environmentally safe way that I’ve heard to dispose of the toxic batteries.

        That’s just a couple of examples. We will always have to consider the consequences.

        • northeaster17

          In the northeast our greatest resource is water. It’s been seriously polluted in the past and while things have improved there are still persistant problems. Polluting our ground water may work in the short term but down the road this can only lead to trouble. Water is always looking to move and any amount of pollution can go a long way. We know that for sure.

    • creaker

      As long as they can keep the pollutants within their private property, it should not be an issue. But that’s usually never the case.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Are you sure of that? Pumping millions of gallons of unregulated toxic secret sauce into the earth was unthinkable 30 years ago… until laws were written at the request of oil companies to let them do so. How is this stuff any different from highly regulated toxic waste? Energy policy most certainly had something to so with this ‘boom’.

      There are growing numbers of people who’ve been poisoned and lost there water supplies thanks to cracking. This is an ongoing tragedy. Energy policy has failed these people.

      • Jasoturner

        Soiling our own nest, and then applying one desperate technical fix after another to keep things livable.  Not a hopeful glide path…

    • TomK_in_Boston

      That’s crazy. What do you want, a Government Oil Co?

      In our system, in most areas, the Gvt is supposed to make the rules and the private sector is supposed to play the game. Looks like that’s what happened. Obviously, right? If a Pres you liked in office, you’d be happy.

      However I do NOT want to destroy our water to give the O&G industry a freebie. Methane in the tap is not acceptable.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Speaking of methane, check this out when time permits.

        http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/151545578/frackings-methane-trail-a-detective-story

      • Gregg Smith

        Obviously I do want to spoil the water.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          as long as it’s not your water.

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I will not be satisfied until ALL the water is polluted.

        • Don_B1

          But you just have no conception of how much water is required and how short the country is on fresh potable water.

    • Ray in VT

      Except for how the federal government has been contributing to the development of fracking technology via both direct spending on research and via tax breaks for some 40 years.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Shhhh, common sense has no place in a crusade…

      • Gregg Smith

        Well some say the government created the internet but they don’t get the credit for Amazon’s profits.

        • Ray in VT

          Some would say that, and they would be right.  So how much money would Amazon be making these days had the government not pioneered the Internet and the protocols that govern the transmission of data on it?  Amazon.com can exist because of a DOD project from the 1960s.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not sure I get the purpose of your point. I’m just saying research is one thing and bringing a product to market is another. And it goes both ways, I’m sure the government has benefitted greatly from research done in the private sector.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            The private sector has been doing less basic research over time with the focus on short term profits.

            It’s simple, Gregg. The gvt supports basic research, which corporate beancounters wouldn’t touch with asbestos tongs, and the private sector applies it. Works fine, until some genius decides to kill the golden goose.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m alright with the government doing research if they get a good bang for my buck. And I do not agree about short term profits. Good business practices look at the big picture. 

          • Ray in VT

            My point is that government research and investment can, and has, done a great deal to benefit technologies and products that have greatly benefited society, so that to argue that this boom is a result private investment, without noting the role that government investment has played, presents an incomplete picture of how this sector, and others as well, has developed.

          • Gregg Smith

            I guess so but the context here is a government trying very hard to limit the use of fossil fuels while throwing money at failed alternative enterprises. Lot’s of money. Despite that the private sector is coming through big time.

            I am also accepting your claims (no reason not to) but I do not know how much the government has invested in the fracking research. I do not know how much the Obama administration has invested in it but it seems to me he has been an opponent. 

            I do not look at tax breaks the same way as investments buts that’s another subject.

          • Ray in VT

            So, how profitable was fracking when the government was backing it back in the 1970s, and how much would the private sector be delivering now without that?  That is my only point.  Give credit where credit is due and present a full picture, not just what the private sector has done.

            It took decades to make fracking viable.  The same could be true for research into alternatives decades from now.  I have concerns with fracking myself, and I am glad that there are not any wells near me.  Consequences from the process are still somewhat unknown, and I am too conservative to go all gung ho on something that could have some very serious environmental and health outcomes for people.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t really care where it got started and if the Gov. contributed that’s fine. they should have and should be. This government (today) is opposing it. This government is throwing good money into the Volt and failed solar power. That was my point.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that there are very valid reasons to be cautious when it comes to fracking, given the reasons that I have already cited.  My point regarding renewables is that fracking was not financially successful for many years, and we may not see some real breakthroughs in renewable technologies for years for investments that we are making today, so, perhaps like fracking, we should not be so hasty to pull the plug on investment and innovation research because we have not received immediate gratification.  We have also dumped somemething to the tune of billions into clean coal technology, and we have yet to see any results there.  Is it worthwhile?  Maybe.  Fusion hasn’t paid off either, but who knows.  We’ll certainly fail if we never try, and that is the only true way to guarantee an outcome.  Government investment has paid off many times in the past, so, chances are, it will again in the future.

          • Don_B1

            The private sector does little basic research; what it does is to develop ideas, that basic research has shown to be viable, into commercial products.

            And the U.S. Internet has less capability (speed, connectivity0 for the average citizen than in other countries.

            This is because the cable companies have been able to lobby the FCC to restrict competition so they can charge higher monthly access fees for poorer service than other countries provide.

          • Gregg Smith

            Has the government ever used products developed by the R&D departments of Apple or Microsoft?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Privatize the profits, socialize the disasters. But hey, that’s not part of our energy policy.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Tool.

    • Don_B1

      The whole process of fracking was developed within the ENERGY DEPARTMENT of the United States GOVERNMENT! There were contributions from the oil companies, but the big effort was within the government.

      Try the Sandia Laboratories investigations of how to image the underground deposits of oil and gas, and how to “steer” the drills, using the government’s supercomputers.

      Again you are wrong, wrong, wrong!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Poisoning the water tables like it’s a public service.
    Buying politicians to write laws absolving oil companies of responsibility to protect water or other environmental regulation that other industries and individuals have to meet.
    What’s not to love?

    When did we last see such an erosion of regulations written to protect people and our environment?

    • PithHelmut

      We are all a potential statement for environmental preservation and a renewable future. Wear a sign and go for a walk down a congested street with the idea of countering the silent press about the fossil fuel dangers we are steeped in. Any T-shirt can be a message also. People going about their business wired to the system have barely any notion of the impact a continued fossil fuel world has on their children and themselves. 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Thank goodness Natural Gas is soooooo safe!

    http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/?cat=8

  • creaker

    Not only are we dumping endless debt on our kids – we gobble up natural resources with no consideration of leaving them with anything but the mess to clean up.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      The big bad debt is irrelevant. What we’re doing to our kids is using the debt as a scare tactic to give them less than what we have. “OOhhh the big bad debt, let’s save the kids by cutting their SS and giving them ryan vouchers instead of real medicare”

      • creaker

        I never understood the whole “big bad debt is bad every single place in world – except for here” argument.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I’m not familiar with that argument. 

          Obviously the nation with world’s biggest economy and that controls the world’s reserve currency can handle more debt than most.

          Austerity econ is killing the euro economies. They need more debt.

          In any event our deficit is falling sharply. If we don’t kill the economy with austerity, it will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

          Do you have any argument that we have too much debt?

          • Don_B1

            What the Eurozone needs is for the ECB to act like a lender of last resort, just as the Federal Reserve does for the U.S.

            Every time the ECB has stepped up and acted (spontaneously, without a fixed policy) to back the Eurozone government banks, the financial crises have abated:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/all-about-the-ecb/

            Agreed, that is not all that is needed, but it is necessary though not sufficient.

        • Don_B1

          If you mean that those who argue that spending to lower the unemployment rate now rather than reducing the deficit now are somehow talking relative to geographic position in the world, I have not seen that.

          But with the evaporation of the main theoretical arguments for immediate deficit reduction, Alesina-Ardagna and Reinhart-Rogoff, the main emotional arguments of the “government should be run like a household” and we need to pay for our misdeeds with a little pain are equally false.

          Please read the Matthew Yglesias’s article in Slate, linked here:

          http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/old-fashioned-austerity/http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/old-fashioned-austerity/

          which shows how everyone should “pay for past sins” by working as well as checking out how England did just fine with high debt following WWII.

          Also read:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=all&_r=0

          to see just how unproductive and harmful austerity in a time of depressed economies can be.

          What all those who argue for austerity can never answer is:

          “When my spending is your income and your spending is my income, how does both of us decreasing our spending increase each of our incomes?” And that premise is true for a country’s economy and is why a country’s economy is not like a household’s economy.

          When a large sector of the private economy is not able to spend, demand for goods and services drops, forcing others to also not be able to spend. In that economy, the government, which can borrow and spend to replace the demand not supplied by the private sector until the private sector recovers enough to continue on its own. Then the government can reduce spending and pay back what it borrowed.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Dah dah dah dah dah, I’m luvin’ your comment!!!

        • TomK_in_Boston

          tnx shag :)

      • Gregg Smith

        Debt itself is neither good or bad. It can be either. You’re a rich guy so it may make perfect sense for you finance a fleet of Ferraris. It would not be a good thing for me to do however. 

        Debt is relative. It’s a matter of being prudent.

  • creaker

    While lower energy costs is a boon to energy users, the producers are shooting themselves in the foot by producing a glut of resources and driving down the prices for their product.

    • PithHelmut

      It’s all about maintaining market share. The producers don’t want the general population to ever have to threaten their dangerous product so they won’t force a renewable energy revolution.  Which we are most likely, right on the cusp of creating and which cannot come quickly enough.

  • StilllHere

    Seems like a great solution to our employment malaise.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Hire ourselves today to kill ourselves tomorrow.
      What a bargain.

      • StilllHere

        Pure melodrama.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Pure Melanoma.

          • Gregg Smith

            You are comically clever, I’ll give you that.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Nah, just a skeleton of society. Even a bad joke is funny on a good day.

        • PithHelmut

          You may still be here but people would like their kids to be able to enjoy normal weather patterns too. You may still be here but you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. You who may still be here is obviously in denial and haven’t asked yourself this question: what if I am wrong?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Drill Baby, Drill.

    Just remember that the oil will be sold to the highest bidder, the price of products derived from oil will not go down even if every one of the 18 million barrels we use per day come out of USA based rigs.

    • Gregg Smith

      Sure it would, it would increase suppy. that lowers prices. 

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        China and India’s use of oil is on a rapid ascent. This isn’t a case of steady demand and rising supply.

        • Gregg Smith

          Fair point and I agree. It’s a case of rising demand and a supply unable to keep up with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Jones/100001340260805 Mike Jones

    typically  oil transported through a pipeline pays an 8cents a
    barrel excise tax into oil spill liability trust. the IRS has determined diluted bitumen, what the keystone pipeline will
    transport, is not oil and will not have to pay. also Congress set a $350 million cap on liability an dmost spills are more than
    this.

  • J__o__h__n

    Why didn’t we make favored pricing from Canada part of the NAFTA treaty?  Not that we even have that with domestic oil.

  • J__o__h__n

    I hope the Canadians don’t use their oil money to prop up an extreme form of Anglicanism. 

    • Ray in VT

      I always knew that the Archbishop of Canterbury was up to something fishy.

  • derekcito

    The abundance of the Bakken field, centered in North Dakota, is possibly way oversold by the industry. They are having to drill more and more wells to maintain production, as production from most existing wells falls off precipitously after year 1. Plus, it takes a lot of water to frack, and the Great Plains do not have a lot of water.

    For a deep analysis of production by Bakken wells, see:
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9748

    • northeaster17

      The Great Lakes are not that far away.

      • Don_B1

        Not that using Great Lakes water would affect it that much, note that the water levels of the Great Lakes has been dropping over the last couple decades, even with 100-year floods on the Red River (Minnesota-Dakotas border), etc.

  • Abel Collins

    Don’t believe the hype! The fossil fuel industry is engaged in a massive PR campaign to generate capital for what is a losing proposition. Shale oil wells’ production declines 60% after just one year. For a picture closer to the truth, I recommend this: http://kunstler.com/blog/2013/05/the-new-abnormal.html

    • Don_B1

      It is the nature of fracking. Fracking attempts to tap into cracks in or break up the shale allowing gas or oil to flow into the pipes to the surface. The fossil fuel is distributed throughout the shale layer, not collected in large pools which make conventional drilling with single wells easy. New drilling is required to put piping throughout the shale layer.

      Fracking has been oversold and may not provide the current surge of production beyond 30 or so years, not the hundred or hundreds of years, as has been promoted by the fossil fuel industry.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I hope so.  Cheap, cheap, cheap energy will help me raise my family at an artificially elevated level.

    • Gregg Smith

      But don’t you think energy prices are artificially high now?

      • justthefaxpleez

        They are held at these prices due to the speculators. 

        • Gregg Smith

          When GWB dramatically increased drilling permits issued, that act alone caused gas prices to plummet despite the fact none would be online for a decade or so for Obama to take credit for. This was due to speculators. So I agree with you but it works both ways. If true then what are the speculators telling us now about future energy costs?

      • PithHelmut

        No they are not high enough. In fact the whole economy is based on cheap exploitation of our resources, including human ones.

        • Gregg Smith

          That’s your opinion and it’s totally valid. Many think the same way. President Obama is a staunch supporter of higher energy prices and has said as much. 

          But my point is, it’s artificially high to change behavior. It is not market based. We can disagree about what is best for the environment, society and culture but the fact remains.

          • Don_B1

            It is only “artificially high” when the externalities of pollution are ignored.

            That is the scandal of the last 30 years, that the costs of the externalities imposed on us all from the burning of fossil fuels is not being accounted for and are thus being imposed on the succeeding generations.

            Adam Smith, in “The Wealth of Nations” recognized the need to charge the owners of businesses for the external costs that their business placed on society. Those costs are not now being applied to the fossil fuel industry (and others).

  • Casey Reyner

    What motivation is there for these companies to lower prices? With it being cheaper for them they will continue to make more money.

  • justthefaxpleez

    What about the bankers’ involvement and the implications regarding the futures’s market? JP Morgan is the only one that stand to truly benefit from this new abundance.

  • justthefaxpleez

    Prior to 2008 it is my impression that it was not legal for the US to export gasoline.  Now? 

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Did he actually say that James Hansen is the country’s ‘foremost climate scientist’?

    That statement alone sums up the ignorance of Richard Heinberg.

    • Don_B1

      Your post more accurately sums up your ignorance, willful or otherwise.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Do you consider James Hansen the country’s foremost climate scientist?

        He might be one the loudest activists but not THE ‘foremost scientist’.

  • Pointpanic

    I’m not encouraged by Tom’s reading list. Apparently it doesn’t include anywritings by BIll mcKibben or any otherr critics for “fracking” or tar sands oil extraction or the keystone XL . I guess, these days on “public” radio ,it’s all about Big OIl.

    • Don_B1

      it should have had a reference to facts on fracking, such as provided by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSWmXpEkEPg

      • JobExperience

         The only fact of fracking  the public is allowed is a high-heeled blond trotting around a US map claiming every convenience store clerk as an oil worker, then gazing lovingly at a big phallic wellhead. (I hear she’s frigid.)

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Funny that I’ve not heard so much as a whisper of Electric or Electricity during this discussion. Did I say funny?
    I meant typical.

  • Yooperwoman2

    We NEED to move to environmentally safe renewables.  Unfortunately, it takes many years to develop this new infrastructure.  In the meanwhile, natural gas is a less environmentally damaging fuel source than coal at all steps of the process. We need to use gas now but also need to continually pressure our national leaders not to get complacent.  Ultimately we need wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, whatever we can develop that will not pump more CO2 into the atmosphere.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Richard Heinberg doesn’t understand economics or markets.  He really is embarrassing himself.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      What’s the economics of having parts of major cities underwater? Got a dollar amount for that on the balance sheet?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Heinberg wasn’t talking about sea level rise.  He was discussing the economics of energy production.

        I’ll be more careful in the future when I comment on the show because there will to be respondents who weren’t listening but will want to chime in with tangential comments.

  • Yooperwoman2

    DrewInGeorgia, electricity is generated by fossil fuel burning facilities.  I live near Niagara Falls, a colossal generator of hydroelectric power, yet my electricity comes from a dirty, coal-burning power plant.  There is a movement underway to try to get that plant converted to cleaner (not clean, but less dirty) natural gas.  That is a step in the right direction.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “electricity is generated by fossil fuel burning facilities”

      By choice, not by necessity. There are sufficient alternatives right now, what’s lacking is the willingness to implement them. Any continuation of fossil fuel use that can be avoided should. We have water shortages but we’re loading it up with chemicals and pumping it into the ground to get “not clean, but less dirty” energy. That is a step in the wrong direction.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Nuclear?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Electric. Period.

          If all of the current renewable means of generating electricity were pursued we could produce enough electricity. Instead it seems we are content to merely sit around whining about how change costs too much. All the while, the coal, oil, gas, and automotive industries are laughing their way to the bank.

          • JobExperience

            Yes, if we took conservation seriously.

        • JobExperience

           We will be ruined by the imposition of decommissioning costs on working class taxpayers as things stand. Right now Catawba to the south of me and McGuire to the north of me are leaking tritium due to irreparable corrosion and letting off other isotopes to manage pressures. Both complexes are filled to the max with used rods, like Fukishima was. What is the point of another generation of US nuclear plants if 80% of us would not be able to afford our power bills? Safe waste storage will never happen and if it could who’d pay? Nuclear leaves  a more absolute wasteland than fracking. (Thirst and dirty water are gruesome demises.)

          Gregg is rooted  for once when he discusses microhydro. I’m ready to put my little waterwheel right in the creek to run this laptop. How many P-tardies invested in Thorium because the name sounded good?
          Thor is the White Supremacist deity whose symbol is lightening bolts.

  • Jasoturner

    It amazes me how readily people conflate the cost of carbon fuels with the desirability of fossil fuels.

    When you burn carbon-based fuels, you generate carbon dioxide.  A good chunk of this carbon dioxide is absorbed into the oceans and lakes, where it dissociates to generate carbonic acid.  The increased acidity presumably has as yet unknown but potentially damaging effects on the ecosystem – such as coral death.  Thus, there is an argument of prudence that we should minimize carbon combustion until well understand the consequences.

    But as soon as somebody finds carbon fuel sources that can be extracted at reasonable cost, there is a tendency to assert that our problems are being solved.  Well, our cost problem is temporarily solved at least.  But that does not necessarily make fossil fuels beneficial in a broader sense.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Just keeping that shell game rolling. I keep hoping our unprecedented level of connectivity will help us put a stop to it. We’re certainly talking more openly as a society about issues that were verboten in the past.

    • Gregg Smith

      Is there a viable alternative to fossil fuels capable of handling our needs at this point?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Several, but they cost too much.
        But you already knew that.

        • Gregg Smith

          I said viable.

        • Jasoturner

          Not sure I agree.  I work in the Longwood Medical Area.  The hospitals in this area consume approximately 40 MW of electricity, plus 200,000+ pounds of steam, plus 1,000s of tons of cooling 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  I am not aware of any technology (aside from nuclear) that could supplant our gas-fired power plant in a practical manner.  Cost is not the limiting factor (though it would certainly be *a* limiting factor.)

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I completely understand where you are coming from and I also get Gregg’s take on “viable”. Without some sort of fundamental societal change(s), I suppose it isn’t currently viable. It is currently possible in my opinion though. We have the resources, materials, available manufacturing space, and most of all, we have the available workforce. Someone just needs to figure out a viable way to put it all together. We need to stop stopping ourselves.

      • Jasoturner

        There is not.  But that does not make the issue go away.  It only makes it more worrisome.

        Nuclear, of course is one option. 

        Sadly, I read that MIT is shutting down their fusion research due to cuts in federal research dollars.  Fusion would be a game changer.

        Wind and solar can help a little, but can never address our huge and continuous energy requirements.

        If we could just find a cost effective way to crack water, hydrogen would be the ultimate fuel source.  Clean and reusable.  Vast solar powered water cracking facilities in sunny locations and deserts?  Why not?

        Solar furnaces are another potential source.  There are a few projects on the books.  http://orbitingfrog.com/post/3424219809/solar-furnace

        MIT also recently came up with a sort of “liquid battery” that you could use to charge cars in a manner very similar to filling a gas tank (though you’d need to remove the old liquid battery first, so there’s an extra step.)

        Just to reiterate, the lack of an immediate alternative does not make the issues go away.  And there is a sea of possibility that science and technology can explore.

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t disagree with your underlying point and I’m not smart enough to know exactly how dire the consequences are. But if there is no alternative then there is no alternative. 

          I like hydro. There were tons of small dams built in the early 1900′s that are now out of commission. One in my area has been purchased and brought back online with great success to the investors. There is another one (for sale for $10… and the liability) that I want to do the same with, I don’t know if I ever will. The dam was decommissioned after only a few years (about 1927 to 1935) because it was on a tributary to the Catawba River. When they dammed the river itself the power station for the tributary dam would have been underwater so they removed it. The technology has changed dramatically since then and the drop required in 1925 is not required now. There are thousands of dams like this.

          I would not even be opposed to the government doing it as the technology, not to mention infrastructure, is there now.

          • Jasoturner

            Hydro, good point.  Forgot that one.  Saw some pretty neat plants over in Scotland some years back.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            There have also been solid advancements in tidal power generation technology.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Wonderful.  All of the above, baby!!!

          • Jasoturner

            Another good one.  Hell, I think we might solve the issue right here at On Point!

          • nj_v2

            Dams make a mess out of river ecology. 

            Everyone wants a silver bullet.

            No one wants to admit we’ve built an unsustainable system—developed on a foundation of once-but-soon-to-be-cheap-no-more fossilized carbon.

            Current infrastructure is massively, stupidly inefficient.

            We could save half our energy use by re-organizing, re-building, re-conceptualizing, but no, let’s drill more oil, build more nukes, dam more rivers, create eco-havoc for untold future generations to deal with.

          • Gregg Smith

            Dams do much to tame the ravage of storms. They create crucial reservoirs. And no, they don’t have to have an affect on the ecology except in rare cases and there are workarounds for the salmon spawns and such where there are issues. 

            Are you suggesting tearing down all the dams? They are already there, and many are unused.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Ah, the hydrogen economy.  Wasn’t Bush a  big proponent of hydrogen — until he switched to switch grass?

          I’m not sure that hydrogen is the ultimate fuel source.   Even if you develop cost effective fuel cells hydrogen has an energy density issue.  Also, you would need to solve the distribution.  H2 is more difficult to contain in pipelines because of the size of the molecule.

          If they could solve these issue it would be kind of cool.  However, I always wondered if ice would be an issue with all these cars spewing h20 onto frigid New England pavement.

          • Jasoturner

            If I am remembering correctly, “The End of Oil” by Roberts does a pretty good job of envisioning a transition to Hydrogen, with natural gas used as the bridge fuel.

            I think you may be right about Bush and hydrogen.  But then, he also spoke about limiting power plant emissions at one point too.  I think some of his supporters may not have agreed with him on these matters.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Yeah, Bush was big on ‘clean coal’ and carbon sequestration.  Bush was the President that signed the phase out of the light bulb.

            I have a box of dead CFLs that I took to my town’s annual hazardous waste collection on Saturday.  The line of cars was at least 2 hours long so I bagged it until next year.
            [And to the guy who was complaining about fast food drive thrus -- this was much worse]

            Nuts.

      • ExcellentNews

        In the US, there is a viable alternative for power generation with current technology, that would however require massive investments and change of infrastructure ownership.  It involves replacing the coal-generating capacity with nuclear, wind,  solar and storage. Power prices would approximately double, but the impact of higher prices would be offset by the fact that over ten million new high-wage jobs would be created in North America. High power prices by themselves do not seem to harm the economy much, as evidenced by the data from Northern Europe. All things considered, we would be much better off as a country doing it – but the entrenched interests that own the current infrastructure and make money hand over fist are blocking any progress.

        There is no viable alternative for transportation with the current technologies. However, given that one can build small cars with much higher fuel mileage – without changing the infrastructure otherwise – makes it a much less pressing problem worldwide.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I take issue with your thesis.  The data shows us that low energy prices ==  prosperity.  While the US is has a relatively robust economy and ‘could’ survive higher energy costs such a change would have an outsized impact on the poorest of our society.  It would also dampen economic growth.  There is little evidence that net ‘high wage’ jobs would be created by your plan.  The Feds have poured $billions into alternative energy over the past 5 years but we don’t see the jobs.

          However, doubling of energy prices will relegate the poor in the developing world to continued poverty.

          I continue to believe the correct course is to innovate solutions that are “cheaper than coal”.  We will get there eventually.

          • Yooperwoman2

             The feds have poured money into private sector enterprises that have benefited this country numerous times.  The benefits have sometimes been immediately observable, sometimes not.  But would anyone argue that our nation did not benefit from the trans-continental railroad or from rural electrification?  Look at the big picture, not just the immediate effect.  Other countries spend far more than we do on power and are still economically viable and their citizens often enjoy higher standards of living than the average American.  Sometimes you just have to sacrifice up front in order to come out ahead in the long run.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I like to use the Hoover Dam as a ‘good’ Federal investment.  We are still reaping the rewards.

              We are still waiting for returns on the $billions spent on ‘green’ energy during the past 4 years.

          • Yooperwoman2

             As I said, it will take time.  Building any new power infrastructure is a project measured in decades, but we can’t let that stop us.  Those years will pass and at the end of that time either we will end up with something more viable or we will be cooking in a greenhouse of our own making.  I vote for investing in the new green infrastructure and bridging the gap by converting existing coal-burning facilities to natural gas.

  • geraldfnord

    We better get all that oil and gas out of the ground now—it’s not like it will be there in a few decades if we don’t, and we’re never going to get better at getting it out cleanly, so why wait?

  • PithHelmut

    We’ve done nothing to conserve energy. Well nothing serious. The fuel standards rule doesn’t come in until 2018!!! That’s too late. Public transit has gone nowhere in these years we’ve had to retool. Let’s look at the advertising costs of fossil fuel companies shall we and see the amounts they have been spending over the years, in a campaign designed to confuse and manufacture doubt about climate change.  Look at the sequencing of traffic lights; to save emissions lights could be sequenced by having for example, left arrows starting at the end of the cycle not the beginning. Pedestrian lights should not be stopping traffic on four sides just to allow pedestrians to walk diametrically across an intersection , they should be in sync with the green lights for traffic. Traffic lights all over the country are set in this way. This entire discussion is undermined by the force of the fossil fuel industry, its lobbyists and infiltration in everything including educational institutions and media. We are being shafted and here we are discussing what we could be doing without mentioning the most significant factor – the might of the fossil fuel industry to distort, omit and destroy not just the facts but life on earth. Read this and quake: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       I bought several  LED light bulbs last month and started using rechargeable AA batteries several years ago.  Does that count?

      • StilllHere

        It’s getting cooler already.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You’re welcome!!!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    More from the ‘settled science front’:

    “New paper show transient climate response less than 2c”

    The paper was recently published in Nature Geoscience and authored by prominent IPCC scientists.  It can found here (for a limited time for free):
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1836.html

    Or you can find analysis from one of the authors here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/19/new-paper-shows-transient-climate-response-less-than-2c/

  • jefe68

    Speaking of water, an area stretching from Wyoming and South Dakota and stretches clear to the Texas Panhandle is now starting to dry up as one heads South. This a a huge High Plains aquifer that is in crisis in some areas. Bare in mind this is do to drought and intense farming. One has to wonder how the addition of fracking to the mix will play out in regards to water usage.

    We can live without fossil fules, we can’t live without water.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/us/high-plains-aquifer-dwindles-hurting-farmers.html?hp&_r=0

  • Trond33

    OUT OF THE FYING PAN, INTO THE FIRE – AMERICA’S GRAND BARGAIN WITH THE DEVIL WHEN IT COMES TO FOSSIL FUEL PRODUCTION. 

    At least the pollution has now come home to roost also.  Careful what you wish for.

    Interesting, with all this fossil fuel production in the US, gas prices at the pump still remain artificially high, circa 30% above what open market forces dictate they should be at.  The grand manipulation of the energy markets during the Bush Administration is still transferring billions to rich multi-national corporations.  An unprecedented scale of fleecing The People for the gain of the few.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Tin foil hat much?

      Do you consider CO2 a pollutant?   Just asking because I have some plants that would disagree.

      • Trond33

        You must be living under a rock if you think oil production does not pollute.  

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           All industrial production pollutes including the creation of solar panels.

          I was curious if you consider CO2 part of that pollution because that seems to be the concern of many on the left.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Unmatched ability to deflect from one stupid/ignorant comment being refuted to an even more stupid/ignorant comment.

            Amazing!

          • Gregg Smith

            C’mon man! I thought that was my title.

          • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

            Of course the production of solar panels causes pollution, even emissions of CO2 to generate electricity in the factory and in their transport.

            However, once they are installed they do not generate any pollution during their 20 to 30 year lifetime nor do they have any moving parts.

            When compared to any power generation using fossil fuels, the pollutants per watt of power produced aren’t even close when compared to solar.

            Again, your arguments are wrong both logically and factually.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             “Again, your arguments are wrong both logically and factually.”

            CO2 is not a pollutant in the traditional sense like CO, NO, SO2, etc.  CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

            “When compared to any power generation using fossil fuels, the pollutants
            per watt of power produced aren’t even close when compared to solar.”

            Maybe.  Maybe not.  Solar panels are semiconductors.   Extremely toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of semiconductors.  IF these chemicals get into the water supply they can do far more damage than even a modern coal generating power plant.  Also, after the useful life of the solar panels they need to be disposed of properly otherwise you have the pollution issue again.

          • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

            Again, compared to any other form of energy per watt produced, solar is hands down far less polluting.

            The volume of toxic chemicals used in panel manufacture are dwarfed by the volumne of pollutants produced by coal fired power plants both in what goes into the air and residue that goes into sludge ponds. Add mountain top removal to get the coal needed and there is no comparison between the two power sources.

            If the chemicals used in panel manufacture get into the groundwater, they would still represent far less hazard than than the pollution produced during coal mining and power production when compared watt to watt.

            And the “If” is a big if. At least in this country, manufacturing  has to meet extensive environmental regulation, whereas the coal industry gets a pass on many of the same standards.

            How can I say this with any authority?  I have worked in the panel manufacturing industry and in environmental remediation.

            So I can also say clearly you have no idea what you are talking about.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Where are most  solar panels manufactured?

            I happen to be very familiar with semiconductor industry and some of the chemicals used are extremely toxic and if they aren’t handled properly they can do great damage to the environment. Please don’t tell me what I know for that is surefire way for YOU to look foolish.

            http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjir/pdf/Solar_11.2.pdf

        • StilllHere

          You pollute, who are you kidding.

          • jefe68

            Troll.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

        Even water is a poison if your body is oversaturated with it. Overwater a plant and you will kill it as surely as you would if you didn’t water it.

        Any substance is a pollutant when it is present in the environment at levels outside of normal parameters. I dare you to walk into a room high levels of CO2 and see how long you last.CO2 is a nutrient for plants and just like phosphorus which is used in photosynthesis to make surgars which the plants metabolize just like we do. Guess what – plants exhale CO2. Increased CO2 will only help plant growth to a point, but its effect is limited by the availability of other nutrients, which will NOT increase in lock step with CO2.

        In other words, the whole “CO2 isn’t a pollutant because it is used by plants” is a typical uninformed straw-man argument only used by people who do not understand anything about biology.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           OK wise guy, we know that plants evolved in an environment with much, much higher levels of atmospheric CO2.  Perhaps they can tolerate much higher levels of CO2 just fine.

          It turns out the earth IS greener because of increased fossil fuel C02.  Satellites are wonderful tools.

          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323374504578217621593679506.html

          Please tell us what the ideal atomospheric levels should be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

            Oh, the WSJ is the be all and end all of scientific literuature?  Why don’t you try giving us a link to an actual article, or better yet a link to a peer reviewed journal article.

            What evidence do you have the a greener earth is due to increased CO2 levels? As other posters have said, correlation is evidence of causation.

            Sure, CO2 levels have been much higher in the past but were stable for a long time and life evolved to adapt to those conditions. That is clearly not what is going on now.

            The geologic record also has ample evidence regarding what happens when CO2 levels increase rapidly. I refer you to the PETM that I discussed before as well as the end Permian and end Triassic extinction events.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Interested in the greening of the planet?

            “The latest and most detailed satellite data, which is yet to be
            published but was summarized in an online lecture last July by Ranga Myneni of
            Boston University, confirms that the greening of the Earth has now
            been going on for 30 years. Between 1982 and 2011, 20.5% of the
            world’s vegetated area got greener, while just 3% grew browner; the
            rest showed no change.”

            “Dr. Myneni reckons that it is now possible to distinguish
            between these two effects in the satellite data, and he concludes
            that 50% is due to “relaxation of climate constraints,” i.e.,
            warming or rainfall, and roughly 50% is due to carbon dioxide
            fertilization itself. In practice, the two interact. A series of
            experiments has found that plants tolerate heat better when CO2
            levels are higher.”

            http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-greening-of-the-planet.aspx

            Was Dr. Mynnei’s work published?  I have no idea.

             Watch this from Matt Ridley:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S-nsU_DaIZE

    • StilllHere

      The US isn’t the largest producer, either absolute or relative to GDP. 

      The vast majority of oil is produced by state-sponsored enterprises. 

      Please return to your day-job.

      • Trond33

        ???? I never claimed the US to be the largest producer?  

        • StilllHere

          Oh, the pollution observes countries’ borders. 

  • ExcellentNews

    The “blessings” of being a leading fossil fuel producer? Just look at how people live in Nigeria, Venezuela, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Russia… to count these “blessings”.

    Of course, this applies to the people, not the oligarchs controlling the oil assets. If you are going to be rich, then you are much better off being a rich Russian or Saudi – not American. After all, in our country you cannot just BEHEAD a servant for displeasing you, or run a harem staffed by slaves imported from around the world.

    But if we stick to the quaint notion that we should regulate the rules of the market so that it is the majority who benefits, then we are probably better off learning the lessons from Japan or Northern Europe (invest in efficiency and high-tech manufacturing) instead of drilling like mad gophers to extract an extra dollar of oil royalties.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Professor Bob Carter puts the recent warming in perspective.
    Dr. Carter has published over 100 papers. This video will open your eyes about the propaganda you’ve been fed over the past few years.

    If you  have time for the entire video make sure you watch the first 9 minutes and last 1 minute.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JpfMM3bVbhQ

    • Ray in VT

      Do you not find it to be troubling that he is one of a number of scientists who have been regularly paid by the Heartland Institute, which has heavy energy industry ties, and that he saw it fit to not disclose those payments until documents were leaked online?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I wasn’t aware but I would only be concerned if he was misrepresenting the science.  Any evidence of Dr. Carter misrepresenting the science?

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t know.  It certainly appears that his views make him a skeptic, although how his views sync up with facts I’m not sure.  It looks like maybe only one of his publications regarding climate change is in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, while his others on the topic have mostly been published in economic publications.

          One of his positions seems to be the that the Southern Oscillation is primarily responsible for changes in global temperature, and that position seems to be challenged by other scientists.

          I have to say that affiliations with groups such as Heartland make me distrustful of one’s work at the initial point.  I think that one needs to look at how the work of such individuals square up with the scientific community, but Heartland, in this instance, seems, in part, to be in the business of funding and promoting the work of skeptics.

          It also gives me pause to see what other groups and individuals one chooses to associate with, and some of the other think tanks that Dr. Carter has links to or has been funded by are a bit questionable, at least in the sense that they seem to also be tied to industry funded groups.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I can only comment on this presentation where he compares the current climate record to the geological record.  In this video he appears to be a straight shooter.  I do understand the argument amongst warmist that we can ignore the past — this time is different because of CO2 released by human activities.  However, Carter does make the claim that based on the geological record we should be  concerned with potential cooling.  He may have a point.

            On another subject to you see this report on the attempt to replace Vermont Yankee power with 90% renewables?

            “To make 18,000 GWh of electricity, my rough estimate (I’ll have more
            detailed numbers ready for publication later this spring) is that
            Vermont would need to build 140 wind farms with the approximate output
            of Lowell Mountain’s 21-turbine facility. According to the National
            Renewable Energy Laboratory web site and other comparisons, 21 turbines
            of this size would usually cover 5 miles of ridgeline.  These 140 wind
            farms would use 2,240 industrial turbines over 700 miles of ridgeline.
            Lowell claims to use only 3 miles of ridge line: in this case, ”only”
            420 miles of ridgeline would be required for the turbines. However, not
            all ridges have wind as good as Lowell, so more turbines would probably
            be needed. Keep in mind, the entire state of Vermont is 158 miles long
            and 90 miles across at its widest.”

            http://yesvy.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-90-solution-what-90-renewables.html#.UZps3sqS-xX

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not familiar with that blog.  Vermont Yankee has some long time opponents, but Entergy Nuclear has created a great deal of distrust in the state with how it has conducted itself since it acquired the plant.

            Governor Shumlin was on VPR yesterday, and I caught a bit of it.  He talked about a number of energy initiatives.  Wind power, at least ridge line development, is controversial to many.  The state is pushing a fairly aggressive home renovation plan to retrofit thousands of homes to improve energy efficiency, and I think that he mentioned having doubled the number of solar panels in the state over the past 12 months and looking to double that again over the next 12.  There’s also Hydro Quebec, where Vermont gets a lot of its power, so there’s an effort on many fronts, and we’ll see how far we can get.

            I know that my company, at least at this site, mentioned a couple of months ago at a meeting that I went to with the President and some other big wigs, that we’re using significantly less power than we did with a decade, while having expanded our space.  It looks like we’re also going to be partnering on a solar endeavor, and I’ve always thought that that made sense for us on a number of fronts.  We have good exposure, a lot of roof space that we could use, and it would give us some extra green cred.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I just hope they don’t destroy the beauty of VT with huge farms of MT top windmills.  They’ll have to change the name from Green MT state to….

            Solar is not a natural fit for NE.  In MA they have made it lucrative by guaranteeing 27  c/kwh.  So it ends up being a transfer of cash from the rate payer to wall street backed entities.

          • Gregg Smith

            But science is all about skepticism. I agree with WFTC the merits of the science should rule the day, it makes no difference who says it. If they don’t have a leg to stand on it will be shown by the science. I don’t think it’s prudent to dismiss the conclusions based on who draws them without looking at their data and methods.

          • Ray in VT

            I agree that science is and should be about skepticism.  The problem that I have seen with many theories promoted by climate skeptics or deniers is that researchers have looked at their theories and often found them lacking.  That having been said, maybe there’s something to the article that he published, and I expect it to be examined, reviewed, and criticized thoroughly by the scientific community.

            That having been said, though, I do wonder about the ties of some of these individuals.  I guard my professional reputation seriously, and I assume that most professionals do as well, so it does make me wonder why one would associate with groups that might cause one to have one’s work and credibility questioned.  For instance, one of the think tanks that Dr. Carter does/has worked with also has as a contributing scientist that guy who gave out the mathematical probability of the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.  As a professional, I wouldn’t get within a country mile of a guy like that.  But whatevs.  That’s his business.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             “The problem that I have seen with many theories promoted by climate
            skeptics or deniers is that researchers have looked at their theories
            and often found them lacking.”

            Certainly.  But you could say the same thing about some of the “warmist” scientists.  In fact, the famous hockey stick used by Al Gore and the IPCC came from Michael Mann.  Unfortunately for Dr. Mann and the IPCC there was a flaw discovered in Dr. Mann’s statistical technique and it turned out that when you fed random white noise data into his statistical algorithm you would get a hockey stick 80% of the time.

            My position is that climate science is in its infancy.  It is certainly NOT “settled science”.

      • MordecaiCarroll

        As Upton Sinclair said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Is that indictment of the warmist climate scientists who depend on crisis for funding?

          • MordecaiCarroll

            So you believe that 97 percent of climate scientists around the world are all involved in an international global conspiracy designed to bilk taxpayers by hyping a threat they know to be false?  97 percent of them are crooked, and it’s just the “brave” oftentimes oil-industry-funded 3 percent who are telling the truth?    Really?

          • jefe68

            Sometimes it’s best to let it go. This guy will never come around to admitting he was wrong.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             LOL.  You fell for that 97% crap.  You should stay off the leftist blogs or you might end up embarrassing yourself by repeating the propaganda.

          • MordecaiCarroll

            Do or don’t the vast majority of climate scientists  believe that climate change is real?  Do or don’t the vast majority of climate scientists believe that humans are the primary cause of climate change?

            You can LOL all you want, but what you’re really doing is lolling in your own ignorance (either real or willful).  You’d rather believe the lies that the Conservative Entertainment Complex feeds you because these lies line up with your predetermined biases on issues.  Sad.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No.  I believe in science and the scientific method not propaganda.  The 97% survey was particularly egregious.

            http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/

            Here are some humorous analogies.

            “Yeah! It’s like saying that 97% of priests believe in god anyway.”

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/17/friday-funny-great-moments-in-97-beliefs/#more-86484

          • MordecaiCarroll

            Wow! The guy who runs “Watts Up With That is a former television meteorologist!  That means his word is Gospel and cannot be questioned!  Yep, case closed!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             OK

          • jefe68

            So it seems you did not read the above posting on the Holocene Optimum, or if you did you chose to ignore it. 

            Cherry pick away if you must.

          • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

            There are a whole lot of scientists who are not dependent on grant funding that accept the evidence. 

            They, like me, do not “believe” in anthropogenic climate change. “Belief” is for Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. If you have a scientific background, then you come to conclusions based on the data as we know them today and the best conclusion is that increases in CO2 are anthropogenic in nature and that the basic physics of atmospheric CO2, known for about two centuries, is that this will change global climate.

            I would also point you to the following web site, where a well known climate change skeptic scientist, funded by the Koch Brothers no less, came to the conclusion that not only were the data good, but it changed his mind completely:

            http://berkeleyearth.org/results-summary/

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Thank you for the link.  I am familiar with Dr. Muller’s work.  In particular, I was familiar with his outrage at the cabal of ‘climate scientists’ who corrupted the scientific method and their deceit was exposed by the Climategate emails.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk

            Consensus is not science.  Scientific method is about hypothesis and proof.

            http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html

          • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

            sure he was outraged but the fact is that no science was corrupted and “climategate” was nonsense.  He also determined that all the data used by the UK met lab was actually not manipulated.

            BTW – nothing is science is ever proved. A scientific theory is  an idea – supported by a wealth of facts that describes and predicts conditions in nature.

            The idea that CO2 increases will increase global temperatures is nothing new – it was first brought forth over a century ago.

            The data are quite clear that increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere are anthropogenic in nature. It isn’t volcanoes.

            The theory predicts more climate instability as well as incresed global temperatures, increased ocean temperatures and increased ocean acidification, thining of Arctic ice and decrease of Arctic ice, melthing of mountain glaciers, increases in droughts.

            A good test of a scientific theory is its ability to predict. By those measures, climate science is good theory.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “Climategate was nonsense”?

            Hide the declline?  The conspiracy to corrupt the peer review process?

            No there are some bad actors on the ‘team’.  I suspect it is a small number that have tainted the reputation of the science.  I am sure that most climate scientists are honorable.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Did the ‘best’ state of climate science predict the last 18 years of zero warming (23 by satellite measurements) despite large continued increases in CO2?
            NO

            http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html

            Climate science is in its infancy and the science is not ‘settled’.  Any honest science analyst should agree with my last statement.

          • Tyranipocrit

             Probably because the Koch brothers want to invest in geo-engineering tech–altering our environment.  it means they do not have to reduce emmissions or protect the environment.  it wont work and wll degrade the ecostsytem in countless unknowable ways but…

          • psinotte

            Reading the postings of WorriedfortheCountry, I wonder if he isn’t being funded by the Koch Brothers, or the fossil fuel industry. And I’m dead serious.  

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             My only relationship to Koch is that I watch Nova.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

      The Holocene Optimum was not a world-wide event and overall global temperatures were colder than today. It was warmer than today in the Arctic but the effect declined rapidly with increasing latitude. Effects were uneven in northern lattidues, with a 4000 year difference between northwestern and northeastern North America.

      The Holocene Optimum conditions are thought to be attributable to on-going changes brought about during the end of the last ice age by Milankovitch orbital forcings in which the earth’s increased axial tilt occcurred during the northern hemispshere’s summer and closest approach to the sun.

      Also note that CO2 levels at the last glacial maximum were something like 180ppm and it took over 10,000 years for it to get to pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. It took only 200 years for it to get to the 400 ppm level, which this planet has not seen in 2 million years.

      It takes time for large systems to react to forcings. Anthropogenic GHGs represent a large forcing and the changes are just starting to be felt.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Thank you for your clear post.  Perhaps the NH warming that the proxy records indicate +7C of warming tells us that the current warming trend isn’t the certain catastrophe that is being predicted by some.

        “Anthropogenic GHGs represent a large forcing ”
        This probably where we depart ways.  There are theories and computer models that indicate a large forcing based on CO2.  However, there is no proof of this — just theories. 

        In fact there is a new study just published in Nature Geo science which indicates a less than 2C transient response.  It was authored by a number of IPCC published climate scientists.

        You can read an analysis by one of its authors here:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/19/new-paper-shows-transient-climate-response-less-than-2c/

        • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

          Even a 2 degree warming is going to cause problems. The one degree warming already has.

          By the way, stop linking to denialist web sites and start citing the actual literature.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             My link is to an analysis by one of the authors and it includes a link to the paper.  Your complaint is the classic attack the messenger nonsense instead of debating the message.

            Your label of ‘denialist’ shows your bias.  It is clearly a skeptic website and in my view skepticism IS very healthy in science.

            ” The one degree warming already has.”
            That is an opinion not a scientific fact.  1C warming is well within the historic natural variation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

    BTW – “Warmists” do not ignore the geologic record. The Paleoncene Eocene Thermal Maximum of 56 million years ago, when CO2 levels jumped 1000 ppm above background in a few thousand years brought about substantial global temperature changes, species extinction and migration.

  • Yooperwoman2

     We do not have anywhere close to sufficient clean energy infrastructure.  We need to do that and we need to be working on it NOW.  It will take many years, however, to accomplish that goal.  In the meanwhile, less dirty is a step in the right direction.  Be willing to use more expensive energy sources, such as wind and solar, as your electricity supplier allows (as I do) and harp on the subject with your legislators.  Unless Washington and the state fat cats get an overwhelming message from the public they will continue to support their political contributors and the clean revolution will not come to pass until it is too late.  IN THE MEANWHILE, less dirty is still a step in the right direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

    NASA, the US military and the nearly all Scientific Academies have made clear that climate change is an immediate threat.

    The fact that we are even talking about continuing our oil addiction should tell us something about the oil industry’s power over our culture.

    They seem to have gotten us to agree to mass death so they can continue to profit.

    The GOP should pay a price for fronting for oil interests and calling climate change a hoax.

    • harverdphd

       “Hyper-partisanship makes people stupid.”  – MadMarkTheCodeWarrior  – 05/02/13

      • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

         When it takes the form of climate change denial it also makes people DEAD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

    Don’t frack your mother!

    • harverdphd

       yer too late

      • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

         If you are correct, we should all stop having children … they are doomed to horror wrought by our own hands.

    • Gregg Smith

      Did you see Yoko and Sean of Fallon singing the song? It was funny.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

         No … I’ll have to look that up .. THANKS!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Horrible images of the devastating storms that hit Oklahoma today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the folks impacted.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    @MordecaiCarroll:disqus , the Cook study that promotes the 97% consensus is propaganda or at least your conclusions from it are.  If you evaluate the details of the study you will see it.  Here are two well thought out essays that expose the flaws.

    “Since skeptics believe human activity has been a contributing factor, their answer would have turned on whether they consider an increase of 10% or 15% or 35% to be a significant contributing factor. Some would, some wouldn’t.”

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/01/03/lawrence-solomon-97-cooked-stats/

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/05/cooks-fallacy-97-consensus-study-is-a-marketing-ploy-some-journalists-will-fall-for/?utm_source=feedly

    Hopefully you now see some of the problems with the survey and conclusions that can and cannot be drawn from it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

       “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming
      trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1and
      most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued
      public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial
      list of these organizations, along with links to their published
      statements and a selection of related resources.”

      http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

      Nasa also posts the consensus.

      It is real .. the fact that we are arguing is science is science in 2013 is chilling.

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s 97% of a third of the “Earth” scientist who expressed an opinion when surveyed. The 2007 IPCC report isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. But believe what you want. I’m tired of arguing over the same ol’ same ol’ lousy misrepresented studies over and over again. 

        It’s hideous to use the tragedy to promote a political agenda. Can we get the little kids buried first?

        • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

           I was posting this long before the OKC storm .. not using it, as you claim.

          Also, you are wrong about the 97%, please read the NASA site:

          http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

          “97% of climate scientists agree that climate-warming
          trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1and
          most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued
          public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial
          list of these organizations, along with links to their published
          statements and a selection of related resources.

          AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES

          Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations

          “Observations throughout the world make it
          clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research
          demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are
          the primary driver.” (2009)2

          American Association for the Advancement of Science

          “The scientific evidence is clear: global
          climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a
          growing threat to society.” (2006)3

          American Chemical Society

          “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our
          current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate
          change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities,
          and potentially a very serious problem.” (2004)4

          American Geophysical Union

          “The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of
          balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system —
          including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent
          of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of
          precipitation, and the length of seasons — are now changing at rates and
          in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the
          increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols
          generated by human activity during the 20th century.” (Adopted 2003,
          revised and reaffirmed 2007)5

          American Medical Association

          “Our AMA … supports the findings of the
          Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and
          concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing
          adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are
          significant.” (2013)6

          American Meteorological Society

          “It is clear from extensive scientific
          evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the
          past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of
          atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2),
          chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.” (2012)7

          American Physical Society

          “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global
          warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant
          disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social
          systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce
          emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” (2007)8

          The Geological Society of America
          “The Geological Society of America (GSA)
          concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005),
          the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on
          Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that
          human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of
          the warming since the middle 1900s.” (2006; revised 2010)9

  • speakmytruth

    Unfortunately I only heard part of this program; however…I didn’t hear anything about the use of 3,000,000-5,000,000 gallons of fresh water used per frack. What about the drought in the Midwest (and then using the precious water)? Or how about the fact that once this water is used for fracking, it will never be drinkable again? And that it is so horribly contaminated including with radioactive waste? What about the fact that once this water is used, it is then stored in injection wells (a whole other horror story)?

    What about the hydrogen sulfide that is released into the air (invisible to the naked eye, visible with infrared camera)?

    Or how about the fact that the oil and gas industries are exempt from key portions of The Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, The Superfund Act and many, many more acts that are supposed to protect our environment and health? Nor did I hear anything about the Haliburton Loophole.

    I didn’t hear anything about the massive industrialization of rural America that results from fracking…the 24/7 noise, lights, traffic, disintegration of roads, cracked ceilings and walls in homes, poisoned water wells and so much more.

    I heard nothing about “mandatory pooling” which is nothing more than eminent domain. Don’t want drilling on/under your property? Too bad–there are so many waivers that the oil companies can override it all and drill with total disregard for your rights to have clean water, clean air–and the right to be healthy.

    What about insurance and mortgage companies refusing to insure and give loans on properties that have or are near a fracked well? Why do you think this is?

    What about the fact that those employed by the oil industry and work in the field have shorter life spans and have debilitating diseases?

    Interesting that one of the guests was from France–a country that had the intelligence and courage to say no to fracking BUT owns part of Chesapeake Energy. In other words, they won’t allow their own country to be fracked, but they’ll be happy to frack the heck out of the USA.

    What about the “proprietary blend” oil companies use to frack a well–someone injured on the job, or in an accident (i.e., one of the trucks turns over)–first responders and doctors in most states have no “right” to know what chemicals they are dealing with–God help them in treating injuries!

    I heard a little about fracking having been done for years. Yes, but 60 years ago was a totally different process than what is being done today.

    People need to stop listening to the oil and gas companies– who, by the way, make the big money–and start educating themselves. Look up Dr. Anthony Ingraffea–an engineer with a wealth of knowledge about fracking. Talk to people who have lost everything due to fracking. Look up Doug Shields, former Pittsburgh city councilman–he has a lot to say about fracking.

    • andic_epipedon

      They discussed water use and water pollution, but didn’t get into exact figures.

      Your right.  The public has to get together and fight the mining laws that are still on the books that were written before 1900.

  • Gregg Smith

    Off Topic (and I mean off topic):

    The devastation of the tornadoes breaks my heart. Many people don’t know if their family members are still alive or just missing. The search for 24 3rd graders at school has just been changed from a rescue mission to a recovery endeavor. 

    I’m watching the news, as a rough and tumble burly manly man, crying like a baby. I’m not a religious man and I know many here are not either. But every now and then I pray just in case. This is one of those times.

    • Steve__T

       Amen

  • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

    ON TOPIC (AND I MEAN ON TOPIC)

    http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

    Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming
    trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1and
    most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued
    public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial
    list of these organizations, along with links to their published
    statements and a selection of related resources.

    AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES

    Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations

    “Observations throughout the world make it
    clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research
    demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are
    the primary driver.” (2009)2

    American Association for the Advancement of Science

    “The scientific evidence is clear: global
    climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a
    growing threat to society.” (2006)3

    American Chemical Society

    “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our
    current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate
    change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities,
    and potentially a very serious problem.” (2004)4

    American Geophysical Union

    “The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of
    balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system —
    including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent
    of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of
    precipitation, and the length of seasons — are now changing at rates and
    in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the
    increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols
    generated by human activity during the 20th century.” (Adopted 2003,
    revised and reaffirmed 2007)5

    American Medical Association

    “Our AMA … supports the findings of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and
    concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing
    adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are
    significant.” (2013)6

    American Meteorological Society

    “It is clear from extensive scientific
    evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the
    past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of
    atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2),
    chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.” (2012)7

    American Physical Society

    “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global
    warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant
    disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social
    systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce
    emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” (2007)8

    The Geological Society of America
    “The Geological Society of America (GSA)
    concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005),
    the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that
    human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of
    the warming since the middle 1900s.” (2006; revised 2010)9

    SCIENCE ACADEMIES

    International academies: Joint statement

    “Climate change is real. There will always
    be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s
    climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global
    warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of
    rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and
    from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels,
    retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological
    systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be
    attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).” (2005, 11 international
    science academies)10

    U.S. National Academy of Sciences
    “The scientific understanding of climate
    change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the
    amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” (2005)1

    Either NASA is lying, or the GOP is lying.

    It would behoove us to figure that question out in a hurry.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       So sad.

      Science is not driven by consensus.  Science is about hypothesis and experimental proof of the hypothesis.

      I recommend this fine commentary by Dr. Richard Feynman:
      http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html

      Regarding your NASA posting.  I don’t see what is so controversial.  Most climate scientists, including so called skeptics, acknowledge the warming and also acknowledge that humans have contributed to some of the warming.  What has NOT been proven is the amount of human contribution OR to what extent the warming will cause problems.

      It isn’t surprising that NASA is promoting a position since their top guy , Jim Hansen, — until recently –is a well known activist.  But why does NASA have a climate division?  Are the Feds so awash in money that they can afford duplication of the NOAA function?  No wonder we are $16T in debt.  Also, why should we care about the AMA’s position on climate change? 

      Do you understand that there has been no statistical warming during the last 17 years via ground measurements and 23 years via satellite measurement?
      Also, were you aware that there was a major error in the IPCC(2007) report that indicated warming was accelerating when it was not.  This error was reported and was not corrected.  Could this be corruption or just incompetence?

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/20/monckton-challenges-the-ipcc-suggests-fraud-and-gets-a-response/#more-86636

      • jefe68

        What’s so sad is the level of your contempt for science.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Au contraire.   I respect science and the scientific method.  I don’t worship at the altar of a warming ideology (or a cooling ideology for that matter).  All good scientists are skeptical by nature.

          Where in my above post did I show contempt for science?

          • dust truck

            “Science is about hypothesis and experimental proof of the hypothesis.”
            Except there has been proof.  Why do you deny it then?  Again, it’s contempt for science if you refuse to believe the empirical evidence.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Computer models are not proof.

            And pray tell what empirical evidence do I deny?

          • dust truck

            Thousands and thousands of readings over decades posted by thousands of different weather stations around the world.  Either you assume that thousands of scientists are in on some kind of global conspiracy and they’re all lies or you acknowledge that the warming is real.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I never said the warming over the last century wasn’t real.  It is.

            However, the same data also shows there hasn’t been any warming during the last 17 years and the satellite data shows there hasn’t been warming in the last 23 years.

            NONE of the computer models predicted the leveling of temperature while CO2 levels continued to increase.

            Don’t you find these facts reason enough to question the models? My view is climate science is in its infancy and the science certainly isn’t ‘settled’.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hope.forpeace.7 Hope Forpeace

        “Most climate scientists, including so called skeptics, acknowledge the warming and also acknowledge that humans have contributed to some of the warming. ”

        In reality .. if we could get CONS like INHOFFE to simply acknowledge this, we would be going in the right direction. The right has erected a lie machine so vast it very well may kill the majority of us if not disassembled ASAP. That answers your question as to why NASA made their site – the truth is having to fight oil paid lies tooth and nail.

  • 2Gary2

    WTF why is gas 4 per gallon in WI..greedy scum corporations.

    • dust truck

      No it’s Obama’s fault for not digging for more oil!  (Even though he has done more digging than any of the previous administrations, that won’t stop the right wing from lying about it.)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Obama is shoveling BS and you are buying but he is not ‘digging’ for oil.

        US oil production is up because of drilling on private lands and state lands not Federal leases.  Federal leases are down under Obama.

        factcheck is liberal group that has a history of defending Obama and yet they call Obama’s BS.

        http://factcheck.org/2012/10/obamas-drilling-denials/

        • dust truck

          “Factcheck is a liberal group”

          LOL, now I know you’re full of poo.  Just you claiming they’re liberal doesn’t make them so.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             They are a liberal group.  They were founded by members of the editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times — a left wing newspaper.

            Further, they showed their hands after the RNC convention last year when they reviewed Paul Ryan’s speech and gave him the falsometer for — get this — accurately quoting Obama.   It turns out that their ‘justification’ was  in the timing of a plant closing in Ryan’s home town but politifact was later proven to be WRONG on the facts.  But it is even worse.  The politifact Paul Ryan piece was taken almost verbatim from a left wing blog.

            They lost my trust when they published that piece because it wasn’t ‘fact checking’.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             You successfully distracted me from the point that Obama CANNOT claim credit for the increase in US oil production.

            Hopefully, you’ll at least concede the facts now.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Shameful.

    Dem Senator from Rhode Island uses Oklahoma tragedy to launch a political attack against his opponents.

    Anti-science exhibit A.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/20/democratic-senator-goes-on-anti-gop-rant-over-climate-change-as-tornadoes-hit-oklahoma/#ixzz2TsyeamLC
     

    • dust truck

      You realize that 97% of scientists believe that Anthropogenic global warming is causing more severe weather events and that Congress has the power to do something about it?  This isn’t a political attack, it’s an attempt to get Things Done, something which the current GOP can’t seem to do.

      Need I remind you that the current plan as announced by Boener and the Heritage foundation is to do absolutely NOTHING and blame it on Obama?
      Mean while, the Right wing mocks the victims and talks about “Tornado control” http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/50957394946/massive-tornado-hits-oklahoma-right-wing-mocks-talks

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         “You realize that 97% of scientists believe that Anthropogenic global
        warming is causing more severe weather events and that Congress has the
        power to do something about it?”

        Patently false.  I challenge you to find a source to this silly assertion.  You will find 97% agreement among scientists that there has been warming during the last century, that CO2 has increased due to burning of fossil fuels and there has been no warming in the last 18 years.  Much different than your assertion.

        I posted a Senator on the Senate floor making outrageous and false statements.  A few tweets by folks mocking Obama’s FALSE gun control initiative (FALSE because the proposals would have not prevented Newtown) isn’t an equivalent.  But keep trying.

        • dust truck

          Here’s the link.  But don’t bother replying, I know you’ll just say that it’s all based on lies, and it’s a conspiracy on a global scale to eliminate capitalism, blah blah blah.

          Science only works if you believe your own lying eyes.

          http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            This study has already been debunked as shoddy research.  It was flawed in many ways.  Please see my link above about authors interviewed that contradict the results of the study.

            Why is it wrong to expose propaganda?  I am all for the truth and letting the chips fall where they may but I will not tolerate deceit and propaganda and I have no problem calling it out.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Feel free to believe the propaganda about the 97%.  However, inconveniently, someone actually took the trouble to interview a sample of the authors  of the papers used to derive the 97% figure and ooops there is a small problem.

        Here is one quote from an author who’s paper was used in the 97% AGW consensus:

        “What my papers say is that the IPCC view is erroneous because about
        40-70% of the global warming observed from 1900 to 2000 was induced by
        the sun.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/21/cooks-97-consensus-study-falsely-classifies-scientists-papers-according-to-the-scientists-that-published-them/#more-86692

        More here from the friends of science:

        http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10753602.htm

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t know if you can call that a sample.  The first guy is a part of one of the think tanks that Dr. Carter is a part of, and the last guy contributed to an anti-climate change documentary that has been criticized by a number of scientists, including one or two of the guys that were used in it.  So it looks like these two, at least, are active in the skeptic community.  Does that mean that their works were miscategorized?  No, not at all.

          I find that quote that you offered somewhat interesting.  His quote says what his papers say, but the abstract of the article that was examined does not say what his quote says.  It’s a bit odd.

          They did invite authors to rate their own papers, and I find it interesting that many of the papers that they rated as being undecided or having no opinion were rated as endorsing AGW by the authors of the papers.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             The paper is a joke.  However, it had its intent –a headline that the media could run with — 97% climate science consensus.  Many uninformed posters on this site were drawn in.

            Science is not about consensus and the conclusion implied by the study is deceit and propaganda.

            “Detailed analysis shows that only 0.5% (65 of the
            12,000 abstracts rated) suggest that humans are responsible for more
            than 50% of the global warming up to 2001, contrary to the alleged 97%
            consensus amongst scientists in the Cook et al study.”http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10753602.htm

          • Ray in VT

            I think that the biggest joke here is that you continue to push links from the same couple of dissenting groups, which often have leading figures with questionable credentials and highly suspicious ties to the very fossil fuel companies that would stand to be financially hurt by emissions-based, human caused global warming.  It’s quite and incestuous circle, and sooner or later most of them lead back to the same think tanks and corporate interests.

            I did not see a link explaining how the Friends of Science came by their number of only 65 out of 12,000 articles, but I expect that they will soon published a peer-reviewed response.  That, of course, is sarcasm.  I expect them to push their contrarian views, which are not supported by the scientific community at large, via the usual skeptical sources on the web, as they have lost the scientific debate.

            You accuse others of believing propaganda, but have you ever considered that you may be the one eating up the propaganda of a certain group?  After “sitting” through your cries of how the polls were cooked and the BLS numbers were rigged this past fall, I had hoped that you had learned your lessons when pushing that sort of nonsense, but apparently not.  If you choose to believe the deniers and skeptics, then you are, of course, free to do so, but your assertions about the state of the science and the conclusions of that community at large are way off base.  Now, feel free to tell me what Anthony Watts, Heartland’s favorite former TV weatherman, or whoever else, has to say about it today.

    • Phil McCoy

      yes far more shameful than the Oklahoma senators voting against Sandy relief and now asking for relief for their own state. /s

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    North American energy revolution?

    How about a world wide energy revolution that could end all the hand wringing over CO2 emissions and produce power at 25% the cost of coal.

    Rossi’s ECat has finally been independently tested and it looks like it does produce energy using small amounts of nickel and hydrogen.  Maybe Rossi isn’t a fraud after all.  Strap on your seat belts because if this LENR thing works it will change the world.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2013/05/20/finally-independent-testing-of-rossis-e-cat-cold-fusion-device-maybe-the-world-will-change-after-all/

    • Michele

       Thanks for this link! Cold Fusion for everyone!

    • Gregg Smith

      Great news, great link, thanks. But even more impressive is your comments on this entire board. I’ve run out of patience with this issue. Nice work.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Thanks much.  There is so much misinformation and misunderstanding out there it can get frustrating.

        I’m still cautious on Rossi.  The ‘independent test’ could be part of the fraud.  Time will tell but if it is real it is huge.

  • andic_epipedon

    I’ve waited a day after I heard this show to comment, because the issue is so important to me.  I have over a decade of experience in environmental permitting.  I have been unable to find work in my field for the last two years and I have received unsolicited offers for employment in the fracking industry.  I have turned them all down.  My auto mechanic yesterday said we need to find other technologies because the oil industry has too much control over everything.  His son was in the military fighting for oil.  It is this control that is going to push this industry forward regardless of what we do.  I’m not suggesting we give in, but a more complicated strategy is necessary to overcome this evil.

    Fracking is here to stay regardless of what we do.  The question is, how much can we fight for cleaner technologies, while simultaneously forcing the fracking industry to make their dirty business cleaner.  After years of watching the wild west cowboy mentality we are now at a turning point where we can force the frackers to make changes that will save lives and lessen its impact on the environment.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

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Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

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