"This is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."

Kevin Kamberg

So says T. Boone Pickens in his new TV ad.


Find more videos like this on PickensPlan

I just saw this ad on TV (KGW 8) and am intrigued by it.

What do you think of it? Have you joined the Pickens Plan Army yet?

Do you plan to? If so, what are your primary reasons?

Here's Pickens' Plan. The gist of it appears to be that he wants America to do as he has personally done and invest heavily in wind power. That will, in his view, free up more domestically produced Natural Gas to be converted to vehicular fuel - and thus reducing the vast transfer of wealth which his ad expresses alarm over.

The plan makes a certain amount of sense at first glance. But some environmentalists have urged caution over the ecological damage of large-scale windfarms on a large enough scale to make a serious dent. However, that's on the premise that the point is to replace petroleum fuels. Pickens isn't necessarily trying to replace petroleum fuels per se, he just wants reduce our collective reliance upon foreign sources of them, and in particular upon crude oil which places America at it's greatest disadvantage... apparently. That his windfarms would reduce our use of petro sources seems to be icing rather than the cake, from his point of view.

I'm honestly unsure what to think of this. At first whiff it seems good. But the effects of Global Warming seem to me to warrant at least a cautious attitude towards a plan that is so obviously motivated by $$$ first and foremost. Plus... I'm personally not convinced that wind power offers as much as geothermal power does.

Update: I just watched Al Gore on Meet The Press say that he welcomes Pickens' Plan. Tom Brokaw read a statement by Pickens arguing that his plan and Gore's plan should be viewed differently. But Gore certainly seemed happy to have them considered together and as similar. His primary, albeit very gently articulated, criticism of Pickens' Plan is that Gore sees natural gas as an intermediate measure and he said that it makes more sense to him to cut to the chase rather than focus on an intermediate step as Pickens has.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    I think any plan we put together should include a combination of things, and not so much either/or to it. Wind is good, geothermal is good, solar is good. I don't think one should neccessarily dominate the mix. That leaves too much vulnerability and a lack of options.

  • Jim Et Al (unverified)
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    Mr Pickens is somewhat of a pirate. Having said that though, he brings to the table an idea, albeit one that nets him enormous profits, that we should have been addressing back in the Carter years, namely that diversification of energy resources is the key to prevention of oil addiction, wasteful wars, war profiteering, and corporate hegemony. Carter had it right, and the nation was poised to accept the challenge, but then Reagan came into office said something about morning in America and proceeded to gut the program...

    A step beyond Pickens' idea of massive wind farms lies the solution, and that step requires smaller scale and widespread development of wind, solar, geothermal, co-generation, and cellulosic ethanol. The Pickens' idea of massive privately owned infrastructure means they (the corporate bodies who have brought us to this point) still own the means of production. The means of production needs to be in the hands of the greatest number of people. Only then can we tell the energy giants and the military machine that supports them to piss off...

  • NotBuyingIt (unverified)
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    Within the past 6 months or so, Pickens, a primary Swiftboat Vets for "Truth" funder, called John Kerry a liar AGAIN and then ran and hid under his desk when Kerry challenged him to a debate.

    Pickens is NOT doing this wind power thing out of the goodness of his heart. He is in it for himself. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts he owns land that he wants someone to lease at an exorbitant rate for a wind farm.

    Pickens is a crazy, mean, greedy old fart.

  • (Show?)

    Kevin,

    It seems to me that one of the major values of this "plan" is that his has an oil man famous for being an oil man and famous for being a "crazy, mean, greedy old fart," breaking ranks with the big oil interests who hold disproportionate power in the White House. He's a living, breathing argument that it isn't just misguided liberal do-gooders who think we need to fundamentally change the sources of energy in our society, for those who see the arguments from the public and collective good in those terms.

    Jim Et Al is/are probably on the right track. Unfortunately there is not going to be any silver bullet; all the options carry ecological costs. Diversifying probably reduces the breadth and depth of any single one of the costs.

    The matter also ought to be looked at from the point of view of reversibility. If we build a wind farm & in 50 years geothermal proves to be what you hope, can the wind farm be taken out and the land restored? How does that compare with capacity to deal with radioactive nuclear waste with half-lives longer than the entire history of human agriculture?

    Both natural gas and even cellulosic ethanol remain forms of energy based on carbon combustion.

    Ultimately we have to look to absolute reduction in the use of energy, IMO, which also means reducing the population (globally, and in the U.S.).

    Geothermal does not add new greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but I wonder if it adds heat energy to the troposphere (lowest level of the atmosphere) that might not be able to escape due to the greenhouse effect on the planetary albido? You seem to have explored the geothermal idea a bit, do you know anything about this?

    Tom Civiletti?

  • (Show?)

    Albedo. Something obscure going on there with libido ;->

  • LT (unverified)
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    At least this isn't "we must drill in Alaska" (a national security concern pointed out by an expert recently: all it would take is a bomb on a frozen pipeline and all that fuel would spill and slowly turn into "the world's largest chapstick"). It isn't "we must all consider nuclear" (sure, once we hear a discussion about dealing not only with security, but nuclear waste depository or recycling, Hanford cleanup, the problems which developed at Trojan, the financial problems which led to WPPSS plants being called "Whoops!, etc.). We are on the cusp of a new technological age, and we must not get into ideological arguments about one source of energy vs. another.

    My brother went to school one year near where they struck geothermal, and he said it may be clean energy but drilling for it sure is noisy.

    All these forms of energy need to be transported somehow or other--apparently there is a clean energy experiment going on (maybe solar) where the energy is used to heat water so that the energy can be stored for a cloudy (or calm) day, for use at night, etc. And one report is that computer people are worried about our electricity supply and want all sources of energy looked at in a combination D-Day/ Manhattan Project, the sooner the better.

    And don't forget, conservation is an energy source--saving energy means less has to be produced. Once I knew someone who had the numbers on how much energy conservation is equivalent to building a new power plant.

    If we are imagining new sources of energy, I'd love to see someone develop a way to take high fructose corn syrup out of food (it just makes people fat--now the transfat is gone, this should be the next target) and turn it into biofuel.

    With regard to the remarks of Notbuying it, the late Molly Ivins said "If you don't like Ross Perot, you're not going to like any of the other Texas millionaires".

    You may say I'm a dreamer (what would John Lennon have thought of this debate?) but I believe people can change. Epiphany is defined as "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something" and if ol' Commie hater Nixon could go to Red China, why can't an oil man (who turns out to own natural gas supplies) have an epiphany and believe we can't drill ourselves out of this problem? Sounds better than "if we drill offshore, the oil will not be available right away, but it would change the psychology" from old oil guy W.

  • artsasinic (unverified)
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    Gee, he slides so glibly over the part about using natural gas. Wonder if there is any connection that local folks are looking at a natural gas increase of 40% this winter, supposedly being driven by a 70% increase in wholesale rates. I think I smells me some sulphur...

  • mike austin (unverified)
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    I have seen some wind turbines that rotate on a vertical axis. (Some prof at PSU invented a "personal windmill" using this approach.) These would alleviate the concerns about birds that conventional wind turbines present.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    There are four strong reasons for acting decisively on energy:

    • We are at or near peak oil with no cheap alternative available in copious amount.

    • There is scientific consensus [yes, there is] that fossil fuel use is causing what may become catastrophic climate change.

    • Expensive foreign oil is draining the US economy.

    • Energy insecurity and oil company pressure cause massive overspending on the military; increased global weaponization; and foreign policy that kills, maims physically and psychologically, brutalizes culture, and creates enemies faster than we can conquer them.

    Not all strategies address these concerns equally well, but much of what we can do would help with more than one of them. Also, leaving us in a more resourced position means we can better cope with whatever problem we have the will to address.

    Using less petroleum should be helpful in dealing with each of the concerns listed above. Wind and natural gas are certainly more benign than oil, although the supply of natural gas is quite limited itself. Solar and tidal energy have huge potential, but necessary infrastructure is quite expensive [but maybe not too expensive compared to $140 per barrel oil]. Geothermal can be useful even if it is no more exotic than ground-source heat pump technology.

    Without a doubt, the most important strategy is using less energy - in a much more radical fashion than the energy efficiency we usually consider. We need more localized economy to reduce the transportation of people and goods. We need smaller houses, less heating and air conditioning, and less stuff. As Chris Lowe mentions, using less energy also means a smaller human population, but, obviously, this is a controversial issue that is open to all sorts of racism, classism, and nationalism.

    Currently, we are doing very little of what needs doing. The current congress and administration cannot even pass legislation that promotes sustainable energy as much as it promotes petroleum use. That is in addition to the huge subsidy our military spending provides that industry.

    We need to act intelligently, but we need to act quickly and aggressively.

    I am not sure that Pickens' plan is the best way forward. There are problems balancing an electrical grid that gets most of its energy from wind. It may be better to use wind to make hydrogen from water. Hydrogen can then be used in most of the ways that we use natural gas. Hydrogen power is carbon free and, for the most part, non-polluting. We can certainly use more wind generated electricity than we are currently, though. If Pickens' efforts lead to a tenfold increase in US wind power generation in the next decade, that would be a good thing, whatever the overall balance of our energy and fuel use. And natural gas is certainly more benign than oil in most ways, including carbon dioxide release. Increased demand for it will create pressure for importing LNG, though, which raises several serious concern.

  • jeff (unverified)
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    Tom Civiletti: We are at or near peak oil with no cheap alternative available in copious amount. JK: How a re you fixed for peer reviewed papers that prove this?

    Tom Civiletti: There is scientific consensus [yes, there is] that fossil fuel use is causing what may become catastrophic climate change. JK: Please provide proof of : 1. scientific consensus [yes, there is]... (please note that the Naomi letter was not peer reviewd (as far as I can tell) and, in any case, lied about the search criteria and was later shown to have missed many relevant papers.) 2. that fossil fuel use is causing what may become catastrophic climate change Prove this - proof that CO2 actually causes dangerous warming at/above today’s levels.

    Lacking both of these you are merely repeating Al Gore’s delusions of riches from panicking the populace into shoveling money into his corporations that profit from green investments.

    Thanks JK

  • Phil Anderson (unverified)
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    We've known for as long as I can remember that this problem was coming and done nothing but argue about it. Just as I see here. I don't care if Pickens is in it for the money! He has at least gotten people to talk about it again. The difference is, now we must act. We must do something. I've heard nothing but bickering from all sides. Knock it off! Lets agree that we need a plan and we need it now. We needed it 35 years ago! The problem is, all we seem to get accomplished is knocking someone down for this reason or that and nothing gets done. Well, it's reality time folks. We are at the point that it is affecting our very being! If the Middle East decides to shut the oil supply off, we beet learn how to speak aribic and start praying to Alla. Because that is what will likely happen. Now there's some doom for you. I'm sick to death of hearing about this and that we should do to save our planet. This planet has been through a heck of a lot more than we have put it through. You better worry about saving your home, your way of life and your freedom. I heard that the average democracy, through the ages, lasts about 200 years. In case no one's looking at the calenar, we're there. I'm just a working guy with nothing but a high school education. You can poke all the holes in this you like. I don't care. I won't be back. What I want is for my children and grand children and great grandchildren and so-on to enjoy what we have here. The way we are going,(or not), that's likly not to happen.

  • Phil Anderson (unverified)
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    We've known for as long as I can remember that this problem was coming and done nothing but argue about it. Just as I see here. I don't care if Pickens is in it for the money! He has at least gotten people to talk about it again. The difference is, now we must act. We must do something. I've heard nothing but bickering from all sides. Knock it off! Lets agree that we need a plan and we need it now. We needed it 35 years ago! The problem is, all we seem to get accomplished is knocking someone down for this reason or that and nothing gets done. Well, it's reality time folks. We are at the point that it is affecting our very being! If the Middle East decides to shut the oil supply off, we beet learn how to speak aribic and start praying to Alla. Because that is what will likely happen. Now there's some doom for you. I'm sick to death of hearing about this and that we should do to save our planet. This planet has been through a heck of a lot more than we have put it through. You better worry about saving your home, your way of life and your freedom. I heard that the average democracy, through the ages, lasts about 200 years. In case no one's looking at the calenar, we're there. I'm just a working guy with nothing but a high school education. You can poke all the holes in this you like. I don't care. I won't be back. What I want is for my children and grand children and great grandchildren and so-on to enjoy what we have here. The way we are going,(or not), that's likly not to happen.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Sorry, JK, but I'm not interested in tracking down "proof" for you, especially since that is not an appropriate term in such matters. "Convincing evidence" would be a more sensible request. It's out there if you want to find it, but I doubt that you do. Your skepticism is so unbalanced that I doubt you would recognize an ice-free Greenland if you were standing on it. Your concern about Al Gore's interest in monetary gain from addressing global warming is quite comical in light of your lack of concern for the financial interests of the oil and coal industries and their customers who would rather do severe damage to the biosphere rather than spend more for energy or learn to use less of it.

  • Ted (unverified)
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    Peak oil is a myth. The government and global corporations use the peak oil myth to justify imperialist strategy, because it is a solid fall back excuse for policies that are inimical to the interests of the American people. Will the world eventually run out of crude oil at current extraction rates? Yes. However, peak oil is peak BS for three big reasons.

    1) Enough oil exists domestically and in our own quarter of the globe to meet North American demand at current levels for another 50 years (but the mainstream media isn't saying anything about it). The Bakken Fields in North Dakota contain over four billion barrels of oil, according to the USGS. That's crude, not Colorada shale or Alberta sands folks, crude. It's deep, but a lot cheaper to get than financing a military occupation in the Middle East. In addition, the US Naval Petroleum Reserve that was set aside by Congress in 1975 contains 300 billion barrels of recoverable oil throughout the US (Dept of Energy). So why are we killing ourselves and mortgaging the nation in a war in Iraq? [please read on before a knee-jerk reply to this first point]

    2) Technology currently exists to turn bio-mass into crude oil that can be refined using existing refinery infrastructure. This is not corn-based or food-based, this is bio-mass like what you put out there on the curb to get hauled away to a big municipal compost. A Manhattan project like effort to redirect the waste stream into bio-mass conversion for oil could eliminate America's foreign oil needs within a decade AND it is carbon neutral. Again, you don't hear Al Gore talking about it, even though the Dept of Energy is very interested. Go to www.bellbioenergy.com to learn more.

    3) Photovoltaic technology for solar power is now such that solar energy is competitive with traditional coal, oil, and nuclear power. So Bush had the US BLM put a hold on all solar projects (Int'l Herald Tribune 6/27/08). Every day the sun gives us 10,000 times more energy than the world consumes. If America put the kind of effort it puts into "rebuilding" Iraq into a solar Manhattan Project, the U.S. could meet 25% of its energy needs within a few years.

    These giant windfarms being proposed by Swiftboaters like Pickins and these hydrogen fuel cells that Bush talks about are a ruse, because they are so far off and challenged as realistic solutions, but they keep the alternative energy debate focused on distractions when real, green solutions are within reach and domestic oil supplies exist to manage that transition.

  • (Show?)

    One fundamental error that we all make is in thinking of petro-corporations as producers of oil. That's not what they are. They exist to produce profits for their shareholders and upper management. That's not intended to be a diss on them. It's just reality.

    The sooner Americans realize that reality the sooner we'll stop falling for red herrings that McBush keeps proffering - that opening up more places to drill will necessarily lead to increased production of oil.

    Producing more oil simply isn't the point of the exercise from the POV of petro-corporations. And it never has been.

  • (Show?)

    The Bakken Fields in North Dakota contain over four billion barrels of oil, according to the USGS.

    Hey, that's great news!

    Now let's look at the stats: The United States consumes seven and a half billion barrels of oil per year. So, assuming we could extract all 4 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken field instantaneously, it would supply the nation's needs for about 6.5 months.

    Our total "known" oil reserves are about 21 billion barrels -- enough to fuel our demand for a little less than 3 years.

    I have no idea where you got the statistic that the US Navy retains 300 billion barrels of oil in reserve. Here is the DOE's assessment of the US navy's oil reserve:

    http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/reserves/npr/index.html

    If you are referring to something else, please provide a reference.

  • wikiwiki (unverified)
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    It should also be noted that Pickens has a parallel Trojan horse he's stalking: he is making a far less publicly known effort to buy up the groundwater rights of farmers and ranchers around Lubbock, in the Texas Panhandle, so that he can eventually sell the water back to big cities like Dallas and Houston (sorry, can't link the story, I read it in some paper like the Texas Observer, but fail to recall the name now). Aside from raising interesting questions about how a natural resource like water can be bought and sold with basically no initial public involvement (it's a Texas law or lack thereof, but other states are in the same boat), would anybody like to bet that the future rights of way for any transmission towers transporting Pickens' wind power will also be used for transporting Pickens' fresh groundwater to places like Dallas and Houston in the next 20 years?

  • (Show?)

    Yeah, T Boone has big plans to run water, oal (sic), gas, and wind power from his holdings in the panhandle to Dallas and other population centers. He's been on this track for about ten years already.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_25/b4089040017753.htm?chan=search

    Not necessarily a totally bad thing, but it fits the current model better than the distributed model...

    The bottom line on wind and solar, though, is that they both lend themselves to either model and as petroleum prices continue to rise, distributed power may look even more feasible.

  • j_luthergoober (unverified)
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    Just what the US needs, another Texican in a leadership role. I'd love to hear the dirt that Hightower has on Pickens....

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Ted,

    Stop and think before you write. How do solar and biomass energy effect whether peak oil is reality or myth?

    As to the Bakken Field, the state of North Dakota also released a report which estimated that there are 2.1 billion barrels of recoverable oil using current technology in the Bakken. That hardly proves that peak oil is a myth.

  • Brian (unverified)
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    Regardless of ones personal opinions about human caused, Co2 driven climate change, those who suggest that debate is over in the scientific community are either not well informed or being disingenuous. Seems to me this is way too serious an issue to play games with. I'm not at all sure about human activity driving climate change, but I'm quite certain that contaminating our air, land & water is becoming incrementally detrimental to all life on Earth. I'd hope even the staunchest of Gore disciples & I would heartily agree about that.

  • (Show?)

    Worth mentioning vis-a-vis Brian's linked article...

    "After publication of this story, the APS responded with a statement that its Physics and Society Forum is merely one unit within the APS, and its views do not reflect those of the Society at large. "

    Also, here's a nice exchange between Lord Monckton, whose article is cited in Brian's linked article, and Guardian journalist, George Monbiot...

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/10/03/did-lord-monckton-fabricate-a-claim-on-his-wikipedia-page/

  • (Show?)

    I'm on the Board of Directors of a PV manufacturer outside of Oregon. PV is NOT cost competitive with coal right now, especially given that the price of carbon is not incorporated into the price of coal fired electricity. This is likely to change in three to five years, with technological advances now underway in thin-film, but it is not the case at the moment.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise is blowing smoke, and believe me, I want PV to be cost competitive!

    As to the canard that enough oil exists in the US to meet domestic demand for many decades, hypothetical reserves never have equaled extractable oil, even in Saudi Arabia, where the cost of oil extraction is the lowest in the world. The conspiracy theorists seemingly want us to believe that petroleum is a renewable resource (anyone recall Steve Forbes in the 2000 Republican primaries?), but the truth is otherwise. US oil production peaked in 1970, when demand was an order of magnitude smaller than it is now, and it will never reach those numbers again. Ask the Energy Information Agency.

  • edison (unverified)
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    Brian said: "Regardless of ones personal opinions about human caused, Co2 driven climate change, those who suggest that debate is over in the scientific community are either not well informed or being disingenuous."

    Here we go again. The American Physical Society has disclaimed the article linked in Brian's comment. H.L. Mencken once said of democracy, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." And, "good and hard" can be whatever you want it to be ... it can hurt or it can help.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    "Pickens is NOT doing this wind power thing out of the goodness of his heart. He is in it for himself."

    I don't have any problem with that at all, as long as the idea itself has merit. Progressives (and I count myself as one) need to get over the idea that it is intrinsically evil to want to make money.

  • (Show?)

    Very well said, dartagnan. I agree.

    It seems to me that caution is always warranted when profit seems to be the over-riding raison d'etre. But I agree that in and of itself wanting to make a profit isn't intrinsically evil. Further, not all idea motivated by profit motive are necessarilly bad.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Anyone else here who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s? When our per capita energy consumption was considerably less than it is now? When a typical American lifestyle did not include a suburban McMansion with a three-car garage, an RV, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles?

    Here's a hint: happiness does not equal consumption.

    Another hint: please do not reply to JK, he has a bottomless well of diversions, misleading citations, and so on.

  • Todd (unverified)
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    Wind energy seems great but at what cost.

    Since the introduction of wind energy into the industrial power market, wind energy lobbyists and other wind advocates have greatly overstated the environmental benefits and greatly understated its many adverse effects.

    One statement by T. Boon Pickens sums it all up. After deciding to spend $10 billion on the world’s largest wind farm, he stated, “Wind farms are being built primarily for their lucrative tax benefits and subsidies- not because of their environmental or energy benefits.”

    You want another even more credible source. How about the former president of Sierra Club of New York who stated "I found it intensely frustrating that groups refused to even want to consider that there might be any environmental impacts [of wind power].”

    It is time to reassess subsidies towards inefficient power. The market without intervention will drive consumers and big business towards renewable energies with ever increasing oil and natural gas prices.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Sorry, JK, but I'm not interested in tracking down "proof" for you. . . . It's out there if you want to find it, but I doubt that you do.

    Is there really no environmental group that has put together a simple website linking to all of the scientific research on global warming and the likely exacerbation of such warming by human activity? Can't we just link to it every time one of these yahoos starts trolling around?

    I understand the desire not to engage with someone like JK, who is so emotionally invested in disproving global warming that he cannot objectively analyze the research. But there are also global warming disciples who do the same thing. I'm just perplexed that we keep having the same argument:

    "Global warming is real." "No, it's not. Where's your evidence?" "I'm not going to waste my time finding research for you." "Ha! Proof that this is a hoax!"

    Can't we do better?

  • MCT (unverified)
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    I saw these ads and have asked my friends in other states if they are airing there. So far the answer is no. At least they have seen them and they are hard to miss....placed in primetime news hours on MSM. I can't help but wonder about motive...and whether this would be another out of the frying pan into the fire experience....like biodiesel using more power to create than it's worth, as well as using up valuable food crop growing lands. Wind farms create noise vibrations and can interfere with wildlife, particularly bird migrations.

    And the minute I heard natural gas I wondered about the debate over running a pipeline through western Oregon coming into play...it would sure help the corporate cause if folks suddenly saw natural gas as a necessary component of a revamped energy policy. I do believe there are heroes, but I am not convinced T. Boone is one of them. The main character in "There Will Be Blood" comes to mind. He was proud of being an oilman and he was a very persuasive guy, too. The verdict is not yet in on Pickens.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    What makes hydrocarbon fuels so special? Simple, actually: they're highly portable, such that you're taking your fuel supply along with you. The only practical alternative to gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles is electric cars, in which case the more improvements in battery technology, the better. But the electricity has to come from somewhere: coal, hydropower, wind, nuclear, solar. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for every locality, so ruling out options a priori strikes me as stupid and irresponsible. And there's no free lunch (a point one would think is blindingly obvious, but which politicians refuse to say to the public for fear of being branded another Jimmy Carter).

    BTW, nice Oregonian article on Monday about wind farms and the capacity (or lack thereof) of BPA infrastructure to handle power so produced.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    I love the ads and the message, and signed up. This guy should have credibility with the business community, to the extent that he is still known. We love to be partisan and bash Bush and big oil, but (give credit where it's due, even if we despise most of W's agenda and I do) he did help make TX the biggest wind power state in the 90's. I read the other day that utilities in TX have made a huge buy of more windmills in west TX, which will put them lightyears ahead of even CA and other states. SOmething is wrong with this picture when TX does this, while Kennedy, Kerry and others block wind mills in MASS. Is Gore going to have a press conf on Cape Cod to promote windpower? Talk isn't enough, we must act, and I admire TB Pickens for acting.

  • (Show?)

    Yesterday (July 21), The Oregonian carried a story about the lack of adequate transmission lines to carry wind-created electricity (WCE) and the incredible (i.e., unbelievable) cost of building more lines. In mulling over this information, I managed to come to some proposed solutions.

    Since it costs upwards of a million dollars a mile for transmission lines, it seems obvious that WCE is going to have to be supplied to consumers who are near the wind energy farms. Thus, state policy should be re-oriented toward creating local wind energy public utility districts to buy WCE and sell it to local consumers. The major electric power utilities could be empowered to do this and/or local communities could be authorized to do this.

    The same sort of arrangements could be used to finance, stimulate, and distribute solar-created electricity (SCE) in areas that are remote from WCE sources.

    Furthermore, either WCE or SCE can be used at the production site for the electrolysis of water into the component gasses -- hydrogen and oxygen -- for distribution to and use in local fuel cells. Once Americans wake up and smell the coffee, fuel cells will power just about every building and automobile in America. The same sort of arrangements must be created to finance, stimulate, and distribute fuel cells and whatever will be used in them, whether it is hydrogen, methanol, or ethanol.

    We cannot just give up and say that nothing can be done. The benefits are very obvious: jobs, the economy, world ecology, and a more sane foreign policy.

  • Elizabeth (unverified)
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    Kevin,

    See the Economist article on the subject. It may help.

  • jeff (unverified)
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    Miles: Is there really no environmental group that has put together a simple website linking to all of the scientific research on global warming and the likely exacerbation of such warming by human activity? Can't we just link to it every time one of these yahoos starts trolling around? JK: Great progressive viewpoint: JK is a yahoo because he asks for evidence before we spend Billions and impoverish millions.

    Already the warmers’ bio fuel mania has caused the price of food to raise to the point than many third world people cannot afford to feed their families. This is just a tiny example of the harm that this mania will do unless people come to their senses.

    Miles: ... he cannot objectively analyze the research. JK: We need to start with the research that shows CO2 can actually cause dangerous warming. Absent that there is no cause for alarm. No cause to spend billions. No cause to enrich AL Gore (Who Tom gives a pass to, while demeaning big oil.)

    Miles: "Global warming is real." "No, it's not. Where's your evidence?" "I'm not going to waste my time finding research for you." "Ha! Proof that this is a hoax!"

    Can't we do better? JK: I am constantly amazed that the warmers refuse to talk about the evidence and instead prefer ad hominems and emotional pleas with cute animals.

    Thanks JK

  • jeff (unverified)
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    Tom Civiletti: Sorry, JK, but I'm not interested in tracking down "proof" for you, ... JK: Thanks for the admission that you have not bothered to look at the evidence.

    Simply amazing, you advocate re-ordering society, harming millions, spending billions and have not actually looked at the key piece of evidence.

    Thanks JK

  • Brian (unverified)
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    Not at all amazing really. You'll get the same reaction from hardcore creationists when you bring up evolution just as you will from avowed anthropogenic global warming zealots when one merely suggests that Al Gore's favored hypothesis is far from proven fact. Question it in the least and be branded a heretic.

    Having actually studied climatology, meteorology, geology and Earth science and the rest of that crazy science stuff in college, I'm not terribly worried about human-caused climate change. What concerns me most is global pollution, which in my mind affects us all a whole lot more than does our contribution to global warming. Our planet will get warmer regardless of our actions to be followed by another ice age no matter what we do. I'll give 10-1 odds on that bet.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Brian,

    If you studied all that "crazy science stuff" in college, you should be equipped to understand the scientific and environmental concerns about human-caused global warming.

    Begin by understanding the nature of the issue. Climate is an extremely complex matter, the study of which extends out into the solar system and back through geologic time, and involves scores of complex feedback systems. "Proven fact" is not likely attainable, especially concerning a prediction of future change. That is no excuse for inaction when the preponderance of evidence suggests that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may soon cause catastrophic climate change, and that altering our behavior may prevent or at least ameliorate that change.

    Responding to global warming is not about Al Gore. He has increased awareness among the populace in this country, but many nations were already taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before An Inconvenient Truth was made. The US is a laggard in dealing with this serious problem, even though we have made the largest per capita contribution to it.

    It is deniers of human caused global warming who echo the tactics of creationists in ignoring good research, ignoring the conclusions of peer reviewed research, and ignoring the conclusions of leading scientific organizations, while relying on inconsequential imperfections in research data and interpretation and misleading argumentation [such as insisting on "proof", when that is not a realistic standard for justifying action].

  • jeff (unverified)
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    Tom Civiletti: That is no excuse for inaction when the preponderance of evidence suggests that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may soon cause catastrophic climate change, and that altering our behavior may prevent or at least ameliorate that change. JK: Preponderance of evidence? You can’t even prove that CO2 is capable of causing dangerous warming! (Still waiting.) You haven’t even noticed that the earth has been cooling ten years using USHCN, the best data available - data mainlined by Gore advisor Hansen.

    As to “may soon cause catastrophic climate change” You alarmists have been saying that for decades. Hansen warned congress about it 20 years ago this year. Guess what? The data HE maintains at NASA shows this year is cooler than when he delivered his warning. You are following fools.

    Tom Civiletti: It is deniers of human caused global warming who echo the tactics of creationists in ignoring good research, JK: And you are ignoring good research that show the sun a more likely reason for any warming that might actually have occurred. All you have to do is look at a chart of CO2, temperature and solar cycle length and you notice something: the sun is a better fit to the data than CO2. And the solar fit goest back centuries, unlike CO2.

    Oh, and to compare those of us who ask for proof to creationists is an insult. Maybe I should compare you to the blind followers of any of history’s famous figures who got millions of people killed: Stalin, Lennon, Lysenko, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro. They all had blind followers who did not bother to check the facts.

    Thanks JK

  • jeff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hey, Tom! Haven't you notice oil fell by $28/bbl just on George's lifting one executive order!

    Think what more actual oil supply would do!

    (I know, you don't like to think of affordable oil because poor people may be able to afford to heat their homes and drive their cars.)

    Thanks JK

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