August 15, 2009

OVER A BARREL

I meant to say this a while ago but just never got around to it.

20/20 ran a special a few weeks ago called "Over a Barrel" about oil.  First of all, I simply hate the expression "addicted to oil."  It's like saying we're addicted to houses or restaurants.  It's necessary for our lifestyle.  Just because we need it doesn't mean we have to sneer and call it an addiction.  And it's not like cigarettes, where we'd be better off if we stopped using them.  Our lives would be infinitely worse without oil.

Second, T. Boone Pickins really ticked me off.  At the very end of the show, he said:

You are the problem, you, America.  You and I, Charlie [Gibson].  You are the problem because you're using 25% of the oil with 4% of the population.  You're not entitled to that.

Um, we are if we're paying for it.  You're entitled to anything available on this earth if you come by it fairly and pay for it in the free market.

To say otherwise gets right down to the core of my values and ruffles 'em up.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:03 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 191 words, total size 1 kb.

1 The Gulf countries are much more addicted to oil than the US.

The US has nothing to fear from "dependency" on oil producing states - they are more dependent on you than you are on them. 

Posted by: David Boxenhorn at August 15, 2009 06:19 PM (bjGKR)

2 My dad has worked in the oil industry for almost 50 years.  He has met with T. Boone Pickins several times states that T. Boone is an an ass and is only concerned about one person - himself.  He is into shameless self promotion and his bottom line.  Pretty much take any thing T. Boone states with a grain of salt with the above two items in mind. 

Posted by: Greg at August 15, 2009 09:05 PM (PfiUw)

3 My stats are now a bit dated but 50% of our oil is for manufacturing and the US manufactures 25% of the worlds manufactured goods (we tend to high tech things that use plastics or oils as a base). So we may import a lot of oil, but we also export it. China and India have told us that they are more concerned about curing poverty than reducing carbon (By the way, no sunspots now 36 days and things are getting colder-It's the Sun that drives global warming) Energy & Capitalism are the reasons for our prosperity but we are turning our back on both. And David does hit a nail on the head noting the Gulf countries are more addicted to dollars from oil than we are to their oil. However, China and India now give them options. Plenty of good info on Wind on the web, and you will find it quite unreliable and expensive. The US economy drives the world. The best thing we can do is keep going with what has been working, not try what has failed to work (A Spanish Economist Prof Calzada ( http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2009/05/01/calzada-joins-economis-murphy-at-heritage-forum-on-green-jobs/) has shown 2 jobs lost for every green job created. I work in the energy industry. Wind and solar will not meet our needs. Nuclear is the best non-polluting long-term option but the Nuclear Regulator Commission has inflated costs through massive regulation (much of which is ineffective-my opinion of 20 years) and refusal to deal with nuclear waste. We have no energy policy as a country other than to hate what works. We need to get our Legislators out of the economy and let the capitalists go back to improving our lives.

Posted by: Xoph at August 16, 2009 07:12 AM (fldIS)

4 Hey, Sarah, why won't this thing let you paste into the comments box? I was going to quote a relevant passage from George Orwell, but can't do it without retyping it...


Posted by: david foster at August 16, 2009 08:55 AM (uWlpq)

5 Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
--George Orwell

I just coped and pasted that using Ctrl+Insert.

Posted by: Sarah at August 16, 2009 11:08 AM (TWet1)

6 While I generally agree with you in regards to the hysteria over oil consumption (don't like it?  Then don't use it and quit bitching at me.  Come up with your own damn alternative and maybe I'll end up buying from you instead), I think the problem is defining what is coming by something "fairly." 

Unfortunately, there is always an element of morality in what we buy/pay for/do.  I think it's more of an issue with various warring moralities than it is with an emotion free simple transaction.  Not everything is infinite, and the consequences of some things touch a lot more people than the ones doing the transacting.

This does not mean I buy into the Global Warming hysteria - and I don't plan to until Al Gore and Bono practice what they preach and do everything by teleconference while living in mud huts without air conditioning and only eating vegetarian porridge made from wheat grains that naturally dropped to the ground after growing wild in a field somewhere.

Anyway, defining "fairly" is certainly an issue in any free-market transaction.  Is it fair that my husband (1/5 of the residents of our house) eats about 1/3 the food that comes into this house?  Yes - he's the main provider and he's also probably the largest percentage of body mass in the house.  However, if we take the points of people like you mentioned, he would not be entitled to the amount of food he eats.

Tortured explanation, but you see what I mean?  They're completely unwilling to look at the equation using anything other than their preferred math formula, and that just irritates me.

Posted by: airforcewife at August 16, 2009 11:32 AM (CDkfD)

7

Thanks, Sarah. Doesn't work on my old laptop, but works fine on the new $340 netbook. Here's the Orwell quote:

"Our civilization, pace Chesterton, is founded on coal, more completely than one realizes until one stops to think about it. The machines that keep us alive, and the machines that make machines, are all directly or indirectly dependent upon coal. In the metabolism of the Western world the coal-miner is second in importance only to the man who ploughs the soil. He is a sort of caryatid upon whose shoulders nearly everything that is not grimy is supported."

Orwell was a socialist (also an asthmatic, which meant coal-burning must have caused him considerable difficulty), but he understood that a society needs energy. I can't imagine modern "progressives" showing the kind of appreciation to offshore oil platform workers that Orwell showed to coal miners.

Boone Pickens has extensive natural gas interests, and his energy ideas involve a combination of nat gas and wind. Does he object to the US using a disproportionate share of the world's nat gas?

 

Posted by: david foster at August 16, 2009 12:19 PM (uWlpq)

8 This is what I don't like about good ole boy T. Booooooooone. So easy for him to lecture after he's made his billion fortune off of it. He sure didn't seem to mind us paying for oil when he was building a lifestyle for himself - which was fair because he was providing a service which in turn weeeee little Americans were paying for (willingly).  People like him act like we are pillaging the earth without anything in return. But we return for our usage things like money that help pay for jobs, benefits, and other growth of industry. And at least we adhere to some pollution standards with our fossil fuel usage, unlike say oh, China, India and I'm sure T.Boooooone's new favorite Venezuela.

Also, it irks me when people talk about 'Blood for Oil' and don't bother to look up the fact that the US only gets 6% of oil from Iraq - less than the amount we get from Mexico. We get the most crude oil  AND petroleum from Canada. I don't hear T.Boooone crapping on the people of Canada for selling the oil to the US.

How come when it comes to 'addicted to tobacco' the evil doers are the tobacco companies, but when it comes to 'addicted to oil' the evil doers are pegged as the end user????

The thing I think is that T.Booone is trying to make another billion off of the scam of global warming. The demand for oil while still high, is now at the same level as the demand for the mythical 'green' energy eurphoria that comes with building things like wind farms. Why do you think T.Boone isn't for nuclear plants (which costs around $5/kilowatt hour) but is for wind farms which cost more to build and cost more to use the energy produced by them (around $15/kilowatt hour). He's another Goracle - raking in the millions while shielding himself as the Piped Piper of 'Clean' Energy.

Posted by: bdol78 at August 17, 2009 02:11 PM (W3XUk)

9

I couldn't agree more.  I'm finding that lately I agree with you more than I have in the past.

Totally unrelated, I'm glad we're seeing an ultrasound picture. And I'm super glad you've got morning sickness ;-)

Posted by: Sara at August 18, 2009 08:48 PM (F8fYH)

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