Friday, January 1, 2010

"Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America . . ."

Who do we blame when we're looking for ways to reduce complex, multi-variate, living systems to soundbites & platitudes?

The scapegoats, of course!

These rascally scapegoats always seem to be the ones to which simplistic, ideologically-driven explanations will adequately apply.

In the case of the forward-forward-forward email that Seth alerted me to (produced below for your reference), it's those dastardly "environmentalists" and the evil, catch-all "others" who are standing in the way of American progress.

You'll find Seth's reply to this email in a comment to this blog post. He approaches the substance of the email with the logic that when a system in equilibrium receives a quantitatively significant amount of input, the laws of physics tell us that the system will go through a transition period before settling in to another, different, state of equilibrium. In the case of the Earth and CO2, the new state of equilibrium that we may possibly see could involve the inability to sustain human life, or at least human life as we've known it. As soon as ideologically-driven climate change denialists come around to understanding this and wanting to join the rest of us in finding solutions, we'll all be much better off.

I welcome your comments! I'm particularly interested in comments that include references and links to concrete examples of the many, many, many ways that "environmentalists" are actively involved in finding ways not only to decrease our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, but from petroleum products as a source of energy altogether (such as biofuels, wind generation, wave generation, efficiency, electric vehicles, increasing CAFE standards, etc. etc.).

This evidence may help people move beyond trying to find scapegoats.


Here's the forward-forward-forward email, edited for length while retaining substance:

About 6 months ago I was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. was the guest. . . . The host said to Forbes, ". . . how much oil does the U.S. have in the ground[?]" . . . [the Forbes representative] said, "more than all the Middle East put together."

The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming . . . It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana . . .

The Bakken [oil field] is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska 's Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable, at $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.

“This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. . . . the “Big Oil” companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves, and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels [that] will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! . . . enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.

And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because it's from TWO YEARS AGO!

“U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World!” (Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006)

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?

They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

- 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
- 18-times as much oil as Iraq
- 21-times as much oil as Kuwait
- 22-times as much oil as Iran
- 500-times as much oil as Yemen
and it's all right here in the Western United States .

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.....WHY? [Italics & bolding mine]

Don't think OPEC will drop its price - even with this find? Think again! It's all about the competitive marketplace, it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists? [Of course, a conspiracy! Italics & bolding mine]

Got your attention/ire up yet? Hope so! Now, while you're thinking about it .... and hopefully P.O'd, do this:

Pass this along. If you don't take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you want to complain about gas prices, because by doing NOTHING, you've forfeited your right to complain

Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent this to every one in your address book. By the way...this is all true. Check it out at the link



  1. Here's Seth's reply, from the email:

    The Bakken oil discovery is real. It seems to, now, be a recoverable (profitable) energy source.

    Couple of things that in my opinion would prevent or detract from developing it.

    1. No infrastructure in that region to process or trans-ship the oil. Would take between 8 - 10 years to get the field into production and oil to market. Why not use our natural resources, capital investments and precious time to become better at using energy and developing other energy sources that would prevent item 2?

    2. It's petroleum that's currently stored underground (sequestered) and when used as a fuel will release hundreds of millions of years worth of sequestered carbon dioxide into the very thin layer (biosphere) around the surface of the earth that we live within.

    Not saying that Carbon dioxide is causing global warming or cooling or whatever the current science/media hype is calling it. The problem is that we don't know what massive, short time frame, carbon dioxide emissions will do because we don't understand the thin atmosphere, ocean and earth layer (biosphere) that allows life to flourish on this planet.

    Currently we don't understand the biosphere enough to predict local weather, not to mention global weather, and yet we are willing to pump large amounts of gas that we know have a large "potential" to cause great changes.

    My argument against further use of sequestered carbon based energy sources (fossil fuels) is that we can't afford to experiment with the only place we know we can live in this solar system and galaxy (The Milkyway). A grand uncontrolled experiment on the entire planet is what we are currently living. We will be pushing that grand experiment to a higher level by further developing cheap fossil energy sources before knowing more about the biosphere and how it functions over time.

    Fossil hydrocarbons (petroleum, natural gas and coal) should be used for specific processes and products (that don't release excess heat or carbon) not for current methods of energy production.

    Call and write your senators and representatives that energy reform is necessary.

    I have no doubt the earth will survive this grand uncontrolled experiment but will humans (grandchildren) survive and flourish?

  2. If anyone is interested in the science of climate study and what is scientifically accepted (peer reviewed) see the NOAA (national oceanic atmospheric administration) site below.

    Describes very well, with regard to climate, what is known and how well it is known.

    In general regarding information on the internet and definitely with regard to BLOGS, if it's not a peer reviewed article or a summary accurately following and citing peer reviewed sources take it with a grain of salt.
    The information at the above site is fully peer reviewed with direct links to cited peer reviewed research and articles.


  3. In the late '60s, early '70s I interviewed two Newport, OR women who were trying to initiate a recycling program there. The article...and the women...were met with ridicule and laughter. No one called them "environmentalists" but they were certainly considered "radical." Now we have bloggers, "scientists" and "conspiracy theorists" hammering away at us. With the information overload and the difficulty in determining what is true and what is political garbage, perhaps even "conspiracy", life has become so complicated that many (most?) people are just checking out and watching "reality" TV. But, I wonder, if we are not in danger of destroying our own environment here on Earth, why is there such a push to populate Mars or even the "hole" on the moon? Thank you, James and Seth, for keeping the conversation going in an attempt to find not only the truth, but the best way to survive and preserve the Earth for future generations.

  4. Another friend offered this reply to me via email:

    "I looked up stuff on the bakken oil fields and there was analysis to the contrary. had info [here] that said it was much smaller than what was indicated by the USGS reports. Don't know what's correct, but burning vegetable oil in cars and trucks still makes really good sense. Veggie oil!"