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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


In what reads like an affirmation of Ron Suskind's book on Paul O'Neill's experiences in Bush's cabinet, we "in what we call the reality-based community," agree with what D. Podborits writes in this essay:
The scariest thing for me here is not the flimsiness and the stupidity of the rebuttal, but the CONFIDENCE and the LACK OF INTEREST IN THE REALITIES OF THE WORLD that they are pronounced with. Even scarier,
however, is that these commentators are smart people with high IQ, regarded throughout the world as authorities in economics. When these two talk, many listen.
Besides the Freakonomics "lesson" of which Podborits opines, I have heard one plaintive cry repeatedly echoed by the rightie media the last few days concerning a potential oil shock.

Refinery Capacity...
...Refinery Capacity
Refinery Capacity...
...Refinery Capacity
Refinery Capacity...
...Refinery Capacity
Refinery Capacity...
...Refinery Capacity
Refinery Capacity...

No matter how many times they say it, they will not convince any realist that refinery capacity alone will come even close to relieving the supply crunch. If actually true, this would put individual petroleum companies in such a short-sighted position regarding their future solvency as to make them laughing stocks. And that would have to happen across the entire oil industry, with any cost/environmental arguments countered by such obvious moves as transferring operational costs through a relocation to Mexico. Why not put refineries in Mexico? After all, the rest of the manufacturing industries have moved there. Answer: Because we can't refine any more oil than the suppliers can pull out of the ground and the actuarians working for the oil industry realize this reality.

A mouth-breather on the local right-wing station had a one word (quite delusional) response for a caller that suggested that China had some impact on supply & demand. He said "Good!", as if this would somehow increase the flow of oil to us. When, oh when, will reality start to bite these people?

Essay find courtesy of Big Gav who has a few more choice comments.

Update: Catching up on Kunstler's blog, of which Dmitri Podborits guest-blogged, Kunstler strangely railed against comedian Harry Shearer and his weekly radio show in a post entitled Harry Shearer's War. Making a bunch of assumptions about Shearer's supposed oil-hungry lifestyle, Kunstler really dug himself a deep hole to no apparent end. Having listened to Shearer a lot over the years, I actually thought about him first when I watched the New Orleans devastation unfold. In the past, Shearer has regularly broadcast from New Orleans and his few guests have invariably hailed from New Orleans. The man obviously loves the town ... and its low-energy but together attitude:
Harry Shearer: "So we right now have way too much emphasis on "I got mine," and way too little emphasis on things that bind communities together.

As I say, I live part-time in New Orleans where there is so much more spirit of community that it puts what goes on in the rest of America kind of in dramatic relief. People aren't different but the circumstances that they are in as living arrangements tend to either push them toward more of that or less of that.

You see a yearning to get more of that again in these Main Street-style malls that are being built, which are trying to summon the semblance or a simulacrum of community without actually the essence of it. So there's clearly a feeling that we need more of this but we don't know how to get it at this point. "Let's all read the same book" is as close as we can come."
So we see that Harry Shearer understands exactly what Kunstler writes about, but that Kunstler does not know this because he happens to listen to a random hour of Shearer's Le Show. Let me clue you in: Its called comedy, Jim.

P.S. If you really want to know the inside dope in New Orleans, go to Harry Shearer's blog at the Huffington Post. You can really get a feel for the mixed emotions and roller-coster ride that only someone intimately familiar with the town would experience.


Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Yeah, Kunstler's imaginary post on Shearer sucked. I guess he has this need to prove he is a curmudgeon from time to time. Certainly, thinking like a novelist in that case.

A novelist who now has a wider stage and forum -- apropos to which, less ranting and more thinking might be in order.

Still, if I were picking a team of grumpy, funny, smart people, he'd be right at the top of my list...

1:08 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

As a result of that post I get to debate someone who thinks peak oil is hysteria and believes Huber (Waste Is Good) is the man to listen to...

6:35 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

I thought you were on vacation?
Run out of gas or something?

11:06 AM  
Professor Blogger jon said...

Surfing some of the Gay blogs today I stumbled onto your blog. I liked it! Thanks for the posts...

8:57 AM  

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