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Monday, November 19, 2007

Highlights of low-lifes

I haven't a clue how The Special Ed got invited to a Chevron and API (American Petroleum Institute) sponsored session on oil technology and energy policy.
API has underwritten Edward Morrissey’s travel expenses to attend the Chevron location tour in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas. Edward is not required to blog about API initiatives. The only requirement as a condition of underwriting these expenses was to include this disclosure of this relationship on his blog.
Not that I would ever want to attend such a propaganda-filled event, but clearly the API and Chevron cherry-picked the slovenly right-wing blogosphere, primarily for their spectacular failure to report on anything related to the negative aspects of oil depletion. Even though Ed blogs at a diarrhea-ic rate daily (and he pops up a yakkity-yak audio feed to boot!), he and his cohorts have referenced peak oil rarely, the only significant time within the past month (10/22/2007) here:
It's nothing more than scaremongering, something at which the Peak Oil advocates excel.

Many different issues can cause production declines other than a reduction in the resource. War can impact production, as can political instability. One major producer, Iran, has significant economic sanctions against it that impacts their production capacity. Another producer, Venezuela, has conducted a nationalization policy that has also reduced its overall production. Producers that form cartels such as OPEC artificially set production levels for economic purposes, which renders these declines as analytically unreliable for purposes of determining resource availability.

It also doesn't account for the willful lack of production where known resources exist. That primarily applies to the US, where reserves exist on both coasts and in Alaska that we refuse to touch. We could deflate global oil prices and get more energy independence in the near- and mid-term simply by pumping our own crude. The US refuses to do so, however, for reasons of politics and not of potential supply.
Ed obviously did a bit of pimping to prepare for his fancy trip. After his special prom date he hasn't said much either, apart from some rather tepid live blogging. I don't claim to find anything new in making this observation, as his fellow bloggers at the Northern Axis Radio Network haven't mentioned peak oil much either. For example, I estimated that the fellow Axis-members, the Powerline bloggers never mentioned "peak oil" a few years ago, and still don't talk about it.

And the honorary member of the Axis, Hugh "Spew Spewitt" Hewitt of the larger encompassing ClownHall consortium had this exchange today during a long radio interview with propagandist Ahmed Chalabi when he claimed :
AC: I think Iraq is the only country in the world now that can actually produce 8 million barrels of oil a day from here until the end of the century. Iraq is rich. Iraq also has a very, very competent and smart population. We have high levels…(Call dropped)

- - (pop) - -

HH: Dr. Chalabi, when we got cut off, you were saying that Iraq is a rich country, capable of producing 8 million barrels of oil a day from now until the end of the century. What’s the implication of that for Iraq ten years from now, and for America’s role there? ..... (my emphasis since they rubbed it in)
Hewitt apparently accepted the claim in keeping with the prevailing right-wing attitudes, and the master salesman Chalabi closed the deal on the sucker.

After confronting this kind of blindered, blinkered attitude from the right daily, I tend to agree with the philosophy submitted by thereisnospoon at DailyKos. In a diary entitled "It's the Existential Threat to Conservatism, Stupid!", spoon uses arguments of the global warming denialists
the need to take anthropogenic climate change seriously is a threat to the entire premise of modern conservative thought--specifically regarding the deification of untrammelled free markets.
This essentially blends right into the oil depletion iceberg that similarly threatens the free-market Titanic.

I tend to think that the insular nature of the Northern Axis and Clown Hall membership also tends to create an incestuous spiral into like-minded thinking that, for me at least, raises some intriguing perspectives. In particular, the narrow insularity they exhibit lead me to the realization that the brain-trust of The Oil Drum has quite an open, and largely global, representation. Khebab, Euan Mearns, Stuart Staniford, Luís de Sousa, Rembrandt Koppelaar, and the TOD ownership and the spin-offs (with Big Gav hosting a down-under TOD), truly open up the discussion and prevents the blind acceptance of existential threats that the entire right-wing furtively prepare for while in their own patriotic clown huddle.



I guarantee a guest post to The Oil Drum before the end of the week. Khebab kindly notified me that an updated summary of the latest and greatest depletion modeling could prove useful. I'm tempted to title the post "Existential Threats: Proven Real, Deal With It".

6 Comments:

Professor Blogger Step Back said...

Making fun of them (the blinkered right brains) is not going to get you anywhere.

It's like making fun of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

There will always be "right-thinking" people in the human race.

Get used to it. Start understanding how they think rather than just funning with them.

Modeling the right-wing brain is no different than modeling production out of an oil well. Like URR, there are certain constraints that just won't change.

A right brainer is always the special prime cut out of the steer's rear end. He is going to win out in the end because the deity chose him/her to be the survivor, the winner, no matter how bad things get and no matter how apocalyptic Peak Oil (or whatever) is for the lower rungs of humanity.

You see, like Noah's flood, PO is actually a good thing. It's going to weed out the trash from the human race. The righteous right will always rise like cream to the top of the half empty milk bottle no matter how cruddy things get for those at the bottom. Don't you see it?

If you want to connect with them, you have to explain to them that the illegal immigrant janitors won't be able to afford to come to their McMansions to clean up the mess for $3 an hour. Only then will they "get it".

2:13 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

I know how they think. And because they think the way they do, they won't read many of these rants in any case. Sometimes I wish I could do this at work :)

10:42 PM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

I enjoy your rants anyway - while its tempting to do them at work, I understand why you just grit your teeth.

I've just been smugly grinning at the Rodent fan who sits next to me this week :-)

As for the API propaganda event, it wasn't just Mr Ed who got to go, TOD had a representative too :

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3278

4:45 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Oh - one more thing - I wish you guys would distinguish between "the right" and "conservatives".

Technically speaking, I'm of "the right" in many ways (the dreaded free marketeers that is, not the left brain types - see the link below, my meaning is different to professor Step Back's - craving for order and authority who infest the airwaves).

http://neuropolitics.org/Conservative-Left-Brain-Liberal-Right-Brain.htm

I'm going to have to quote von Hayek's "Why I'm not a conservative" thing a few more times I think...

4:52 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

On closer inspection (once again teaching me to think before typing) Gail went to a different, but similar, event.

How many of these things are the API running ?

Maybe if they send me to the Caribbean for a while I might find a way to say nice things about the hydrocarbon industry occasionally :-)

5:02 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Thanks, I picked up on Gail's trip right away. I posted a comment at TOD yesterday.

I should stop calling this class as Right or Conservatives, just call'em pinheads.

6:46 PM  

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