I've said elsewhere that this was probably the last election where the Republicans stood a real chance of gaining the American Presidency with a program that mainly appeals to prosperous suburban whites and holds little appeal to most women and almost no appeal at all to racial minorities.
If the GOP is to survive, what do you think it would have to look like? What could it possibly look like?
RE: "I don't mean to come across as cynical, irreverent, and disrespectful of Bush"
Why not? I believe it's a general consensus --
I did not vote for the fellow. After 8 years of painful crap, and revolting details, retiring back to the ranch, surrounded by an unadoring public, seems a just thing.
WMD's were never the issue and they all knew that. There is a crisis of unprecedented proportions coming soon and for there to be any chance of us western powers to come through it we need a toe hold in the middle east. So while i dont like what they did , it is nevertheless completely understandable and i don't think i can blame them for doing what they feel needed to be done. The real issue here is one of survival and when that is the case being ethical or nice is no longer a major consideration.
So, basically, Jason, you're espousing situational ethics?
Not really. I am just being pragmatic. It in no way makes what they did as being ethically right but it does make it understandable. a simple analogy would be if there where two people stuck in a situation where there is only enough water for one of them to survive and make it out of that situation. Now if one murders the other it does not make the murder ethical but it does make hes actions understandable and i would hesitate to blame him for doing so. ( now maybe you would not do that but what if you had to do it to so you and your son or daughter would survive?)Unfortunately in reality our choices are often not between good and bad but between bad and worse.
Oh, please, you're not bringing up that old chestnut "It's all about oil" are you? Between Canadian oil, Mexican oil, and oil from locations outside the Persian Gulf area, we don't need Middle Eastern oil. Oil is a commodity. We buy it from aggregators who sell it in bulk and not "This oil came from Saudi Arabia but that oil came from Venezuela," etc.
The best is mountain-grown Columbian oil, with oil beans hand-picked by Juan Valdez and his faithful burro.
The price of oil has a lot to do with where it comes from. Crude oil found in soft ground, in great quantity, and of a light, sweet texture is cheap. It's easy to bring up and requires less refining. At the opposite end of the dichotomy, crude oil found in tar sand or shale rock is more expensive. It's more difficult to extract, in addition to being thicker and sour, so it requires more refining. Other issues that drive up costs involve directional (slant) drilling to get around rock formations under the ground, or reach under things like international borders, bodies of water, or mountains.
That's the main reason why Big Oil does so much importing. It's cheaper to use "easy oil" from abroad than to use "difficult oil" from domestic sources. Oil from Canada and Venezuela generally is thick and sour. Oil from the middle east tends to be lighter and sweeter.
The image below shows several (but not all) of the "benchmark" oils rated for quality and yield. The size of the dot indicates availability, and the more the dot is placed toward the bottom left, the better the quality and yield.
@Unseen- where is that graph from and what does it show exactly?
Anyway unseen i think you have your heads in the clouds on this issue. But i realize that ignoring facts on an issue of this magnitude is basic human nature. as the german military report on this issue says
"When considering the consequences of peak oil, no everyday experiences and only few historical parallels are at hand. It is therefore difficult to imagine how significant the effects of being gradually deprived of one of our civilization's most important energy sources will be. Psychological barriers cause indisputable facts to be blanked out and lead to almost instinctively refusing to look into this difficult subject in detail."
But maybe i am wrong and you can show me why( i earnestly hope i am dead wrong) but you are going to have to give me more than one graph of indeterminate meaning to make your case. Though i do first advise you to read the 3 reports from the military and government that i link in my post a bit further down before you make your case.
It just seems to be that people who do not accept that there is a very real problem here are basing their arguments mainly on Walt Disney's first law
" wishing will make it so"
The source for the graph is this page on NPR.com.
I'm sorry but I do my own reading assignments. Can you put your counter-argument into a concise sentence or does it just amount to repeating the notion that our interventions in the Persian Gulf area were to secure oil for ourselves.
So i give you links to one US governmental study on peak oil. Another to a US military study on peak oil and lastly a German military study on peak oil to support my argument and you reply with "I'm sorry but I do my own reading assignments." . Tell me how you expect me to make my case on a complex issue if you refuse to look at the findings from reputable sources? And moreover you expect me to make my case in a concise sentence. Tell me do you think that s fair as even if i am 100% correct there is no way i could do that.Now i will make my argument as concise as possible even though i can't do it in a sentence.
Firstly i need with some basic facts and concepts before i can show you why that graph does not give you the full story.
1- Our society and economy needs energy to function. this is basic physics. Now since population is growing and the economy needs to grow it means we need increasing amounts of energy to do so.
2- EROEI. this stands for energy returned on energy invested ie how much energy you need to put in to get energy out.
3- The difference between conventional oil and unconventional oil. conventional oil is the normal sweet oil well we think of. it is easy to get to and it requires minimal processing and so has a high EROEI of around 12:1 upto 18:1. unconventional oil is stuff like tar shale and sands. biodiesel, coal to liquids and gas to liquids. It is alot harder to get to. It requires significantly more capital and time to both mine and process. and so has a far lower EROEI ratio. Tar sands and shale for instance has an EROEI of about 1.5:1 upto 4:1. So even if you technically get the same liter amount of oil out of tar sands as from sweet oil the net energy from it is far lower. This is without even taking into account its inherent production limitations from needing expensive and complicated refineries which take years to build as best, large amounts of natural gas and obscene amounts of fresh water to refine , environmental damage from mining, leftover toxic waste and far higher co2 footprint contributing to global warming.
4- Oil pervades our society as everything from agriculture to transport to plastics and rubber etc etc is dependent on it. when the price of oil goes up the price of everything else also goes up.
5- from points 1, 3 and 4 it follows that unconventional oil is not much help. even if America had enough tar sands, factories, natural gas and water( not to mention had no worry about its myriad environmental damages) to produce all of its oil appeared tomorrow it would not be a real substitute as the net energy from it is far below the net energy from conventional oil. This would take the form of massive price hikes across every aspect of our economy. this would create a feedback loop causing the oil price to increase until the economy crashed.
6- the arab league produces about 40% of global conventional oil and has about 50% of conventional oil reserves.
7- it is extremely likely that the world as a whole has already reached peak conventional oil and by 2015 demand will outstrip supply of all oil liquids ( both conventional and unconventional) by 10 million barrels a day. this is in the US military report from 2010 i linked and is echoed in myriad other places. even the most optimistic estimates from the international energy agency says this will happen at the latest in 2020.
9- The only thing keeping unconventional oil prices down is the fact that around 85% of our oil still comes from conventional sources
10- The average decline of oil fields past peak is around 4-6% per year(International energy agency estimate from a study of the largest 800 oil feilds)
11- as the population and economies of oil producing countries past peak oil grow ( not to mention as a number of them become more industrialized and want the american way of life) they need more oil for themselves reducing the amount they will be willing to export
Ok now to your graph.lets start with
1- America with 38.8%. now realize America hit peak oil in 1973 and every year the amount of conventional oil America pulls out the ground decreases.
2- canada - again reached peak oil in the mid 1970's and is only being propped up by unconventional oil production
3-mexico- peaked in 2004 and is now in decline
4- Venezuela- most of its oil is heavy crude and production there has gone down in recent years. This is more because of production capabilities than having peaked at all
5- Nigeria - has not peaked yet though it does suffer from alot of other problems
So you can see that graph does not give the full story
And so you believe that we were/are in the Persian Gulf for oil? If you think you evidence leads to that conclusion, what are the missing premises in your argument? Oil is bought on a commodities market and where the oil comes from one simply does not know at the time of purchase.