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June 21, 2010

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If Obama told the truth about the predicament we're in, he'd definitely be a one-term president.

M. Carlson:

Exactly.

Rogue:

"We care about the poor birds and fish being killed by the oil spill. But not enough to give up our cars."

Exactly, as well. I am impressed that you are able to write about that spill - even if only peripherally. I've been paralyzed, and that quote about the cars is my specific sticking point. I feel like my lede should be: "If you still drive a car, then can the complaints about the spill." Which is not a smart lede for a C-list blogger who is trying to *not* alienate the majority of potential readers. Who mostly all drive cars.

But that's, um, the way it is.

Assume for a moment that Obama was the president of our dreams. He both told the truth and he laid out plans to take us from national entropy to a newly competitive and energy-smart future. Not only would he be a one-term president, he would be laughed off the national stage.

The scandal of our nation is that we are stupid with cleverness. We are equal parts David Brooks and Nancy Grace. We can't imagine a future that doesn't look pretty much like today, nor would we want to. Houses must get bigger and cars will get faster. That's the American Dream in all its infantile glory. Verrado, anyone?

I assume, unlike Kunstler and Orlov, that we'll muddle through. Things will gradually grow worse but not apocalyptically so. Still, to survey what passes for the national discourse is to understand just how grim our national project has become. Come November, with Republicans resurgent, we'll gladly bow to the wisdom of Suburban Man: tax cuts for the rich! The underclass, segregated in decaying central cities and inner-ring suburbs, shall eat day-old cake.

Where is the great man, the new Reagan, who shall restore Mayberry, but this time with granite-countertops and master-suites the size of a pre-war pied-a-terre? Jesus knows that we deserve to be rich but doubters don't believe. They want to preserve wilderness and put a tax on carbon. Where are the real Americans who will stop them?

"When the roof finally falls in,..."
That's a pretty bold penult.

A few walls still stand between us and our neighbors, but mid-century minds hold us paralyzed and exposed to the the dark clouds gathering above. As we stare up at the storm and dream of new shelter, the sinkhole opens . . .

Less than a year after calling Pompey and the Roman Senate, "wimps", Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon and ended the remnants of the Roman Republic.

That's the way it was.

Soleri writes "Where are the real Americans....."

I don't know, Soleri, I can't find them. I think they all may be on Facebook, or too busy texting to notice the bigger picture. After all, if your entire focus is on the fact that your BFF(Best Friend Forever) is just finishing her bowl of cereal and is walking the bowl to the sink, you don't have a wide enough view of the world to notice that the fiber and infrastructure of your country is collapsing around you. I try and I try to find living beings in my community to have intelligent conversations concerning issues that concern us, and I can't find them. It's kind of lonely. Makes you want to maybe try Facebook and look for a BFFWAB, (Best Friend Forever With a Brain)

Omygod AZREBEL, don't do that!! Go to a Tea Party; the people there understand that the world around them is falling apart. Surely, surely you will find like minds to talk with. OK, now I've asked for it: Emil will crucify me for this post, and Jon will have to molify him.

So be it.

p.s. there will be a Tea Party in Douglas, AZ, 7/17, at the 10h Ave. Park - noon to 3pm. I've just spent six hours talking with ranchers & residents in the area. They know that Obama is lying about Kyl's amnesty report to Arizonians, or as most of you believe, Neanderthals.

terry,
Very grateful for your concern. I'm a coffee drinker. Tea drinkers are sissies.

Regards,

AZREBEL

So did we get the government that we deserved, or did the government pave the way for this shit storm, or both?

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Tar sands are not going to yield inexpensive gasoline."

Well, it depends on what you call inexpensive. Is gas inexpensive now? Not relative to a dollar a gallon, but I don't see anyone seriously predicting the end of civilization as we know it because the average cost today is $2.75 a gallon in the United States.

As of 2006 half of Canada's petroleum production was from tar sands. Canada supplies 21 percent of American oil imports and this margin (relative to its nearest competitors among U.S. oil suppliers) has increased and is expected to continue doing so, precisely because tar sands are a huge resource and because production has more than offset decline in Canada's conventional oil production and continues to grow. At present, Canada exports 99 percent of its oil to the United States. It's a stable, friendly country. Given all this, do you expect tar sands oil to become MORE expensive?

At present, the production cost per barrel of Canadian tar sands oil hovers between $25 and $30 per barrel. With oil currently trading at $77 per barrel, that's more than enough of a margin to be profitable. Both investment in and production from tar sands are ramping up. A single company alone, Canadian Natural Resources, expects to produce produce 40 million barrels of light, sweet, synthetic crude per year by 2017. It has three heavy oil projects in Canada that will come online between 2011 and 2023 which are expected to produce another 210,000 barrels per DAY. That's another 76 million barrels of oil per year. That's from a single company.

http://www.checkthemarkets.com/index.php?Itemid=40&id=657&option=com_content&task=view

Also, check out pages 14-21 of this EIA slide presentation (from a 2005 speech):

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/speeches/Caruso061305.pdf

" At present, Canada exports 99 percent of its oil to the United States."

Sorry, this is confusingly phrased. I meant, of course, that 99 percent of Canada's oil exports go to the United States.

Emil,

You are way, way smarter than I will ever be, but may I respectfully ask: are you implying that by allowing the oil to soak into our beach sand, we are actually storing oil for future use?

Also, and I ask this with great respect for your knowledge and constant enlightenment , may I get an answer in 50 words or less. Just playing with you my friend. However, if you do answer in 50 words or less, I will arrange with Rogue to deliver to your house a brand new, unopened bottle of Jack Daniels for your continued health and prosperity.

AZREB

AZREB, not Emil but I might be able to help you with tar sand information. And by the way, great posts you have I always get a laugh and enjoy reading your comments.

From the Bureau of Land Management concerning tar sands and oil shale:

"The United States holds the world’s largest known concentration of oil shale. Nearly five times the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia underlies a surface area of 16,000 square miles. The enormous potential of this domestic resource is a key to the Nation’s energy security and economic strength, and to the quality of life Americans enjoy today and hope to ensure for future generations.

More than 70 percent of American oil shale — including the thickest and richest deposits — lies on federal land, primarily in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. These federal lands contain an estimated 1.23 trillion barrels of oil — more than 50 times the nation's proven conventional oil reserves.

More than 50 tar sands deposits are found in eastern Utah, containing an estimated 12 to 19 billion barrels of oil. As oil prices rise, there is new interest in developing both of these domestic resources.

The BLM is working to ensure that development of federal oil shale and tar sands resources will be economically sustainable and environmentally responsible."

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oilshale_2.html

OH, and AZREBEL, I highly doubt Emil was advocating letting any oil soak into the beach sand.

Just curious but did you mean the oil soaking into the beach sand due to the BP horror in the Gulf of Mexico?

Note that there's a big difference between oil sands (aka tar sands) and oil shales:

"OIL SHALES: A huge in-place kerogen resource...but the technology to economically produce large quantities of synthetic oil from them does not exist and is not likely to in the next few decades."

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/speeches/Caruso061305.pdf

This is in contrast to Canadian bitumen (tar sands):

"There's no finding risk (or cost).
Commercial production is happening (and accelerating). The achievable recovery factors and the production costs are mostly technology-driven."

AZREB,

No. Send Jack.

Hey, you can't put in an 80+ word comment, then add the short response. However, I will go to Rogue for a ruling and will gladly get the bottle on the way. I don't think I mentioned size of bottle or whether the bottle had been opened previously, but I will strive to get it to you as factory fresh as possible.

Regards,

AZREB


OK Rogue, your ruling , please.

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