Thursday, July 12, 2012

Frackin' Morons--Redux

It's been hotter than I like it the past few days, so hot I thought about taking the day off from blogging and the internet to spend the day in bed with a full-body ice pack. I don't have a full-body ice pack, so ...

Now, to be honest I have to admit that temperatures in the upper 90sF in SoCal in mid-July is not all that unusual. I'll also admit that the temps here don't compare with the high temperatures of last week in much of the nation. I'm old, however, so I get to kvetch.

Still, the unusual weather the past several months all over the world does give more substance to the already substantial data on climate change, at least to people with more than half a functioning brain. Yet many people still don't get it. They still think we can continue doing what we've done for centuries to provoke the problem. We still depend on fossil fuel, and that, of course, makes the oil cartels and oil companies happy.

David Horsey (whose cartoon heads this post)has a brief but cogent response to this delusion, especially as it pertains to the latest craze, fracking.

A relatively new technology called hydro-fracking is being employed to get at the stuff. Fracking involves pumping huge amounts of water and chemicals into the earth and forcing the oil and gas to the surface. The oil companies, as you might guess, say there is no harm done by this process. Environmentalists claim there is huge potential for pollution. ...

The Keystone XL pipeline project that would deliver the dirty crude from Canada to Houston was to be routed right across the Ogallala Aquifer that underlays a broad area of the Great Plains. President Obama has nixed the plan, at least for now, and Republicans are beating him up for it. They say the pipeline project will create tens of thousands of new jobs and will put America on the path to energy independence.

The Republicans may not have their numbers straight. The State Department, the entity that must give approval to the international project, found that the number of jobs created would only amount to a few thousand temporary jobs and just a few hundred permanent ones. In addition, environmentalists point out that the reason the Canadians want their oil shipped to Houston is so that it can be refined and then shipped abroad. So much for energy independence.

And what does this have to do with the extreme weather we are experiencing? Why is it that climate extremes have tipped from a ratio of one really cold day for one really hot day each year to this year's ratio of seven hots to every cold one? In the words of climate scientists, "This is what global warming looks like." Those climate scientists are also saying, "I told you so." ...

Wise political leaders would be shifting us away from fossil fuels as an energy source because carbon emissions exacerbate the global warming phenomenon. But not only has very little progress been made in that direction, but virtually all Republicans and many Democrats in Congress are determined to exploit the dirtiest reservoirs of oil in the name of energy independence.

That is not independence; that is feeding an addiction.


And yes.



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