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View Diary: All of the Gulf of Mexico Just Got Sold. (48 comments)

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  •  Eventually... (1+ / 0-)
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    We're going to use all of the available fossil fuels.

    No kidding. We're going to use them all. Every last drop of oil, every lump of coal. Strategic oil reserves and everything else.

    It's the speed at which we do that that is the ultimate question. The faster we burn that stuff (and biofuels, same thing, more free carbon), the worse off we are.

    But the solution isn't to ban new oil leases. It's to ban the licensing of new coal-fired electric power plants. It's to put rational programs in place to substitute solar/wind/tidal (and yes, nuclear) energy whenever and whereever possible.

    However, with or without, human civilization will do just fine for the foreseeable future. Oh sure, people with seaside properties will have to learn to swim from their living rooms to their bedrooms, but there's no existential crisis going on here.

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

    by kmiddle on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:40:26 PM PST

    •  We might be smart enough to prevent new coal (4+ / 0-)

      power plants here but we're definitely dumb enough to dig up our coal and ship it to China. There's an estimated 1000 years of coal in the mountainous west. We can't wait for that to be used up here or overseas.

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:26:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, coal is getting rocked by natural gas (3+ / 0-)
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        ontheleftcoast, SolarMom, RLMiller

        At the moment, there's nothing regulation could do apart from outright banning coal-fired power plants to keep the momentum going faster. Coal-fired power plants are retiring at a clip as natural gas is the sprightly new kid on the block putting the old, dirty bird of coal to rest (at least until--though not in an apparent near term future--coal has a better ROI than gas.) Extraction of rich, easily accessible coal is becoming less economically viable while there's a huge glut of natural gas. Even then, areas like Kentucky, West Virginia, and western Virginia voted for Romney in a passion of white hot fury over Obama, in part because of this "war on coal" that isn't so.

        But as enablers of China, the exports is our ticket to hell, being that emissions started a very steep and dramatic climb around 2001 when China and India's economies went gangbusters. Even though Americans are getting the clue, I don't think it's plainly obvious enough just how fucked our future is getting. It hasn't gotten the tangible, personal evidence until storms like Sandy and the Great Heat Waves and Drought of 2012 came to clear focus.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

        by rovertheoctopus on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:58:41 PM PST

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