Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Irish is up

I was totally planning on making this a post about shit that pissed me off, but Blogger crashed my Firefox earlier today and I had to go to Madison Square Park to lie down and look at the trees and sky and think calming thoughts.

Then when I came back, I wanted to start with the phrase you see there in the headline, and it occurred to me that what this internet really needs is site where one can go to research outdated vernacular, an urban dictionary of anachronisms. Where else would any confused readers go if I made repeated reference to my Irish (or dander, I can never choose) being in a constant state of alertness. It would also come in handy while reading Mark Twain, Gregory Newton Peck or usenet forums debating the use of Jeely Cly vs. Great Honk in The Music Man.

So what was it that pissed me off so much? I'll leave it for another time. But if you want to do some directed reading, go here and circle all the cardinal sins of the Bush administration as you encounter them, then go here and see how long you can go without feeling the need to pour yourself a stiff drink.

(Grist started all this.)


CrimeNotes said...

Hubbert's Peak is no joke and there's a lot of merit to this. It's not just a sop to the coal industry. There will have to be other energy sources too, but I think it's crazy to get angry about this or just to view it as a corporate hand-out.

You can be efficient and you can use vegetable oil. You still need traditional fuels. Also, the carbon byproduct during production isn't necessarily an airborne pollutant. Brian Schweitzer's got plans to bury tons of it.

Maybe you shouldn't get angry about net positives.

Flop said...

Oh, and here I was hoping to drive all my friends to drum circle practice in my Volkswagen that runs on restaurant grease and moonbeams, all the while failing to take Hubbert's Peak seriously! O idealistic naivete, how could you steer me so wrong!

Sarcasm aside, emissions-wise, this can't really be anything but a net neutral at best.

If all the carbon is properly sequestered, then coal-fueled vehicles will add around the same to global warming as petroleum-fueled ones. Possibly more. And that's assuming that the fuel gains widespread acceptance (outside of the guaranteed government purchases), assuming that no matter the costs of injecting it into the ground, such measures will be insisted upon (by the Bush administration, mind you).

If all of that happens, we'll keep polluting at our current, unsustainable rate.

Meanwhile, congress for years has held the power to require that automakers produce more efficient vehicles and hasn't done.

So rather than pursuing the simple, elegant solution that benefits us by reducing emissions and dependence on rapidly dwindling, unsustainable petroleum stocks, we've chosen to pursue a more complicated course of action that only looks to address one of our major problems. And it does so in what I think is probably an unnecessarily expensive and unwise way.

So you're damn right I'm mad. Additionally, we wouldn't even be having this conversation about polluting more and taking money away from more useful purposes (like health care) if the Bush administration hadn't fucked up our situation in the Middle East so badly.

Yet another way in the chances of misery or death for ordinary Americans has increased in the six years or so since "the grown ups" took over.

Thank God Bourbon is a renewable resource.

CrimeNotes said...

This post has triggered several thousand words of back-and-forth e-mails about the relative merits of distilling coal into liquid form. Most of it is not worth public consumption, but I'm proud of my last rhetort:

Tina Yothers was never hot. Recently, she was last seen on Celebrity Fit Club. Adolescence was not kind to her, which was why, for the final three seasons of the show, her role was limited to lines like, "I'll go check on Andy." Then she disappeared for the next 20 minutes. When she lost her shit about the Exxon Valdez it was so earnest and melodramatic to be painful, not unlike your paranoid-style visions of the fallout from liquidating coal.

Check back with me on this in 20 years, if we're not all dead from coal exhaust by then.

Flop said...

You left out the part where I stopped you from changing our name to Coal Slaw Blog and calling people Bit(umen)ey.

Cock D said...

Wow - One week it's sophisticated living; the next it's Peak Oil discussions.

Thank you for being the Buffet Table of the blogosphere.

Flop said...

Here to help, cock d. Here. To. Help.