Endless spiral of waste?

Driving home from one of my jobs today, I saw the trucks and the machines and the rollers working to make sure that we have some good goddamned concrete on which to roll our fossil-fuel burners.

I imagine that this process of repaving a highway takes a shit-ton of energy.

Kickass.

I started to wonder what would happen if we didn’t solve our energy problems and if cars went to shit. Nobody could drive.

The self-inflicted punch to the nuts could be that all the maintenance of the the transportation infrastruture turns out to be a complete fucking waste. No cars = no need for highways. And we got a shitload of highways and we want even more. Who hasn’t wanted her own personal exit ramp?

Imagine all these cars rusting to nothing. Well, that’s what they’re gonna do. And every time I get in my piece of shit that I call a truck, I think about how your goddamned car is going to probably be worthless in 10-15 years. And then I feel better.

Yeah, keep praying for Baby Jesus to make more oil, you idiot. We’re not getting it. And unless you can get some sort of conversion going for our current engines–plus the new technology we so desperately need– these cars will be basically worthless.

If we can’t make personal transportation a part of the long-term, we’re really fucking ourselves right now.

Damnit.

MC Spanky McGee

To the Americans:

Bush says Saudi oil increase ‘doesn’t solve our problem’

But Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said Friday it had decided a week before Bush’s visit to raise production by 300,000 barrels a day to 9.45 million barrels a day and didn’t see any need to do more. Energy analysts called the boost a token — it represents just 3 percent of the total — and it was seen as a rebuff, if a gentle one, of Bush by Abdullah.

Still, the president steered clear of criticism of the Saudis. He noted they are increasing refining capacity as well as pumping more oil.

“It’s not enough. It’s something but it doesn’t solve our problem,” Bush said. “One of the interesting things about American politics is, those who are screaming the loudest for increased production from Saudi Arabia are the very same people who are the fighting the fiercest against domestic exploration, against the development of nuclear power and against expanding refining capacity.” “

Listen up, people. Stop whining about the damned price of oil. We are responsible for its price. It’s simple–it’s called supply and demand. The economic solution is to consume less oil. Recycle your goddamned plastic Diet Coke bottle, turn off your lights, and ride a bike or the bus. Use less energy, and lower prices will surely follow.

-MC Spanky McGee

Bush: “Gas is gonna cost what???”

Bush finds out about $4 gas forecasts

President Bush, saying he was unaware of predictions of $4-a-gallon gasoline in the coming months, told reporters Thursday that the best way to help Americans fend off high prices is for Congress to make his first-term tax cuts permanent.

Bush also criticized Congress, which is considering an $18 billion tax increase for large oil companies.

‘All that’s going to do is make the price even higher,’ he said. ‘We ought to be encouraging investment in oil and gas close to home if we’re trying to mitigate the problems we face.’

Georgie, are you fucking serious? This is totally ridiculous.

1. You weren’t aware of the outlook on the price of gas? Have you been stranded? Is that why you don’t have a clue?

george bush castaway

2. The best way to deal with these prices is a tax cut? Why don’t you push alternate sources of energy? Why not say that we should cut demand?

Because you’re still an oil man.

Just say that we should consume less gas, goddamnit. If demand goes down, so will the price. It’s really easy.

-MC Spanky McGee

Global warming is not the issue here, dude. A new argument for cutting emissions.

Well, maybe it’s new.

Let’s get some things out in the open here. I accept the old arguments for the conclusion that global warming is occurring and that it is caused by humans. Ok–I feel better.

We could wrangle over the data and findings, and nay-sayers will tell you that it’s possible that the warming is not occurring or it’s not being caused by us. However, we can skip this debate and use a much better argument that should have the exact same consequences if we had all accepted the old argument for the conclusion that we should curtail our carbon emissions. The result should be that nay-sayers will accept the conclusion that thy should conserve energy and switch to renewable sources.
The new argument relies on premises that all sane people accept:

  1. Fossil fuel sources are practically finite, and they are not renewable in a useful way. We use them up at a rate that exponentially exceeds the rate at which dead things turn into oil, for example. In other words, we can’t wait around for new oil to pop up.
  2. As far as I know, nuclear materials fall in the same boat.
  3. As these non-renewable sources become scarcer, their prices will rise, and that rise is not in the self-interest of consumers.
  4. We are going to require energy sources that are renewable at a rate that keeps up with demand. This is also important for economic reasons.
  5. The sun, the wind, and wave power are all good candidates for sources presented in #3, and once the systems are in place, their carbon footprint is greatly smaller than systems relying on fossil fuels, etc. Solar energy, especially, is practically infinite. Of course, the sun will burn out, as I have discussed in OIL ON TITAN? SWEET!
  6. . So it is not absolutely infinite. But it should crank out sunlight as long as we can stick around on this planet, anyway. (And we don’t cloud the atmosphere….)

Though the technology is still in the infant stage, we should research these new systems as much as possible, and implement them as soon as possible.

Concerning 3, we will have to strike a compromise. I’m betting that systems involving solar, wind, etc., will not be able to be able to keep up with projected demand. That means that we will have to reduce demand and conserve. So, we will have to use CFLs, turn out the lights when we leave a room, inflate our tires, drive less, etc.

Here’s the kicker. Once we make the necessary switch to these “renewable” sources, we will find that our carbon emissions will drop anyway. But the new argument relies on relatively uncontroversial premises. Even if carbon emissions drop and the average global temperature happens to keep rising, we will still be in a better economic situation, because fossil fuels and nuclear fuels are practically finite and our reliance on them will become a royal pain in the economic ass.

Bottom line: it’s in everyone’s self-interest to use fossil fuels as little as possible and to make the switch to renewables. Yep–oil companies are going to get hit, but you should keep in mind that they’re going to have to play a new game, anyway. Their oil won’t last forever, and I guarantee you that they are already thinking about new investments.

Duh. They’re not stupid.

-MC Spanky McGee

OIL ON TITAN? SWEET! updated for the modern human.

(Post updated 2/14/2008)

Heh. I commented on Titan’s oil back in November of 2006 (that post is below), and now the news is saying:

Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes. http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMCSUUHJCF_index_0.html

(See also http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/02/titans-organic.html)

Ok, ok. This is very good news for us. Kinda. It depends on what we mean by the word, “us.” Here’s what I’m thinking.

  1. Someday the sun is going to go supernova and engulf the Earth. Fact.
  2. That means that we are going to want to pack up our Taco Bells and get the hell out of here. Thus, the Grand Planetary Hop.
  3. However, (and this is the juicy fun part) not everyone will “qualify” for the GHP. In other words, when the sun swallows Mercury and the Earf heats up, not everybody is going on the rocketship. “This is ground control to Major Tom…. it’s getting very waaaaarm….
  4. Solution? Lottery. “Free” markets. In other words, ya better start a trust fund for your temporally-distant relatives. Don’t say that MC Spanky McGee never got anything right.
  5. Ok, so you’re gonna need tons o’ cash to go. You hit the moon, Mars, and then you’re off to Titan to load up on some sweet rocket fuel. Brrrr.
  6. Have fun getting your ass to Proxima Centauri. http://www.astro.wisc.edu/%7Edolan/constellations/extra/nearest.html “Gonna make it… gonna make it…. not gonna make it”

By the way, if you’re left behind when the supernova is about to occur, I know it’s going to suck. Total chaos. Total anarchy. Sorry we didn’t have the foresight, will, or ability to do ya better.
Peace out.
-MC Spanky McGee


So I’m reading the December 2006 issue of National Geographic last night, la la-la, checking out these kickass pictures of Saturn (I’m a dork. So what?), kinda reading the article about the Cassini and Huygens probes, when I hit page 54. At the top of the page in bigass letters, it quoted Hunter Waite, from the Southwest Research Institute:“THERE’S A LAYER OF FROZEN HYDROCARBONS, SIMILAR TO GASOLINE, COVERING MUCH OF THE MOON [TITAN]. IF YOU COULD MINE TITAN, YOU’D NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT OIL SHORTAGES.”-Sweet! This is going to rock. You can drive 95 after all! We will send a freakin’ huge rocket to Titan, which will take 7 years. We’ll load up on oil, and then we’ll send it back, and wait for 7 more years. Come on, now, don’t wuss out on me. You can wait 14 years for oil so that your ol’ Corvette club can still roll around and listen to Elvis–just for shits and giggles. Of course, this will only please us if we use more oil than we’re getting out of the trip.-
Below: the totally rad moon of Saturn, Titan.
oil_on_titan.jpg

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What is extra-sugary is that National Geographic is in the middle of story about these strange objects in our solar system, and one of the things they highlight is how we could plunder that shit for oil. (Man, I hope there are some life forms on Titan that we can screw over. We have the God-given right to any oil in the solar system.) That’s like talking about a quadratic equation in a math book and then telling the reader that you could apply it to some chicken strips. Sure, Grown Pumpkin thinks about chicken strips a lot, but do you really have to torture the lil’ guy when he’s trying to do his math homework? How can I focus on the pretty pretty rings of Saturn when I start daydreaming about going to the gas station?
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Too bad I’m not gonna be around for the Grand Planetary Hop. Humans are going to be intergalactic oil pirates some day, and I’d be a freakin’ sweet foot soldier in that shit. I just played 3 hours of Gears of War with Pumpkin on his monstrous plasma screen this last weekend. I’m ready to kick some alien-ass.

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Ah, for some reason, I hear Queens of the Stone Age: “GIMME SOME MORE… DEEP FRIED, GIMME SOME MORE!” Now there’s the American motto: “GIMME SOME MORE!”

We soooo rock the house. Beeg time.

Exxon posts record profits…. BULLSHIT! A hose job on you and me.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/01/news/companies/exxon_earnings/index.htm?postversion=2008020111

Exxon Mobil made history on Friday by reporting the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company, boosted in large part by soaring crude prices.

Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said fourth-quarter net income rose 14% to $11.66 billion, or $2.13 per share. The company earned $10.25 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the year-ago period.”

How many times have we been told that the cost of gas is due solely to market forces??? How can the price go up so much, placing so much strain on the average American household, yet Exxon posts the highest profit, ever?

I can hear it now: “It’s because the invisible hand is rewarding them. The market rewards successful businesses.”

I got your invisible hand, right here. The article continues:

“Exxon’s record results, which coincide with smaller rival Chevron’s (CVX, Fortune 500) profit jump, are likely to draw fire from consumer rights groups, who contend the oil industry is deliberately restricting supply and profiting on the back of U.S. motorists.”

You bet your sweet ass Exxon is controlling the supply. Newsflash, people: OIL IS FINITE ON EARTH. IT WILL RUN OUT BEFORE ALL THE CHICKEN AND COW FOSSILS WE CREATE CAN TURN INTO MORE.

No, Baby Jesus will not make more. This fact alone shows you that any oil company will have to deliberately ration their product, so that they can continue to make a profit, near and after the end of oil. They’re not stupid.

That’s why they’re so awesome. They’re loading up now, while they can. If you want to make a killing, you go into oil stocks and futures. Cash prizes.

As for me, I’m thinking big. I’m headed to Titan. “That’s when the big bucks start rollin’ in….”

And then we’ll see who the new King is.

By the way, I filled up at the pump this morning…

-Agent Spanky McGee