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Have you lost your faith in Americas ability to turn around?

bennyhill

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Im addressing this thread to the BP oil leak and Obamas decision to make changes in energy policy. I dont beleive him that he wants to drill less or reduce energy dependence on fossil fuels/ atomic energy in the short term, say 15 years.

It wouldnt be difficut for americans to consume less energy, compared to european consumption. It would require a mentality change, which one cannot expect. Grown-up on cheap oil, americans expect oil to remain cheap.

In Gemrany we pay 1.54€ per liter, thats about $1,94 per liter and you tank in gallons. The main difference I think is that we are taxed to death on gas. I once heard that 80% of the price of our gasoline is tax. Unfortunately this doesnt go to keep highways maintained or invent better alternative energies but into the government hole. All the same we are ahead on driving smaller cars which get better gas milage.
 

ecofarm

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We've heard promises of energy reform since Nixon. The promise is decades old. I'm not expecting the revolution tomorrow.

When I was in Europe (2000-2003 and 2006 for a conference), gas was twice the cost as in the US (almost exactly). This was true in every European city I visited. Gas was also twice the cost in Kenya and Tanzania, but not in Ecuador... natural gas deposits (and Venezuela) keeping fuel cheap there.

Yes, it is because of taxes (that are supposed to off-set externalities). Side note: Europe protects the airline industries and airplanes do not pay the same taxes on fuel (keeping their flight costs comparable to the US).

But it looks like the US will be catching up soon, if due to costs and not taxes then Europe is in for some serious gas prices. IIRC, our projection for a price doubling in the coming years is not based on new taxes, but simple cost increase - so Europe should be expecting gas prices to double as well.

We should mention that the best way to reduce personal oil consumption is to stop eating meat. Eating meat emits more CO2 than driving a Humvee.


ps. Your sig is juvenile.
 
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bennyhill

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If you beleive in supply side economics, then oil has to increase in cost as consumption increases. And the cost of drilling in the Gulf is higher as in Saudia Arabia because the oil is not as deep and dangerous. So yes gas will double and quaddripple in price as time goes along forceing all governments to invest in green alternative energies.
 

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Im addressing this thread to the BP oil leak and Obamas decision to make changes in energy policy. I dont beleive him that he wants to drill less or reduce energy dependence on fossil fuels/ atomic energy in the short term, say 15 years.

It wouldnt be difficut for americans to consume less energy, compared to european consumption. It would require a mentality change, which one cannot expect. Grown-up on cheap oil, americans expect oil to remain cheap.

In Gemrany we pay 1.54€ per liter, thats about $1,94 per liter and you tank in gallons. The main difference I think is that we are taxed to death on gas. I once heard that 80% of the price of our gasoline is tax. Unfortunately this doesnt go to keep highways maintained or invent better alternative energies but into the government hole. All the same we are ahead on driving smaller cars which get better gas milage.
You bring up "energy" and only discuss the cost of petrol?

What would it take for our entire country to consumer less energy - not *just* petrol or *just* the oil used in producing things such as wax and plastic, but overall - what would it take?
Drive less? Buy energy efficient appliances (washing machine, dishwasher, water heater)? Even hand wash 3 loads of dishes a week instead of use the dishwasher? Set your AC at 80? Walk or bike when you can instead of drive? Move closer to your work, places of pleasure in order to drive less?

Have things improved - at all? For the last, maybe, 5 years I've heard the same statistics tossed around - has it changed at all? How is this year compared to 2 years ago - and 4 years ago?

I feel that such change is absolutely possible throughout the entire US. In some areas it's been the norm for years - socially, culturally influenced, instilled in policy, required by law (such as with California). In other areas it's not really gaining traction quickly, but it eventually will. In some areas it's not necessary at all - in others it's more than necessary yet non-existent . . . yet, in others, it's necessary and is in heavy swing . . . and so on.

How are we consuming energy compared to Europe, since you brought it up? Why is there a difference? Can it be connected to landscape and location? Europe on a whole isn't the same - just like the US - it's large, multi-cultural and multi-faceted. One area might be keen on environmental issues, while another is not.

so - it's far beyond *just the cost of gas* or *how far do you drive* - auto-issues are just a small portion of the whole energy debate.


ecofarm said:
We should mention that the best way to reduce personal oil consumption is to stop eating meat. Eating meat emits more CO2 than driving a Humvee.
Please provide a statistic for that - from a non-biased source.
 
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ecofarm

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Pound for pound, beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken. For potatoes, the multiplier is 57.

Beef consumption is rising rapidly, both as population increases and as people eat more meat.

Producing the annual beef diet of the average American emits as much greenhouse gas as a car driven more than 1,800 miles...

according to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry.
How Meat Contributes to Global Warming: Scientific American


IIRC correctly, the Humvee comment I was refering to was in comparison to driving a regular car.


We need to consider that synthetic fertilizer is basically just oil, the pesticides are pretty much just oil (energy to synthesize) and most of the harvest is via machinery. And stuff that goes with most food: We need to consider transportation of the food to you. Then there are disposal issues for any packaging (which also costs oil). Plus refridgeration in transit and while on the shelf.

Let's not even talk about the water inefficiency of beef production, it is staggering.


Getting protein from beans requires alot less of all of the above (especially if organic and local). Plus no torture and murder.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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How Meat Contributes to Global Warming: Scientific American


IIRC correctly, the Humvee comment I was refering to was in comparison to driving a regular car.


We need to consider that synthetic fertilizer is basically just oil, the pesticides are pretty much just oil (energy to synthesize) and most of the harvest is via machinery. And stuff that goes with most food: We need to consider transportation of the food to you. Then there are disposal issues for any packaging (which also costs oil). Plus refridgeration in transit and while on the self.

Let's not even talk about the water inefficiency of beef production, it is staggering.


Getting protein from beans requires alot less of all of the above (especially if organic and local). Plus no torture and murder.
It's an incomplete article requireing a paid subscription to read the entire thing . . . have a different source?

I *assume* from what I did read is that the issue is on the factory-production end? I fail to see how a farm could cause this issue - or a meat market which receives the meat, breaks it down and packages it - sells it fresh.

So, per this, I'm not worried about it. I either shop at a meat market - which has no factory-leg to the operation - or purchase it locally from farmers in town. it's far cheaper that way - and far fresher. I haven't bought it at a grocery store in years, it's always very expensive and dressed up to stay red.

Though I've read things about it - I know that they try to focus on using fertilizers to feed cattle, as well as manure and "cow burps" causing a rise in gases. Manure and burping, for one thing, is natural and everyone does this. Also, I'm not sure about other areas of the country, but where I live the cattle aren't fed grain 'feed' - they're fed with bails of hay and they eat various wild plants that grow.
1/2 of my land is up for free-grab, wheat and other grains grow on it naturally (before we bought it I'm sure it was intentionally cultivated for feed) I, myself, do not farm it, I do not mow it or otherwise treat it or cultivate it. However, I do allow farmers (first come first serve) to crop it - bail it - whatever they want. . . .free of charge. In return, they give me some meats. . . which are always tasty.

I'm sure my way of living is abit different than other people's, though - I use to always buy my meat at the supermarket.
 
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ecofarm

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It's a system of production issue, and (more importantly) a simple issue of changing trophic level at 10% efficiency (let alone water) and the land degradation that takes place. But the transportation (especially refridgeration) is more costly for meat in general.

You want the FAO report cited? I'm sure it is at UN.org.

I've already googled once, this is not a contentious issue. It's not really up for debate. Searching for your own answers will be good for you. No offence, but I really do not feel the need to prove this; it's an old issue and it is settled in scientific fact. If you don't believe it, you'll just find out later (or when you care).

I understand that you want me to post the evidence for others to see as well, but I'm really not feeling like googling something that I already know very well and that is really not in any contention.

Eating meat is probably not exactly the same as driving a humvee instead of a regular car, I'm not going to argue that specific. The evidence on the topic in general is readily available.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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:shrug: the only reason I asked for *your* source is because sometimes people's sources are purely their own source - not actual statistics and so forth.

By citing transportation and production "CO2 spikes" you can also claim this for fresh and frozen products, can you not? Do not veggies and fruits grown, cultivated, fertilized, packaged, processed, transported and produced for human consumption - even imported from overseas (a lot of fruits and veggies are thus) - wouldn't they add to it just the same?

I imagine that if grain feed for animals is bad for the environment
Then so is grain feed for humans.
 

ecofarm

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I know, you weren't calling me a liar or implying that I was being decieving. That's true, really I know; I don't think you're being mean or anything. But I'm just not in the mood to research it via google and, at the moment, I'm having problems with my school password for access to journals (and that has me annoyed).

Both conventional production (of all ag products) and meat production (even organic) are bad (to put it simply). We lessen the impact by eating less meat and less conventional products. Also, local is important. Obviously I do not only (not even mostly at the moment) eat organic local products, but I do what I can when I can.
 
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bennyhill

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People dont want to consume less because they dont want to change their life style. I dont think that the BP leak will change american energy policy within the next 5 years. Only more government regulation can force Detroit to build electric cars for example. People wont change if their not forced to.
 

ecofarm

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Only more government regulation can force Detroit to build electric cars for example. People wont change if their not forced to.
Changes that are forced never stick.

The revolution must be from the ground up, or it will be short-lived. I believe that the next agricultural revolution will be an evolution of mind, not policies dictated from above.

You think you can control people? Good luck.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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People dont want to consume less because they dont want to change their life style. I dont think that the BP leak will change american energy policy within the next 5 years. Only more government regulation can force Detroit to build electric cars for example. People wont change if their not forced to.
Did anyone force muscle cars out of the loop? The most effective way to change America is to start at the top-down . . . trickle down (no, not financially or corporate wise) - if in 5 years the ONLY vehicles available for purchase are all *far more* fuel efficient - then - there you go.
If in 5 years every dishwasher sold is far more water and energy efficient - then there you go.

The reason why it's hard to force people to change is that *change* of this nature costs money - money that people's don't have. This is why change is slow. It's not that a lot of people might not want to - it's that they just can't see how to pull it off.

Changes that are forced never stick.

The revolution must be from the ground up, or it will be short-lived. I believe that the next agricultural revolution will be an evolution of mind, not policies dictated from above.

You think you can control people? Good luck.
Exactly! We were thinking the same thought at the same time.
 

ecofarm

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We should also note that the organic market has increased drastically in the past 20 years, out-pacing every other business sector.

And efficient cars that were unheard of 10 years ago are common today.


If someone doesn't see the change happening, it's because they don't want to.


Alternative energy vehicles were the news yesterday at the Detroit auto show...

GM’s Volt can run 40 miles on a charge from a standard home power outlet. After the battery wears down, a 1.4-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine takes over and generates electricity to power the car. It’s expected to go on sale this fall for about $40,000, before tax credits...

Ford Motor Co.’s market momentum got a lift yesterday by winning both the 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid midsize sedan took top car honors and its versatile Transit Connect compact van snagged truck of the year.
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/01/12/fuel_efficient_cars_lead_detroit_show/


U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $24.8 billion in 2009. Sales in 2009 represented 5.1 percent growth over 2008 sales. Experiencing the highest growth in sales during 2009 were organic fruits and vegetables, up 11.4 percent over 2008 sales

Organic food and beverage sales represented approximately 3.7 percent of overall food and beverage sales in 2009. Leading were organic fruits and vegetables, now representing 11.4 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales.

Organic non-food sales grew 9.1 percent in 2009, to reach $1.8 billion.

Total U.S. organic sales, including food and non-food products, were $26.6 billion in 2009, up 5.3 percent from 2008.

Mass market retailers (mainstream supermarkets, club/warehouse stores, and mass merchandisers) in 2009 sold 54 percent of organic food. Natural retailers were next, selling 38 percent of total organic food sales. In 2008, mass market retailers represented 45 percent of sales, while natural food channels represented 43 percent of sales. Other sales occur via export, the Internet, farmers’ markets/ Community Supported Agriculture, mail order, and boutique and specialty stores.

Certified organic acreage in the United States reached more than 4.8 million acres in 2008, according to updated data posted by USDA. U.S. total organic cropland reached 2,655,382 acres in 2008, while land devoted to organic pasture totaled 2,160,577 acres. California leads with the most certified organic cropland, with over 430,000 acres, largely used for fruit and vegetable production. Other states with the most certified organic cropland include Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Forty-five states also had some certified organic rangeland and pasture in 2008; of those, 13 states had more than 100,000 acres each, reflecting the growth in the U.S. organic dairy sector between 2005 and 2008. Certified organic cropland acreage between 2002 and 2008 averaged 15 percent annual growth. However, it still only represented about 0.7 percent of all U.S. cropland, while certified organic pasture only represented 0.5 percent of all U.S. pasture in 2008. Overall, certified organic cropland and pasture accounted for about 0.6 percent of U.S. total farmland in 2008. Although a small percentage of major U.S. field crops are grown organically, organic carrots represented 25 percent of total U.S. carrot acreage, while organic lettuce represented 8 percent of all lettuce acreage. Fresh produce is still the top-selling organic category in retail sales. Meanwhile, the organic livestock sector has seen growth, with 2.7 percent of U.S. dairy cows and 1.5 percent of layer hens managed under certified organic systems.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, www.ers.usda.gov/data/organic.

Acreage managed organically in 2008 in the world totaled 35 million hectares farmed by almost 1.4 million producers in 154 countries, according to data from The World of Organic Agriculture 2010. Organic agricultural land area increased in all regions, and was up nearly three million hectares, or nine percent, compared to 2007 data. Of the total area managed organically, 22 million hectares were grassland. In addition, 8.2 million hectares were used for cropland. The regions with the largest area of organically managed land are Oceania (12.1 million hectares in Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding island states), Europe (8.2 million hectares), and Latin America (8.1 million hectares), according to statistics in a chapter by Dr. Helga Willer. The report also recorded 31 million hectares that are organic wild collection areas and land for bee keeping. The majority of this land is in developing countries.
Source: The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics & Emerging Trends 2010.

Meanwhile, according to Organic Monitor estimates, global organic sales reached $50.9 billion in 2008, double the $25 billion recorded in 2003.
http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/business.html



People wont change if their not forced to.
People are changing, perhaps others need to catch up. No one forced me. It's funny how most of the people dooming us to hell are the same people who proclaim "Oh, there's nothing I can do and it would not matter anyway. I'm gonna keep driving a big car and eating meat. Oh, why, oh why... cannot people change?"

Someone better change a whole lot before they give me any crap about Americans, because I've changed alot. And this American right here probably has the smallest footprint on this forum - so why don't you change some?


Tell me we haven't done enough? Exactly what have you done, Mr. Righteous? And who forced you. I bet you haven't done crap and that's why you think people need to be forced.
 
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ecofarm

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@benny

This movement needs volunteers, not conscripts. You know (or maybe you don't), people with their heart in it.

I'm not going to have any part of the Commie Greens, they're hurting the movement with heavy-handed command-and-control BS.
 
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bennyhill

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You guys shot down Al Gore your best man on the environment. I think he even won the altenrative nobel prize? Anyways, you have men who know what to do, but you have nobody who will follow because the lobbist have hijacked DC.
 

ecofarm

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I just gave you evidence that we don't need to be forced. Our market is changing rapidly.

Go complain to Russia or China.


And Gore is a joke, even among liberals. Given your location, your childish sig and now this proclaimation that Gore was our greatest hope is really showing us just how much you know about anything.
 
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bennyhill

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If awards dont mean anything to you then by all means elect GWB as God forever. Im glad that I live far away from your planet.
 

ecofarm

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I should also note your avatar. Very classy.
 

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I know, right from the back of a pickup truck. Classy indeed. ;)
 

bennyhill

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Obama is the best man that America has, which wories me.
 

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We will be fine.
 

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We've got laws that allow the government to take over in the case of catastrophic emergency which means we can be oil hogs up to the point the system fails and then we can live in a real socialist state. Its our secret plan. :)
 

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People dont want to consume less because they dont want to change their life style. I dont think that the BP leak will change american energy policy within the next 5 years. Only more government regulation can force Detroit to build electric cars for example. People wont change if their not forced to.
You have to be one of the least informed Europeans I've seen on this board. You obviously don't comprehend the magnitude of the demographic differences between Europe and the US. You can't just take European policy and scale it up....it doesn't work. You must really think we have come as far as we have by being stupid. You can continue listening to your populist/progressive talking points about America, or you can open your eyes and use common sense. We are not like you, we didn't start like you.....so don't try to transpose your way on us. This country became great through hard work and personal risk, not government policy.
 

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America is in for some serious pain, and our entitlement / government employee system must change. But America is going to remain the dominant power on the globe for some time. China is a threat for a few more years, but she will grow old long before she grows into a near-peer. Russia can dominate her near-abroad and will be able manipulate much of Europe into shutting up and playing along, but they could never project force like America can or match her economic power.

the current status of America is similar to Churchill's depiction of democracy: we are screwed..... it's just that most others are screwed more.

frankly I think the Obama administration is going to be beneficial in this. Just like it took Carter to give us the changes of the Reagan era, he could be giving us a Tea Party era.
 

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frankly I think the Obama administration is going to be beneficial in this. Just like it took Carter to give us the changes of the Reagan era, he could be giving us a Tea Party era.
Interesting you say this.

I had thought that the two Bush terms would lead to a generation of the democrats holding the white house. Now, just about 18 months later it seems that the dems have dropped the ball.

The problem is that this country is set up for a two party system. So the tea party can either evolve into a piece of one of the larger parties or could go on it's own for a while like Ross Perot did. The irony is that the tea party can set up a surprise win for the democrats in November if they split with the republicans.
 
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