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Siara

Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

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Agent X

Oh no, I realize how difficult it will be. Because Americans hate change and once something is established it is very hard to repeal it.

In short, the attitude is "it ain't a problem until it's a problem so shut up".

And then watch everybody scramble to put the blame on somebody else when it is a problem. Not to mention that it'll be things like "OMFG why didn't anybody say anything about it sooner."

Just like global warming. Global warming is happening now, but because of people's resistance to change, "it's all a hoax" or "la la la la la la la la la la". Or things like "nah it's being caused by the suns o there's nothing we can do about it".

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keithisco

Transocean is a USA company responsible for all driiling operations at that site.

Run away from the facts if you want to, end of the day it was a USA compnay that screwed up......

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Siara
However, it is my hope that this disaster will go a long way to helping our political leaders realize that oil is just no good and shouldn't be relied on as a fuel source as well as weaning America off of foerign oil.

Comments like that aren't going to help. The simple fact of the matter is that we are utterly dependant on oil, so to say that oil is no good takes away from the seriousness of your argument.

I disagree. I feel that statements like that DO help. I can remember Richard Nixon making the same reasoned arguments that you favor and literally NOTHING has been done to change things. Obviously a measured scientific discussion would be preferable IF IT WORKED but 4 decades of talk and no action show us that it doesn't work.

There needs to be a major change in the public consciousness so that we see privately owned, gas guzzling mega-vehicles as a sad remnant of the past. When we see a 16 wheeler driving down the highway we should think, "Well thank God for that truck driver doing his job and thank God we can transport things around the country but how sad we have to do it that way'.

That type of change requires simple, dramatic statements. (I'm not advocating violent political protest and that sort of thing BTW).

He's right... oil is no good. It's a horrible source of pollution that affects us all. We can't stop using it tomorrow but we can change the attitude of "yahoo! oil! black gold! Texas tea!" so that we tone down our usage.

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Siara

Transocean is a USA company responsible for all driiling operations at that site.

Run away from the facts if you want to, end of the day it was a USA compnay that screwed up......

To me it seems like a major part of the problem is the collusion between Big Oil and our government. Our government should have been putting the breaks on this drilling. They didn't because they were paid off.

It's also worth asking ourselves why half of the country was jumping up and down screaming "drill baby, drill" during the last election. Maybe it was because the flow of information to the public is controlled by Big Business? Maybe it's because our educational system has not prepared us to look at scientific data intelligently. Maybe it's because the public has almost no access to cold, unpoliticized data. Maybe it's because our entertainment industry makes tons of money by whipping the public up into hysterical political frenzies, as if votes on oil policy were just a sporting event like the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl.

When this era is studied in 200 years it's going to be referred to as The Age of Big Oil. (on a par with "The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union", "the Great Depression", etc.)

Edited by Siara

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keithisco

I disagree. I feel that statements like that DO help. I can remember Richard Nixon making the same reasoned arguments that you favor and literally NOTHING has been done to change things. Obviously a measured scientific discussion would be preferable IF IT WORKED but 4 decades of talk and no action show us that it doesn't work.

There needs to be a major change in the public consciousness so that we see privately owned, gas guzzling mega-vehicles as a sad remnant of the past. When we see a 16 wheeler driving down the highway we should think, "Well thank God for that truck driver doing his job and thank God we can transport things around the country but how sad we have to do it that way'.

That type of change requires simple, dramatic statements. (I'm not advocating violent political protest and that sort of thing BTW).

He's right... oil is no good. It's a horrible source of pollution that affects us all. We can't stop using it tomorrow but we can change the attitude of "yahoo! oil! black gold! Texas tea!" so that we tone down our usage.

Totally right Siara... I live in a country that gets its electrical generation from 52% renewable energy. no hydrocarbons in the process. It's not rocket science, it's a change of attitude and losing the "kickbacks" from big oil concerns.

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aquatus1

Oh no, I realize how difficult it will be. Because Americans hate change and once something is established it is very hard to repeal it.

In short, the attitude is "it ain't a problem until it's a problem so shut up".

And then watch everybody scramble to put the blame on somebody else when it is a problem. Not to mention that it'll be things like "OMFG why didn't anybody say anything about it sooner."

Just like global warming. Global warming is happening now, but because of people's resistance to change, "it's all a hoax" or "la la la la la la la la la la". Or things like "nah it's being caused by the suns o there's nothing we can do about it".

Again, I don't think you do. Just like before, you are focused on this being solely the fault of people. As if all it would take would be a change of attitude and everything would be hunky-dory.

The truth is that even if everyone suddenly decided to go alternative, the infrastructure is simply not there yet. We would still have years to go before it was. In other words, you are blaming everything on people and ignoring the logistics of it, when it's the logistics that are preventing anything from going forward.

I disagree. I feel that statements like that DO help. I can remember Richard Nixon making the same reasoned arguments that you favor and literally NOTHING has been done to change things. Obviously a measured scientific discussion would be preferable IF IT WORKED but 4 decades of talk and no action show us that it doesn't work.

There needs to be a major change in the public consciousness so that we see privately owned, gas guzzling mega-vehicles as a sad remnant of the past. When we see a 16 wheeler driving down the highway we should think, "Well thank God for that truck driver doing his job and thank God we can transport things around the country but how sad we have to do it that way'.

That type of change requires simple, dramatic statements. (I'm not advocating violent political protest and that sort of thing BTW).

He's right... oil is no good. It's a horrible source of pollution that affects us all. We can't stop using it tomorrow but we can change the attitude of "yahoo! oil! black gold! Texas tea!" so that we tone down our usage.

What can I say? I still disagree. I believe that simple dramatic statements are as useless as reasoned arguments...no, actually, I believe they are worse in the sense that they are counter-productive.

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Siara

What can I say? I still disagree. I believe that simple dramatic statements are as useless as reasoned arguments...no, actually, I believe they are worse in the sense that they are counter-productive.

Which created more change:

a reasoned argument examining our involvement in Viet Nam

or

wild mobs screaming, "Hell no, we won't go"?

a scientific explanation of why offshore drilling was bad

or

a former beauty queen with a good rack leading a mob chant of "drill baby, drill"?

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Agent X
Again, I don't think you do. Just like before, you are focused on this being solely the fault of people. As if all it would take would be a change of attitude and everything would be hunky-dory.

That doesn't make any real sense.

The first thing that has to change is the people's attitude. If people's attitude doesn't change, then we'll still be hooked on oil.

Basically what you're saying is that what changes is the technology. And to a certain extent that is true, but if people's attitude doesn't change then what good is using technology if people won't even touch it?

There are many examples from history we can draw on. The current resistance is to getting off of oil because why should people change if there's no need to? Besides, oil lets us have big fast cars that gives us status. Why should we change to alternative fuels?

Stem cell research is another. People are resistant to that because of the religious idealism that says stem cell research causes abortions. So there must be no change.

People must change their attitude first in order to become accepting to new things. Or do you think that people are just automatically accepting of new technologies?

When Tomas Paine built the first metal bridge and too it to the World Fair, people would not walk on it out of fear. It took a long time to see what use it could be before people would fully accept them.

Basically this, never say never. If people always said never then the fastest we'd be is fifteen miles an hour.

And we'd never have wonderful things like Star Wars and movies.

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aquatus1

Which created more change:

a reasoned argument examining our involvement in Viet Nam

or

wild mobs screaming, "Hell no, we won't go"?

Neither. What created the change was when people had no further choice but to recognize the dead enemy bodies in front of the embassy.

a scientific explanation of why offshore drilling was bad

or

a former beauty queen with a good rack leading a mob chant of "drill baby, drill"?

Neither. What will create the change is when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of changing.

That doesn't make any real sense.

Actually, it makes very perfect "real" sense. "Real", in the sense that it is supported by history, by how things actually happened, not by what we believe should happen.

The first thing that has to change is the people's attitude. If people's attitude doesn't change, then we'll still be hooked on oil.

Good luck with that. But no, if the necessity is there, people will change, regardless of their personal desire, likes, or dislikes. Like we say in the military, they don't have to like it, they just have to do it.

Basically what you're saying is that what changes is the technology. And to a certain extent that is true, but if people's attitude doesn't change then what good is using technology if people won't even touch it?

Um...no, changes in technology are secondary in my argument. What I said was that in your argument, the problem would be that it requires a radical leap in infrastructure to work, one which is unlikely to occur.

There are many examples from history we can draw on. The current resistance is to getting off of oil because why should people change if there's no need to? Besides, oil lets us have big fast cars that gives us status. Why should we change to alternative fuels?

Exactly. The difference between your argument and mine is that you believe that people should decide to change now, before there is a need. My position is that people have never decided to change for the heck of it; there has always had to be a need to change before people have decided to. The need has always come before the decision.

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Siara

I like what you're saying better than what I'm saying but I don't agree with you.

Neither. What created the change was when people had no further choice but to recognize the dead enemy bodies in front of the embassy.
No. The people who saw those bodies on t.v. had served in World War II and Korea. They weren't impressed by the sight of a pile of bodies "over there". What impressed them was the movement here in America, which was destroying the fabric of our country. They didn't want their children gassed in the streets.
Actually, it makes very perfect "real" sense. "Real", in the sense that it is supported by history, by how things actually happened, not by what we believe should happen.
Learning from history isn't a big facet of American culture. History is pretty subjective around here. For example, the Texas board of education has just decided that they're going to minimize Thomas Jefferson because they disagree with him. A significant number of people don't have much belief in what "actually happened" until it happens on their front porch and to them.

Furthermore, the majority of the people are simply so busy making their day to day lives work that they don't have the energy to rebel against the system. If you're feeding a family you're not going to quit work because the commute causes pollution. You might car pool but when you see a zillion other people NOT carpooling it's hard to stick to it (at least I find that to be true).

If we wait until it becomes more painful to stay the same than it is to change it may be too late to change. Google "environment" and "tipping points".

My position is that people have never decided to change for the heck of it; there has always had to be a need to change before people have decided to. The need has always come before the decision.

The problem with your argument is that it assumes people are capable of perceiving the need in a timely manner. This time around, they aren't. That's why there needs to be a social movement educating and focusing attention on the need. I'm not saying we should launch a disinformation campaign. I'm saying that public attention needs to be drawn to the subject because once the need is so great that everyone can see it, it might be too late to change.

Edited by Siara

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Agent X
Neither. What will create the change is when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of changing.

Okay, that isn't really any different than what I've said. People don't change without incentive to. People hate change, and once something is established it's hard to repeal it.

So now I think all you're really after is a semantic argument. So that means I'm done because I don't do these kinds of arguments.

Exactly. The difference between your argument and mine is that you believe that people should decide to change now, before there is a need. My position is that people have never decided to change for the heck of it; there has always had to be a need to change before people have decided to. The need has always come before the decision.

You're putting words into my mouth. What I've been saying is that people hate change and will not change without an incentive to. Which is why people won't get out of oil.

And people have a hard time accepting new technology because it means change. So I think we're really arguing the same thing.

Edited by Agent X

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ninjadude

Okay, that isn't really any different than what I've said. People don't change without incentive to. People hate change, and once something is established it's hard to repeal it. And people have a hard time accepting new technology because it means change. So I think we're really arguing the same thing.

I've heard this argument many times. But the fact is it's only descriptive of certain segments of society. People to NOT hate change. "Some" people hate change. Some people love change. There are regions that hate change more than others. There are age groups that hate change more than others. But to say absolutely that People hate change is very simply wrong.

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J.B.

Change isn't going to happen immediately. Now, yes, changing people's minds is a good thing, but without the technology in place, you're not making a quick leap. I think that's what Aquatus is saying. I agree with it.

All you do right now by changing the People's mind is saying "We're going to start making a dedicated effort to figuring out other sources" not "We're switching to hydrogen cars." Which, by the way, actually do exist. I saw a special on Discovery a long time ago about Norway I believe, having a hydrogen highway. It's just a matter of getting hydrogen filling stations set up in the U.S. and phasing out the gas stations, which isn't going to go fast.

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Siara

Change isn't going to happen immediately. Now, yes, changing people's minds is a good thing, but without the technology in place, you're not making a quick leap. I think that's what Aquatus is saying. I agree with it.

I think you have to change people's minds BEFORE you get the new technology in place. Public attitude is what motivates technological growth.

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Agent X

I've heard this argument many times. But the fact is it's only descriptive of certain segments of society. People to NOT hate change. "Some" people hate change. Some people love change. There are regions that hate change more than others. There are age groups that hate change more than others. But to say absolutely that People hate change is very simply wrong.

There's a lot of irony in your response considering you refuse to change your stance on the second amendment when you've been proven wrong.

So you see, everybody hates some change, whether it's on a personal or a social level.

But my arguments is on the social level, not a personal level.

So to put it on a social level, I suspect you're a liberal. I think you'd hate a social change if America became a theocracy led by the conservatives, would you not?

I also don't think you'd accept it either.

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Harte

Totally right Siara... I live in a country that gets its electrical generation from 52% renewable energy. no hydrocarbons in the process.

Except in the other 48%, of course.

It's not rocket science, it's a change of attitude and losing the "kickbacks" from big oil concerns.

Easy words from a country that generates merely 7% of the electricity generated by the United States:

ESELEC.jpg

USELEC.jpg

From the above, one can deduce that the US generates far more electricity using nuclear power alone than Spain generates in totality.

Harte

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The Silver Thong

Why the hell hasn't BP oil or better yet the Obama administration demand this type of technology to help with the oil spill. It's not like it hasn't been tested. A completely safe way to get some control over the leak. Damn it ticks me off when something like this is ignored. Watch this clip to see what I mean.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=145_1275336596

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Lottie

It doesn't matter how much money BP has the damage will be felt for many years to come. Is BP going to supplement all the states that lose billions in tourism, fishing, ecological damage years down the road? I doubt it.

What about Transocean and Haliburton?

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The Silver Thong

What about Transocean and Haliburton?

Them as well, actually especially them. However it's BP right now in charge of the mess so to speak. Time for some one to step up and quit letting BP make all the decisions.

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rashore

Except in the other 48%, of course.

Easy words from a country that generates merely 7% of the electricity generated by the United States:

ESELEC.jpg

USELEC.jpg

From the above, one can deduce that the US generates far more electricity using nuclear power alone than Spain generates in totality.

Harte

Those were cool graphs Harte :) I found it interesting that on the Spain chart, Coal and oil dependence was dropping on the edge of the chart, and gas was starting to show a slight downturn too. At the same time, renewable energy was looking like it was going up. The US chart showed everything on the rise, with no significant increase in use of renewable energies. Even if Spain produces less energy than the US overall, they are still starting to use renewable resources more, while the US sucks up every bit it can get and is not starting to use renewable resources more.

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Siara

If you happen to read this message now (June 3 12:30 EST) take a look at the live feed of the leak.

http://www.cnn.com/v...=stream3&hpt=T1

They're putting the cap on and it's really fascinating.

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Lord Umbarger

I'ev noticed a lot of mention of "change" on this message board. granted, something better would be, well, "better!". But, here's teh rub. What do we currently have, or have on the horizon, that can take the place of petroleum?

BioFuels are often touted but, there aren't usually as efficient as petrol.

Solar power is great but, only works in places where you have enough sunlight for a large enough percentage fo the day.

GeoThermal is fine but, only if you want to live where valcanos are.

Ethanol sounds good but, when you look at the numbers, you don't come out ahead. AND, you end up using valuable land for growing fuel as opposed to food. Not a good idea with the number of humans on the rise.

Wind power is fine... if you have sustained winds.

Hydro Electric is great too, but, only if you haven't already built dams on every river in your country.

Nuclear power seems to be the best option but, there is a serious downside to that one... thousands of years of keeping watch on the waste. You know, that stuff doesn't go anywhere and it's REALLY bad stuff too.

Another interesting little tidbit is that none of the above potential sources of power provide a substitue for plastics, asphalt, PVC's, vulcanized tires, etc....

it seems to me that whether we like it or not, we're kind of stuck with petroleum products for the forseeable future. Unless one of you enterprizing UM-ers feels like having a statue built of you!

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ninjadude

it seems to me that whether we like it or not, we're kind of stuck with petroleum products for the forseeable future.

to a degree. But you're creating a false dichotomy. Those other sources COLLECTIVELY can mitigate a lot of oil usage. There will never be a silver bullet answer to all of life's problems. It takes a collection of answers. And that in itself also shields us against any one of them having the control that oil does today. As each one takes a chunk out of the total oil picture, we are better off.

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Lord Umbarger
Those other sources COLLECTIVELY can mitigate a lot of oil usage.
Without a single, or a very few, replacement stratagies, they will never be cost efficient. Of course, if this were a perfect world, and cost, efficiency and radiation were not an issue I'd agree with you fully. Unfortunately, there are places in the world where none of these options are really good choices.

With our ability to feed the numbers we have now already becoming strained, how many hectars of food producing farmland would you suggest we turn over to growing fuel?

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