Archive for the ‘Cap and Trade’ Tag

Obama In Michigan to Promote Electric Car Batteries   Leave a comment

You know, not to sound negative, but we are being invaded from an unsealed border, constantly, day after day, hundreds and thousands a week, without check or concern, bringing guns, drugs, violence, hate, and terrorism into our country, draining already struggling American taxpayers and American resources that are burdened already with very little job market and insane bills being forced through congress. . . and Obama’s in Michigan promoting car batteries?

*facepalm*

There really isn’t much to say in regards to this other than just . . . um . . .

*double facepalm*

I mean, I’m happy that there are jobs coming to Michigan, Lord knows they need them, but only 300?  You took Air Force One that WE the taxpayers pay for and FLEW to Michigan to say we are going to have electric batteries made in the US and will employ 300?  MAYBE 600, but you know these numbers are rounded up.  I’m happy that there is talk of jobs again but . . . um . . . the company could have announced that themselves and Obama could be taking that trip to the border in Arizona that he really should be taking in order to see for himself what this country is facing!  

It just…doesn’t seem right….

Ug, here’s the article:

Obama to promote electric vehicles in Michigan

By JULIE PACE, Associated Press Writer Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 53 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Facing fresh criticism of his handling of the economy, President Barack Obama travels to Michigan on Thursday to promote investments in the electric vehicle battery industry, a sector the administration sees as a bright spot in the sagging recovery.

Obama will attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a plant that will manufacture advanced batteries for Chevrolet and Ford electric cars. The Compact Power plant in Holland, Mich., is the ninth factory to begin construction following the $2.4 billion investment in advanced batteries and electric vehicles Obama announced last August.

An Energy Department report to be released Thursday says the investments will increase U.S. production of advanced batteries from 2 percent to 40 percent of the world’s supply by 2015, creating thousands of jobs along the way.

“We’re going to build these products in America,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday. “We’re going to employ Americans. I think that’s a strong economic record.”

But recent polls suggest the public’s confidence in the president’s record on the economy is slipping. A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted this month found that just 43 percent of Americans approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, down from 50 percent last month.

With unemployment expected to hover near 10 percent through November’s midterm elections, White House officials know they will have a tough sell with voters as they argue that the economy would be even worse had it not been for Obama’s $862 billion stimulus program.

Investing in electric vehicles has been a central tenet of Obama’s message on the economy and clean energy. He’s pledged to put 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015. The administration has said the $2.4 billion investment could spur the production of 50,000 batteries a year for plug-in hybrids by 2011 and 500,000 batteries a year for the advanced vehicles by late 2014.

Most of the batteries are now manufactured in Asia, and auto suppliers and manufacturers have sought ways to expand the battery industry in the United States.

Michigan is the largest recipient of the electric battery grants and is expected to receive more than $1 billion. About $150 million of that is going to the Compact Power plant. Administration officials say the construction project will create about 300 jobs, with an additional 300 workers hired once the factory is operational.

With Michigan facing 13.7 percent unemployment, the state’s governor says those jobs are welcome news.

“It’s clearly going to have an impact if we have a whole new sector added to our economy,” Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm said. “It’s not the only answer, but it certainly is a significant one.”

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Obama’s Oil Moratorium Denied Twice but Obama is Doing it Anyway   1 comment

Wow, seriously, check this out

What the heck is Obama’s problem?  I know he’s president and all, but he needs to stop trying to destroy our economy and do some ACTUAL WORK!  OBVIOUSLY this man cares more about environmental control issues than he does about people feeding their families!  NO MEANS NO, MR PRES!  Get over yourself!  You are NOT God!

It is just one disturbing thing after another with this guy.  I wonder what it would take for this country to band together to impeach him…

First, he passes the healthcare reform act without the consent of the people who it will affect the most and no one was allowed to read it!

Second, he’s attacking Arizona for requiring Federal Law to be adhered to, going COMPLETELY against his own people and even siding with a foreign power to fight this!!!!!!!!!!  Not only that, but he’s passing his Amnesty bill…er, I mean, ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ and I reeeeally doubt he’s going to care what the American people have to say about it.

THIRD, he spirited in an individual to take a high-policy making position in the government that will affect 1/3 of the healthcare provided to our people and who has been dubbed ‘Obama’s One Man Death Panel’.  No one is allowed to get his view on VERY IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF HIS VIEWPOINT AND BELIEFS and NEVERMIND THAT HE WAS BASICALLY GIVING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE FINGER BY DOING SO!

This moratorium has been turned down TWICE and he’s going to pass it whether anybody wants it or not.

This man needs to be stopped!  Seriously people!!!!  This has GOT TO STOP!  He’s issuing rules and laws without consent of congress or the people!!!!

Typical Chicago style politics if you ask me 😦

Here is the article:

Officials: Gov’t to issue new oil moratorium

FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer – 31 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration will issue a new revised moratorium on offshore drilling Monday.

Two administration officials have told The Associated Press of the plans. Both requested anonymity so as not to pre-empt the official announcement.

Last week, a federal appeals court rejected the government’s effort to restore its initial offshore deepwater drilling moratorium, which halted the approval of any new permits for deepwater projects and suspended drilling on 33 exploratory wells. It was first rejected last month by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at the time that he would issued a new, refined moratorium.

The administration says it wants to ensure that deepwater drilling is safe

Obama Still Trying for Drilling Moratorium Case   Leave a comment

What IS it with Obama attacking states in court?  Should he not be listening to them and helping them rather than attacking them as though they are his enemy.  He wants to take jobs that would be effecting at least 20,000 people away for what?  What would the moratorium on oil rigs already in place and operating safely do?  His only agenda is to stop drilling and move towards ‘clean energy’.  I agree that we should be moving in that direction, but not while destroying the lives of tens of thousands of people.  He has done nothing to help them but bitch, bully and cry like a spoiled child not getting his way!  He needs to man up and do something constructive that doesn’t involve Big Brother Leftist Totalitarianism!

His plea for a 6 month moratorium was already denied in court.  Get over it, Obama.  You already got owned once.  What would appealing it do, unless you’ve fixed the ruling judges to see things your way?

It’s just sad.

Appeals court to hear drilling moratorium case

 

Thu Jul 8, 6:48 am ET

NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court is set to hear the Justice Department’s bid to delay a judge’s decision to overturn a six-month deepwater drilling moratorium.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday from lawyers on both sides of a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the Obama administration’s temporary drilling ban.

The Interior Department says it halted new permits for deepwater projects and suspended drilling on 33 exploratory wells to protect the Gulf of Mexico from another environmental disaster while it studies the risks of deepwater drilling.

The government is asking the 5th Circuit panel for an order that would keep the moratorium in place while they appeal last month’s ruling

Obama Going to Beg in Nevada for Votes for Harry Reid and for the Democrat Party   Leave a comment

Okay, NOW is there any doubt that the Democrats are only worried about their votes in November, and scared they must be to be calling in ‘the big guns’.

Shouldn’t Obama be worried about OTHER things, like trying to fix the economy, doing something about the oil spill, or visiting the US border, sending troops there and fixing it.

Oh wait…he wasn’t doing any of those things to begin with!  My bad…

Obama as campaigner in chief in Missouri, Nevada

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jul 8, 3:03 am ET

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is talking to voters again about jobs and the economy. But he’s also concerned with two jobs in particular: Senate seats for Democrats in Missouri and Nevada.

With Democrats facing uphill battles in the November elections, Obama is combining a couple of economy-focused events Thursday and Friday with a campaign swing on behalf of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Missouri Senate hopeful Robin Carnahan.

Reid is in trouble in his bid for a fifth term, with unemployment sky-high in Nevada and Republicans working furiously to unseat him. Carnahan, Missouri’s secretary of state, represents a chance for a much-needed Democratic pickup of the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Kit Bond.

Obama will aim to energize their supporters Thursday with a sharply partisan message he’s been honing of late.

The man who pledged during his campaign to bridge partisan divides has begun playing into them as his party claws for political advantage. Obama’s been singling out individual Republican House members for comments he says show they care more about corporations than people.

Ahead of Thursday’s trip, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said voters could expect to hear Obama repeat his attacks on Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who had to apologize for apologizing to BP PLC, the primary owner of the blown-out well spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, who contends his metaphor likening the financial crisis to an “ant” is being twisted by Democrats.

“Obviously, we’re getting much, much closer to the fall elections, and the president will have, will do more things leading up to that,” Gibbs said. “He has been very involved in raising money and in making an argument.”

A sitting president’s party typically loses seats in Congress during midterm elections. On top of that, Democrats are battling an anti-incumbent fervor fanned by high unemployment.

Nonetheless, Obama’s argument will in part be an economic one, starting with a visit Thursday to an electric truck manufacturer in Kansas City, Mo., that got money from last year’s big economic stimulus bill.

Obama has been trying to get voters to buy a message he himself acknowledges is a tough sell — that things would be a lot worse if the $862 billion stimulus bill had not passed. Obama also plans remarks on the economy Friday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In between he’ll be raising money for Carnahan and Reid. The pairing of official presidential events with campaign appearances lets the White House bill taxpayers rather than the candidates’ campaigns for most of the president’s travel costs.

In Nevada, Reid is welcoming the president to a state Obama won with 55 percent of the vote in 2008. Unemployment in Nevada is at 14 percent, the highest of any state, and the White House inevitably gets some of the blame. But so does Reid, and he needs all the help he can get with his approval ratings sagging under constant GOP attacks.

Reid is facing tea party-backed Sharron Angle, who was welcoming Obama with a reference to the kerfuffle the president caused in February when he asserted that people saving for college shouldn’t “blow a bunch of cash on Vegas.”

Obama has issued plenty of mea culpas since then to politicians and residents hypersensitive about protecting Las Vegas’ battered tourism industry. That didn’t stop the Angle campaign from issuing a news release reading a sarcastic message into Obama’s visit: “President Obama: ‘Don’t go to Vegas unless it’s to bail out Harry Reid.'”

Obama is to appear at a reception and dinner for Reid that are expected to reap about $800,000.

In Missouri, Obama will make his first fundraising appearance for Carnahan, who was out of the state in March when the president attended a joint fundraiser for Sen. Claire McCaskill and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That caused speculation about whether Carnahan was purposely keeping Obama at arm’s length in a state he narrowly lost in 2008.

But her campaign said she welcomes his help. Obama will be appearing at a low-dollar reception for grass-roots supporters, and at a lunch and reception where tickets will range from $1,000 to $30,000.

Carnahan’s likely Republican opponent is GOP Rep. Roy Blunt.

___

Associated Press writer David A. Lieb in Jefferson City, Mo., contributed to this report

 

Another article on the same thing with the same spin and OH MY Obama is reeeeally reaching!

Obama makes case for voting Democratic in November

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer – 10 mins ago

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – President Barack Obama implored heartland voters Thursday to believe his economic policies averted impending disaster, pushing a hard-to-swallow message to people whose support Democrats need this November.

“What is absolutely clear is we’re moving in the right direction, we’re headed in the right direction,” Obama said at an electric truck factory here, before a pair of campaign appearances for Senate Democratic candidates in Missouri and Nevada.

Yes, we’re moving in the right direction…if we were a communist, socialist country

Obama jabbed Republicans who are threatening to swamp his party in the upcoming elections, though none by name. “There are some people who make the political calculation that it is better to say no to everything than lend a hand,” he said.

After his appearance at Smith Electric Vehicles, Obama was raising money in Missouri for Democratic Senate hopeful Robin Carnahan. Then it was on to Nevada to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, facing a tough road to a fifth term.

Again, aren’t there more IMPORTANT things going on, or is campaigning really all he knows how to do?

Obama’s tone was sometimes aggrieved as he suggested he wasn’t getting credit for helping the economy.

“You wouldn’t know it from listening to folks, but we cut taxes” for the middle-class, he said.

Really?  What taxes did you cut?  What about all those NEW taxes that are going to start coming at us in January for your socialist healthcare? 

>sigh<

Nuke the BP Well? Really?   1 comment

Apparently that is a topic under discussion.  Well, it has been for a while, or at least it has been rumored so, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in the mainstream media.

This just has ‘Armageddon’ type overtones and undertones all through it.  Has anyone ever read ‘On the Beach’?  Okay, NOT exactly the same thing, but still the prospects of what could happen after an ‘oops’ is pretty shockingly real.  (Oh, and please don’t read that book if you are prone to depression–it is NOT a mood lifter!)

Nuke the BP well? Idea has backers, but more critics

Russian experience touted — and ridiculed; radiation, bigger blowout, time are factors

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON — His face wracked by age and his voice rasping after decades of chain-smoking coarse tobacco, the former long-time Russian minister of nuclear energy and veteran Soviet physicist Viktor Mikhailov knows just how to fix BP’s oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

“A nuclear explosion over the leak,” he says nonchalantly puffing a cigarette as he sits in a conference room at the Institute of Strategic Stability, where he is a director. “I don’t know what BP is waiting for, they are wasting their time. Only about 10 kilotons of nuclear explosion capacity and the problem is solved.”

A nuclear fix to the leaking well has been touted online and in the occasional newspaper op-ed for weeks now. Washington has repeatedly dismissed the idea and BP execs say they are not considering an explosion — nuclear or otherwise. But as a series of efforts to plug the 60,000 barrels of oil a day gushing from the sea floor have failed, talk of an extreme solution refuses to die.

For some, blasting the problem seems the most logical answer in the world. Mikhailov has had a distinguished career in the nuclear field, helping to close a Soviet Union program that used nuclear explosions to seal gas leaks. Ordinarily he’s an opponent of nuclear blasts, but he says an underwater explosion in the Gulf of Mexico would not be harmful and could cost no more than $10 million. That compares with the $3 billion BP has paid out in cleanup and compensation costs so far. “This option is worth the money,” he says.

And it’s not just Soviet boffins. Milo Nordyke, one of the masterminds behind U.S. research into peaceful nuclear energy in the 1960s and ’70s says a nuclear explosion is a logical last-resort solution for BP and the government. Matthew Simmons, a former energy adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush and the founder of energy investment-banking firm Simmons & Company International, is another calling for the nuclear option.

Even former U.S. President Bill Clinton has voiced support for the idea of an explosion to stem the flow of oil, albeit one using conventional materials rather than nukes. “Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris, which may become necessary … unless we are going to do that, we are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP,” Clinton told the Fortune/Time/CNN Global Forum in South Africa on June 29.

Clinton was picking up on an idea mooted by Christopher Brownfield in June. Brownfield is a one-time nuclear submarine officer, a veteran of the Iraq war (he volunteered in 2006) and now a nuclear policy researcher at Columbia University. He is also one of a number of scientists whose theories rely not on nuclear bombs — he did toy with that thought for a while — but on conventional explosives that would implode the well and, if not completely plug it with crushed rock, at least bring the flow of oil under control. “It’s kind of like stepping on a garden hose to kink it,” Brownfield says. “You may not cut off the flow entirely but it would greatly reduce the flow.”

Blasts from the past
Using nuclear blasts for peaceful ends was a key plank of Cold War policy in both the United States and the Soviet Union. In the middle of last century, both countries were motivated by a desire to soften the image of the era’s weapon of choice.

Washington had big plans to use peaceful nuclear explosions to build an additional Panama Canal, carve a path for an inter-state highway through mountains in the Mojave Desert and connect underwater aquifers in Arizona. But the experimental plans were dropped as authorities learned more about the ecological dangers of surface explosions.

The Soviet program, known as Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy, was launched in 1958. The project saw 124 nuclear explosions for such tasks as digging canals and reservoirs, creating underground storage caverns for natural gas and toxic waste, exploiting oil and gas

deposits and sealing gas leaks. It was finally mothballed by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989.

The Soviets first used a nuclear blast to seal a gas leak in 1966. Urtabulak, one of its prized gas-fields in Uzbekistan, had caught fire and raged for three years. Desperate to save the cherished reserves, Yefim Slavsky, then Minister of Light Industry, ordered nuclear engineers to use the most powerful weapon in their arsenal.

“The minister said, ‘Do it. Put it out. Explode it,'” recalls Albert Vasilyev, a young engineer and a rising star in the project who now teaches at the Lenin Technical Institute in Moscow.

Vasilyev remembers the technology behind the program with obvious pride. “The explosion takes place deep underground,” he says. “We pinch the pipe, break it and the pipe collapses.” According to Vasilyev, the blast at Urtabulak sealed the well shut leaving only an empty crater.

In all, the Soviets detonated five nuclear devices to seal off runaway gas wells — succeeding three or four times, depending on who you talk to. “It worked quite well for them,” says Nordyke, who authored a detailed account of Soviet explosions in a 2000 paper. “There is no reason to think it wouldn’t be fine (for the United States).”

But not everything went smoothly. Vasilyev admits the program “had two misfires”. The final blast in 1979 was conducted near the Ukrainian city of Kharkov. “The closest houses were just about 400 meters away,” Vasilyev recalls. “So this was ordered to be the weakest of the explosions. Even the buildings and the street lamps survived.” Unfortunately, the low capacity of the device failed to seal the well and the gas resurfaced.

Alexander Koldobsky, a fellow nuclear physicist from the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute, insists the peaceful nuclear explosions were safe. The people who worked on the program “were brilliant professionals”, he says. “They had a culture of safety, which did not accept the word ‘maybe’, but only accepted the words ‘obligation’ and ‘instruction.’ Any derivation from these in nuclear technologies is a crime.”

Still, he concedes, “there were different scenarios of what happened after an explosion.” At his first blast in a Turkmen gas field in 1972, “the stench was unbearable,” he says. “And the wind was blowing toward a nearby town.” He closes his narrow lips into a smile as if refusing to say more.

Koldobsky shrugs off any suggestion of fear or emotion when the bomb exploded. “I felt nothing. I was just doing my job.”

Chernobyl to America?
Not everybody is so sanguine about the Soviet experience. Speaking on condition of anonymity, an expert from Russia’s largest oil exporter Rosneft, urges the United States to ignore calls for the atomic option. “That would bring Chernobyl to America,” he says.

Vladimir Chuprov from Greenpeace’s Moscow office is even more insistent that BP not heed the advice of the veteran Soviet physicists. Chuprov disputes the veterans’ accounts of the peaceful explosions and says several of the gas leaks reappeared later. “What was praised as a success and a breakthrough by the Soviet Union is in essence a lie,” he says. “I would recommend that the international community not listen to the Russians. Especially those of them that offer crazy ideas. Russians are keen on offering things, especially insane things.”

Former Minister Mikhailov agrees that the USSR had to give up its program because of problems it presented. “I ended the program because I knew how worthless this all was,” he says with a sigh. “Radioactive material was still seeping through cracks in the ground and spreading into the air. It wasn’t worth it.”

“Still,” he says, momentarily hard to see through a cloud of smoke from his cigarettes, “I see no other solution for sealing leaks like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The problem, he goes on, is that “Americans just don’t know enough about nuclear explosions to solve this problem … But they should ask us — we have institutes, we have professionals who can help them solve this. Otherwise BP are just torturing the people and themselves.”

Nordyke too believes the nuclear option should be on the table. After seeing nine U.S. nuclear explosions and standing behind the control board of one, he estimates that a nuclear bomb would have roughly an 80 to 90 percent chance of successfully blocking the oil. According to his estimates, it would have to be an explosion of around 30 kilotons, equivalent to roughly two Hiroshima bombs or three times as big as Mikhailov’s estimate. The explosion would also need to remain at least 3 to 4 miles away from other offshore wells in the area.

The bomb, says Nordyke, would be dropped in a secondary well approximately 60-70 feet away from the leaking shaft. There it would create a large cavity filled with gas. The gas would melt the surrounding rock, crush it and press it into the leaking well to close it shut.

Although the BP well is thousands of feet deeper than those closed in the Soviet Union, Nordyke says the extra depth shouldn’t make a difference. He also says that so far below the ground, not much difference exists in onshore or underwater explosions — even though the latter have never been tried.

Nordyke says fears that radiation could escape after the explosion are unfounded. The hole would be about 8 inches in diameter and, despite the shockwave, the radiation should remain captured. Even in the case of radiation escape, he says, its dispersed effect would be less than that of floating oil patches.

Bigger blowout a possibility
But don’t expect an explosion under the Gulf of Mexico any time soon. Even a conventional blast could backfire and cause more problems. There is a chance any blast could fracture the seabed and cause an underground blowout, according to Andy Radford, petroleum engineer and American Petroleum Institute senior policy adviser on offshore issues.

The U.S. Department of Energy has no plans to use explosives “due to the obvious risks involved,” according to a DOE spokeswoman.

There’s also the question of time. Preparations for a nuclear explosion could take up to half-a-year; BP has said it will have a relief well in place to stop the leak by August. “I think it has to be considered as only the last resort,” Nordyke says. But “they ought to be thinking about it.”

Would he be willing to work on such an operation? “I’d be happy to help,” he says.

Voters are Unhappy but Optimistic — 62% Say Country on Wrong Track   Leave a comment

Wow–I like them numbers!  Obama’s approval rating is down to 45% here, and this is from LIBERAL MEDIA sources too!  😀

Yup, that’s me–short term unhappy, but optimistic for the long-term!  I hope that this obama-nation (abomination) really wakes people up that they need to pay attention what’s going on around them!  I, for one, am! 

It’s time for real change in America.  Not fake change.  Not teleprompter change.  Not destruction of national sovereignty change.  But REAL change.  Like a conservative majority in congress and a shiny new boot to kick Obama out in 2012!  NOW THAT WILL BE A DAY TO PARTY DOWN ON and I generally don’t care to party (I’m a mom–too much going on LOL). 

So here is the article in question.  I’m excited.  It made my night.  I should call it a night so that it ends on a positive note, but I know me and I will keep on going regardless. 

Oh, and I love the title.  WHY do you think? 😀 

Voters Are Unhappy but Optimistic – – Why?

Americans this Fourth of July are short-term pessimistic but long-term optimistic. I’d say that unless things change for the better, they need to reconsider the long term.

Last week’s NBC-Wall Street Journal poll shows that 62 percent of U.S. adults think that the country is “on the wrong track,” the highest level during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose in May to its highest level since January 2008, but the Conference Board’s confidence index dropped and so did Gallup’s June economic confidence index. In the Gallup survey, pluralities of respondents rated the economy as “poor,” and around 60 percent said it was getting “worse.”

That sentiment is validated by the best summary I’ve seen of the current recovery — a New America Foundation report describing a “relatively weak GDP rebound” and “a jobless recovery,” facing the phasing out of fiscal and monetary stimulus, Europe’s financial crisis, U.S. debt overhang and an uncertain tax and regulatory environment.

Moreover, economists Sherle Schwenninger and Samuel Sherraden wrote, “State and local governments face fiscal shortfalls that are beginning to act as a drag on GDP growth and job creation,” housing prices are not recovering and wages are stagnant.

That’s the short-term bad news — just part of it. Along with oil spills and deepening doubts about the Afghan war, President Barack Obama’s support is dipping, though there’s no great confidence in Republicans, either.

As to the long term, however, a new Pew Research Center poll for Smithsonian magazine shows that 64 percent of Americans are optimistic about life for themselves and their families over the next 40 years, and 56 percent say the economy will be stronger than it is today.

People expect cancer to be cured and most energy to be derived from sources other than coal and oil, but 53 percent are afraid the U.S. will be hit with a nuclear terrorist attack.

Despite overall economic optimism, only 34 percent say that the standard of living for average families will get better, while 36 percent say it will get worse and 27 percent say it will stay flat.

And 58 percent believe that the gap between rich and poor will continue to grow.

That, I’m afraid, is in the cards. It’s partly owing to the failure of American schools to educate minorities, who will soon be a majority of the U.S. population.

Only half of all minority children graduate from high school on time and, of those who go to college, fewer than half graduate. The U.S. ranks 10th among all countries in overall college completion.

Moreover, as the Washington Post reported, China and the European Union are catching up with the United States in the number of people engaged in scientific and engineering research and development, and the U.S. trails Japan and South Korea in the percentage of gross domestic product spent on research investment.

On top of all that, the nation is in deep, deep debt. The official gross public debt — accumulated deficits plus borrowing from federal trust funds — is nearly $1.5 trillion, 95 percent of GDP.

But the Peter G. Peterson Foundation calculates the true level of federal obligations at more than $62 trillion, counting promises made to Social Security and Medicare recipients.

And those figures do not count personal, corporate, and state and local pension fund debt — on all of which interest needs to be paid, crowding out capital that could boost investment and wages.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that next year’s federal interest payments will be $571 billion, as large as the defense budget, and that the debt constitutes a major threat to national security.

A Gallup poll showed that the public agrees, ranking the debt as tied with terrorism as the top danger to the country.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll said that by a whopping 63 percent to 34 percent, the public wants Obama and Congress to worry more about keeping deficits down than boosting the economy — even if it means that the economy will take longer to recover.

As it is, only 33 percent of voters expect the economy to get better in the next year, while 23 percent expect it to get worse and 43 percent to remain flat.

Fearing a “double dip” or Japan-style stagnation, Obama and Democratic leaders want to pass stimulus legislation to help the states but can’t get it passed.

The gloom has Obama’s job approval rating down to 45 percent, the lowest of his presidency.

By 47 percent to 40 percent, the public still has a favorable view of Obama as a person — down from 68 percent just after he was inaugurated — and by 49 percent to 32 percent, voters think he has strong leadership qualities, also down from 68 percent.

Congress’ approval rating is 22 percent, almost as low as the 20 percent that preceded the Democrats’ takeover in 2006 and the 33 percent that presaged the GOP takeover of 1994.

Indeed, voters now marginally prefer that Republicans run the next Congress, by 45 percent to 43 percent.

But asked about the parties, voters give a 9-point net negative rating to the Democrats, 35 percent to 44 percent, and a 12-point net negative to the GOP, 30 percent to 42 percent.

The bottom line seems to be that an unhappy public is hoping that divided government will put the country back on the right track.

But given the inability of Republicans and Democrats to agree on almost anything, there’s more reason to be pessimistic about the long term as well as the short.

Now, I wonder where they get all these poll numbers from.  No one ever asks me MY opinion 😛

Stop the Presses! Population Growth is Still the Biggest Problem Facing Humanity?   Leave a comment

O…M…G! 

Now, I heard rumors that this type of rhetoric was being discussed at the Copenhagen, being pushed by China as an answer to our current, although thoroughly discredited, global warming woes, but the topic hasn’t come up since.  Until a friend emailed me this article!

I’m not quite sure how to approach this one.  It just seems like one of those little increases in temperature until the frog boils, using the debunked global warming issue to press it further.  Being that this man was a professor suddenly reminds me of my high school years and my Environmental Class where my teacher said the same things.  We are raising an entire generation that will believe this drivel.  Having one child, twelve children, or no children should be a personal choice, left to the person making that choice.  They should also be making that choice based on their ability to feed, care for and clothe their children, and not having babies because they have nothing better to do.  Running a society like this with a one-child policy is fallacy.  China is running into major issues with their policy and have even stepped back a little bit because now there are so many grown men and not enough women to wed them.  However, that would be an interesting forced Darwinism experiment if one really sat and thought about it.  Only the rich, handsome men would be able to reproduce with the well off pretty women–eugenics at work in a subtle kind of way.  ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THIS KIND OF LAW WOULD BE COMPLETELY AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS!

There is some validity to this, however sparse.  The author professor brings up the availability of natural resources and food as being a major reason to limit population growth.  However, he neglects to mention that governments all around the world, especially in Africa, fail to utilize their natural resources, and are so corrupt in most cases that they squander them and so they cannot be counted.

I get chills seeing this in the mainstream news.  Are we that devoted to the economic empire of China that we have to emulate them so we can control our people like sheep?  Even now I see and hear about from friends a general sense of ‘looking down on’ families with more than one child.  It’s sad to think that we might be heading in that direction.  Who knows what might happen next in this train of thinking–licenses to have children?  That’s something I’ve heard from people as well.  There are even groups out there dedicated to this kind of thinking!  Let is also be said, because it really wasn’t said in the article, nor does the slant of the article indicate this at all, but the worldwide human population has beens teadily decreasing since 1989

Anyway, here’s the article:

Population Growth Is Still The Biggest Problem Facing Humanity

 

This is a guest post by Gary Peters, a retired geography professor with a long time interest in population issues.

Earth’s population is approaching seven billion at the same time that resource limits and environmental degradation are becoming more apparent every day. Rich nations have long assured poor nations that they, too, would one day be rich and that their rates of population growth would decline, but it is no longer clear that this will occur for most of today’s poor nations.

Resource scarcities, especially oil, are likely to limit future economic growth; the demographic transition that has accompanied economic growth in the past may not be possible for many nations today. Nearly 220,000 people are added to the planet every day, further compounding most resource and environmental problems. The United States adds another person every eleven seconds. We can no longer wait for increasing wealth to bring down fertility in remaining high fertility nations; we need policies and incentives to stop growth now.

Much has been written about population growth since the first edition of Malthus’s famous essay was published in 1798. However, an underlying truth is usually left unsaid: Population growth on Earth must cease. It makes more sense for humans to bring growth to a halt by adjusting birth rates downward in humane ways rather than waiting for death rates to move upward as the four horsemen reappear. Those who think it inhumane to control human fertility have apparently never experienced conditions in Third World shanty towns, where people struggle just to stay alive for another day.

In 1970 Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on developing new plant strains that formed the basis for the Green Revolution that began in the 1960s. However, in his Nobel acceptance speech Borlaug perceptively commented that “There can be no permanent progress in the battle against hunger until the agencies that fight for increased food production and those that fight for population control unite in a common effort. Fighting alone, they may win temporary skirmishes, but united they can win a decisive and lasting victory to provide food and other amenities of a progressive civilization for the benefit of all mankind.” That was four decades ago. During that time the world’s population increased by more than three billion and the struggle to feed, clothe, house, and educate ever-growing numbers of people continues. “Temporary skirmishes” seem persistent, if not permanent.

Writers sometimes confuse population issues. For example, in his post, The Population Bomb: Has It Been Defused?,”, Fred Pearce wrote that “The population bomb is being defused at a quite remarkable rate.” He conflates rates of growth with actual numbers. It is true that the rate of population growth worldwide has declined since 1970. However, the base population has grown by more than three billion; thus we currently add 80 million or more people to the planet each year. That is hardly “defusing” population growth!

Writers may sometimes have short memories when they write about population growth. Fred Pearce’s post at “Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat,” is one example. George Monbiot’s post on “The Population Myth,” is another. Both authors seem to have discovered that our rate of consumption is an issue, so both play down population numbers and focus on our consumption habits. Neither mentions the work of Paul Ehrlich and his I = PAT equation, where I represents our impact on the Earth, P equals population, A equals affluence (hence consumption), and T stands for technology.

Both population and consumption are parts of the problem–neither can be ignored and both are exacerbating the human impact on Earth. More distressing, however, is that many among us don’t even see that there are problems created by both growing populations and increasing affluence bearing down on a finite planet. To pretend that another 80 million people added to the planet each year is not a problem because they are all being added to the world’s poor nations makes no sense at all. Many of them will end up in rich nations by migrating, legally or illegally, and all will further compound environmental problems, from strains on oil and other fossil fuel resources to deforestation and higher emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. As Kenneth Boulding noted decades ago, “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”

Population, consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow until we either face up to the fact that there are limits on our finite Earth or we are confronted by a catastrophe large enough to turn us from our current course. If Chinese, Indians, and others in the poorer world had consumption levels that rose to current western levels it would be like Earth’s population suddenly increasing to 72 billion, according to Jared Diamond, who then wrote that, “Some optimists claim that we could support a world with nine billion people. But I haven’t met anyone crazy enough to claim that we could support 72 billion. Yet we often promise developing countries that if they will only adopt good policies–for example, institute honest government and a free-market economy–they, too, will be able to enjoy a first-world lifestyle. This promise is impossible, a cruel hoax: we are having difficulty supporting a first-world lifestyle even now for only one billion people.”

This promise is often made by people who believe that that alone will stop population growth via the demographic transition, conveniently forgetting about such exceptions as China. As Tom Athanasiou argued, in Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor, “In a world torn between affluence and poverty, the crackpot realists tell the poor, who must live from day to day, that all will be well in the long run. Amidst deepening ecological crisis, they rush to embrace small, cosmetic adaptations.”

The widespread acceptance and political influence of modern neoclassical economics is a central part of our global problem. In one widely used economics textbook, Principles of Economics, Greg Mankiw wrote that “A large population means more workers to produce goods and services. At the same time, it means more people to consume those goods and services.” Speaking for many neoclassical economists, Tim Harford concluded, in The Logic of Life, that “The more of us there are in the world, living our logical lives, the better our chances of seeing out the next million years.” The absurdity of Harford’s statement must be recognized and challenged.

Economists do not deserve all the blame. As Thomas Berry noted, in The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, “Western civilization, dominated by a cultural arrogance, could not accept the fact that the human, as every species, is bound by limits in relation to the other members of the Earth community.” On his Archdruid blog, John Greer added his observation that “Our culture’s mythology of progress envisions the goal of civilization as a utopian state in which poverty, illness, death, and every other aspect of the human predicament has been converted into problems and solved by technology.” We don’t want to hear about limits.

Nowhere is acceptance of the twin towers of economic growth and increased consumption more apparent than in the United States, where “growing the economy” is still paramount, despite the leftovers of a financial meltdown created by banking and shadow banking systems run amok and a Gulf fouled by gushing oil. As Andrew Bacevich noted, in The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, “For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors.” Yet evidence that modern economics has let most people down is abundant.

More than two decades ago Edward Abbey wrote, in One Life at a Time, Please, that “[W]e can see that the religion of endless growth–like any religion based on blind faith rather than reason–is a kind of mania, a form of lunacy, indeed a disease,” adding that “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” He expressed his concern about modern economics as follows: “Economics, no matter how econometric it pretends to be, resembles meteorology more than mathematics. A cloudy science of swirling vapors, signifying nothing.” Similarly, Nassim Taleb wrote, in The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, that “Economics is the most insular of fields; it is the one that quotes least from outside itself!” Gus Speth argued, in The Bridge at the End of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability, that “In the end, what has to be modified is the open-ended commitment to aggregate economic growth–growth that is consuming environmental and social capital, both in short supply.” Barbara Ehrenreich wrote, in This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation, that “The economists’ odd fixation on growth as a measure of economic well-being puts them in a parallel universe of their own. . .the mantra of growth has deceived us for far too long.” Whether in local areas, the United States, or the world, no problem that I can think of will be more easily solved with additional millions of people.

Future oil production will come at an increasing cost, if it comes at all. As Bill McKibbin noted, in Deep Economy: The Wealth of Comunities and the Durable Future, “Cheap and abundant fossil fuel [mainly oil] has shaped the farming system we’ve come to think of as normal; it’s the main reason you can go to the store and get anything you want at any time and for not much money.” More expensive oil will eat into world food production, especially if we continue to use foodstuffs to help fill gas tanks.

Scientists need to encourage a deeper and more realistic interest in population growth on a finite planet and its effect on many of the major issues of our time. We ignore the implications of further population growth at our peril. In 1971 Wilbur Zelinsky, in an article entitled “Beyond the Exponentials; The Role of Geography in the Great Transition,” fretted that “The problem that shakes our confidence in the perpetuation and enrichment of civilized human existence or even our biological survival is that of growth: the rate, volume, and kinds of growth, and whether they can be controlled in intelligent, purposeful fashion.”

Continued population growth is unsustainable, as is continued growth in the production of oil and other fossil fuels. As Lester Brown argued, in PLAN B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, “If we cannot stabilize population and if we cannot stabilize climate, there is not an ecosystem on earth we can save.” As Alan Weisman wrote, in The World Without Us, “The intelligent solution [to the problem of population growth] would require the courage and the wisdom to put our knowledge to the test. It would henceforth limit every human female on Earth capable of bearing children to one.” Started now, such a policy would reduce Earth’s population down to around 1.6 billion by 2100, about the same as the world population in 1900. Had we kept Earth’s population at that level we would not be having this conversation.

Discussion Questions

1. Are there things we can do to get the population issue more into public discussion?

2. Are there other approaches to limiting population that might be more salable?

3. If Social Security is not sustainable, having fewer children will increase the likelihood that older adults will have no way of taking care of themselves. How does one deal with this issue?