Clear and chilly this morning here on California’s northern coast, stars twinkling in the sky and sounds distinct from seemingly far, far away.
Another day, another week as we grind onward toward the weekend.
Best way-put down of the week — Nancy Pelosi on novice nit-twit Luke Russert’s most-thoughtless question on old people and reality: “So you’re suggesting that everybody step aside? … Let’s for a moment honor it as a legitimate question, although it’s quite offensive. But you don’t realize that, I guess.”
(Illustration found here).
Wannabe-but-never-will-be journalist Russert’s question was not only ‘offensive’ to us old folks, but it was way-stupid — probably came from off some bullshit-remark a younger House member gave him.
The question is out with the old, in with the young — there can be nothing more stupid, especially when it comes to the old getting real old — like economic growth vs extinction.
In the wake of the 2012 elections, and the man-hearty David Petraeus scandal (and a newer military sex frump at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas — 11 training instructors there have been charged with crimes against recruits, ranging from rape to inappropriate relationships with recruits), the price of gas at the pumps has been off the news radar for awhile.
Beyond the noise off the gas rationing in New Jersey and elsewhere because of Hurricane Sandy — rationing ended Tuesday in NJ — US peoples have wallowed in gasoline products.
A likely oil settlement off the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010 could be the highest ever against BP, although no figure was noted, the amount should easily top Pfizer’s $1.3 billion criminal fine three years ago for marketing fraud.
According to the Justice Department, errors made by BP and Transocean in deciphering a key pressure test of the Macondo well are a clear indication of gross negligence.
“That such a simple, yet fundamental and safety-critical test could have been so stunningly, blindingly botched in so many ways, by so many people, demonstrates gross negligence,” the government said in its August filing.
West Coast gasoline price spikes in May and October were widely blamed on refinery outages, but new research to be released at a California hearing Thursday shows that refiners continued to produce gasoline in periods when the public was told the contrary.
The research also concludes that gasoline inventories actually were building in May during a time in which West Coast motorists paid at least 50 cents more per gallon than the national average.
This inventory building, evident in data from the California Energy Commission, happened even as four refiners were supposedly down for some portion of May.
At the time, media reports, citing analysts and industry officials, blamed the price hikes on outages and maintenance shutdowns.
Just a bunch of liars.
This entire spectre of gasoline is incredulous on its face — the very item that’s killing this planet is the very item we human must have to continue our glorious life — a most-vicious circle intended to kill everybody, even those who lie about it.
And even I contribute — a few days ago I visited the local Union 76 and put another $20 of gas in my old Jeep, now down to just $3.99 a gallon for regular.
Near a 75 cent drop in a month or so.
Someone is really f*cking with us.
And Bill McKibben is going after them.
The horror of man-made climate change is oil.
The math, McKibben explained, works like this.
Global leaders recently came to an international agreement based on the scientific understanding that a global temperature raise of 2°C would have “catastrophic” consequences for the future of humanity.
In order to raise global temperatures to this catastrophic threshold, the world would have to release 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Here’s the problem: Fossil fuel companies currently have 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide in their fuel reserves—and their business model depends on that fuel being sold and burned.
At current rates of consumption, the world will have blown through its 565-gigaton threshold in 16 years.
To prevent the end of the world as we know it, it will require no less than the death of the most profitable industry in the history of humankind.
“As of tonight,” McKibben said, “we’re going after the fossil fuel industry.”
A must-read is McKibben’s horrifying numbers piece from Rolling Stone last summer — it is good math gone real wrong.
And with newly-re-elected President Obama more concerned with a fiscal cliff instead of the real bummer of a cliff coming up shortly:
This is the same president who, in his first term, talked expansively about how clean-energy “green” jobs could be the key to not only environmental progress but to job creation.
On Tuesday, Obama talked only in the broadest terms about initiating a “conversation” with scientists, engineers and elected officials to try to find areas for progress.
He said he would look for “bipartisan support” to try to move the issue forward.
It’s hard to imagine where that support would come from, since many Republicans in Congress refuse to even acknowledge that global temperature increases can be tied to human activity.
When reporter Landler said it sounded like there was no consensus to move forward, Obama did not disagree.
Instead, he turned the question back to his theme of the day.
“Look, we’re still trying to debate whether we can just make sure that middle-class families don’t get a tax hike,” the president said.
He said that is where his focus would remain for the foreseeable future.
Kick that can!
Kick it hard!
On down that short-sized road.