Fracking

Fracking Boosts Household Incomes by $1,200, So Expect Even More Protests!

|

Via Bloomberg comes this story about the positive effects of fracking on the economy:

In 2012, the energy boom supported 2.1 million jobs, added almost $75 billion in federal and state revenues, contributed $283 billion to the gross domestic product and lifted household income by more than $1,200, according to the report released today from IHS CERA. The competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers from lower fuel prices will raise industrial production by 3.5 percent by the end of the decade, said the report from CERA, which provides business advice for energy companies….

Lower costs are also driving investment in energy-related chemical industries, where more than $31 billion will add more than 16 million tons of chemical, plastics and related manufacturing facilities by 2016.

"The unconventional oil and gas revolution is not only an energy story, it is also a very big economic story," Daniel Yergin, IHS vice chairman and author of The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World, said in a statement. "The growth of long-term, low-cost energy supplies is benefiting households and helping to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, creating a competitive advantage for U.S. industry and for the United Statesitself."

Read the whole thing.

As Reason's science correspondent, Ronald Bailey, has noted, "environmentalists were for fracking before they were against it." Hard-core greens such as Robert Kennedy Jr. called it "an obvious bridge fuel" to a new age of cleaner energy.

But that was then. Given the unambiguous atmospheric benefits of fracking—it produces far fewer greenhouse gases than coal or traditional petroleum products—and the big savings it's producing across the economy, expect the attacks on it to become more heated and vitriolic. Because the only thing many environmentalists hate more than a cheaper, cleaner potential energy source is an actualized one.

Watch Bailey and me discuss "The Truth About Fracking" in this Reason.tv video:

Advertisement

NEXT: World's Largest Solar Powered Boat Crosses Atlantic

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fin…..costs.html

    Meanwhile, Europe is worried about a “industrial massacre” due to the rise in energy costs associated with their green energy religion. Hard to compete with the US and Chinese using coal and natural gas.

    Cheap energy is absolutely necessary for competitiveness and prosperity. Any person who argues for a carbon tax, I am looking at you Ron Bailey, or tells you about green energy unicorns is arguing for government enforced poverty.

    1. But poverty is so romantic!

      /enviroMENTAList

      1. The consumerist lifestyle is decadent. Why do we need all of this stuff? Lets turn off our ACs so we can fix the outside!!

        1. Lets return to our roots!

    2. I wonder if this is helping keep France afloat (since they are alone in Western Europe in maintaining a decent nuclear energy industry)?

      1. It can’t be hurting. Germany went nuts. They actually thought they could replace nuclear with solar, in northern Europe. You know the place where light rain is known as “German Sunshine” and there is about six hours of daylight during the midwinter. What kind of a nut do you have to be to think that is a good idea?

        1. There are two kinds of environmentalists as far as I can tell. There are the Luddites who want to force us all back into the Stone age, and there are the cronies who make bank off government funded “green” technology.

          1. There are some that actually believe that wind and solar could power everything, it is a mentality approaching religious faith. They seriously don’t realize that the only reason wind and solar are even working at all where they have been built is because there is already a fully functioning grid with a lot of base-load power stations that allow the erratic solar/wind sources to not crash the grid.

            Show me somebody who can live a 1st world lifestyle using only wind and solar and who is *completely* disconnected from the grid (ie they can’t feed the power surges into the grid and then take power from the grid when their solar/wind is producing 0 kWh’s). I said this yesterday, the only reason wind and solar can function is because these farms are allowed to use the grid as a pseudo-battery.

            1. It is a total religion. If wind and solar were the more efficient way to go, that is what we would be using. The oil companies are worth so much money for a reason, selling cheap energy will always get your rich. They cling onto these fantasy conspiracy theories about how wind and solar would really be used if it wasn’t for the evil oil companies getting subsidies and killing the efficient electric car and so forth. There is no reasoning with them.

              1. I would have to say that there is potential that gas companies are the ones actually pushing for more wind and solar (behind the scenes). They know that wind/solar will never displace gas overall and that quick start natural gas generators are the perfect backup to even out the power output from wind/solar.

                It is a bit of a conspiracy theory, but economically it makes sense for the gas companies to push this angle.

                1. Seems to me to be a convoluted agenda with too many variables to invest serious capital into achieving.

                  Also, there aren’t too many “gas companies” out there. They are mainly E&P (exploration and production)companies that produce both Oil and Gas. They all adjust their production ratio depending on prices.

                  1. CAB, I agree. But if I was an Oil and Gas company and wanted to crowd out competition (nukes/coal), dress up your motives in “green energy”. It is a way to push for legislation and fool the vocal environmentalists into thinking they are fighting for green energy.

                    1. Wind and solar power have average capacity factors of 33% and 20-25% respectively. This means during a given period of time (day, week, etc.), renewable wind/solar is only capable of supplying full design power generation capacity to the grid on-average about 20-33% of the time. Since wind and solar are variable and unpredictable, peaking power must be on-line 100% of the time. Peaking power must be on-line at some minimum rate and available to quickly adjust to variable renewables power supply changes as required to continuously control power grids supply-demand balances within operating safety limits.

                      Natural gas is an excellent source of both peaking and baseload electric power supply. Due to its high capacity factor (87%), high efficiency and relatively low fuel cost and emissions, natural gas power supplies power grids reliably and cost effectively compared to other currently available peaking power alternatives (petroleum, biogas, etc.). These factors make natural gas peaking power the ideal backup for increasing penetration levels of wind and solar power supply. Since variable wind and solar power cannot be used to displace constant-baseload power such as coal, these variable power sources are only capable of displacing natural gas peaking power capacity and associated fuel consumption.

                      Link

                2. Joe Fission,

                  It is the same way big oil companies love restrictions on exploration. If you own a lot of known oil assets, the best way to drive up the value of those assets is to restrict the development of new assets.

            2. -There are some that actually believe that wind and solar could power everything

              In my experience this is true. Most environmentalists I know of (and I hate to use that term in this way, there are non-coercive ways to care for nature and ‘the environment’, but coercionists seem to have appropriated the term now) do not argue for poverty, they truly believe low or no carbon based alternatives can replace what we have. They think that if the government were to invest in a ‘green’ infrastructure the way it has invested in a carbon fuel infrastructure this could be achieved.

              1. They think that if the government were to invest in a ‘green’ infrastructure the way it has invested in a carbon fuel infrastructure this could be achieved.

                Because government is magic! It can create value out of thin air! What? You say money doesn’t have any value in and of itself? Well, give me all your money! What? You won’t give me all your money? Then it does have value! See! Government can magically create value out of thin air, and with that value it can create “green” energy!

            3. I’ve heard of homes being *completely* disconnected from the grid, but they used geothermal. Can’t use geothermal everywhere.

              1. Yeah, I have heard of this. From what I know about it is that 1. for most people this is not even a realistic alternative, and 2. the upfront capital is massive.

                I need to look into geothermal more but it is really a power source that is only available to those in perfect situations with some money to spend.

                I’m a fan of more localized power sources, that is why I love the idea of small modular nuclear reactors scattered all over the place. They require refueling on the order of years and will likely have capacity factors in the 90%+ range. Reliability and no requirement for huge fuel shipping infrastructure.

              2. I’ve looked into geothermal heating / cooling systems for homes. They still require electricity for heat pumps and fans. The rest of the house – lights, appliances, well-pump – still requires electricity.

                While geo-thermal is cheaper long-term than gas or oil, houses with those systems use more electricity not less.

            4. And one the saddest things about this is that there probably are better fuels out there. But, by subsidizing solar & wind and channeling government R&D into those methods, you’re starving other means from being investigated.

      2. France’s ‘decent’ nuclear industry is every bit as much a drain on coffers as our nuclear industry which is more of a drain than green ‘energy’. Nuclear doesn’t work. France has way more sensible nuclear regulation but their nuke power costs just as much as in America.

        1. Nuclear doesn’t work because the regulatory framework government has put in place, especially in the US, has made it prohibitive to bring new plants that utilize new technology – both safer and more efficient – on line to favor their anti-nuke constituencies. When you have such idiotic laws, like for example the one that demands the planned nuke waste storage facility in Nevada have a lower radiation output than the background from the granite mountain it is under, you can see why nuke power costs so much. When is the last time someone other than the military brought a new nuke plant ? a modern reactor that includes all the latest efficiencies and safety feature, yet can run for a fraction of the cost of the existing systems – online in the US?

          1. That isn’t it. It costs the same in France and it’s far less regulated there. Nuclear power just doesn’t work.

            1. No offense if I don’t take your word for it.

            2. Nuclear would work fine and considering how much energy France is exporting because of their nukes, even if their environment isn’t as insanely regulated as ours, it is over regulated, it is quite viable. Thorium reactors are literally one day going to be set up for each neighborhood if we could get regulation that actually made sense instead of the insane shit we have today that totally makes nuclear impossible due to cost.

        2. I don’t know. Seems to me that most of the expense comes from the fact that every plant is basically designed from scratch. If much safer modern modular reactors could be mass produced it could cut out a lot of the costs.

        3. Nuclear costs less than any green option except for hydro and econuts hate hydro because it kills the fishies, donchaknow.

          Costs for electricity in ascending order are: coal < gas (this is a close one though) < hydro < nuclear

  2. The envrionmentalists really do want us to live in Neolithic Villages again don’t they.

    1. And when we’re back to neolithic living, they’ll scaremonger about Peak Stone.

      1. “Guys, mud huts hurt the mud. Lets just all go live in caves.”

          1. And, much like the Cave Bear, we’d also become extinct.

      2. But fracking makes you bathroom sink catch fire–a friend told me this. No, she really did, and seemed to believe it.

        I hadn’t been following the controversy, but I guess there’s this movie that’s been wandering around does claim that natural gas will come out of your bathtub. Of course, if this were actually happening it might occasionally show up on CNN or our local news…

        Still, anti-fracking seems to be following the same trajectory as the anti-immunization campaigns.

        1. Cool – So I can fuel my car with the garden hose?

        2. Yeah, it’s bullshit propaganda from the documentary GasLand. The name escapes me now, but Frack Nation debunked a lot of it.

          More info:

          FrackNation was inspired when documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer asked Josh Fox, the director of the 2010 documentary Gasland, some tough questions at an event in Chicago. While Fox was promoting his film project McAleer confronted him about the historical records of people being able to ignite natural gas in water at “burning springs” long before fracking started. McAleer told the Los Angeles Times that Fox did not include that information in his film because he did not think it was relevant towards the current drilling impacts of certain areas.[2] The people interviewed in Fox’s film claimed that the contamination was caused by the drilling.[3]

          After a video of the questioning[4] was made public on various websites, Fox and his lawyers got the video removed from YouTube and Vimeo. However, FrackNation’s filmmakers managed to fight the removal and restore access to the video despite claims of infringing on HBO’s copyrights.

          1. Damn, if only a reputable source like Reason would address this…

            https://reason.com/archives/201…..t-fracking

          2. Energy in Depth Debunked the lies in Gasland, both Parts I and II.

            Part I Debunking:
            http://energyindepth.org/wp-co…..asland.pdf

            Part II:
            http://energyindepth.org/natio…..fographic/

        3. Yeah there was some hoax vid of a lady igniting the water out of her garden hose … which turned out to be connected to a tank of gasoline.

        4. Of course, if this were actually happening it might occasionally show up on CNN or our local news…

          Oh, that’s for real alright. People setting fire to the water coming out of their kitchen faucet that is. The thing the environmentalists fail to mention is that that was happening before there was any fracking. They say it was caused by fracking. They are liars. And they know it. But like they say, the end justifies the means.

          1. And some cases may well be caused by gas extraction, though from what I have learned about it it seems much more likely to be from badly sealed casings than from anything directly related to fracking. There is no sense pretending that gas and oild drilling can’t cause environmental contamination. Of course it can.

        5. Just yesterday, I had to watch some commercials for my marketing class, and one of them was an anti-fracking ad that showed people starting a fire in their kitchen sink, and then cut to a baby taking a bath in the kitchen sink.

          1. Might’ve been worth watching if the baby were on fire in the sink.

            1. That would just make fracking look good which isn’t what they want derp.

            2. I mean, who just turns on the faucet with the baby underneath it? Hey, lets pour cold water on our baby! Yeah, that’ll toughen him up. Fire? Even better!

        6. if this were actually happening it might occasionally show up on CNN or our local news…

          No man, the media is controlled by the big KKKORPOASHUNZ, man! Big Fossil Fuel won’t let them tell the truth about flammable water coming out of people’s sinks and stuff. /enviro-tard

      3. And peak gamboling.

        But it will be so much better. No modern technology at all. People in cities will grow their own food in window ledge flower pots and eat their neighbors kids with a side of rat, well that is at least until the plague hits. I hear infected child isn’t all that palatable.

        1. unless the right combination of herb and spices are used.

          1. 11 secret ones?

    2. yeah they want everyone but themselves. And most of them think they will be the ones getting to keep what they have while the rest of us have to give up modernity.

  3. But what about the earthquakes that will kill us all?

    For a laugh, try searching “fracking” in /r/science (handy link for you). It’s all DOOM DOOM DOOM!

    1. The Greens loved natural gas right up until it was apparent there was enough of it to produce prosperity. The environmental movement is nothing but the old communist movement in new clothes.

      1. They’re Luddites. They won’t be satisfied until everyone is living hand to mouth on self-sufficient communal farms, one drought away from starvation.

      2. The Greens loved natural gas right up until it was apparent there was enough of it to produce prosperity.

        Winner!

        I find it funny that people don’t remember how CNG vehicles came to be in the first place.

      3. -The Greens loved natural gas right up until it was apparent there was enough of it to produce prosperity.

        I think they turned on it once they perceived ‘evil corporations’ turning to it to make (shudder) obscene profits.

        1. obscene profits.

          I laugh every time I see this. There was a time, when I was a kid, that this term had bad connotations to it.

          Now, when I see it, I immediately think “fuck yeah someone’s getting rich, that means Ima get a bit richer too.”

          1. But, but, but concentrations of wealth are bad! Inequality is bad! It’s not fair!

            1. How can’t people understand that people having money that wasn’t obtained by force can only have a positive impact on other people?

              1. Understanding requires thought. They aren’t thinking. They’re reacting.

                It’s like when someone sees a snake in their garden and reflexively kills it. You can explain all day how the snake benefits the crops by eating rodents that would otherwise eat the crops, and they may even be persuaded, but they’ll still kill the next snake that they see.

              2. I think a lot of it comes from history as well. I mean, until just a few centuries ago, most concentrated wealth was indeed obtained by force. Be it taxation or conquest. Even merchants obtained much of their wealth by force, though indirectly. Protective tariffs that artificially inflate the price of imported goods in a way force consumers to buy domestic goods that they may not have purchased without the tariff.

                So yeah. Traditionally most concentrations of wealth have been obtained by force. The idea that a rich merchant makes everyone else a little richer by providing goods and services to them is relatively new, and not very intuitive. Most people still think that by giving money to the rich person you are made poorer, because most people don’t understand the difference between money and wealth.

                1. think a lot of it comes from history as well. I mean, until just a few centuries ago, most concentrated wealth was indeed obtained by force.

                  Oh, I wholeheartedly agree, which is why I specifically said not obtained by force.

                  Wealth obtained by force or fraud is SOP throughout history; it’s only in the past few centuries that we’ve (relatively) quit doing that and… Surprise! Everyone’s a million times richer.

            2. Well, I actually do think that concentrations of wealth and inequality can be quite bad and not fair. I do not think they warrant coercive measures to address them and I think non-coercive movements can address them better, but I see no reason why I have to embrace either.

              1. Well, I actually do think that concentrations of wealth and inequality can be quite bad and not fair.

                How?

                Even if a person hoards the money they earn and doesn’t invest it, all they’ve done is make the money in your possession more valuable.

                1. I think that a good portion of the modern concentrations of wealth are the result of cronyism and bribery. All the people who have gotten rich from green energy did so through government payouts. Booz Allen Hamilton gets 99% of their total revenue from the United States Federal Government.

                  There are very large numbers of rich people who have been paid out of the public coffers their entire lives. This is not fair because it’s based on theft and coercion. I’m not sure of that’s what Bo meant, but I certainly think there are instances of wealth accumulation based entirely on legalized theft.

                  1. I think that a good portion of the modern concentrations of wealth are the result of cronyism and bribery.

                    People do still get rich by (effectively) stealing their money, but the largest concentrations of wealth are still well within the hands of people that -haven’t- resorted to stealing it. But that’s also a red herring, as I was talking about voluntary transactions.

                2. Let me offer an example to demonstrate: there is significant inequality in general between whites and blacks in the US in terms of income and wealth. Is that something to celebrate or deplore?

                  1. Let me offer an example to demonstrate: there is significant inequality in general between whites and blacks in the US in terms of income and wealth. Is that something to celebrate or deplore?

                    The red herring did it!

                    1. Perhaps you do not know what the phrase ‘red herring’ refers to?

                    2. In the context of great concentrations of wealth, I don’t see how inequality of income between races is anything but a distraction.

                      Unless you’re someone who doesn’t understand the differences between money, wealth, and income.

                    3. Perhaps because we are talking about concentrations of wealth and inequality? The example was to illustrate the second (but of course could be adapted to the first if, for example, wealth were primarily concentrated into the hands of whites).

                  2. Is that something to celebrate or deplore?

                    Why should I submit to this false dichotomy?

                    Who cares if blacks in the US are less rich than their white counterparts? Black culture doesn’t value earning money as much as leisure activities.

                    1. By all means, add an option of ‘don’t care’ (though your ‘don’t care’ is probably based on the idea that there is nothing concerning there). I am simply offering an example involving inequality that some might reasonably think is not a good thing.

                    2. (though your ‘don’t care’ is probably based on the idea that there is nothing concerning there)

                      Did you even read his post?

                      Take two people with equivalent incomes. One is a saver, and the other enjoys leisure activities.

                      In ten years, who will be wealthier, and why? Is it fair?

                      One has enjoyed more leisure activities than the other. Is that fair?

                    3. Both situations are unfair! I say: Saving and Leisure for everyone, everywhere!

                    4. Do not mistake me not accepting his premise (that racial inequality is due to different preferences) with not reading it.

                      Take two people who make different incomes. There are many reasons why this might be so. The union dominated school that one, but not the other, went to and which failed the child might have done some part of it. The gang that terrorized the neighborhood that one, but not the other, was born into might. The fact that one was born into a household whose parents parents lived under Jim Crow and were unable to save much wealth or make many connections which might help the child in their life as they grow up might explain it. And on and on.

                      Are you saying this does not occur, or that it does but it can be of no concern to a libertarian?

                    5. An awful lot of black people would work but their communities are shit and no one wants to invest there. It’s not your fault if you’re surrounded by slime but are too poor to move, which goes back to my point about education that I posted down below.

                      Who cares if blacks in the US are less rich than their white counterparts? Black culture doesn’t value earning money as much as leisure activities.

                      Hooray, collectivism! Apparently it’s okay when we do it!

                    6. -An awful lot of black people would work but their communities are shit and no one wants to invest there.

                      Or there parents do not care about them, or the teachers and administrators at their schools do not care about them, or they are terrorized by violence on a daily basis in their neighborhoods, etcetera.

                      Walter Williams has spoken about he donates money and time to charities that work with inner city youth suffering from these and other conditions. He is hoping this will make the difference with them and they will be able to command strong wages and such. Is he crazy to care about inequality in this way?

                    7. Or the government has systematically worked to keep the vast majority of their community dependent on it. Cause it’s pretty hard for your parents to care about you when one of them is locked up for walking around with a dime sac.

              2. Well, I actually do think that concentrations of wealth and inequality can be quite bad and not fair.

                Why? Concentrations of wealth don’t come in the form of vaults like Scrooge McDuck. They come in the form of factories, machines, mines, ships, office buildings and such. Concentrations of wealth are what allows for the efficient production of goods and services. Concentrations of wealth make everyone wealthy, because we would be poorer without them.

                1. A couple disagreements.

                  1. That’s only assuming wealth accumulation is caused through trade, not through theft and coercion. This is often not the case in our modern crony economy.

                  2. If everyone were better educated and more highly skilled, individual wealth accumulation would decrease. This is because there’d be more competition for top tier jobs, so incomes would begin becoming more even. Wealth accumulation is therefore often a symptom of one group in a society being far more poorly educated than other groups. If that group were better educated, the vast majority of people would benefit and there would be lower wealth concentration.

                  Therefore, wealth accumulation IS a symptom of something bad, it’s just that the bad thing is lack of education and skills not evil greedy capitalists.

                  1. As often happens here, someone has said it better than me. Well said, Irish.

                  2. If that group were better educated, the vast majority of people would benefit and there would be lower wealth concentration.

                    What does that have to do with anything? Income is not wealth.

                    If anything there would be greater wealth concentration. Think about it. As machines get more and more complicated, they cost that much more to produce. Yet they also produce more. But someone has to own them. That’s where the concentrations of wealth are. In the means of production. If we have more educated and skilled people producing more means of production, more will be produced and we’ll all be richer. But someone must own that greater means of production, and that will mean greater concentrations of wealth.

                    1. -But someone must own that greater means of production, and that will mean greater concentrations of wealth.

                      Of course not. There could be multiple producers each without huge shares of the market, or a few producers organized along more egalitarian lines.

                    2. Of course not. There could be multiple producers each without huge shares of the market, or a few producers organized along more egalitarian lines.

                      You’re losing me here. You really are.

                      Who owns the factories and machines? Who owns the container ships? Who owns the office buildings?
                      Keep in mind too that this wealth is not static. Ships are built while others are retired. Who commissions these vessels? Factories are constantly being built, updated and destroyed. Who owns them and the machines in them?

                      That’s where the real concentrations of wealth are. Who owns those things? Why is it a bad thing for only a few to own them? What would a poor person do with a share? They’d probably sell it for money to spend on something else. Sell it to who? Probably someone who is already wealthy.

                      I really don’t know where you’re coming from. I don’t get it at all.

                    3. I would be willing to bet that organizations like corporations own most of the things you are talking about. And corporations can be organized on various lines, some of them more egalitarian than others. And in a society where everyone had excellent educations, skills and the like you would find lots of people investing in these. It doesn’t need to be a handful of Andrew Carnegies and Commodore Vanderbilts owning these things. If anything I think it likely works better, and more rationally, when that is not the case.

                    4. And in a society where everyone had excellent educations, skills and the like you would find lots of people investing in these.

                      In such a society you still need people to pick crops and wash toilets. Even engineers with excellent educations will never earn enough to own a significant share in the company for which they design machines.

                      So while some of the wealth will be spread out, there will still be massive concentrations. There must. How else can a factory full of machines that cost more than the operator will make in their entire lifetime exist? There must be some super wealthy to own a significant portion of it.

                    5. -There must be some super wealthy to own a significant portion of it.

                      Again, why? Instead of a bunch of factories owned by one man worth a hundred million why not a bunch of factories owned by a hundred men worth a million (or some other such more equal arrangement). Why would the hundred men do this? For the same reason the one man would: a cut of profits generated. This is how corporations work.

                    6. Instead of a bunch of factories owned by one man worth a hundred million why not a bunch of factories owned by a hundred men worth a million (or some other such more equal arrangement).

                      How does that work? Do you rob the super rich and spread the wealth around? Do you institute a maximum income? Do you confiscate wealth on death?

                      In all of these cases, you are now taking away the incentives to invest in production, and you make everyone poorer.

                      Here. Watch this.
                      http://cafehayek.com/2013/08/m…..ation.html

                    7. Think about it. As machines get more and more complicated, they cost that much more to produce. Yet they also produce more. But someone has to own them.

                      You apparently missed the invention of corporations and shareholders. No one person needs to own the means of production because it can be financed through dozens or hundreds of people buying shares.

                    8. You apparently missed the invention of corporations and shareholders. No one person needs to own the means of production because it can be financed through dozens or hundreds of people buying shares.

                      By “someone” I didn’t mean just one person. But when we’re talking about people operating or designing machines that are worth more than they’ll make in their entire lifetime, does it really matter how much they invest relative to the super wealthy?

                    9. -does it really matter how much they invest relative to the super wealthy?

                      I think this is a fairly big indicator you are assuming what is being argued.

                      Of course in a society with a handful of super-wealthy people it is going to be such people who have concentrations of wealth (by definition) and who own the things you speak of. What I am proposing is that we can have the things you speak of without there being only a handful of super-wealthy people owning them.

                      Inequality and concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is worse in third world countries than in first world countries, but the means of production you are talking about are far more advanced and numerous in the latter .

                    10. What I am proposing is that we can have the things you speak of without there being only a handful of super-wealthy people owning them.

                      How? Money is not wealth. You can go and give corporate shares to the poor, and being unable to spend or eat them, they’ll probably sell them. Who will they sell them to? The wealthy. Now we’re back to concentrated wealth again.

                    11. Shares are shares of ownership and they entitle one to a commensurate share of profits generated from that ownership. If the poor were not so poor and did not need to sell for short term necessities, and they were making money off of their shares, they would no sooner sell them than the wealthy man who owns shares. And you would have all these machines and factories, but owned by a wider distribution of people.

                    12. If the poor were not so poor and did not need to sell for short term necessities, and they were making money off of their shares, they would no sooner sell them than the wealthy man who owns shares.

                      How does that work? I know it isn’t nice for me to say this, but many people are poor because of the choices they make. They spend all their money and don’t save. So they remain poor. You could argue that they don’t have a choice, and I would say bullshit. I worked with Mexican dishwashers who would, for one month a year, go back to Mexico and live like kings. Eleven months out of the year they were lowly dishwashers, and one month they were respected businessmen coming back to Mexico with American dollars. This was on the same wages on which some whiny punk with cable and a pc and the internet and a cell phone complains that they can barely get by.

                      Choices matter.

                      The sad truth is that there will always be poor people. Accept it.

                    13. Then there was this slightly retarded guy I worked with at McDonalds in high school. He had been with the company for thirty years, and he was rich. He lived very frugally, rode a bike everywhere and such, invested everything he could, and the guy was quite wealthy.

                      But that was because of his own choices. You can’t force people with the poor person’s mindset (spend it all!) to save and scrimp and invest. The best you can do is educate them, but that doesn’t come with guarantees.

                      You also can’t just give wealth to someone with that mindset and not expect them to squander it. Many lottery winners end up worse off than before because they don’t have the mindset to handle wealth.

                      You can lead a person to knowledge, but you can’t make them learn.

                    14. Well you can’t start from zero (everyone being equally wealthy), so of course there’s going to be some super wealthy, even if we woke up in libertopia tomorrow.

                2. -factories, machines, mines, ships, office buildings and such

                  Can come in versions with more or less wealth concentrated into the hands of very few. We do not have to choose one or the other.

                  1. Can come in versions with more or less wealth concentrated into the hands of very few. We do not have to choose one or the other.

                    False dichotomy FTW!

      4. Careful John. The ecotards are NOT the same as The Old Left. TOF believed in kneeling to the collective. BIG GREEN worships Gaia. There’s a difference, and BG is being sacrificed for the left all over the world. Ecuador is allowing drilling in its rainforest for instance.

    2. I recall a geologist telling me, back many years when my employer was selling to frackers, that pushing the rock apart to extract oil and then replacing the oil with frack sand actually relieved the kinds of stress that eventually cause earthquakes. Any of you scientists wish to comment?

    3. I hope it does cause earthquakes. For one thing, small earthquakes are fun and interesting and usually do little or no damage. And it seems to me that releasing any tension in the bedrock should make a large quake less likely to happen.

  4. AND…

    THIS!

    1. Now we’ll never find the Northwest Passage!

    2. This just means that carbon taxes are working.

    3. In the summer of 2012 Arctic sea ice hit a record low. Given just how extreme it was, it’s not too surprising that it would not be as extreme this year. It’s more like getting a D- after getting an F on a test. Sure, it’s better, but it ain’t necessarily good.

      1. Given just how extreme it was, it’s not too surprising that it would not be as extreme this year.

        Actually, using arctic sea ice here, it’s like getting an A+ after getting an F-.

        I suggest you google up arctic sea ice.

        1. More important is the sea ice volume, ie. thickness.. Ice can cover a lot of area, but if it’s thin that’s not good; it melts more readily in the summer. Right now, the trend for sea ice volume is down. Way down.

          1. Way to post outdated information when the subject here is specifically 2013.

          2. For albedo affect, all that matters is coverage.

            1. Cyto, they have to move the goalposts. They can never just say, “Yeah, this year looks better. I think we should see if 2012 was just an outlier or the bottom of a natural oscillation.”

            2. And coverage will change much more quickly if the thickness is low.

  5. MATT DAMON

  6. Is it just me, or has the environmentalist movement become a joke? Not just to those of us who thought they were Luddite scum in the first place, but to the wider public? Because while tons of people still fight over TEAM HOT and TEAM NOT, nobody seems to be fighting the age old environmentalist battles over things like spotted owls, and battles over pipelines and the like are transparently ridiculous.

    It seems as if the environmentalist movement has reached saturation with the public, and their boy that cried wolf routine has taken its expected course. While that’s a good thing, now they’ve become entrenched lobbyists and special interest groups just like everyone else. Yay Washington!

    1. Is it just me, or has the environmentalist movement become a joke?

      I think the libertarian movement is taken more seriously than the environmental movement at this point.

      So yeah, that says a lot

    2. I hope so. I think also they are getting to a point where they are so crazy that they are starting to harm people’s daily lives in ways that are apparent. It is one thing to get everyone to buy into the recycling religion and segregate their trash. It is quite another thing to start doing things that result in the lights going out. And that is the point we are starting to hit.

      What the Greens have never understood is that environmentalism is a luxury afforded to us by our prosperity. People are not going to choose the earth over their standard of living. The Greens think they will because to them it is a religion. And religious people, who are true believers, are always willing to sacrifice. Well, just like very few people want to live life as a nun or with a vow of poverty in the name of Christ, very few people are going to give up their AC or 24 hour power in the name of mother earth.

      1. I think also they are getting to a point where they are so crazy that they are starting to harm people’s daily lives in ways that are apparent.

        It’s good to know that at a certain point, Americans will still say “yeah, fuck this shit” when it’s in their best perceived interest to do so.

        1. If Americans didn’t say “yeah, fuck this shit” when the government banned the international symbol for a good idea, they never will.

          Seriously. When kids born today see old cartoons where an incandescent light bulb appears above a characters head, they’re going to be a bit confused.

          1. Seriously. When kids born today see old cartoons where an incandescent light bulb appears above a characters head, they’re going to be a bit confused.

            To be fair, LED lighting was going to replace the incandescent bulb in the future at some point anyways. I still refuse to buy CFL’s: “Hey, let me buy a shitty light bulb that doesn’t actually illuminate anything.”

            1. I’ve been using CFLs for a while. They do last a lot longer and I don’t have a problem with the light. The ones that are equivalent to 60W work fine for me.

            2. I stockpiled incandescent bulbs waiting for LEDs to become affordable. I’ve been conducting my own experiment with an LED vs. incandescent and so far impressed but not enough to offset the price differential.

              1. but not enough to offset the price differential.

                They do use less electricity as well.

                Still, this was a choice that should have been made in the market. At some point when, between longer life and less electricity used, the perceived value of CFLs would become greater than that of incandescents, and people would have made the switch on their own.

                1. Still, this was a choice that should have been made in the market.

                  You’d never find me arguing otherwise.

            3. n=1 here, but I have never changed an incandescent bulb that was switched by a dimmer. Meanwhile I’ve changed out more CFLs in the past couple years than I expected to. Am I alone in noticing this phenomenon?

              1. I’ve found that the quality of CFLs has dropped considerably now that the competition has been made illegal.

                1. I’ve found that the quality of CFLs has dropped considerably now that the competition has been made illegal.

                  Go figure.

                2. CFLs are not the only alternative to old style incandescent bulbs. In addition to LEDs, there are lots more compact halogen bulbs that go in normal light sockets now.

                  Not that that makes the ban less stupid and absurd.

              2. Nope. But I think there are special ones set to work with the rheostats. I have one set on a dimmer that make a horrible hum if you aren’t in one of two spots.

              3. I’ve heard from other people about problems with CFLs dying early. But I’ve never had a problem with them. I think they don’t work well with dimmers (even the ones that are supposed to work with dimmers).

                1. Sorry, should have clarified: I don’t run CFLs on a dimmer, but just have noticed that I get crazy long life from dimmer-switched incandescent bulbs. The amateur scientist in me thinks it has something to do w/ ramping up/down from full current.

                  1. Incandescent bulbs will last a lot longer run at lower voltage. You get less evaporation of the filament.

      2. -People are not going to choose the earth over their standard of living. The Greens think they will because to them it is a religion. And religious people, who are true believers, are always willing to sacrifice.

        This strikes me as overwrought. Most environmentalists are just people who care a great deal for ‘nature.’ There is nothing wrong with that in itself, it is just that they too often turn to coercion as their preferred way to protect what they value.

        1. …and thus sacrifice others’ standard of living for Gaia. It ain’t overwrought by one notch.

          1. ^^ THIS.

            Very few of these enviroweenies will give their comforts up: they expect others to do so.

        2. Well, practically, coercion is always bad, but it’s more noticeably bad when the coercer’s objectives/value deviate substantially from the coercee. It doesn’t annoy people quite so much to force them to do something they were already going to do. So, their extremism is sort of a multiplier on their coercion.

      3. I think also they are getting to a point where they are so crazy that they are starting to harm people’s daily lives in ways that are apparent.

        I think a bit more attention should be given by Reason to the fact that the recent change in government in Aussie-land appears to have been primarily driven by their carbon tax.

        Environmentalists are so ready to ignore costs. Let’s see how their attitude changes once their power base is dismantled.

    3. Algore was the best thing that could have possibly happened to the movement. A moron with zero charisma going around the world on a private jet shouting “Planetary Emergency!!!!!” certainly reached the saturation point pretty quickly….

      1. Al Gore got rick and maybe that was his goal. But if his goal was to actually do something about global warming, it is amazing how tone deaf and arrogant he was. He actually thought that he could promote a cause that required sacrifice in the name of an emergency without making any personal sacrifices himself. No, Al, you have to wear the hairshirt or no one takes you seriously.

        1. His excuse when called on it: He buys carbon offsets. Huge sacrifice for somebody worth over $100 million. Planetary Emergency!!!!!!

          1. I love that excuse. Al, if the future of humanity depends on it, why not buy the offsets and cut your carbon footprint both?

        2. He was making this dire predictions and at the same time shunning nuclear power (a proven Carbon Free? power source that can power entire nations). He may believe some of the shit he spews, but he was definitely in it for the money overall.

    4. It still rages whenever a NIMBY situation arises. I swear that a dedicated group could hold up building a convent in Penna. for ten years just by filings and appeals related to environmental impact. A friend fought for a year to get permission to put a garage on his house even with the garage permitted by the local zoning code.

    5. They may be a joke to the public, but they are very real as far as influencing legislation and regulation.

      Politicians positively love environmentalists. It gives them an excuse to ban and control things. I mean, that’s all government does, right? Ban and control. Well, if something is going to harm the environment, by golly it better be banned or controlled! I mean, you don’t want to destroy the environment, do you? Do you?

      1. And environmentalists are rich as hell. Groups like GreenPeace and the Sierra Club are some of the richest and most well funded special interest lobbies.

    6. People still believed the environ anti-nukes when they said Fukushima was going to kill everybody on the western seaboard. They are still able to make people believe that the water leaking from holding tanks at the site are going to kill marine life and irradiate anybody who eats fish caught around Fukushima.

      The biggest one though, through pushing irrational radiation standards, people are still being forced to stay away from their homes around the plant when there is absolutely no danger to 90% of the residents if they were to return. It is healthier to live in the exclusion zone around Fukushima than to live in Tokyo, radiation wise and general air quality wise.

      1. One of the worst parts of the Green madness is their refusal to rationally weigh risks. They will pick out a particular risk, be it radiation or pesticide exposure or vaccines, and totally commit to eliminating that risk at the expense of incurring all sorts of other risks.

        We kid when we call it a religion. But it really is. Most of them cannot think rationally about these issues or understand even basic rational concepts like opportunity cost, secondary effects and tradeoffs to different options or the impossibility of living in a risk free environment.

        1. I do not think that someone is necessarily being ‘religious’ because they do not think in utilitarian terms about something they value highly. When it comes to my liberty I do not care much for people who lecture me that I need to be realistic and rational about trade offs for things like security.

          1. It is not that they value nature over consumer prosperity. It is that they can’t weigh how to best preserve nature or human health or whatever their stated goal is because they fixate on one risk at the expense of all others. So for example, Greens think logging is bad. So they will object to logging in a Forrest when doing so will eliminate an invasive species or reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire. One of the first law suits I ever worked on as an attorney was a suit by Green Peace to stop the forest service from logging invasive junipers in a forrest in Indiana. The junipers were killing the oaks which were home to an endangered bat and a lot of other fauna. There was no rational case for not logging them and saving the forest. But all Green Peace saw was logging and objecting to logging was a prime directive. See also, the cases in Arizona where environmental groups sued to stop logging and under brush management only to see the entire forest, just as predicted, burn down as a result.

            They are not rational. It is not about having different values. It is about being completely irrational.

            1. Well said, I agree with this.

              I do not mind someone who values nature such that they do not care much for trade offs in unrelated areas they care less for, but you are right that not seeing how trade offs within the area you care about which ultimately lead to better results for what you care about is silly.

            2. I gotta say, we seem to have way less of this ‘litigate to the death’ action here in Canada. And that’s hugely to our benefit.

              1. Perhaps the courts are less activist or powerful in Canada?

          2. Sierra Club not green peace sued in that Indiana case.

          3. People are being religious when they believe to see, when they deny reality in order to see a reality not there, or explain something real they do not understand but won’t admit such to themselves.

            That is a significant slice of the current eco-crowd’s perceptions, motivations, and frankly popularity.

          4. It is approaching a religion when it comes to things like nuclear power and vaccine use.

            They don’t care that (or don’t think past their initial goal) eliminating the safest power source known to man will cause more coal plants to be built to replace it. From an environmental standpoint, there is no realistic argument that can be made to show that nuclear power is worse for anybody or anything than coal. Even at the site of the Chernobyl accident, the exclusion zone has become a nature preserve, and that is at ground zero for the worst possible nuclear power accident. Fukushima, the worst case for a western style nuclear reactor, will likely not kill a single person. These facts do not matter, what matters is their belief in the cause.

            1. Are anti-vaccine sentiments held by a significant number of environmentalists? I have not seen that, but do not profess to have canvassed the movement.

              1. I don’t think majority of self-professed environmentalists buy anti-vaccine rhetoric, but enough do to make the sentiments get lumped together in popular perception. Sort of like people who don’t buy Al Gore’s version of climate getting lumped with the fringe who deny evolution.

                1. Yeah. There are a lot of religious nuts who buy into the anti-vaccine hysteria. That really seems to be a broad based coalition of ignorance rather than just one particular group.

        2. We kid when we call it a religion. But it really is.

          Fanaticism and religion, while often seen in tandem, remain mutually exclusive. You need not have one to have the other.

          1. ???????????

            1. He’s saying they’re fanatics, not religious.

          2. If they were mutually exclusive, you could not have one when you had the other. This is not the case with these two.

            1. Okay, let me clean that up. Religion may correlate with fanaticism, but it is not causative. Fanatics can emerge with any theology or metaphysical framework.

        3. We kid when we call it a religion. But it really is

          I don’t. The enlightened progressive abandoned that old time religion and promptly replaced it with worship of the almighty state and Gaia. They despise the idea of a higher power that holds them accountable with a doomsday scenario unless said power allows them to only judge people and actions they dislike.

    7. They’ve promised that the sky would fall so many times that they no longer have any credibility on the subject. Except to their true believers.

    8. “now they’ve become entrenched lobbyists and special interest groups just like everyone else”

      This may be the answer to your rhetorical question. They’ve moved away from public opinion to using the regulatory state. In the meantime, schools still preach the green line meaning regulatory changes will have majority support.

    9. Unfortunately The Pipeline Wars are raging here in Canada and it’s looking tough -but not impossible. The BC NDP went all anti-pipeline and suffered for it.

  7. Hey, if it turns out badly, and some people are poisoned? Who cares.

    It’s like GMO foods. They’ve already lost track of some of them, and, inevitably, someday we’ll have a cane toad frog like event.

    And who will be liable?

    1. Your mom?

      1. Don’t respond to it. 😀

    2. Poe’s Law?

    3. Bashar al-Assad?

    4. BUSH

    5. Right. Much better for us spend 98% of our lives within a quarter mile of a wood-fire like we did up until we started using fossil fuels. No forseeable health problems with breathing burning plant matter all day, every day right?

  8. Unfortunately, the Europeans are not learning the lessons one would expect…

    The euro is far too strong and it is making it very hard for our companies to compete with the Chinese. We need a real central bank, like the US Federal Reserve or the Bank of England, willing to promote growth,” he said, in an unusually blunt criticism of a fellow EU institution.

    “The ECB should be lending to small firms, just as the Bank of England is doing. It is impossible for us to bring down unemployment or cut our public debt without a strong industrial policy that revives small business,” he said.

  9. Probably too much to hope for in the land of dollar stores and the lottery, but it would be nice to see us actually invest the newfound wealth vs piss it away. Personally I hope I’m alive when any of the oil rich countries runs dry and they have to hock their lambos…

  10. In completely unrelated news: today is the 20th anniversary of the first episode of The X-Files.

  11. I tried to re-watch the first episode several years ago. It is striking how bad the hair, makeup and wardrobe was.

  12. One thing not addressed in this article is that USA CH4 prices are artificially low because we cannot access the world market for the stuff – we have no physical capacity to export it. Sounds bad on the surface, but on net if we could export it the USA would get more $$$ for the stuff and directly combat the trade deficit.

    Wonder which is better for the USA long-term? Keep the CH4 and the price advantage, or export it for cash?

    I would say export it. The world is full of CH4 deposits and will come on-stream in next twenty, thirty years. If we re-build industrial infrastructure assuming an artificial energy-price advantage it will bite us in the end.

    1. Exports are coming soon in a big way and will utilize the Panama canal.

      1. Exports are coming soon in a big way and will utilize the Panama canal.

        Where are the export terminals going to go? Somewhere on Gulf Coast I’m guessing. No way any other coast given lefties have near total control over them.

        1. The very same people who scream “no war for oil” will now do everything they can to prevent a way which would mean we would never have a need for such.

    2. You want to export it. If we become a net exporter of oil and gas, the fluctuations in the oil and gas market no longer affect our economy. The money we lose in paying more for it is made up by the money we make exporting it. That means we would no longer have to care if Iran shuts off the straights of Hormuz. It would make the Middle East Europe and China’s problem. That sounds pretty good to me.

      1. Leftycrats always dream of higher energy prices and a smaller military, yet never arriv at the obvious solution of leaving the camel jocks to their own devices in order to achieve it.

        Control freaks can’t let go, even if doing so gets them what they want. A Freudian slip on the institutional left’s part, I would say.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.