Same As It Ever Was

From Bloomberg News:

Saudi Aramco and China National Petroleum Corp. agreed to build a 200,000 barrel-a-day refinery in southern China as producers seek to meet rising fuel demand in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Same. As. It. Ever. Was.

Might as well enjoy this classic from one of the best concert movies evah.

7 Responses to “Same As It Ever Was”

  1. Francis says:

    Keith:  when in the course of human history has a large society voluntarily impoverished itself so as to benefit (possibly) their grandchildren?  That’s really the state of the debate these days.
     
    All our fancy environmental laws in this country — the whole alphabet soup of NEPA, CERCLA, RCRA, FIFRA, CAA, CWA etc. — benefit us, right now.  We get cleaner air and water.  Toxic wastes no longer get dumped.  The govt actually has to take a “hard look” at the environmental consequences of its actions.  Consumer goods are marginally more expensive, but we see the tangible results of the laws that drive those prices up.
     
    Climate change, though, is really hard.  We raise the price of gasoline not because we are imposing some new regulatory standard on refineries but only to force ourselves to use less gas.  And we do this in order to prevent Bangladesh from going underwater or Vietnam from suffering salt water intrusion into rice paddies.  Does anyone really think that Americans or Chinese will tolerate such taxation?
     
    Personally, I suspect that we (American society) are far too blase (anyone know how to put the accent on the e?) about the likely impacts of CO2 releases.  I think that our descendants even here in the US will need to live with increased drought, heat, severe weather, storm surge, crop loss,  unstable crop prices and global discord.  But probably not really starting much before 2050.  But I could be completely wrong; I’m a lawyer not a modeler.
     
    And even if I’m not wrong, just how many American are willing to see gas go from $4 per gallon to $5 per gallon right now in order to avoid a completely speculative resource war in 2050? 5%? 10%?
     

  2. kdk33 says:

    Actually, as far as I can tell, we would raise the price of gasoline for no purpose at all – unless the BRIC countries have had a sudden change of heart; or you’re buying the “we need to lead” idea. 

    As far as taxes, I think there’s a proposal to refund the tax receipts to consumers who, I suppose, will promise not to buy more stuff – at least nothing with an energy component.  Which begs the question “hows about I just keep the money in the first place”. 

    The grandkids may suffer from increased rainfall during a longer growing season over expanded crop ranges – the better to feed a hungry world – with free fertilizer to boot.  Now, I don’t know for sure that warming will be beneficial, but nobody else knows that it won’t.

    Lastly, one must admit that the Chinese are “getting ahead in clean energy”.  They are getting paid to make the equipment we will use to handicap our economy relative to theirs.  Kind of a win-win.

    But that’s just me.

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    The grandchildren card is a crock. Whose grandchildren – and how do we know what they will want or need?
     
    Just imagine if your own grandparents had shivered in the dark so you could have a big pile of candles and some logs to burn? And tripe to eat?

  4. Matt B says:

    KK,
     
    Agree with your opinion here, the Chinese are playing realpolitik & they see this as a zero-sum game being played right here right now. Future generations are of no concern……
     
    But, even better is your Stop Making Sense reference…..not just one of the best concert movies, THE best concert movie……….Life During Wartime, hard to beat…..

  5. Keith Kloor says:

    Matt B,

    I’m also partial to this one, which is why I said “one of the best,” but hey who am I to quibble with another Talking Heads fan.

    Francis,

    You put your finger on a lot of reasons why climate change doesn’t get traction with the public.

  6. Francis says:

    JH:  people sacrifice for each other all the time.  So often that we even have a word for it in English: altruism.  Parents skip vacations to send their kids to college.  Grandparents can do the same.  But the kind of altruism needed to change the production of CO2e on a global basis doesn’t exist; it can only be done by force of law.
     
    btw, I’m a huge Talking Heads fan.  They don’t get nearly enough radio play these days.

  7. jorge c. says:

    mr.francis: i don’t understand, “it can only be done by force of law”. but in a democracy “the law” it is “done” by those who represent the “non altruists” citizens. so, who will do law against the will of the citizens??
    excuse me my awfull english…

     

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