Quote of the Day

‘Every asshole who ever chanted ‘Drill baby drill’ should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty.’

-Bill Maher, via twitter.

10 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

  1. Any asshole who condemns the fossil fuel industry should buy a bike.

  2. Huck, no one is saying we should totally stop using fossil fuels. We are talking about stopping the careless, willy-nilly approach to drilling this country seems to have adopted. No one seems to think about the consequences of accidents until something like this happens. This could be one of the worst ecological disasters in history and that we are lobbing pithy comments at each other just shows how low we have sunk. We are Nero. Hope you play a good fiddle.

  3. The more we restrict our industry the costlier their operations become. When a company’s overhead rises, so do it’s prices. In other words, the overhead gets passed on to the consumer. Seems like a counterproductive approach for the party that is allegedly working for the little people.

    My question to Kenny is, how have we taken a willy-nilly approach to drilling? What should we do differently? Do you propose we shut down off-shore drilling sites, and suffer the consequences of increased gas prices and the loss of valuable American jobs?

    My take on this is that there was an accident, and we are now at the mercy of the people that once said “Never waste a good crisis” (http://in.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idINTRE5251VN20090306) Maybe this will distract Henry Waxman from AT&T long enough for them to outsource more of their labor force. I know I’d be tired of dealing with the United States Government myself.

    As far as playing the fiddle, I can literally jump from my deck and land in the gulf. My county and four of the surrounding counties are currently under a “state of emergency” due to the oil spill. Given my military status and our commitment to the communities that host us, I will assuredly have many opportunities to report for cleanup duty.

  4. Huck-
    My sincere sympathies for the disaster that is befalling your community. Of course, it ultimately will affect all of us directly or indirectly. If you have the unfortunate duty of attempting to strip sludge from sand you will certainly have quite a direct connection to this event; it is so large, however, that no American will be untouched by it. The Gulf Coast belongs to all of us, just like the Redwoods and Yellowstone and the Purple Mountains Majesty do; then of course there will be the cost of this which all of us will bear as well.

    I take Kenny’s point that making snarky comments isn’t helpful. However, the lame point I was trying to make was that we shouldn’t decide our energy policies based on slogans; I did this by lifting a joke from the twitter feed of someone who I once faulted for ripping off a Bill Hicks joke after 9/11. I am a hypocrite. That this happened the day after I yapped about conservatives and irony once again confirms that I’m an idiot.

    Oils companies are a necessity that doesn’t have to be evil; corporate entities are a tool made by humans for the benefit of humans. These tools have been posting record profits for years now. I grieve not for BP and their shareholders suffering under burdensome regulation but for the families of those lost because there weren’t enough regulations (or in the case of the coal miners, because regulations were flaunted). And while we still don’t know exactly what caused this accident, this is exactly the sort of thing that proponents of widespread offshore drilling say couldn’t happen what with all the hi tech engineering and fancy gadgets.

    A lot of time and money goes into a deep sea rig; the oil they bring in is essential for our society to roll merrily along. The way I hear the ‘never waste a good crisis’ comment is that she took the viewpoint that a crisis can be an opportunity to effect real change to a long-simmering issue. I don’t really sense anything nefarious in that.
    WD

  5. Huck,

    You wrote:
    I can literally jump from my deck and land in the gulf. My county and four of the surrounding counties are currently under a “state of emergency” due to the oil spill. Given my military status and our commitment to the communities that host us, I will assuredly have many opportunities to report for cleanup duty.

    First, I am the son of a retired Army officer. Anyone in The Service, regardless of rank, gets my immediate respect. I apologize for my tone.
    Second, I am so sorry for what is happening to your community. I respect your commitment to you community and your readiness to help. (Believe me, if I were able to, I’d be there.)

    My use of the term “willly-nilly” is sort of an inside joke between Winston, me and some of his other readers. It came of badly for those who don’t understand the subtext. I was being a bit sarcastic too. As Winston said, i am a bit of a hypocrite.

    This disaster is really upsetting me. I am an environmentalist. It kills me to have to drive a car. (When I was physically able, I rode a bike several miles in all kinds of weather to work!) What’s worse is that it is a small SUV! (Honda CR-V) The Exxon Valdez disaster broke my heart. I still remember the images of the birds soaked in oil and the rugged landscape of Alaska turned to oily sludge. I thought at the time that perhaps we would learn a lesson and it wouldn’t happen again. Now, I sit feeding my newborn son and it is happening again. Only this time, the spill itself is probably going to be worse and people have been killed.

    This disaster is also a political disappointment. (I live in Chicago and am a political progressive. ‘nuff said about my feelings for The President?) President Obama’s recent decision on increasing offshore drilling troubles me. It is abundantly clear that relying on fossil fuels as much as we do and retrieving them from the earth in the manner we do cannot continue. I’m not saying that we should shut down production today. I’m not an ignoramus. I simply feel that we have been dodging bullets environmentally for years now and we finally got hit, and hit hard. I grieve for the people affected by the economic loss this will cause. I grieve for the environmental devastation. I grieve for the animals this will kill. I grieve for those who have to go in and clean this up. I pray no one gets injured. (That includes you Huck; be careful.)

    So, you wrote,

    My question to Kenny is, how have we taken a willy-nilly approach to drilling?
    I already explained the willy-nilly comment, but when a viable political voice says things like “Drill Baby Drill,” and a President with a progressive environmental record increases offshore drilling, I feel we are moving in the wrong direction.

    What should we do differently?
    I fall back on the standard progressive line: Increase funding for alternative energy sources like wind and solar. (Nuclear power is another conversation altogether…) Offer tax incentives for companies who create more energy efficient products. How ‘bout we prevent large multi-national companies who are in bed with the oil industry from killing alternative energy products. (See- the electric car.)

    You asked, “Do you propose we shut down off-shore drilling sites, and suffer the consequences of increased gas prices and the loss of valuable American jobs?”
    I answered this above. I don’t blame you for responding to me as you did, but I’ll repeat. I am not ignorant of the economics of the situation. That being said, as a planet, we all must find a way to decrease our need for fossil fuel and to increase the efficiency and safety of how it is retrieved from the earth. We also need to make good decisions about where we get it. We also need to have a better solution for preventing these kinds of accidents.

    You asked me “What should we do differently?” I don’t know. I’m educated. I’m intelligent, but I’m not smart enough to be an engineer, or to make national or international energy policy. I am just a voice in the wilderness. I am not important enough that everyone will hear me, but perhaps if enough of us cry loudly, you’ll not have to worry about your home. You’ll not have to wash the oil from a bird’s feathers.

    We are all responsible for this. Every time we put gas in our tank or run our furnace we participate in this. Hopefully, this spill will wake us up and it will be the last one. I said an identical prayer in 1989. I pray that I won’t say those words ever again.

  6. Moreover, I don’t know with whom I am more angry. BP for playing down the scope of the disaster or the Government for believing them.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/us/02gulf.html?hp

  7. The Prof Says:

    Actually, in this case I somewhat applaud the gov’t for being totally on this thing. As soon as it happened they set containment fires to try to stop it. BP’s reaction has been douchey at best, but that’s an item to take care of later.

    As for the other matter… it does seem about time to step away from fossil fuels, for so many reasons–national security being a big one, supply being another. And the fact is, however much oil we have left, the rest of the world is developing rapidly now, and it won’t last forever. There are cleaner and more abundant resources out there right now–not just one solution, but a mix.

  8. Last news I heard they’re expecting it to affect the coastal panhandle by Monday, the water’s been choppy due to weather lately but I haven’t seen any evidence of oil. This disaster coming right at the beginning of tourist season is pretty much going to devastate the local economy. This area is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived, so I hope they call for volunteers if it gets bad.

  9. The Prof Says:

    I’d bet the shrimping industry’s about to take a nosedive as well; here’s hoping either people or natural forces can get this under control… Huck, my feeling is that you’ll be called upon sooner rather than later.

  10. As of May 3 it doesn’t look like it’s heading this way, or if it is not as quickly as we anticipated. Some of the guys in my shop were looking forward to helping out the community but I still hope we don’t even get the opportunity. Summer’s coming and I’d like to enjoy the beach!

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