Open Choke is the nom de plume of an anonymous oil and gas industry executive.
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Heard a great radio ad a few minutes ago. Some company is selling a "mileage improvement product" developed by "the Oil Companies" to use in their own vehicles and squirreled away from the rest of the writhing masses, because, of course, "the Oil Companies" want everyone to drive 4 mpg vehicles. This company managed to get "rights to the patents" of this product, apparently from the oil companies who are so set on not letting this technology out, and making it available for the first time.
Must have been a slip up in the bureaucracy, I guess, licensing this product to someone. In fact, patenting it in the first place was a big screw up as well, since you have to fully disclose to everyone your technology. The screw up part seems more believable than the secret development in the first place.
And once again, I never got told about this secret that has "helped the Oil Companies own gas mileage" even when I was with a Major Oil Company. I guess I am just not in the loop.
I saw "There Will Be Blood", filmed in West Texas, although the stated locale was California. It is a non-redemptive Citizen Kane where greedy, crazy capitalist independent oilmen whip the tar out of greedy, manipulative fundamentalist Christians.
Actually, I liked the movie, and Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor. As in all propoganda, it shows the behavioral extremes as the norm... for Lewis' Daniel Plainview, it came from a conversation he was having with his "brother", when he said he "hated most men"... "he had within him a need to compete, to make sure no one else succeeded". Of course, when writing a book or making a movie critical of Capitalism, you need to revert to extreme traits to make everything internally consistent. Very few "capitalists" or free market types have venom towards "keeping others from succeeding", in fact, it is quite the opposite.
We all know a few extremists that help propogate the stereotype, though. J*** S***** at ***** *******, **** ***** who runs an initials company, and a couple more. It was funny to see a movie where the independent who refuses to get screwed on transportation fees by Standard Oil is portrayed as the wingnut bad guy.
Clearly, the televised clergy has a few extremists amongst their ranks as well. Dangerous getting too close to God. You don't want to be in Smiting range.
Overall, the movie was a good look at extreme human behavior and the drive and attendant lack of scruples that can make these folks dangerous.
I watched Clint Eastwood's movie "Flags of our Fathers" the other night. For those that have not seen it, it is an eye-opening look at the events surrounding the photograph of the flag raising over Iwo Jima. The fact that the US was broke at the time and depending on citizens to purchase war bonds to fund the ongoing war. The fact that, by this time, the people were exhausted by the war and questioning why we were letting our young men die half way across the world. The fact that, by then, the war was not popularly supported, and depended on blatant propoganda to keep it going.
And yet. It was a noble cause, and history books don't mention the questioning of the American people during this period. A couple of years ago, I wrote in this blog about the similiar popular support disintegration during the Civil War. In fact, in the guts of any of these wars, had an election been held to remove ourselves from the conflicts, the popular opinion would have been to do so. According to history books, popular opinion would have been dead wrong.
Beginning with Vietnam, we did what popular opinion dictated. The results have been whitewashed by historians. How is today's history going to be written? Up until the late 1950's, American Academia shared in the mythos of an ascendant and ennobled American culture. Its history reflected that. Beginning in the 1960's and continuing until today, the Academy has drifted towards a mythos of an inherently corrupt, illigitimate, and fundamentally flawed system of patrician White Men enslaving the third world and the working class as the basis of American culture.
How do you think the history of today will be written, given that fact?
Have you noticed that when a regulator is appointed for an industry or a practice, and the regulator has worked in that industry, it is widely decried as the "fox guarding the henhouse"? Particulalry by journalists?
Let's take the imputed "desired" alternative... maybe a plaintiff lawyer, or an environmentalist. A real skeptic of industry and capital, perhaps. Someone who doesn't really understand an industry at all. What good is that? How is that good for consumers? I guess it could be "good" for the environment because those that describe themselves first and foremost as environmentalists have the good fortune to live in absolutist land, where Thou Shalt Not Disturb the Environment Regardless of Human Consequence, can be practiced with religious vigor.
In essence, the argument made by those decrying "fox in the henhouse" is that the best regulators of industries should be ignorant of those industries, or, perhaps anatagonsitic to the industry or industry in general. It also presumes that anyone that has working, forst hand knowledge of an industry is not to be trusted, that knowledge is somehow corrosive to integrity. Very Old Testament. Of course, the same mirror of non-objectivity is not held up to those that are skeptical of industry or capital or humanity in general.
Does any of this strike you as silly? How about wacky?
Now that the US Supreme Court has handed the keys over to the EPA in it's decision to call CO2 a pollutant, and the EPA within its jurisdiction to control tha pollutant, let's look at some interesting facts.
1. All biota can now officially be considered a "polluter". Having children, allowing animals to procreate, increasing herd sizes or animal populations is now "pollutive". Ironically, Endangered Species are protected on one side, and additive pollution to be regulated on the other.
2. A sedentary human , like, say, a lawyer, puts out around 1/5th the carbon load of a car (1 ton to 5 tons of CO2 per year). A working man puts out about half the CO2 of a car (2.5 tons), and a professional athlete in season matches a car (4.9 tons). Excercise is hugely pollutive, and thus, should be regulated thoroughly. Environmental lawyers and, say EPA administrators, are a lot less pollutive than Union workers. Unions should thus be regulated. Tarahumara Indians are obscenely pollutive with their big lung capacities and abilities to run for days at a time.
3. Many of the soon to be regulated turbines and machinery are equivalent to 3-5 hard working humans or about one moose. Clearly, the mating season and migratory route black out dates for drilling need to be looked at and perhaps reversed because of the massive carbon dioxide pollutants coming from the cute, protected, but massively polluting large ruminant populations.
We have gone, officially and jurisdictionally, insane. In the early 1980's, my third world friends from grad school told us white boys and girls that the environmentalist movement was colonialist and meant to subjugate advancing standards of living in the third world. The only fist fights I remember in that time were Ghanians and Mexicans shouting and trading shoves with long haired Friends of the Earth colleagues. Damned if they weren't right. The idea that a respiratory byproduct is now an offical pollutant is crazy.
If CO2 atmospeheric levels are cut by 35 to 40%, Wikipedia says that 99% of all biota will be destroyed, including all human civilization.
Given that CO2 is now regulatable, I mean, the entire basis of the carbon cycle that has fluctuated geologically between 2000 ppm and 200 ppm and is now 350 ppm by volume, 580 ppm by mass, we best regulate oxygen, because that crap'll kill you AND cause fires. That kill wild animals. Cute ones. Not to mention Rust. I mean, what else is the EPA for?