The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

The President is Dishonest on the Reality of our Looming Energy Crisis

Hating the prosperity and independence that technology has brought our society and its ever-growing energy needs, the President has been dishonest with facts concerning what we could do- what HE could do- to avert a looming US energy crisis. The easy, common-sense answer is to radically ramp up access to our abundant, existing resources, both short and long term.

The first myth (nicer than saying ‘Lie’) is that we only have a small fraction of oil reserves and we should just get used to being at the mercy of primitive, volatile foreign regimes:

Fact-Checking President Obama’s Energy Press Conference

American Solutions has a summary of what President Obama said yesterday as it relates to energy issues, along with what they call Obama’s “three biggest myths”: 

“We can’t escape the fact that we control only 2% of the world’s oil.” This is a common refrain among anti-drilling Democrats and environmentalists, and it’s repeated enough that many people accept it as true. In reality, it’s 100% false. The number comes from a highly conservative estimate from the Energy Information Administration totaling America’s proven reserves where we are already drilling. It does not include the 10 billion barrels available in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It does not include most of the 86 billion barrels available offshore in the Outer Continental Shelf, most of which President Obama has placed under an executive drilling ban. And it does not include the 800 billion barrels of oil we have locked in shale in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Those shale resources alone are actually three times larger than the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia, so the claim that the U.S. only has 2% of the world’s oil is clearly false.

While the President stays in lock-step with the Big Environment/Green Zealot groups, we are in grave danger. Their anti-prosperity, anti-energy approach of  ‘no-energy, no-way, from-no-where’, will continue a race towards a whole scale failure of our energy grid and our society.

If we want to live like primitive savages with the lower life expancies and the lower standards of living in third world countries, we are on the right path. If we’d rather prosper like we have since the beginning of this great nation, then the President and those like him that want to unravel our country must go.

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Filed under: Energy, Environment, Middle East, Politics, , , , , , , ,

High Gas Prices have always been part of the Green Agenda

Obama has said it on record many times. Numerous green advocates in his administration have said it as well:

While the head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Chu (Steven Chu- now Obama Energy Secretary), told The Wall Street Journal that energy prices were the lynchpin to an energy overhaul. “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Chu said in September 2008.

Then the public will conform to central command and get off that pesky, cheap, prosperity-driving fuel source called oil. 

The only problem with the ‘Green’ Agenda is that:

A: It does not work or deliver anything usable at a reasonable price.

B: It can only be afforded/indulged in by the wealthy, dual-income couples, or empty nesters at the height of their earning curve.

C: It most harms the poor and will cause them, and the economy in general, great suffering before we achieve any significant green ‘transformation’ (read this as a regression to a third world or primitive standard of living) of our society.

Why is our national leader, the President (and his administration), not pulling out the stops to jumpstart domestic energy production and start reducing our vulnerability to backwards Middle Eastern regimes and the chance of war? This is the reason. Welcome to the green revolution.

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Middle East, Politics, , , , , , , , ,

Obama and Dems are Book Smart and World Dumb

There are Liberals that think they are fundamentally smarter than the average American and therefore entitled to make decisions for the rest of us whether they work or not. No where is this more evident than the statements on we still hear on health care bordering on the delusional (we’ll pay for 30 million to have great health care and won’t add a penny to the deficit) and the inability to adapt this plan and approach that has been judged flawed by the collective wisdom of the American people:

In short, as with Tiger Woods and his woman problem, Barack Obama and his liberal allies have a superiority problem. Liberals/progressives really do see themselves as “entitled” to make decisions for everyone else. They really do believe, as did Tiger, that the rules do not apply to them. Why? Because they are addicted to the idea they are smarter than everyone else.

This crowd belongs…nay, is passionately devoted, to what could appropriately be called a cult of cultural and intellectual superiority. Who cares if Obama is running the Democrats and the country into the ground? He’s just so damn smart! (Article Source)

Americans still oppose rather than favor Congress passing a government healthcare bill.

This ‘intellectual superiority’ condition includes the President. As an elected official however, he is entitled to make decisions for America. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean what ever he comes up with will be good decisions or ideas that will work.

But what is clearly evident with Obama and his mind set is the problem of intelligence vs. wisdom. They are two very different things. One deals with the ability to learn, remember, and apply abstract concepts. The other is to learn, remember, and apply experiences of the realities of human nature and what works in that sphere. This is human philosophy and its understanding is what we call wisdom (the same objective realities exist in the material world and what we call science today used to be called natural philosophy). A doctor, a rocket scientist, and yes, even a President can be smart as a whip and completely clueless on how to raise a family, act socially, or understand people like the majority of Americans do.

So what happens when we elect a leader with little or no practical experience of human nature and what works? We get theoretical solutions that don’t work in the real world. Collectivist theory hates the employer, but seeks the approval of the employee. Their issue is to create jobs but they are rigidly anti-business! The Collectivist theory hates individual choice of American’s over their bodies so they seek to supplant it with Government dicates by attempting to pay for it. Nobody and no government on earth can afford all of the health care that everyone would ultimately want to save their life! The Collectivist theory has cloaked itself in green environmentalism and hates the cheap, reliable energy that comes from fossil fuels and that constitutes the basis for our modern, energy-intensive society. Instead we get an attempt to create massive change to expensive, unreliable ‘green’ energy and society-destroying taxation (Cap and Trade energy tax) for an alarmist problem (‘global warming’) that does not even exist! None of the above ideological-theoretical approaches will work or ever could work. They just don’t create wealth or freedom for anyone except for political cronies and chosen grievance groups. 

The most rank-amateur of responses when this theory-reality disconnect persists is the projection of ones own failures onto others or external factors. After giving more interviews and speeches than any other President in recorded history on a topic, President Obama claims that he ‘just hasn’t explained his (collectivist) plan slowly and clearly enough to us (dumb) Americans.’ We get it, Mr. President. It’s just that we reject it as counter to American principles and objectively unworkable.

Today’s current drive to ram something through with health care by the President and the Dems despite the messages sent to these politicians is the worst example of moral cowardice and the inability to correct and adapt their worldview according to the ultimate court of appeals: reality.

Filed under: American Values, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Health Care, Philosophy, Politics, , , , , , , , ,

More Green Jobs Outsourced to China

Remember when we were assured by the President and all those ‘smart’ people in the ‘green’ industry that, while their products may be more expensive, they could not be outsourced?

Anyone with common sense (aka wisdom) and business sense vs. ‘green smarts’ looked at this statement and asked: ‘Why not? It’s just another industry.’ And, as wisdom shows, here we are with another instance (previous green job outsourcing example) of green job outsourcing:

“Solar power is a key component of our clean energy future,” said Gov. Deval Patrick this summer, announcing a plan to install large-scale solar photovoltaic power installations throughout the commonwealth.

Just a few weeks later, the governor helped cut the ribbon at the opening of Evergreen Solar’s new plant in Devens, built with $58 million in state funds.

But half a year later the forecast for solar’s future – not to mention the governor’s other green initiatives – is looking cloudy with an increasing chance of failure.

Earlier this month, Evergreen Solar shocked everyone by announcing it is cutting up to half of the 800 jobs at the brand-new, taxpayer-bought Devens plant and shipping them to China. Solar panel materials will still be manufactured in Massachusetts (at least for now), but they will be assembled in a locale with much cheaper costs.

This is not to be confused with the issue of ‘green’ industry being unable to survive without unearned taxpayer dollars/government spending:

This shock came on the heels of Boston Power Inc. canceling plans to build a 600-job factory in Auburn. It had failed to win a $100 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop advanced battery technology. No government cash, no manufacturing plant and no jobs.

Instead of touting a green energy future, Beacon Hill’s mandarins should recognize that their emphasis on renewable energy technology and production will only hurt the Massachusetts economy further.

Solar power is hardly economical in the sun-drenched Mojave desert. So what makes the governor think it makes sense in the Northeast?

As well don’t confuse this with the uncompetitive price either:

Massachusetts’ retail electricity rates are 57 percent higher than the national average and more than in every state except Hawaii, Connecticut and New York. Yet Patrick and his allies would have ratepayers pay even higher prices, since renewables are considerably more expensive than the conventional sources that now power the bulk of the state’s economy.

There are a lot of real benefits to going ‘green’ with energy- its just that no one can figure them out other than politicians unanchored to economic realty.

Filed under: Energy, Environment, Politics, , , , , , , , ,

Sacred Green Jobs Can’t be Outsourced- Not So!

Jobs that are ‘Green’ are paid for and resourced just like any other job in a free market economy. If a competing entity, even foreign, can create and produce a like quality product for less cost, they will win business in a rational, free market system. Period. Here’s what’s already happening with the overly-expensive, subsidized, and unsustainable ‘green’ economy Obama and Democrats are so eager to foist on us:

Buy American Products of Suspect Value

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday called for a “comprehensive” review of all renewable energy projects seeking funding from the economic stimulus package, following reports that $849 million in U.S. grants have gone to foreign wind companies in the past two months alone.   

The New York Democrat first intervened last week, writing a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu urging him to deny stimulus funding to a Texas wind farm that would rely on wind turbines made in China. The $1.5 billion project would create up to 3,000 jobs in China but according to one report only 330 jobs in the United States, most of which would be temporary. Schumer spokesman Josh Vlasto told FoxNews.com that the senator is calling for a review of “all pending green energy projects” seeking stimulus funds to ensure they create jobs in the United States.  Schumer said in a statement Monday that the United States should not be giving China a “head start” in the quest for alternative sources of energy.   

“Our domestic clean-energy sector has the potential to emerge as a global leader and it is counterproductive to invest U.S. stimulus funds in Chinese companies rather than our own,” Schumer said.  

I’ll give credit to Democrat Schumer for weighing in on this after the fact, but its the typical leftist good-intentions-but-clueless-economically/anti-business blindness that sets the stage for these continuing economic disaster-situations (Liberals driving sub-prime mortgages come to mind). These always occur when the government meddles in and creates artificial distortions in markets that would not occur if they were driven by natural, free-market forces.

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Politics, , , , , , , , ,

Obamanomics for Michigan

The States have been called ‘laboratories’of Democracy as different political/governmental ideas and theories are tried out and the objective outcomes observed by all of America.  President Obama recently praised Governor Granholm of Michigan as one of our ‘best’ governors in the country. Excellent statement! Let’s analyze it.

Granholm is a Canadian-born leftist that has been pushing more Liberal/Democrat ideas of Socialism and environmentalism than almost any other governor than, say, California. So clearly, Obama is praising her as someone who is most closely aligned and implementing the type of collectivist and environmental ideas he thinks will ‘work’ for our country.

Has this worked? Well, outside of the labor union-destroyed auto industry and an unemployment rate of 15%+, the verdict on this new initiative is still out. But what Granholm has done is a classic collectivist blunder that will devastate the economy further by 2020 or sooner. She has mandated that 45% of Michigan’s power come from expensive and unreliable renewable resources by 2020 to replace cheap and reliable energy sources like coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Then, with her blessing, the Democrat party chair has put a proposal on the 2010 ballot to require utilities to lower their prices by 20%!!

Incredible! Since the laws of economics and human nature run contrary to Leftist political fantasy, they will mandate/dictate it to happen. Apparently, the only thing stopping the Green Revolution from happening was someone with the courage to SAY it needs to happen. Now, there will be no issue with the fact that highly expensive and unreliable ‘green’ sources of energy cost the utility 2x, 3x, 10x or more to produce the same amount of energy. Then, they will be FORCED to charge 20% less than today’s cheaper ‘earth raping’ energy rates. And somehow, the utilities won’t go bankrupt, cause rolling black outs via rationing , and the business economy will leap ahead with energy that costs 2x to 10x more than before!

Poor Michigan. How much of their economy has to be destroyed before they throw out these collectivist/socialist loons and their objectively unworkable ideas? Being smaller, States get to the objective negative outcomes of flawed ideas sooner and act as an example for the rest of us. First it was California collapsing under Democrat collectivism. Now we see the same outcome shaping up in Michigan.

Stayed tuned America, this is more morbidly fascinating than reality TV and much more instructive!

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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