Thursday, August 7, 2008

Guesstimations and the Election

Okay, let's talk about the one issue that will decide the 2008 Election: The Price Of Oil.

Now there are several things that tell me this is the issue that will decide the course of the election.
  1. It's the economy stupid - It worked in 1992 for Clinton, it will work for McCain in 2008.
  2. Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less - Newt got it right on this one by reducing it to a simple phrase, which encompasses simple supply and demand.
  3. MoveOn(left).org - A letter sent out by the leftist organization states: "Here's the truth: Right now, progressives are losing this argument." 'Nuff said.
  4. McCain figgered it out - here's someone that's taken pride in pissing on his party on critical items to get handjobs from Teddy Kennedy and the like. He's running with it. And it may do the trick
Which brings me to guesstimations.

Guesstimation - A prediction derived from a combination of estimates and formulas based on estimates, formulas, and flat-out guesses. The result is a number that, with tweaking, produces the desired statistic, which may be either completely accurate or glowing plaid manatee shit.

I could do pages (and probably will one day) on the climate change hoax alone. We're talking an assload of models that haven't proven to be accurate. But that's another post.

As is virtually every statistic the federal government produces for the future. Social security, poverty, the budget, Iraq. You name it, they've probably miscalcualted something somewhere, because guesstimation involves tweaking.

But it's in the bickering about how much 'Drill Here, Drill Now' vs 'Inflate Here, Tune Now' that we seethat the numbers don't meanin a plate of piss on a Thurday afternoon. Because, whether it's 5 cents in 7 years, 3% reduction in gas through tires, 10 years since the drilling moratorium, "record profits" on a 7% margin, or 20 representatives standing in the House screaming for Nancy Pelosi to come back to Washington and vote, it's the appearance that Washington has its collective thumb up its ass while our gas prices have doubled that has pissed people off.

So with numbers being thrown about and ignored, I go to my instincts. I've found I'm pretty good at pulling predictions out of my ass without clear numbers. My gut says that Congress unleashing the freedom to drill will nose the price. And if we unleash EVERY SINGLE IDEA THAT WILL POSITIVELY IMPACT THE PRICE OF ENERGY, then the price will nosedive. And anyone who seems to be standing in the way of getting that price down will be tossed in the political gutter like dignity after a date with Paris Hilton (HILTON '08 - Holy Shit).

The candidate who can best articulate a solution to the prices will win the election. It's that simple.


Satyavati devi dasi said...

Global warming a hoax? I don't know.. ask the people in Greenland and Iceland how they feel about their ice melting and how the melting eliminates territories that reindeer and other wild animals live on. And how the elimination of the territory is reducing the viable area that can support the wildlife, and how the reduction in wildlife is impacting their lives because that's basically what they eat.

And maybe check out the fact that of all our glaciers that historically grow and shrink with the seasons, every one is actively shrinking-not-growing with only one exception.

This is not to say the government hasn't pulled some big ones over on the people. Personally I still have issues believing that we went to the moon in 69. But global warming isn't a new phenomenon; it's in the geologic record that it's happened before, just like ice ages. It WILL happen again and IS happening again.

Humans have impacted this planet to an unprecedented degree. Global warming is in and of itself a natural phenomenon and as such would happen (eventually) with or without us. Some events that have triggered episodes of past global warming include periods of major volcanic eruption. I'm talking eruptions on a scale of laying out the Deccan Traps and so forth, not just like an isolated Krakatoa. Anyway, the point is that we have impacted the planet on that kind of scale. Certainly the amount of CO2 we spew daily is immensely excessive.

Working to reduce greenhouse gases and stabilize the environment in terms of reducing the kind of impact we put on this planet is crucial to our survival as a species. Regardless of whether you believe that the Left has made it all up, it still remains that the temperature is going up, things are happening, ice is melting, and this can and will eventually start off a chain of dominoes that could seriously threaten our existence.

Let me make an analogy here. Let's say you work as a night nurse in a hospital. Now you're tired and you have some seriously sick people to take care of who really need a lot of your time. On the other hand you have someone that you just know in your gut hasn't got all that pain they say they have and is only harassing you for morphine because they want to get off on it.

Regardless of whether this person is just looking to get high, it's still ultimately in your best interest to make the phone call and get the order changed and go on and give it to them, because otherwise they are eating up time that you need to spend with people who are truly seriously unstable and could go bad while you're in the other room arguing about narcotic use.

Does this make any sense to you? Regardless of whether people believe that global warming is a hoax, the fact remains that by not taking action we are setting ourselves up for a potential disaster. While we're having pissing contests over whether or not changing daylight saving time is a Liberal Conspiracy to increase the amount of daylight we get and thus contribute to global warming, the fact remains that the ice is melting and things are happening. And for some insane reason, it seems like the whole rest of the rational world can see this, recognize this, and come to the conclusion that yes, it might be a good idea if we stopped abusing the planet quite so much. Natural processes are one thing. We can't control that. We can, however, control how much we contribute to them.

For example: we all know that Yellowstone is actually a massive volcanic system that could blow at any given moment and wipe out most of the US (and, coincidentally, trigger some globally catastrophic things). Will it blow at some point in the future? No question about it. Is it stable right now? It is totally unstable, in fact, and varies on a daily basis, but shows no signs of cranking up for the big one.

Does that mean that even if the world's biggest oil reserve was down there it would be a smart thing to send drills down miles into the crust? No. It would be potential suicide. Giving all that pressure any kind of slack is inviting disaster. Geologists anywhere would tell you this and anyone who'd try to do it would be insane. I'm sure that someone would claim it was just the left wing environmentalists whining and keeping us from all that oil, but the reality is quite different.

So you see.

I could continue but it's 0430 and I have to eat breakfast. I'll consider my point made.

Have a happy day.

Shaw Hussein Kenawe said...

Most people will actually feel climate change delivered to them by the postman. It will come in the form of higher water bills, because of increased droughts in some areas; higher energy bills, because the use of fossil fuels becomes prohibitive; and higher insurance and mortgage rates, because of much more violently unpredictable weather.

Remember: climate change means “global weirding,” not just global warming.

There has been a 30 percent increase in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet between 1979 and 2007, and in 2007, the melt was 10 percent bigger than in any previous year.(so says Konrad Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, which monitors the ice.)

Greenland is now losing 200 cubic kilometers of ice per year — from melt and ice sliding into the ocean from outlet glaciers along its edges — which far exceeds the volume of all the ice in the European Alps. (Steffen observes that everything is happening faster than anticipated.)

Global warming is real--cyclical or manmade, or a combination, it is real.

And that has no bearing on whether or not one is a conservative or a liberal. Frankly, weather patterns don't give a flying cumulus about human politics.

Toad734 said...

Yes please do your global warming hoax post, that will be easy. Don't forget to add data and findings from all the top scientists and universities related to the field who have evidence suggesting that the world is getting cooler. That will be a hoot. You don't need models, yes the models were inaccurate, shit is happening much faster than anyone ever predicted.

And where are you getting the Exxon data?? They make more than a 7% profit margin and that's before their billions in tax payer subsidies. Not to mention they pay about the same tax rate as I pay. They make 44 billion per year, I make under $100k and I don't get any subsidies and far fewer tax credits than they do. I am also not paying myself over 4 million dollars per year and calling it an "operating expense" like their CEO does. Now, ConocoPhillips CEO is much worse as his total compensation package is a 31 million dollar per year, pretax, "operating expense". They also get billions of dollars in federal subsidies. And Exxons profit margins are a lot closer to 10% than 7%.

So exactly what does McCain have to do with "Its the economy stupid"?? You mean he is stupid about the economy right?

Patrick M said...

Saty: DST is a lib conspiracy? If you're visiting sites that tout that, then I must seem downright moderate.

Regardless of whether people believe that global warming is a hoax, the fact remains that by not taking action we are setting ourselves up for a potential disaster.

But conversely, by taking action, we could effectively destroy the economy of this country. That, by the way, is what we suspect the leaders of the GW hoax are trying to do in pushing the agenda. Look at the Kyoto Protocol. It was designed to effectively cripple the US, while giving countries like China a pass. Interestingly, this is the same China that has been trying to clean up things for the Olympics because of all the pollution.

Then we come to this:

But global warming isn't a new phenomenon; it's in the geologic record that it's happened before, just like ice ages. It WILL happen again and IS happening again.

What's in dispute is the impact humanity actually has. As we learn more and investigate more, we're finding many of the assumptions we've made to be either inaccurate out of the lab or totally false.

Now I'm all for continuing to make the world a cleaner place. But to hit the panic button and sacrifice freedom, common sense, and the stability of the united States over something that has bigger holes than the cloned slutchild of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton is essentially madness.

Shaw: I'll try not to repeat too much.

Global warming is real--cyclical or manmade, or a combination, it is real

It comes back to the numbers every time. But the problem with these numbers is that they tell us the local effects of something we don't fully understand. Even the estimates they have come up with to predict the ice loss turned out wrong.

I can see I'm going to have to research this further rather than rely on memory, then post something clearer.

Toad: I'll leave the GW part alone. Just read the above comments.

The 7% is a number that is out there, and that was their profit margin. I may be off by a percent, as I pulled that from memory.

But if you notice, I don't really care about the numbers on this issue for a simple reason: most of the swing voters ignore any number with the word billion on it. The numbers they do notice are the ones on the gas pump.

Now here's where this gets downright fun. I'm assuming the point of all your rattling on is that the government should take all those profits away from the oil companies. Answer this question:

How will that lower the price of gas?

I'm going to assume that your answer is that it won't. But drilling (ie, increasing the supply) will, according to the laws of supply and demand, will decrease the price. And before you go on that litany about how it won't (as I know you're going to anyway), look at it from the point of view of someone who doesn't read as much as we do and just saw the price of filling up his pickup truck cross $100.

See the difference?

And yeah, McCain is stupid about the economy. But even he can figure out that high gas prices will piss people off enough to sway their vote.

So the person who owns this argument wins the election.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

You mean you don't recall this from when I posted it at my house? I shall disguise my ignorance of how-to-html by posting it in entirety here:

Daylight exacerbates warning
You may have noticed that March of this year was particularly hot. As a matter of fact, I understand that it was the hottest March since the beginning of the last century. All of the trees were fully leafed out and legions of bugs and snakes were crawling around during a time in Arkansas when, on a normal year, we might see a snowflake or two. This should come as no surprise to any reasonable person. As you know, Daylight Saving Time started almost a month early this year. You would think that members of Congress would have considered the warming effect that an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate. Or did they ? Perhaps this is another plot by a liberal Congress to make us believe that global warming is a real threat. Perhaps next time there should be serious studies performed before Congress passes laws with such far-reaching effects. CONNIE M. MESKIMEN / Hot Springs

This is a real article posted by a woman from Arkansas. The link to the actual article is on my blog.

Global warming IS a real threat. You don't even need numbers and data and studies from today, Patrick: you can read the historical record in the geology. Paeleoclimatoligists, paeleoecologists, paeleogeologists and of course your good old paeleologists can tell you what happened the last time it cranked up and what kind of impacts it had on life on this planet.

As far as what 'our' part of the fault is, it remains that we ARE spewing too much CO2 into the atmosphere, we HAVE chewed a hole in the ozone, and we WILL-if you refuse to believe we're doing it now-eventually come to a critical mass, a place where what we've done is too much.

If you like, you can consider it an attempt at preventative rather than restorative medicine.

The point remains that something big is going down and we do have the power to reduce whatever impact we are making on it.

In the short selfish run it might be about dollars and cents. In the long perspective it's potentially about the fate of humankind.

Patrick M said...

Saty: Oh, now I remember reading it. And as for your inability to link, click here. To embed a link, just fill in your own info. It's easy.

You type: <a href="">your post</a> and it becomes
your post.

As for GW, this is where we're just going to disagree. For every 'fact' you can cite, I'm going to be able to find another 'fact' that is a counter argument. Then it degenerates to posting links to support our position (especially since I've given you the secret to posting them).

So I have to go with my gut on this, and it tells me that since there's lots of facts out there that keep changing, are full of shit in some cases, and are slanted to support an opinion in many other cases, that the answer is not throwing medicine at a problem that may not be.

Plus, I'm not much on preventative medicine.

Beth said...

Also I think one needs to look at who is profiting from all the climate control hype to see that they are the ones creating the "crisis" in order to (gasp!) profit from it. While I applaud ingenious people who want to make a buck, I want it done honestly.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

You might want to ask the folks in Greenland whether they feel that "crisis" ought to be in sarcastic quotes, and whether they're profiting by the loss of the wildlife they live off of as the territories vanish into the sea.

It might be me, but personally I don't think they give a shit about profits. They're more concerned with their livelihood and ultimately their lives.

Patrick M said...

Beth: You come nearer to the mark.

Saty: I feel for anyone who is faced with their livelihoods going away.

That's happening south of here, in Dayton, where GM, DHL, and other companies are shutting down and pulling out. It means having to adapt.

The other option would be to have government support them. And you know where I'm going with this. Whatever the situation, we have to adapt to it. And we will, no matter what the old mud ball throws at us.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

You're right, Patrick. We're not going to agree on this one. I'm never going to go with profits over people, and I'm never going to change my mind on it.

I'm never going to ignore a problem that I can positively impact, even if it means some inconvenience for me.

I'm never going to let cynicism conquer compassion in my life and I'm never going to let self-absorption and self-centeredness preempt the ethical duty I have to work for not just my own good but the common good.

Retrospective will determine if the actions I do personally, however small, have made any positive change. But there will never be any question about my motives or my goal.

And that's just going to have to be good enough for me.

Beth said...

I'm never going to go with profits over people

People can thrive if they can make a profit, why do you have to choose between these two?

I'm never going to ignore a problem that I can positively impact, even if it means some inconvenience for me

This is a free country, if you feel its right to do something you feel is positive, then go ahead. But don't mandate things for me based on junk science.

But there will never be any question about my motives or my goal

We both have the same goal, for our country to succeed, right? Well you want to inconvience everyone and hurt our economy, all of which won't make a difference in Greenland or anywhere else on the globe.

Toad734 said...

What I am saying is that you are acting like the Oil Companies are some sort of victims barely getting by. Last quarters profits were not 7% they were 10%. Just because they had to finally pay (half of what they were supposed to) the cost of the Valdez clean up, doesn't meant you get to say they only made 7% margins. And agian, those profits are after their "operating costs" which include bloated salaries of their executives. So it's not like Exxon, or anyone at Exxon is scraping by.

What I am saying is that if you have 40 billion in profits, there is room for you to lower the price of your product. I am sure Walmart's profits are about the same margins but they make their money by volume. It's not like Exxon is an electronics botique which can sell one $15,000 home entertainment system and get by for the month; they are in the business of large volumes, of course their profit margins are going to be lower than Apple.

So what I am saying is that with such healthy profits, why are they still getting tax payer subsidies, electing our presidents and paying the same percentage of income tax that I pay and why do you feel the need to defend them? They are laughing at you.

Increasinig supply can decrease cost assuming the demand doesn't keep up with or exceed the new supply. Oil will run out someday soon. Instead of starting wars over the last few drops and using that as an excuse to pay $150 per barell, we need to put our efforts elsewhere. Not in subsidies for oil companies to drill of Myrtle Beach.

shaw kenawe said...

...then go ahead. But don't mandate things for me based on junk science. --Beth


I'm curious. Could you please cite or link to where a valid scientific study says that global warming is "junk science?" Can you please show me where and in which scientific journal this is found?


Patrick M said...

Please! No more links!

and Toad:

So what I am saying is that with such healthy profits, why are they still getting tax payer subsidies, electing our presidents and paying the same percentage of income tax that I pay and why do you feel the need to defend them?

Because there are people who want to demonize them as they (and Bush) are the source of all evil in the world, or at least as far as the price of oil is concerned, when there are plenty of people who are equally (or more) culpable for the price spike.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

"For our country to succeed"?

My goal is to leave the world-the entire world, not just a landmass defined by arbitrary, imaginary lines drawn by people in order to compartmentalize and divide- better than it was when I got here.
If that's what you mean when you say 'for our country to succeed', then we're on the same page. Personally, I think it's the true measure of success, but that's a word that people define according to their priorities and values.

And the phrase I used was "profits OVER people", for stunning example of which look to Exxon, who is racking up quarterly profits on a scale with probably the entire continent of Africa, while watching our entire economy, and all the people who are forced to participate in it, suffer as a result of the trickle-down effects of astronomical, insane gas prices.

When profits come BEFORE people and at a higher priority than people, that's the functional equivalent of a slave society. Feudalism. If I wasn't so hungry that my brain is starved for glucose I could come up with more examples. Those will have to do for now.

And our economy effects everyone; the world market reflects issues that happen here and everywhere else. I'm bad enough with money that I hand over my paycheck in return for an allowance, but it doesn't take a CPA to figure this out.

Isolationism is no longer feasible. It's time to think outside the box.

Mike's America said...

I think Toadbat gets paid too much. Obviously he has plenty of free time to sit around at work typing these inane comments of his.

I say we slap a windfall profits tax on him and take an extra 20% of his salary.

We promise it will only go towards a good cause like helping an already bloated Federal government which already wastes more than all the profit generated by every oil company since the beginning of time.

Patrick M said...

Saty: Let me rephrase for Beth a little here.

Conservatism doesn't value profits over people or the success of one country at the expense of another. We believe, in fact, in the idea that profits eventually help all people, and that the success of the USA benefits the whole world.

In essence, we don't believe that peace and prosperity is a pie, which is divided unequally among rich and poor. We believe in the growth of wealth through work and through success. We don't believe there is an unequal distribution of wealth in the world, but an unequal distribution of capitalism.

To rephrase the tarnished phrase of 'trickle down', consider it another way: A rising tide lifts all boats.

In the end, we all imagine a world where as many people as possible prosper as much as possible. We just don't agree on how to achieve that.

Beth said...

Shaw, to spare Patrick from links at his blog (and since I don't know how to do it within a comment anyway, even after Patrick's explanation) I went ahead and posted a three part series of links at my blog that have as much scientific knowledge as Al Gore as to why the global warming crap is crap.

And Patrick, thanks for the rephrase, I guess I couldn't have said it better myself.

Toad734 said...


Thats your bloated federal government which wastes all this money, my federal government had a balanced budget. And thanks for pointing out that someone's taxes have to increase to pay for the blunderings of your president. Now, who should we tax, a guy making under 100k or a someone who makes 40 billion and gets tax payer subsidies??

Just because they don't let you handle sharp objects and heavy machinery at the home doesn't mean you get to talk shit about what other people, who actually make a living, do.

Patrick M said... federal government had a balanced budget.

Was that the Republican congress under Clinton?

Hint: We're all pissed about the out of control spending. Even Mike.