How Green is Your Job?

Over the past year, we have heard a lot from the current administration on the development of “green jobs.”  In a recent article on the Planet Green website, Brian Merchant points out that President Obama has set aside approximately 2.3 billion dollars for the development of these jobs.  Despite this sizable investment however, there is still quite a bit of discussion taking place on what a “green job” actually is.  Even Newsweek Magazine, appears to be confused about the definition when they write:

“In large part, the very idea behind a green job ensures there will never be a full definition, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics agreed in April to start measuring data on them. (Critics, in response, quickly suspected that the BLS, an agency supposed to measure objective data, could soon help carry water for an administration eager to show the stimulus is working.) Several environmental advocates polled by NEWSWEEK defined green jobs the way Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously defined obscenity: I’ll know it when I see it.”

The popular definition promoted by the current administration has always been jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. This would include solar cell and wind turbine manufacturers as well as a number of energy efficiency companies such as window and insulation manufacturers.   This conventional definition however, seems to leave out many “other” green jobs,  such as the nuclear power and clean coal industries.  By all accounts it seems that, despite the billions Obama is investing in them,  there is still no widely accepted definition for green jobs.  In fact, Head Muscle contends that a job’s greenness is not a binary attribute, and that there are already many jobs out there operating at varying shades of green.  All considered, to one extent or another, many of us may already be unsung green heroes!

For example, let’s accept for the sake of argument that  a solar cell manufacturer is green by Obama’s definition, and that the renewable energy company that uses the cells is green as well.  What then about the trucking company that transports the new solar cells across the country from the manufacturer to the customer?  Certainly the diesel truck pollutes, but without it the cells would never be distributed and utilized.  So, one could logically say that the trucking company, though polluting, is somewhat green in nature…maybe something in the “olive” category.

Through this example, it is easy to see that the definition of a green job has become somewhat restricted and that a more holistic, progressive-minded, assessment is in order. So, in an effort to help frame this new industry a bit more analytically, Head Muscle has come up with an Obama-friendly questionnaire designed to help readers determine whether or not their job is green:

Instructions for Questionnaire:

1. Read each question thoroughly and answer True or False to the best of your ability.

2. For every question that you answer as “True” add or deduct the number of points specified at the end of the question.

3. Your starting score will be -100 due to the fact that breathing introduces CO2 into the workplace.

4. Have fun!

Green Job Questionnaire (Starting Score -100)

1. I work for “big oil.”  (-1000)

2. I work at a conventional power plant. (-500)

3. I work at a gas station or any facility which distributes petroleum products. (-300)

4. Sandwiches from the vending machine at work give me gas. (-100)

5. I am a polluter but belong to a union. (+200)

6. My company donated to Obama’s presidential campaign. (+300)

7. One or more of the following are true about my place of work:

a. They built their office building out of old car tires, glass bottles, and dried cow poop. (+300)

b. They buy their windows from Serious Materials. (+300)

c. Al Gore is on the board of  directors. (+500)

d. They make a nice profit. (-500)

8.  My company transports its products to other locations for resale. (-500)

9. My company produces nothing tangible [ie. Government Agency] so no transportation is required. (+500)

10. My company subcontracts to other “polluting” countries in order to lower costs to consumers. (-500)

11. My company makes overpriced “eco-friendly” consumer products which do not work. (+500)

12. My company builds buildings and highways that support our nation’s infrastructure. (-500)

13. My company operates a land trust designed to prevent progress. (+500)

14. My company uses GM Hybrid vehicles to reduce pollutants (+500)

15.  My company uses Ford Hybrid vehicles to reduce pollutants (-500)

16. My company’s CEO drives an SUV (-300)

17. My company is a Nuclear Power Plant (-1000)

18. My company takes subsidies to grow corn for ethanol and other useless unsustainable bio-fuels (+500)

19. My company built Yucca Mountain (-1000)

20. My company is Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac (+500)

Scoring:

1. If you scored 1000 or higher your job is emerald green and you are serving both the godess Gaia and Al Gore well. Congratulations!

2. If you scored between 0 and 1000, your job is “greenish” but you need to take the next step and sell your Ford Hybrid for a better quality GM.

3. If you scored between -1000 and 0, your job is still part of the problem and you need to consider either taking a government position, or unionizing.

4. If you scored below -1000 you are  a greedy, earth-killing, profit-oriented, conservative Neanderthal .  Your job is as brown as it gets, and you should really consider having a fatal accident with your lawnmower.  Your only hope is that, on the day of great judgement, Al Gore will have mercy on your wretched soul.

Even though we have gone to great effort to ensure that the above questionnaire incorporates current progressive values to the fullest extent possible, we admit that green jobs are still somewhat subjective.  It is our hope that, by using the above questionnaire, readers will better understand where they are on the spectrum of green jobs, and use it as a guidepost for ensuring that they are living their lives in accordance with the current administration’s vision for our country.  It is our hope that, over time, most people will move from olives to teals and into deep forest green jobs.  If not for yourselves, do it for Al and Gaia.

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42 thoughts on “How Green is Your Job?

  1. Gee, I am no longer in the workplace so I cannot take this test. But if I use my past work experiences as a measure, then it appears that I should refrain from mounting my riding mower and assiduously avoid my chain saw, log splitter and most tools with sharp edges.

    A study was done in Spain that reached the conclusion that for every “green job” created, two “regular” jobs were lost. With the hysterical emphasis on wind, solar and tide power, the fact has been lost that together they currently provide only 5% of the power needed to serve America – and that, for the most part, the existing power grids are not designed to connect with “alternative power sources” without massive amounts of spending to upgrade already crumbling infrastructure.

  2. Facts are just stubborn things I guess…
    Did you know that agriculture is not a “green job?”
    Growing things is only green if you do it organically…odd.

    • Not so odd. Most fertilizer is petroleum based. Add in the manufacturing and supply chain and all that spinach gets to be less green, on balance.

      • Ric,
        I must admit, it is a lonely desolate drive around the Salton Sea. There must be some balance to equation though. Growing things consumes carbon from the atmosphere and produces oxygen. It stops erosion and preserves the natural beauty of many areas. Certainly there is a yin to the yang…

        Thanks for stopping by.

        Chuck

    • Plants do absorb carbon and produce oxygen. They also produce carbon dioxide during their respiration cycle. And they give up carbon when they die and decompose. So there’s yin and yang in nature, but humans have screwed up the balance and nature can’t put it back as long as we continue doing what we’re doing, carbon-wise. You can’t do politics with the laws of physics, can’t sit down at a table with them and negotiate, can’t work out a happy compromise. The planet doesn’t care what lives on it, doesn’t care if anything lives on it. There’s no nature spirit making Earth safe for humans, despite the wishful thinking and flat-out ignorance of too many of our leaders.

      On another tack, have you visited Common Dreams? You might find it interesting.

      • I took metal shop and wood shop. Apparently I’m qualified to attack wooden things with metal things. In those days the shops were in the basement, and the guys with the cigarettes and blades hung out outside the basement door and the shop teachers kept baseball bats handy. The shop teachers somehow tended to be ex-Marines. Horticulture would have been more fun and less conducive to nightmares about being chased down alleys by peers with shanks. Good times, good times! 🙂

      • I just made the tactical error of taking a sip of iced tea as I read your wood shop memoirs. I am now drying off my laptop…

        My wood shop teacher, Mr. Beach, had a wandering eye. As I recall, it would stay pretty well aligned with its partner unless we made him angry. As soon as he lost his temper however, it would go free agent. First his face would turn red and then, ever so gradually, his right eye would drift off into the upper corner of his head. When it reached apogee he would explode into a fit of apoplectic rage, which usually involved throwing us all out of class to shiver in the cold until the next bell.

        It scared the hell out of us at the time but, in retrospect, I now wish we had all been equipped with such a wondrous mechanism. Just imagine how many great conflicts throughout history might have been prevented by a well timed rogue eyeball.

        Just a thought.

      • That’ll learn you to drink while reading me.

        I suspect Mr. Beach was actually Mad Eye Moody, who went missing in the seventh book of Harry Potter. Or he may have been a close relative.

    • There’s a hell of a lot less ideology in Obama’s orbit than there is in the Republican sphere, which seems to possess nothing but ideology. Nonetheless, it’s still too much.

      Here’s some hope for reducing the ideological content of the Congress and maybe starting to get them to live back in the real world… OTA Returns

      • I dunno, Chuck. Partisans are usually the guys with guns in the woods and not too many scruples about using them.

      • HA! I added the ‘bi.’

        It is never wise to blog on 3 hours of sleep…yes that is my excuse…three hours of sleep. I have to admit though, running around in the woods with a gun is pretty exhilarating.

      • Just don’t shoot any trees. The biosphere needs them more than it needs sleep-deprived partisans. Or bi-partisans.

  3. Chuck:

    Overheard at the grocery store, in place of the whole Vaudeville-eqsue “paper vs. plastic” routing:

    kill a tree or choke a fish, sir?”

    Just kidding.

    But the conundrum of all political force on behalf of ideology–Green included–is not made any easier for the sloppy science and the philosophical return to a nihilistic primitivism that often confutes (as well as confuses) real environmental issues. Few issues are stark as David Sedaris snarky joke about the waitress who offers the diner the choice of Chicken Cordon Bleu vs. the S**t Platter garnished with broken glass.

    Would that life were so in all areas. Alas, it is not.

    The true excesses of a throwaway society had the good edge of technology finally brining the concept of hygiene to homo sapiens, just as with the flush toilet that is the bane and ire of the Greens and the curse of the plumper for the downgrade Reformation of Crap that now plagues North America with the Low Flow concept that clogs us. No easy quips do the struggle for convenience and cost savings vs. the possible waste of resources. (though in the case of the Throne, you don’t get water savings for example if you have to flush the damn things 5 times whereas in the past the oldies could suck down a bowling ball in one whoosh).

    Ever the conflict. And that’s just one sample, albeit up close and nasty. Others abound.

    Biofuels, windmills, chicken manure, and solar are mostly a bust except for small applications and very local small scale needs. And they all suffer from the NIMBY factor to boot. That’s the problem with Green power solutions.

    Sops are granted recently to the N-word (nuclear!) but the future of funding is in laughably grave doubt since Ric’s lesser ideologues in the Manchild’s cabinet just spent your granddaughter’s piggy bank on bigger banks and glop to unions. For some reason. Having little to do with ideology, one guesses.

    But hey, I’m easy on this end.

    I figure need will come about and force the issue before we monetorize more of the debt on what Heritage calls the final blowup of “Cap-n-Trade” (oh, about a cool 2 Trillion) and we end up as the world’s cleanest Third World nation.

    …I hope….

    Greetings, Ric.

    • Windpower electricity generation: “19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain[3] and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.[2]” Wind power

      Hardly a bust.

  4. I’ve fired all manner of guns (well not a .50 cal..YET) tend to a tolerant, self-branded Libertarian/Conservative-on-most-social-issues vague Rightwingness, but oddly remain very non-partisan–IF by that you mean not really affiliated with parties.

    Well, parties other than the ones where I have to be careful to stick with ice tea like Churck does, else I turn into a donkey at the stroke of midnight and end up harassing someone or get told to split before things really get neat.

    Oddly enough, for getting under Napolitano’s skin for clinginess to God and guns and hearth and home, I’ve never shot a politician.

    In the South it’s more likely to be beer cans off the back of the truck’s tailgate, for the most part. OR some large tasty animal if I can convince the wife to make a space for a severed head with horns on the wall. That sorta thing.

    But the funnier thing is I’m not sure if that’s a real issue of good scruples or not.

    I guess that means I’m an OK dude who runs around with the Tea Partier crowd (not ready to go for the lovely Rachel Maddow’s moniker of TeaBAGGER just yet–that latter having a more Frisco flair to it that just not my background) but has yet to add to the death toll from the Right with Guns these last few years. Which is standing at zero as far as I can tell.

    Yeah–I guess that’s scruples. But that old 44.40 (few people know about that caliber of ammo) sure has a sweet smooth kick. Damn thing would kill a grizzly, I think.

  5. Yeah, late on the draw here at the OK Corral. Been busy for once lately.

    (running a small business is the ultimate screw, and an ill-advised way to show your nobility in creating jobs here and there…)

    http://www.aweo.org/ProblemWithWind.html

    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/ProblemWithWind.pdf

    http://www.mensetmanus.net/windpower/cato/probwind.shtml

    http://www.physorg.com/news166022416.html

    http://www.windaction.org/

    http://www.wind-watch.org/

    Just a few samplings of but some of the many problems, including the killing of our avian pals and the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) factor that still reigns among elites (liberals included) here in the US when no one wants the damned things in THEIR neck of the woods or neighborhood in some of the prime places where the wind blows:

    Despite decades of experience and substantial installations in Denmark, Germany, and Spain, the giant turbines have not been shown to reduce the use of fossil fuels on the electric grid — such as natural gas, coal, and nuclear — let alone gasoline for transport and oil for heating. For this reason, their ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming or pollutants that cause acid rain and health problems such as asthma is doubtful, despite their tremendous size and sprawl.

    As I warned before, pace Mr. Sedaris, things are not really all that simple. Carbon free is not always congruent with “problem free.”

    Yes, Nuke power too can suffer from NIMBY, but the power generation can be centralized away from most eyes and worrywarts because it’s usually not near residential areas.

    Now granted, in Europe, even though wind is not up to par with the billing or the demand and the contribution to the grid is not really consistent for all those grandiose numbers, we DO see that in those cultures the citizen is a more passive ward of the state. Autocracy has its privileges in getting things done. Things might be a-changin’ here, but so far we still can put up some resistance to edicts and the use of force. European culture, like Red China’s of which good liberals like Tom Friedman crow about for getting the deed done without all the political hassles, is more autocratic than ours. Though this is performed by bureaucracy rather than oligarchy, so the European people feel (falsely) they have some input on such matters when forced to swallow Green Notions that come up short of real production or are riddled with problems. The government minions and eternal busybodies ask the people what kind of sycophants they are, and the general response is merely “well, what kind of sycophants would you LIKE us to be, your Majesties?” Not that this is really a concern to the overlords. That attitude is coming here even before the passage of the kind of legislation that locks such notions in place. Note for example Nancy Pelosi sticking her fingers in her ears like some Nicole Sullivan skit on MAD TV and sayin’ “nyah nyah nyah can’t hear you.”

    Just as with Pelosi surging forward on “Health Reform”–which is less about health than about POWER–the Greens and other leftist powers of this earth are not actually concerned about carbon or production or how to make trade-offs or compromises or maintain the economy. They are hammering this in from the point of view of ideology. It is not about helping the commonweal so much as about honoring Earth Goddesses and praising animism, primitivism, and control of PEOPLE and resources. http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2009/04/happy-birthday-earth-day.html

    So, the mirror control freakiness to the Alarmosphere natterings over carbon demonization and how to bully people around on behalf of Gaia, is the so-called health care debate, which likewise is less about health and the issues it latches onto than about controlling people’s habits and lifestyle to something more suitable to our highbrow betters.

    ______________________________

    As far as tomatoes: Yeah, our family used the yardbird poop and it does work wonders for all kinds of veggies. You’ll get squashes the size of footballs on that mess. Nitrogen is truly the wonder dope for plants. Large scale usage agriculturally might make sense for all its “natural” attributes, but then, it DOES stink to high heaven. (Drivers who venture into small towns like Monetta and surrounding areas along I-20 have been known to have to pull over and vomit.) So bully for nitrogen from other sources if the idea is to get the soybeans hopped up in time for harvest.

    On the other hand, for a power source for biomass type fuels, you’d be just as well off burning the tomatoes. The notion that biofuels, and/or biologically-oriented fuels are “carbon-neutral” is false after all the labor input and processing required. This is as true of manure as it is of soybeans and grain/corn alcohols/fuels that do more environmental damage than good when you tally up all the associated costs. Oh, and that the farmers are the only ones getting the pockets lines for this. Ethanol is a net loss of energy in the tank, not a gain, for both what goes into it and for the car itself. And while biodeisel is interesting for the fact that you can run a big rig on French fry oil (with some modifications in both machine and oil) the costs, both monetary and agricultural, are not worth the effort. The wonders of petroleum is that it is the most efficient liquid going for the myriad products and power output. It DOES get the job done.

  6. http://www.aweo.org/ProblemWithWind.html

    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/ProblemWithWind.pdf

    http://www.mensetmanus.net/windpower/cato/probwind.shtml

    http://www.physorg.com/news166022416.html

    http://www.windaction.org/

    http://www.wind-watch.org/

    Just one sampling of but one of the many problems, including the killing of our avian pals and the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) factor that still reigns among elites (liberals included) here in the US when no one wants the damned things in THEIR neck of the woods or neighborhood in some of the prime places where the wind blows:

    Despite decades of experience and substantial installations in Denmark, Germany, and Spain, the giant turbines have not been shown to reduce the use of fossil fuels on the electric grid — such as natural gas, coal, and nuclear — let alone gasoline for transport and oil for heating. For this reason, their ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming or pollutants that cause acid rain and health problems such as asthma is doubtful, despite their tremendous size and sprawl.

    As I warned before, pace Mr. Sedaris, things are not really all that simple. Carbon free is not always congruent with “problem free.”

    Now granted, in Europe, even though wind is not up to par with the billing or the demand and the contribution to the grid is not really consistent for all those grandiose numbers, we DO see that in those cultures the citizen is a more passive ward of the state. Autocracy has its privileges in getting things done. Things might be a-changin’ here, but so far we still can put up some resistance to edicts and the use of force. European culture, like Red China’s of which good liberals like Tom Friedman crow about for getting the deed done without all the political hassles, is more autocratic than ours. Though this is performed by bureaucracy rather than oligarchy, so the European people feel (falsely) they have some input on such matters when forced to swallow Green Notions that come up short of real production or are riddled with problems. The government minions and eternal busybodies ask the people what kind of sycophants they are, and the general response is merely “well, what kind of sycophants would you LIKE us to be, your Majesties?” Not that this is really a concern to the overlords. That attitude is coming here even before the passage of the kind of legislation that locks such notions in place. Note for example Nancy Pelosi sticking her fingers in her ears like some Nicole Sullivan skit on MAD TV and sayin’ “nyah nyah nyah can’t hear you.”

    Just as with Pelosi surging forward on “Health Reform”–which is less about health than about POWER–the Greens and other leftist powers of this earth are not actually concerned about carbon or production or how to make trade-offs or compromises or maintain the economy. They are hammering this in from the point of view of ideology. It is not about helping the commonweal so much as about honoring Earth Goddesses and praising animism, primitivism, and control of PEOPLE and resources. http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2009/04/happy-birthday-earth-day.html

    So, the mirror control freakiness to the Alarmosphere natterings over carbon demonization and how to bully people around on behalf of Gaia, is the so-called health care debate, which likewise is less about health and the issues it latches onto than about controlling people’s habits and lifestyle to something more suitable to our highbrow betters.

    ______________________________

    As far as tomatoes: Yeah, our family used the yardbird poop and it does work wonders for all kinds of veggies. You’ll get squashes the size of footballs on that mess. Nitrogen is truly the wonder dope for plants. Large scale usage agriculturally might make sense for all its “natural” attributes, but then, it DOES stink to high heaven. (Drivers who venture into small towns like Monetta and surrounding areas along I-20 have been known to have to pull over and vomit.) So bully for nitrogen from other sources if the idea is to get the soybeans hopped up in time for harvest.

    On the other hand, for a power source for biomass type fuels, you’d be just as well off burning the tomatoes. The notion that biofuels, and/or biologically-oriented fuels are “carbon-neutral” is false after all the labor input and processing required. This is as true of manure as it is of soybeans and grain/corn alcohols/fuels that do more environmental damage than good when you tally up all the associated costs. Oh, and that the farmers are the only ones getting the pockets lines for this. Ethanol is a net loss of energy in the tank, not a gain, for both what goes into it and for the car itself. And while biodeisel is interesting for the fact that you can run a big rig on French fry oil (with some modifications in both machine and oil) the costs, both monetary and agricultural, are not worth the effort. The wonders of petroleum is that it is the most efficient liquid going for the myriad products and power output. It DOES get the job done.

  7. Just one sampling of but one of the many problems, including the killing of our avian pals and the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) factor that still reigns among elites (liberals included) here in the US when no one wants the damned things in THEIR neck of the woods or neighborhood in some of the prime places where the wind blows:

    Despite decades of experience and substantial installations in Denmark, Germany, and Spain, the giant turbines have not been shown to reduce the use of fossil fuels on the electric grid — such as natural gas, coal, and nuclear — let alone gasoline for transport and oil for heating. For this reason, their ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming or pollutants that cause acid rain and health problems such as asthma is doubtful, despite their tremendous size and sprawl.

    As I warned before, pace Mr. Sedaris, things are not really all that simple. Carbon free is not always congruent with “problem free.”

    Now granted, in Europe, even though wind is not up to par with the billing or the demand and the contribution to the grid is not really consistent for all those grandiose numbers, we DO see that in those cultures the citizen is a more passive ward of the state. Autocracy has its privileges in getting things done. Things might be a-changin’ here, but so far we still can put up some resistance to edicts and the use of force. European culture, like Red China’s of which good liberals like Tom Friedman crow about for getting the deed done without all the political hassles, is more autocratic than ours. Though this is performed by bureaucracy rather than oligarchy, so the European people feel (falsely) they have some input on such matters when forced to swallow Green Notions that come up short of real production or are riddled with problems. The government minions and eternal busybodies ask the people what kind of sycophants they are, and the general response is merely “well, what kind of sycophants would you LIKE us to be, your Majesties?” Not that this is really a concern to the overlords. That attitude is coming here even before the passage of the kind of legislation that locks such notions in place. Note for example Nancy Pelosi sticking her fingers in her ears like some Nicole Sullivan skit on MAD TV and sayin’ “nyah nyah nyah can’t hear you.”

    Just as with Pelosi surging forward on “Health Reform”–which is less about health than about POWER–the Greens and other leftist powers of this earth are not actually concerned about carbon or production or how to make trade-offs or compromises or maintain the economy. They are hammering this in from the point of view of ideology. It is not about helping the commonweal so much as about honoring Earth Goddesses and praising animism, primitivism, and control of PEOPLE and resources. http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2009/04/happy-birthday-earth-day.html

    So, the mirror control freakiness to the Alarmosphere natterings over carbon demonization and how to bully people around on behalf of Gaia, is the so-called health care debate, which likewise is less about health and the issues it latches onto than about controlling people’s habits and lifestyle to something more suitable to our highbrow betters.

    ______________________________

    As far as tomatoes: Yeah, our family used the yardbird poop and it does work wonders for all kinds of veggies. You’ll get squashes the size of footballs on that mess. Nitrogen is truly the wonder dope for plants. Large scale usage agriculturally might make sense for all its “natural” attributes, but then, it DOES stink to high heaven. (Drivers who venture into small towns like Monetta and surrounding areas along I-20 have been known to have to pull over and vomit.) So bully for nitrogen from other sources if the idea is to get the soybeans hopped up in time for harvest.

    On the other hand, for a power source for biomass type fuels, you’d be just as well off burning the tomatoes. The notion that biofuels, and/or biologically-oriented fuels are “carbon-neutral” is false after all the labor input and processing required. This is as true of manure as it is of soybeans and grain/corn alcohols/fuels that do more environmental damage than good when you tally up all the associated costs. Oh, and that the farmers are the only ones getting the pockets lines for this. Ethanol is a net loss of energy in the tank, not a gain, for both what goes into it and for the car itself. And while biodeisel is interesting for the fact that you can run a big rig on French fry oil (with some modifications in both machine and oil) the costs, both monetary and agricultural, are not worth the effort. The wonders of petroleum is that it is the most efficient liquid going for the myriad products and power output. It DOES get the job done.

  8. I’ll try and link some samplings of a few of the many problems, including the killing of our avian pals and the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) factor that still reigns among elites (liberals included) here in the US when no one wants the damned things in THEIR neck of the woods or neighborhood in some of the prime places where the wind blows:

    Despite decades of experience and substantial installations in Denmark, Germany, and Spain, the giant turbines have not been shown to reduce the use of fossil fuels on the electric grid — such as natural gas, coal, and nuclear — let alone gasoline for transport and oil for heating. For this reason, their ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming or pollutants that cause acid rain and health problems such as asthma is doubtful, despite their tremendous size and sprawl.

    As I warned before, pace Mr. Sedaris, things are not really all that simple. Carbon free is not always congruent with “problem free.”

    Now granted, in Europe, even though wind is not up to par with the billing or the demand and the contribution to the grid is not really consistent for all those grandiose numbers, we DO see that in those cultures the citizen is a more passive ward of the state. Autocracy has its privileges in getting things done. Things might be a-changin’ here, but so far we still can put up some resistance to edicts and the use of force. European culture, like Red China’s of which good liberals like Tom Friedman crow about for getting the deed done without all the political hassles, is more autocratic than ours. Though this is performed by bureaucracy rather than oligarchy, so the European people feel (falsely) they have some input on such matters when forced to swallow Green Notions that come up short of real production or are riddled with problems. The government minions and eternal busybodies ask the people what kind of sycophants they are, and the general response is merely “well, what kind of sycophants would you LIKE us to be, your Majesties?” Not that this is really a concern to the overlords. That attitude is coming here even before the passage of the kind of legislation that locks such notions in place. Note for example Nancy Pelosi sticking her fingers in her ears like some Nicole Sullivan skit on MAD TV and sayin’ “nyah nyah nyah can’t hear you.”

    Just as with Pelosi surging forward on “Health Reform”–which is less about health than about POWER–the Greens and other leftist powers of this earth are not actually concerned about carbon or production or how to make trade-offs or compromises or maintain the economy. They are hammering this in from the point of view of ideology. It is not about helping the commonweal so much as about honoring Earth Goddesses and praising animism, primitivism, and control of PEOPLE and resources.

    So, the mirror control freakiness to the Alarmosphere natterings over carbon demonization and how to bully people around on behalf of Gaia, is the so-called health care debate, which likewise is less about health and the issues it latches onto than about controlling people’s habits and lifestyle to something more suitable to our highbrow betters.

    ______________________________

    As far as tomatoes: Yeah, our family used the yardbird poop and it does work wonders for all kinds of veggies. You’ll get squashes the size of footballs on that mess. Nitrogen is truly the wonder dope for plants. Large scale usage agriculturally might make sense for all its “natural” attributes, but then, it DOES stink to high heaven. (Drivers who venture into small towns like Monetta and surrounding areas along I-20 have been known to have to pull over and vomit.) So bully for nitrogen from other sources if the idea is to get the soybeans hopped up in time for harvest.

    On the other hand, for a power source for biomass type fuels, you’d be just as well off burning the tomatoes. The notion that biofuels, and/or biologically-oriented fuels are “carbon-neutral” is false after all the labor input and processing required. This is as true of manure as it is of soybeans and grain/corn alcohols/fuels that do more environmental damage than good when you tally up all the associated costs. Oh, and that the farmers are the only ones getting the pockets lines for this. Ethanol is a net loss of energy in the tank, not a gain, for both what goes into it and for the car itself. And while biodeisel is interesting for the fact that you can run a big rig on French fry oil (with some modifications in both machine and oil) the costs, both monetary and agricultural, are not worth the effort. The wonders of petroleum is that it is the most efficient liquid going for the myriad products and power output. It DOES get the job done.

    • “we DO see that in those cultures the citizen is a more passive ward of the state”

      Oh, I dunno about that. When governments there start messing with the people, they tend to take to the streets, block highways with trucks, and pretty generally give the bureaucrats and elected officials a hard time. Governments fall there when they get it wrong. Here, Americans just sit on their fat asses while the corporations ream them, and would rather have their taxes go to pay for senseless wars that ride a wave of sloganeering by wingnuts and faux patriots, than to pay for useful things like good education, affordable health care, and a social compact that benefits all the people instead of just the wealthy and the friends of politicians. Senator Inhofe, who I guess would be a hero of yours because he states that global warming is a huge hoax, would be laughed out of politics and into a suitable job cleaning up dog shit. But I suspect his descendants and yours will, when they can manage to catch their breath, spit on your graves if they can find them under all that water.

      • As all is fair in love and war, and those handy gondola rides to the Empire State Building that nutcases like Paul Ehrlich warned us about before the Baby Bomb was found to have a wet fuse (was that global sea rise also?) I’m guessing one form of hyperbole is just as good as another.

        Or at least as good as your upudated recitation from the SDS.

        I’ll give you the extended DVD version of LOTR here.

        http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2010/03/mark-steyn-obamacare-worth-price-to.html

        Now that government workers make about 70% more than the average pay for similar work in the private sector, all this blabber and slush about entitlements and how the private realm is the proximate hog at the trough seems a little laughable these days.

        As to the putative wonders of Eurosocialist health care and the dandy 18 month waiting lines for MRIs even when you’re coughing up blood and mucus, it seems that even beyond the actuarial, and the fact that the Prez can’t do math any better than Inhofe (or Mitt Romney, to be honest) and that the latest models show some cracks in granny’s old ceramics, it seems the past is prologue.

        http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YWE0YzYzMTNhZmY2N2M1ZGM3ZmNlNTNiMTgwNTkzNGU=

        http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2009/07/health-care-for-all-and-happy.html

        As to lack of protests? Well, Europe IS getting a little tense these days. Might be around the corner. But the people hope against hope and demographic reality that the New Jerusalem’s earthly Estate cannot go away and the fun time will last forever. But protesting over LACK of something pulled from somebody else’s arse is not what I had in mind, even if the usual reason they might do such over THERE.

        What better way to succor people and have the best slaves than constant Bread and Circus moments? Declining societies ARE nice places to be in the final moments, a generation or two, that they actually last.

        Who wouldn’t like to be like Europe–lands almost as important these days as Somolia’s latest tribal spat? Places where the populace is kept in check with constant distractions and the burning questions of the day (other than letting the Yanks get all the outsourced foreign policy now that Europe is turning Hobbit like), are sex and fun?

        Terror, ya say? Call me later, Yanks. I’m on government-enforced paid vacation for my 8th week at the beach. There IS a hellish price to pay for freedom, and it IS constant vigilance in addition to being a grown-up, rather than Europe’s mamby-pamby menkids who demand that someone take care of them from womb to tomb and that the big questions in life are outsourced to government. At least they have choice on sex partners and CDs. I guess that’s something. Too bad the gale force winds of “choice” that Gloria Steinem blasted with megaphones here don’t translate to real issues over there?

        Would that the world is a simpler place, eh? (Pace Steinem, people need freedom in economics and health care to be adults as well as women need both bicycles and fish as well.)

        Gory decapitation videos being shown right on the streets of London in the faces of Brit police who merely grimace and look like they need a good stiff dose of Ex-Lax? Antics of the type that get your ass slapped in cuffs in most US cities for harassment of the commonweal (if not worse charges)?

        Ahh–nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. Put Geert Wilders in cuffs instead. We don’t wann hear his crap!

        After all, these lads don’t mean it (beheadings prove nothing) and we need to show real freedom of speech and get warm and mushy over the wonders of multi-culti shenanigans! You Yanks don’t understand the nuance and panache and style over here of how we handle things…well….like the IRA….the Madrid bombings…the London Tube….but, anyhow…we’ve got things wrapped up tidy.

        More seriously, and far less snark: Insufficiently acknowledged, as usual among the stats on euroglop care, is that the plupart of EuroComfort is at least in part funded by Americans for half a century due to our covering THEIR defense costs. We don’t garrison the small fry outposts all that much until Biafra gets leveled by God-knows-what storm or civil unrest. We garrison the better off punks, albeit living with their parents at age 36 and childless due to the sheer costs of the advanced disease known as the Welfare State. Thus, allowing the Euros to divert discretionary spending inward on glop and slush.

        When it comes OUR turn, to turn inward and pretend the rest of the planet does not exist, or that the Sons of Allah is a problem for someone else, and the dirty Jews can damn well stave off the Pallies forever under the assault of rocket attacks every third week, we for our part will have no one to turn to. No one to help us clip the gardens of the political wasteland that will become the world sans the US. To some of course, this is an exhilarating prospect and say we should’ve never been over there in the first place. Which there? Name it. We have no business there, as the Left says. No even our own so-called “borders.”

        Predicated on secular demographics (lots of sex and wine but few babies other than the Sons of Allah in the maternity wards) it would seem that the Statist state must somehow return to religiosity that it hates of the babyboom Catholic variety to make the numbers add up.

        http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/03/18/your-%E2%80%98downturn%E2%80%99-their-%E2%80%98upturn%E2%80%99/

        But let not your heart be troubled. We’ll be joining that bad math soon enough. Even if Nancy Pelosi insists on that hitherto unknown portion of the Constitution that says voting on big multi-trillion buck issues that manifestly do not (and indeed, cannot) reign in the deficit, are pushed past wondering eyes.

        http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2010/03/mark-steyn-obamacare-worth-price-to.html

        And of course, the CBO is just SOOOO darned trustworthy…well…..hmmm:

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703746604574461610985243066.html

        As are the morons utterly bereft of math skills (like the Bambi administration) who can’t seem to understand that spending more is not the proximate way to spend less, long term or short:

        http://www.youtube.com/user/10000Pennies#p/u/2/70lkobYY0Hc

        Now, not that I haven’t enjoyed the very common demonization of the nation’s 86th most profitable business and the one that sure as hell I’d never touch myself for it’s lousy returns (the private health insurance industry) but it’s time for me to split, brother.

        I own a small business. Well…so far…

        The Man-child in Office who’s never worked beyond a Baskin Robbins as a teen and who’s only foot in the door of a company of any size was to cajole or bribe or threaten in that special intonation he has, might reverse my fortunes yet. Creepy, narcissistic people making 40-year “punchlists” (things to do) on radical leftism, who’ve spent their entire adult lives in the bowels of government are kinda like that sometimes. Granted, being a big shot in the private realm didn’t make Mitt Romeny any wiser for the wear….But still…The rule is shown by the exception, as the Roman said. There IS a better name for the Obama Plan that is coming around to many people’s attention, at least in accord with the private sector and his opine of the same: UNEMPLOYMENT.

        In any event, I’m one of those icky capitalist greed-oriented types who, nonetheless, unlike the unions and those nefarious connections you mentioned, never seem to have any public glop tossed in my particular direction. So. Fun time is now over. Being to NOT being Gordon Geko after all and sitting around the pool all day watching stock variations flash across the outdoor screen across the vista courtyard while sucking down martinis.

        I could go on about how this laurel leaf crowd in office lied to the American people not just about costs, but the whole issue of “public option” (as if real, and as if it was not always intended to suck everything into the maw of government at some point by “crowding out” the private sector with rising costs, penalties and fees) or that that whore-man Kucinich was reminded and comforted with just this reality (private insurers will be forced to go AWAY–not be our competition) or that if we need REAL competition why not just force the states to open up cross-state insurance competition…but….enough…

        I’m actually more pragmatic than ideological on many issues, and if real plans not couched in humbug and chicanery really DO head my way from a Democrat regarding the “what” of reforms of education (say, more attention to real learning, and less on condoms on cucumbers and butt-thrust manuels) and healthcare(real competition, not the pretense by crowding out private companies and duplicating the NHS 100 departments that are not quite free to operate) I’ll stand to attention and we’ll talk. Until such a time, the kids are homeschooled and cash gets the MRI faster.

        Best regards. And no doubt more than you wanted to see.

      • Having said all that, we DO have some fat-asses over here as well.

        You can find some of them over at the local DMV, where people who’s primary function is to tell you to take a number and sit down make 50K a year, or the Post Office warriors who make 85K a year for putting pieces of paper into mailboxes.

        Or the city bus drivers who make 170 grand smackers for opening and closing doors.

        Public work, as you well know, is pure as the wind-driven Arctic snows, however long Inhofe thinks it might last.

        But, touche, butt fat IS hard to rid oneself of these days…

  9. Chuck.

    Please delete everything that showed up under the spam box. Apparently putting more than one link or two along with text is treated as spam by WordPress. Which, despite this issue, still seems better than the Blogger mess I still use.

    In any event: The thread needs a little straightening out. And it seems my fault for overdoing it from frustration. I’m getting dizzy here.

    LOL

  10. Doubtless this will NOT answer everything that Greenpeace and Friends of Earth are pitching in that link, Ric.

    But Rosenbloom responds to the general mantra.

    In Europe, it MIGHT be possible to posit the notion that with what will be declining populations (some districts in Germany can no longer flush the jon due to UNDERPOPULATION and the lack of requisite flow, for example) in the United States the Wind issue becomes more problematic.

    Even positing that the link you have is the Epistle of Holy Writ and Truth, it is unlikely that in our case it could make much headway against what will be assuredly larger energy needs in the coming decades, even with draconian regulation and cutbacks.

    And this is not even covering the NIMBY problem. And I’ll make large allowances for start up and maintenance costs, as these are common to all forms of energy production.

    But the groups who supported that site with advocacy or funding–are generally anti-nuclear.

    A curious position to have if we’re to move from 20% of total production from all manner of alternative energy to fossil fuels, onto actually making sure the grid is active and full.

    Unless, that is, the plan is to have us all live like Grizzly Adams and have oil lamps for lighting in the day, etc.

    Or the ultimate goal is to have 10 million windmalls humming along at any one time.

    Most unlikely.

    If this administration is serious about “Manhattan Project” type revolutionary changes to energy, and I agree that this is needed, then we can’t depend on wind power to fill in the gaps long term as fossil fuels wind down or placed out of commission.

    I’m not so much opposed to Wind Power as I am the notion that at some uncertain time there’s less and less to plug into, as so far, the response from the Greens is that we don’t need nuclear or any other large centralized versions of energy if we “simply” cut down and reduce.

    But reduction, while admirable and necessary, is not a long term solution. It merely delays the inevitable moment when power is simply no longer available except on some small scale fantasy project only.

    In any event: What’s good for the Goose is good for the Slander.

    http://www.aweo.org/Diesendorf.html

  11. So, instead of How Green is Your Job type queries, the real question in mind IMHO is rather: How serious are we in doing what I think all three of us can putatively agree on here–removal from addiction to foreign oil.

    Yes, I know that coal is the plupart of energy production. But we’ll start with the first step and see if that leads to the Mount Sinai of liberation.

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