Citing climate change, Obama rejects Keystone XL Oil Pipeline construction plan

Yeah. Not so much.

The fracking boom and rise of sustainables has essentially removed the economic rationale for the pipeline and it was on the verge of being killed anyway by TransCanada. Future trends were not promising.

So basically Obama took credit for something that was happening anyway.

Way to get out in front of the parade, Mr. President. One wonders what he would have decided if it had actually been a tough decision.


The solution appears to be give people higher wages instead of trying to subsidise oil…

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I think the problem is that the fracking industry is bad locally - water on fire and all that. Plus some of the earthquakes in the mid-West have been attributed in part to fracking. It’s cleaner at the end, but what about the extraction process? Of like much else, it’s effecting the people who can least do anything about it - the working classes with little to no political power.

We need to just get off oil/gas completely. There has been a constant stream against this move towards renewables, and we need to be moving in that direction.

I don’t think they have to be, though. We need to throw government money at them, to keep costs low until they have an economy of scale. The US government has subsidized all sorts of things to keep costs low and it works. I’d pay more taxes to fund that, actually.

This… we need a raise in wages. More money coming into the consumers pocket, the more going out in terms of consumption, including of energy, which would create a larger tax base, with which we can fund alternatives.

I think this is going on, but there is also serious pushback because they have serious cash to spend on propping themselves up today. Look at what they did to the early electric car!

I agree. I think the fracking boom gave Obama cover to say no. I think we we’ve seen what he’s done on other tough issues (see, for example standing up for a provision in the ACA for a single payer system - he abandoned that pretty early on). I don’t think Obama is politically brave. Probably braver now than he was in his first term, but still.


I’m not sure these graphs are going to be entirely convincing to an audience which distrusts the very idea that GDP growth is desirable.

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Anyone who thinks that Obama just made up his mind about KXL this week, please raise your hand.

I understand your worries, but they are based upon several assumptions that I do not share:

Total Civilization Breakdown - So human civilisation begins and ends with electricity? Of course it didn’t. Even now, there are many places in the world without regular electricity, and not everybody even wants it. Electricity= civilisation is an ethnocentric European/Colonial model which reeks of both unfounded cultural and technological entitlement.

Petroleum Means Electricity - Petroleum molecules are extremely useful, so burning them for electricity has always been criminally negligent. It’s like burning gold to keep your house warm. It is much easier to make electricity than it is to make petroleum.

Centralized Electrical Grids Empower People - Whose idea was it that people should be exploited by being locked into centralized infrastructure? It encourages populations to be dependent. 100 years ago, there were fewer ways to obtain electricity, and there was no push for efficient use in the home. Neither of these apply now. Again, it is a form of entitlement to suggest that if you decide you need electricity, that the world owes it to you. But that’s a tough sell when some populations have been conditioned for long to be dependent.

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How do you get your posts onto BB without electricity? Can you post the method on Instructables, or is it a secret of some ancient fourth-world tribal wisdom culture??

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There is a huge difference between using a thing and being entitled to it, but when people need the difference explained to them, it typically means that they are more invested in not understanding this. Your snarky questions seem to miss several fundamental assumptions as well.

  • I never said I am not using electricity, which it happens I am using now
  • BB and Instructables are hardly the definition of “civilization”
  • People do not need a centralized “grid” in order to use electricity
  • Not being on Instructables has no bearing upon how secret, ancient, fourth-world, tribal, wise, or cultured one may or not be. If you are suggesting that I was incorrect in assuming that there is a lot of ethnocentric bias at play here, then you might be either trolling, or otherwise exceedingly effective in validating my point.
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Show me some countries that are saying, “take away your white man’s electricity, we don’t want it” and I’ll concede you may have a point.

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It also occurs to me that if we really want to get a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere, we need to adopt an economic system that not only will stop GDP growth, but turn that growth rate significantly negative. Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Eritrea might be worthy models for our emulation.

How does somebody “show me some countries”? Do you honestly believe that the populations of any countries all just happen to want the same things? Sorry, but even taking formal statements from any of them at face value would be terribly naive.

Anyway, that’s beside the point, as I made a remark about ethnocentricity. Guess what? Countries aren’t ethnicities.

You are reading a lot of weird stuff into my original post, while somehow not addressing any of what I actually said. So I am not very much interested in whether or not you concede to any points I was making. But it doesn’t seem that you are actually countering them, either.


Mechanical batteries.

Probably quite expensive, but then I don’t think they can wear out, so…

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Oh very well.

Let me just say then that for me and mine, electricity does equal civilization. Particularly since we prefer our current lives to the short and disease ridden lives we very likely would have lived pre-electricity.

So yes, we want electricity. Lots and lots of it. And inexpensive too, if you please.

How much of the Canadian tar-sands oil do you think will now remain in situ as a result of this decision?

You still seem to be missing my point somehow, which is that nobody needs to have electricity provided to them on a grid in order to use it. It’s just that many populations are conditioned to expect this. It’s like deciding that if there was no service to actually deliver food to people’s houses, that nobody would ever eat again. Many would say that was crazy, simply because they are conditioned to something different, that food need not be centralized. Of course, getting something delivered can be convenient, but it can also be disempowering. If having electricity was really so important to you, then you might be better off making sure that you have it whether some company pipes it to your house or not, rather than depending upon them. It puts you in a poor negotiating position.

Maybe @popobawa4u’s real name is William Kamkwamba.

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In the mid-1980’s I worked as a chef in a part of Scotland which did not have electricity. The biggest problem was lack of access to fruits/veg, which had more to do with the lack of roads AND clientele, so shipping them in wasn’t easy or cheap.

The richest neighbor had a generator he ran for 2 hours every evening and he shared the energy with several other homes. It was enough to have a light and radio on in the sitting room, that’s it.

It was one of my favorite places to live.

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As a matter of fact, we have a natural gas well on our property which is connected to a generator which will run everything in the house. I’m working on being able to do my own maintenance and run that generator for longer periods. The weakest link for now is the need for good old 10W-30 to lubricate the generator’s engine.

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I don’t recall saying that everyone should want to live the way I want to live. If I conveyed that impression, I apologize.