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Take your time

By Tom Toles



Friday Rant, YOU edition

A little billowing cloud of brown. Mesmerizing. No, alarming. No, fatal. Fatal to one of the many infuriatingly lazy arguments against climate change. The one that says how "arrogant" it is to think that we mere humans could have an impact on something so BIG as the atmosphere. A drop in the bucket!

Well, the Gulf of Mexico is a pretty enormous bucket, and that little billowing brown cloud of oil is having PLENTY of impact. How long has it been? Weeks? Now how long have we been dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? And what would our plan be on capping THAT, again? How about if we let that gulf leak run for, say, a CENTURY or so? How would that be for you? Might that be a BAD thing? Oh, how "arrogant"!

Let's all get outraged some more at the pathetic mumbling coming from the oil guy in the testifying chair. "Couldn't foresee, didn't think, didn't realize, didn't take steps, awfully sorry." Well, when it comes to the climate, YOU are the guy in the testifying chair. Okay, now would you care to explain yourself? --Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | June 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Environment & global warming  
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Dear jeff20, to build a 50MW wind farm with 50 wind turbines which by the way are about 400 feet tall you have to have a facility 5 by 7 miles. You also have to have a distance of at least 3000 feet between the nearest wind turbine and a inhabited area. It also seems that wind companies have a get out of jail free card with the Department of Justice since none have been prosecuted for killing birds. Current estimates are between 75,000 and 275,000 birds a year. Go on You Tube if you want to see a wind turbine self destruct. Look out below. I guess the statistic that more people have died in wind turbine accidents than with nuclear power in this country is petty. But there is no free ride when it comes to power production. Fish love the warm water from a nuclear power plant. I wish birds could say the same thing about huge spinning blades where they fly.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 19, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

1) climate change is not occurring, or 2) that human activity is not a primary contributor.---apn3206???? care to explain your login???
Yes Climate change is has been there/done that human activity the PRIMARY factor?? I doubt it, however, We certainly aren't helping much ARE WE!! And Lately, with the OIL "spill", it looks like we are indeed contributing doesn't it?

And yes, to change this "never ending subject", I finally watched the World Cup. U.S. vs. bother just like the way that roles off the tongue : )....any way U.S. looked good this game! Against England...not so good, England CLEARLY dominated the field.....still...another tie...Oh well here's looking forward to the Algeria game...

By the way you Kids (gents) ought to really check out the Renewable Energy Fair in Wisconsin, the 25th thru the 27th, if you are Truly interested in Alternative Fuels...I mentioned the wrong weekend previously bad, and I apologize...I have too many things going on and sometimes I just can't keep 'em straight!!

Ooohhh, Suite-Judy Blue Eyes!

Posted by: bertzel | June 18, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

bobbo2 wrote "Look what a 50 tower wind farm producing 50 MW of power will do to the environment. It will take up 35 square miles of land."

Uh-50 windmills taking up 35 square miles? That's almost a square mile per windmill. Something's wrong with your math.

Posted by: jeff20 | June 18, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that those posters continuing to deny climate change read the past 10 years or so of peer-reviewed journals such as "Nature" or "Science". All of the studies are there for you to see, along with pointers to the data and commentary on those studies by other climate researchers. In neither of those publications have I seen anything that even remotely suggests that 1) climate change is not occurring, or 2) that human activity is not a primary contributor.

Posted by: apn3206 | June 18, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Forget about the individual and HIS or HER land that they own."

Hate to tell you bobbo2, no one actually OWNS any pay a hefty price for title perhaps, but then end up paying rent to the government every year thereafter.

Now could any one of you "brainiacs" please explain to me why gas prices at the pump jumped from 4-9 cents per gallon today???
BP speaks, as one should have known they would, and now not only are we getting the "shaft" in the ocean we are also getting it at the pump....go figure.

Posted by: bertzel | June 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Dear wrybread, I got the figure of 1.3% wind power from the Department of Energy. Does it bother you at all that these 400 foot pinwheels take up so much land? Or the fact that they don't produce very many "green" jobs? Or the noise that they create? Or the fact that they kill lots of birds? There sure is alot of "inconvenient truth" about wind power. I am sure that eminent domain will be used alot to sieze land from people to create these "wind farms". But it will be for the good of the State, or Country won't it? Forget about the individual and HIS or HER land that they own. They must sell their land so that we turn the Country into one big giant mobile. Go ahead and put solar panels on every roof in the Country, I just hope they don't blind airplane pilots.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 18, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Climate change = money exchange. This is nothing more than a made up issue by LIBS/DEMS to fill their coffers with your cash. Not one thing has been achieved but I bet you every thing they intend to hold another save the planet party paid for buy you and I. Toles is a tool. I’ve see 4 year olds draw better.

Posted by: askgees | June 18, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

This oil disaster in the Gulf has renewed focus on a simple principle that should be upheld in this country--the polluter pays. Whether polluting the water or the air, the public and the taxpayer should be protected from the damage of pollution.
It seems to me that is the idea behind the climate portion of the energy bill. Make all polluters accountable for the gusher of greenhouse gases polluting our only atmosphere. The risks and dangers of global warming are far greater than even the Gulf disaster.
Senators can choose a market-based approach that should be getting more attention from moderates from both parties. Most of the money collected from pollution permits will be returned to consumers and the rest will spur investment in clean, green, job-creating business and industries in the US.
We can and will move to smarter, cleaner forms of energy. Oil is so last century. But holding polluters accountable is key. We need Congress to put a price on greenhouse gas pollution, so the market will be fully engaged in profitable choices that protect the environment.
This approach is already supported by corporations and energy companies around the US, and recent polls show increasing support from the public.

Posted by: jjensen1 | June 18, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Jeez... What do you think that the electric company does? They make money off of electricity. Can you see, touch, taste or smell electricity? "

Stick your fingers in a light socket. I promise you'll feel it. Plus I can actually do something with electricity. Power a heater, run a computer, even charge your quixotic electric car.

Let me know what you're going to do with carbon credits. Other than sell them to somebody even dumber.

As to the other genius who thinks I said carbon dioxide doesn't exist. I have to admit it a fair straw man you've set up. I said *carbon credits* don't exist. They're a figment of your imagination. But yet you're going to be forced to buy them.

So lets say you bought up all the carbon credits in the world . I'll bet I could make more with just a thought exercise.

You guys are just goofballs.

I'll tell you what though. I have carbon credits here in my basement, and I'll sell them to you for half price.

Keep pitching the carbon credits though. I'm sure you'll convince somebody to buy them.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ombudsman1:
"Imagine making money from something that you can't see, smell, taste, or touch."

Jeez... What do you think that the electric company does? They make money off of electricity. Can you see, touch, taste or smell electricity? You should be ashamed of yourself to post such nonsense. For your sake, please go take some high school science classes and this time pay attention.

Posted by: bushidollar | June 18, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Talk about a lazy argument Tom Smokepoles. All that excellent peer reviewed research by East Anglia? Temp stations out of code filled w/ admittedly bad data world wide? Plugging any crap info you feel like into a computer model that cant even replicate actual events in the past w/ the same "data"? Algore making millions while living in mansions and flying the world in his Gulfstream? Scientist throwing away data that that is the foundation of the argument on supposedly the biggest threat ever to mankind? Ignoring that there has been no temp rise in the last 10 years? More frequent/more powerful hurricanes, hmmm? Himilayan glaciers melting in 25 years? I could go on forever. Change your name to Tom TOOL.

Posted by: j751 | June 18, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@Ombudsman1: "Imagine making money from something that you can't see, smell, taste, or touch. But the government decrees exist, so we have to "buy" it."

Sorry, you don't think carbon dioxide EXISTS? Your 5th grade science teacher was just lying to you when he explained that it's what humans exhale and plants inhale?

You also can't "see, smell, taste, or touch" carbon monoxide. It will still kill you, and there are still governmental limits on how much vehicles can emit from their tailpipe. After catalytic converters were mandated on cars, air quality in US cities improved. But that must all be imaginary because carbon monoxide doesn't show up on a photograph.

Scientific ignorance + denial = a very potent drug indeed.

Posted by: wrybread | June 18, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Such outrage over the comment about *small* people.

Hold on a sec... doesn't the Democratic Party constantly harp on about how they're for *the little guy?*

Meanwhile in the real world; I will walk [with my cane] as soon as AirForce One becomes a hang-glider and the presidential limo is a rickshaw.

Posted by: sturmkinder | June 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

IF you are advocating cap and trade, tell me a few things: Who will be authorized to originate the carbon credits? Who will set the price of the credits? Who will collect brokerage commissions?

Hmmmm . . . . Goldman-Sachs?

Look into it. You won't like what you find.

Posted by: HumanistPatriot | June 18, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Putting a price on carbon?

That is a big-business DREAM. GE, Cisco, and very large and very rich companies will make trillions of dollars on the dumbest scheme ever.

For the rest of us (the little people), it will send us to the poorhouse. Just so a few idiots can feel better about themselves, and more importantly make carbon brokers fabulously wealthy selling something that doesn't actually exist.

Imagine making money from something that you can't see, smell, taste, or touch. But the government decrees exist, so we have to "buy" it.

A carbon tax will not "fix" the environment. It's simply a way to steal more money.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 18, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@bobbo2: "I want a clean earth. I don't know of anyone who wants a polluted earth."

Oh sure, you "want" a clean earth, only problem is, you aren't willing to spend one single penny out of your pocket to have one. Just like all the Americans who say they are concerned about climate change in polls - but GOD FORBID they would have to undergo the tiniest inconvenience or a slight increase in electricity rates, which could easily be compensated for by just a few investments in home energy efficiency.

I don't know where you got that "business as usual" figure from wind power. Department of Energy has a report showing we could get to 20% wind by 2030 IF we invest in it, IF we actually make clean energy a national priority. McKinsey consulting firm - those socialists! - put out a report last year showing we could reduce energy consumption in buildings 23%, solely through efficiency investments that would pay for themselves over time. But that requires long term thinking.

This country used to be able to take a long term view, back when people saved for the future. But we've become a credit card culture, I want immediate gratification, now now now. Invest now for payback later? Oh no, how Unamerican!

Guess what? If you say you "want" something, but you aren't actually willing to pay for it, or do anything about it - you don't really want it very much.

Posted by: wrybread | June 18, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I agree. The Sketch, The Sketch. I just can't believe the arrogance, false guilt, and ineptitude of the whole situation. As Daffy Duck would have said, Desthpicable. I just than God there are people like Rep. Joe Barton to put it all back into the proper perspective for us. You go, Joe. Tejas loves you.

Posted by: bavery1 | June 18, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Tom.

Our heads are in the sand and we can't see or hear you.

Posted by: Geezer4 | June 18, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"The great thing about this technology?"

With a time machine you can take all the time in the world and never miss it.

But you had better be right.

It will destroy your illusions.

So many live on "What if..."

Give them a time machine and they will know. They might even be wrong.

What if you go back and do the carbon cap and it turns out worse?

Then who do you blame?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 18, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

" The gall of the BP exec to diminish other people and refer to them as small people."

It was just an unfortunate phrase. Give them a break. Have you never made a mistake?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 18, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

How about giving Mr. Toles a trip in the time machine where he can find a time when warming was the only problem we were to have. Some could not imagine that we might also have to be ready for an ice age or even an asteroid or...

The future is a bad place and we got to be ready for just about anything.

Some go around and every problem has the same solution "Cool off the Earth."

How is that helpful?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 18, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I agree with bertzel. You should of used the sketch.

NASA is predicting huge solar storms beginning in 2012 and through 2013. With all the stupid things mankind does to itself. It would seem unlikely to be able to survive any catastrophic natural disaster.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | June 18, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree with bertzel. You should of went with the sketch.

NASA is predicting huge solar storms beginning in 2012 and through 2013. With all the stupid things mankind has done to this planet and also to each other. It appears impossible to ever survive any Natural Catastrophe that could be headed our way.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | June 18, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

It's frustrating, I'll agree. I think I'll go eat some cheese. Mmmmmm, cheese.

Posted by: Kevin71707 | June 17, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Humans have a tremendous impact on the environment. Look what a 50 tower wind farm producing 50 MW of power will do to the environment. It will take up 35 square miles of land. A 50 MW gas fired power plant takes up a city block. A wind turbine produces 90 db of sound that you can hear and feel at a thousand feet away. And the only time they won't knock birds out of the sky is when they are not turning, which is often. Oh, and that 50 tower project will produce a grand total of 8 jobs. The Department of Energy says that by 2025 wind power will be 1.3% of our power production. WOW. Electric cars will be a novelty until battery technology makes a giant leap. Until then we use the good old internal combustion engine in most vehicles. The arrogance comes from the more shrill environmentalists who are mixing concern for the planet with their concern and guilt about our way of life. I don't believe Mr Hayward of BP and I don't care what Henry Waxman has to say. Hearings while the oil is still pumping. Only in America. Nothing at that circus today did anything to cap the leak. I want a clean earth. I don't know of anyone who wants a polluted earth. But if you don't tow the line of the environmentalist you must kill baby seals for a living.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 17, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Your rant makes me wonder where all the public outcry from politicians,"text your donations here" celebrities, sports figures with how many zeros in their salaries, (excluding Kevin Costner peddling his brother's huge gadget)--anyway, where’s the public outcry for this oozing mess. That being said, image if world was turn upside down, the ocean and all its inhabitants were visible immediately, now the oil rig disaster occurs for all the world to see, media outlets jump and planes to be the first one to report the disaster, and now Haiti was not visible, and was not a forum to have the aforementioned getting free publicity, donations aplenty.

Before the snipers, and attacks---I am not diminishing what occurred in Haiti or what occurred to its people. But this raging oil monster that remains spewing is toxin through the water, in the air, tourism, local business people is causing damage that has yet to be realized or been considered. This is a tragedy for the books.

Erstwhile, all the other nations (such as France, Spain, Russia and Lebanon)
who have sustained big oil spills from vessels, conflict, or oil rig disasters are seeing the deplorable manner in with which (America-BP and the Federal government) takes care of its country carelessly, yet runs to the aid of another country. Strange people those Americans, they must be thinking.

But now the politicians seeking re-election in November they will have their voice heard because they do not wish to be part of the unemployed. So time to turn on those sad faces and hurry up a bill trhough Congress, politically correct to care now.

I just remain in saddened that which is not seen (under the water), is not spoken of, talked about with just a whisper until six weeks into it. Burning fuel, black smoke, sea critters abandoning their homes, what's not to see?

Posted by: fromthecheapseats | June 17, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The real year 2060....
40th Anniversary of the National Enquirer Post bringing respectability back to journalism. The Enquirer Post bought out the previous owner as the paper failed when it lost sight of reality and continued to push man made global warming propaganda even though NASA and the hockey stick Man finally admitted it was all a scam.

The movie An Inconvenient Truth remains a top cult fiction flick even after all the years since the Nobel committee revoked the Peace Prize.

The bag limit for polar bear is 5 daily in Alaska due to over population and the Anwar Oil Field continues to produce millions of barrels per day.

Israel and Palestine hold a joint ceremony unveiling a statue of former President Palin to honor her for her great leadership years ago in finally setting in motion the needed steps for peace in the Middle East. President Palin is there in person to humbly accept the honor.

Posted by: carbonhog | June 17, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Mr. Toles, The gall of the BP exec to diminish other people and refer to them as small people. You captured the essence of their arrogance. As I went from the first to the last sketch, I envisioned the scene from Beetlejuice in the "waiting room," as the BP exec moronic/thoughtless comments showed that they are small.

Posted by: fromthecheapseats | June 17, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

personally, I'd switch sketches...but then again, what do I know.

Posted by: bertzel | June 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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