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Old 11-14-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default U.S. to Be World’s Top Oil Producer in 5 Years, Report Says

The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/bu...ears.html?_r=0



The IEA sees profound consequences. For starters, the long-standing U.S. trade deficit will narrow and might disappear. In 2011, oil imports represented two-thirds of the deficit in goods. While the United States will use less imported oil, it should also become a substantial exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG);

The U.S. may become energy-independent after all - PostPartisan - The Washington Post




IEA Report: Fossil Fuel Boom Is A Climate Disaster In The Making

The IEA made an historic statement in the executive summary.

It said, “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal,”


IEA Report: Fossil Fuel Boom Is A Climate Disaster In The Making | ThinkProgress




IEA report reminds us peak oil idea has gone up in flames

The truly global implications of the 2012 report lie in the warning that we must leave most of our fossil fuels in the ground


IEA report reminds us peak oil idea has gone up in flames | Damian Carrington | Environment | guardian.co.uk




The IEA Oil Forecast Is Ludicrously High

The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides unrealistically high oil forecasts in its new 2012 World Energy Outlook (WEO). It claims, among other things, that the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, and will become a net oil exporter by 2030.


The IEA Oil Forecast Is Ludicrously High - Business Insider






Somewhere in all of this, there is bound to be truth.




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Old 11-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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I listened to the Diane Rehm show today on NPR about this subject, and I do not know exactly what to make of it. It is an interesting subject.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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I've been talking about this for a little while now. Due to falling US oil import demand (peaked circa 2005-2006), increase in fleet fuel efficiency (something good came of cash for clunkers and CAFE), increase in switching of commercial vehicles to natural gas, increases in technology like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling and a few other factors - the US could conceivably become "energy independent" by 2020.

Lots of "what ifs" in there, but it's conceivable. We already technically export some crude oil, but it's a tiny amount and we are still largely net crude oil importers. There are some refinery and storage constraints that could lead to more exporting of crude.

Several companies have applied for, and a few have been granted, permission to export oil. It's a very political process, though. Expect to see more of that in future speeches from politicians abusing the truth and misleading people like Messrs. Bundy and Eack.


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I listened to the Diane Rehm show today on NPR about this subject, and I do not know exactly what to make of it. It is an interesting subject.

How do you listen to that show? She may have her mental faculties, but I assume she suffered a stroke or something because her speech pattern is unacceptable for someone on the radio. It would be like having someone with MS as a lifeguard.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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\
How do you listen to that show? She may have her mental faculties, but I assume she suffered a stroke or something because her speech pattern is unacceptable for someone on the radio. It would be like having someone with MS as a lifeguard.
I think she is pretty sharp. I love how she asks a question and then directs it to a particular person on the panel of speakers. That seems pretty harsh. I do not know if I could handle it if I were on the panel.

I understand that there is a law against exporting oil to any nation other than Canada.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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I've been talking about this for a little while now.
It's interesting, isn't it?

We seem to have a difficult time understanding what happened to oil prices and production six months ago (or five years ago, or whatever.) And yet by the same token, we feel that we can confidently predict 20 years into the future, with a high degree of accuracy, what will occur on both the supply and demand sides of the oil equation across several dozen different countries.

If you'd have asked any qualified expert in the 1920s whether they predicted that the average fuel efficiency of all passenger cars would be significantly improved by the year 2000, they'd probably have all said yes. Presupposing, that is, that they didn't believe cars would be obsolete and we'd all be flying around with personal rocket-belts or using Futurama-style pneumatic tubes.


In the 1960s, we all figured that oil would be worthless by now, since nuclear energy was going to be too cheap to meter.

And who predicted in the 1970s that China, India, et al would be simultaneously building more nukes than the US and Europe while also consuming more oil and coal than us?



Lot of variables...


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How do you listen to that show? She may have her mental faculties, but I assume she suffered a stroke or something because her speech pattern is unacceptable for someone on the radio. It would be like having someone with MS as a lifeguard.
I struggle with this myself.

It wasn't a stroke- she suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, which is a neuromuscular disorder. So, actually, the joke about the lifeguard with MS isn't all that far off-base.

Legally, WAMU / NPR could probably get rid of her. Even with ADA, an employer is not prohibited from firing an employee whose physical impairment prevents them from performing a certain job despite reasonable accommodation. This is especially true in the case of performance artists. A television studio, for instance, would be able to terminate the contract of an actress who gained a lot of weight, suffered a disfiguring injury, etc.

On the other hand, the political ramifications would be pretty severe, especially given the strong informal bond typically shared between public broadcasters and the disabled community (eg: radio reading service for the blind.)

And, of course, she is in fact a very good radio host despite tending to exhibit a strongly liberal bias.

But like you, I find her painful to listen to.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Afterburning turbojets and turbo Miatas forever!!!! Yay!!!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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It's interesting, isn't it?

We seem to have a difficult time understanding what happened to oil prices and production six months ago (or five years ago, or whatever.) And yet by the same token, we feel that we can confidently predict 20 years into the future, with a high degree of accuracy, what will occur on both the supply and demand sides of the oil equation across several dozen different countries.
Exactly. Making predictions is like shooting a rifle. The closer the target, the easier accuracy should be - though there are still a lot of variables to deal with.

However, the farther out you go (in time for predictions, distance for shooting), the harder it is to have pinpoint accuracy. Small changes at the shooter's position (the present) can have a huge difference at the target (the distant future).

Take a rifle and move the barrel a half inch and you might well still hit a target that's ten feet away. Move the barrel the same half inch and you might not even be in the same neighborhood of a target that's 1,000 yards away.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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Exactly. Making predictions is like shooting a rifle.
In the case of global energy distribution on a 20 year timescale, it's like shooting a rifle at a target placed on the deck of a fishing boat, while you are standing on the deck of a different fishing boat a mile away, in heavy seas, in the rain, while one of the deckhands throws cut-up bait at you.


On the other hand, observations such as this are in fact made partly on the basis of observable trends, and not merely speculation. So if I've been shooting at that target for a while, the boat captain is not entirely pissing into the wind if he makes a bet with the engineer that I will miss the next five shots.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Making predictions is like shooting a rifle. The closer the target, the easier accuracy should be - though there are still a lot of variables to deal with.
And yet, given all the variables that affect climate, we are sufficiently certain that CO2 emissions are the only possible cause of a gradual increase in global temperatures that we are willing to stake the economic viability of Western civilization on it.

1000 years ago, the climate also warmed dramatically. Enough to cause a population explosion in the far North that unleashed Viking hoardes on the Western world. It was warm enough that an agriculture-based Viking colony on Greenland was viable for a couple of centuries before freezing over again.

What's the point? Beats me. The more I know, the more I know that I don't know. But I do know that there are a lot of variables.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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1000 years ago, the climate also warmed dramatically. Enough to cause a population explosion in the far North that unleashed Viking hoardes on the Western world. It was warm enough that an agriculture-based Viking colony on Greenland was viable for a couple of centuries before freezing over again.


All your Byzantian religious base (Hagia Sofia) are belong to us?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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And yet, given all the variables that affect climate, we are sufficiently certain that CO2 emissions are the only possible cause of a gradual increase in global temperatures that we are willing to stake the economic viability of Western civilization on it.
I'll be honest- I'm not a global-warming denier any more. I used to be right there on the bandwagon saying "more research is needed!", but then I stopped.

Correlation does not always indicate causality, there's no question about that. If piracy on the high seas goes down, and then the average temperature goes up, it's not really fair to conclude that pirates prevent global warming.


On the other hand, I have noticed that whenever I see a house burning down, I also tend to hear sirens. And sirens, when they happen at night, disturb my sleep. Additionally, based on the results of the recent census, I know that the number of people living in my town who report their occupation as "Arsonist" has increased significantly over the past decade.


Now, I'm no expert in E911 telephony, emergency management, human behavioral psychology, building construction, law enforcement, polysomnography or chemistry. I do not completely understand all of the minute interactions which take place that cause sirens to be associated with burning houses, and I have no data whatsoever which specifically links arsonists to sirens.

Despite this, I feel pretty confident in drawing the following conclusion:
  • If the police decrease the number of arsonists in my neighborhood, I will sleep better at night.


So it's kind of the same deal here.


Our understanding of physics and thermodynamics is sufficiently advanced that we can make complex observations such as "Gaseous carbon dioxide acts as an insulator."

Based on radical findings such as this, we can also draw conclusions such as "increasing the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere of a planet will tend to have the effect of increasing heat retention from that planet's sun, with the result of increased surface temperature."


Radical stuff, I know.



Of course, this thread isn't really about global warming per se. Or at least, not exclusively. I will gladly trade 2°C and the loss of southern Florida in exchange for political and economic security, or at least for a full-blown shooting war (as opposed to these limited regional occupations) in which we (along with the rest of NATO) will have the opportunity to fully eradicate those states which have historically been associated with being a pain in everyone's *** in a consequence-free environment.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Joe Perez;949833] Headache inducing rhetoric QUOTE]

The show on NPR touched on exactly what you were saying. There were of coarse parties on both sides of the issue, It talked a lot about our natural gas reserves, and how it is supposedly cleaner than oil. However there was a lot of debate on just how much cleaner it is.

What it really boiled down to is whether or not it is a good idea to invest heavily in extracting and then distributing our oil or should we invest heavily in other alternatives in hopes that we can have an affect on climate change.

Joe, just kidding around about your posts. I find them very interesting.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:23 PM   #13
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Australia is on the right path. At least from what I hear, they are at the forefront of alternative energies.

I guess that'll happen after a hole in the ozone opens above you.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:57 PM   #14
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It talked a lot about our natural gas reserves, and how it is supposedly cleaner than oil. However there was a lot of debate on just how much cleaner it is.
It sort of depends on your definition of "clean".

NatGas is a vastly cleaner than oil and coal in terms of the production of soot and other fine particulate matter.

Given present-day technology, the use of NatGas typically reduces emission of CO, CO2 and NOx by 20-30% versus oil and 40-50% versus coal, on a tons-per-BTU equivalent basis. NatGas is not significantly advantageous in terms of CH4 and N2O emissions, and in fact performs much more poorly than coal or oil in CH4 emission when burned in turbines rather than flue boilers, as is common in the small demand-based plants (aka "peakers" or "daytime" plants) in which NatGas is the most economical fuel to burn.

One interesting trend in large-scale generation is Co-Firing. Put simply, you take an existing coil plant and retrofit it such that NatGas is injected into the firebox along with the coal. This has the advantage of allowing for more complete burnup, slightly higher combustion temps (= higher turbine efficiency), and of course, the substitution of a "clean" fuel for some percentage of a "dirty" fuel.

Acceptance is not yet highly widespread, due to the initial capital costs of plant retrofit combined with the increased operational complexity and reliance upon a second supply-chain. Seems like a PowerCard as opposed to an MS3, in my book.

Sources:
http://www.testo350.com/pdfs/Flue_Ga..._0981_2773.pdf
http://www.iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu/publi...s/co-firin.pdf
http://daq.state.nc.us/monitor/eminv...on_Sources.pdf




Quote:
What it really boiled down to is whether or not it is a good idea to invest heavily in extracting and then distributing our oil or should we invest heavily in other alternatives in hopes that we can have an affect on climate change.
Nukes, of course, solve both problems. They require no fossil-fuel input, and they emit no greenhouse gasses.

On the plus side, construction at Vogtle 3 and 4 continues, and Commanche Peak 3 and 4 still appear to be "go", although construction has yet to commence.

On the minus side, San Onofre continues to be mired in controversy. A restart proposal for Unit 2 has been filed, which if accepted will bring that reactor back online at 70% for five months, followed by a shutdown and inspection. Unit 3, meanwhile, has been de-fueled and placed in long-term outage status. SCE reports that it “will not be operating for some time,” and that there are “no plans to bring it back online in the near future.” (sadface.)

Last edited by Joe Perez; 11-14-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Coal, not Coil.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #15
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Joe - In your backyard, filed under the "all of the above" energy independence plan: "Solazyme and Propel Fuels announced that Propel's stations around the San Francisco area will be selling Solazyme's algae-based renewable diesel, branded as Soladiesel."

It's not "bio-diesel" so there are no blending limits and pricing should be on par with diesel. There is not enough capacity for commercial use yet as far as I know.

Clean Energy Fuels and GE are working on the commercial side with the buildout of "America's Natural Gas Highway" and GE's MicroLNG tech.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:16 PM   #16
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Joe - In your backyard, filed under the "all of the above" energy independence plan: "Solazyme and Propel Fuels announced that Propel's stations around the San Francisco area will be selling Solazyme's algae-based renewable diesel, branded as Soladiesel."
And this is extremely cool. Like Ethanol, it's a net carbon-neutral technology (meaning that the carbon released in the burning of the fuel is carbon which was re-captured during the production process itself, and will be again re-captured on a subsequent production cycle.

(I am obviously handwaving over energy input to the process which is not captured as useful output, such as the energy required to run the processing and distilling equipment, to transport the fuel, etc. Energy costs of this nature are inevitable, and apply to some degree or another to any chemical fuel.)

What's even cooler is that Sloazyme is apparently already producing both marine diesel and commercial / mil-spec jet fuel as well, and has already made deliveries to the US Navy.

Now, it'll be interesting to see how well the technology scales. I might just go shopping for an '81 VW Rabbit.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 11-15-2012 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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Our understanding of physics and thermodynamics is sufficiently advanced that we can make complex observations such as "Gaseous carbon dioxide acts as an insulator."

Based on radical findings such as this, we can also draw conclusions such as "increasing the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere of a planet will tend to have the effect of increasing heat retention from that planet's sun, with the result of increased surface temperature."


Radical stuff, I know.
Yes. And commonly accepted. But incorrect.

For starters, the heat transfer of the Earth vis-a-vis space doesn't happen via conduction (or its relative, convection). It happens via radiation. During daylight, the sun radiates heat onto the Earth's surface and we warm. At night (especially clear, cloudless nights) the Earth's surface radiates that heat back out into space and we get cool. The tilt, spin and rotation of the Earth around the Sun alter the hours of daylight vs night and gives us our seasons. Etc., etc.

Anyways, CO2, which is a trace gas in our atmosphere (even now) is odorless, colorless and transparent. It may be a good insulator (for that matter, so are Nitrogen and Oxygen), but it provides almost no resistance (shielding) to radiative heat transfer. It's not the acting agent in Global Warming scientific theory (although it is the acting agent in common discourse).

There are other gases in our atmosphere that are extremely powerful radiative heat shields. Water is the main one at this time. At other periods in Earth's geological history, Methane has also been present in significant amounts. Most of the global warming theories revolve around elevated CO2 affecting the atmosphere in such a way that one or both of these powerful gases become more abundant in the atmosphere leading to warming. In the early periods of this science (starting back in the 60s and 70s), there was debate as to whether these gases would block heat from reaching the Earth or would block heat from escaping the Earth (i.e., would we have Global Warming or Global Cooling). Since the Earth has in fact been warming since that time, the Global Cooling theory has gone out of favor.

Real causation evidence has been elusive. For example, there have been satellite studies conducted on the Earth's dark side to measure the radiative heat loss. They failed to find significant reductions in radiation. From the reading I've done (and it's darn hard to find purely scientific materials on this subject that are untainted by politics -- sigh), the linkage remains circumstantial -- and given how many other variables there are -- the fact that we are still in a geological ice age (i.e., the Earth, on balance, is usually warmer anyway) -- and the fact that this has become much more of a political issue than a scientific issue -- well, circumstantial-only evidence isn't cutting it for me.

What I see in connection with Global Warming via CO2 emissions is a perversion of the scientific method. In the classical scientific method, one makes observations and then develops plausible theories to explain those observations. As time goes on, more and better observations are made, theories evolve and new ones develop. Human understanding improves.

What we have with Global Warming via CO2 emissions is that the theory, not the observations (such as the satellite studies), are king. The theory remains static, and you pick and choose the observations that offer support to your theory and discard those that don't. There is another politically charged theory where the exact same perversion happens -- Creationism. Ironic, no?

BTW, Global Warming via CO2 emissions and Ozone Layer destruction by CFC's are completely different issues. The latter has been conclusively proven in laboratory experiments and the Ozone Layer destruction is readily observed by satellites. It pains me when I see these two issues discussed in the same forum. They could not be more different.

Anyway, where I come down is that I want my friends and neighbors to have the best job and progress opportunities possible. Real middle class growth and power (which, IMHO is what separates the U.S. from many other countries) can only come if there is high demand for the labors of a middle class. Without that demand, the bargaining power of the middle class ceases to exist -- whether there are labor unions or not. One does not need to look far to find clear examples of stratified societies where this has persisted (a few rich and a lot of poor). In fact, one might say it is the normal human condition in most parts of the world. I think it is important to resist it and to support a middle class through economic opportunity. Extreme environmentalism (i.e., way beyond any cost vs. benefit) is a real threat to that economic opportunity.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled thread discussion.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #18
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No, you make some totally valid points and I can't argue against them.

My reasoning might best be described as something more along these lines:


A:
1: There is some evidence and scientific reasoning to suggest that certain gasses released during the combustion of petroleum-based fuels may be harmful in various ways. (Smog formation, ozone depletion, acid-rain precursor, heat entrapment, etc)

2: There is no evidence (real or theoretical) to suggest that the release of these combustion byproducts is in any way beneficial.
Thus, it can be safely postulated that the combustion of petroleum MAY cause environmental harm, and CANNOT cause environmental benefit.

Additionally:

B:
1: The supply of petroleum must, by definition, be finite. (At present levels, the rate of consumption exceeds the rate at which new petroleum is created by natural means by at least several million times.)

2: The economic cost of extracting petroleum has tended to rise over time, and continues to do so, reflecting the fact that "tomorrow's oil" will, by definition, have to be taken from areas which are less easily accessible, more hostile, entrapped, etc., than "yesterday's oil" was. (The apples at the top of the tree are harder to reach than the ones near the bottom.)
Thus, as the demand for petroleum increases, the supply of petroleum decreases, and the real fixed cost of obtaining petroleum increases, the economic viability of petroleum as compared to alternative energy sources will tend to decline.

Therefore,


C:
1: Since the real, fixed cost of obtaining fissionable material and using it to generate power has historically tended to remain constant, and

2: The supply of fissionable material, while also finite, is sufficiently large as to be functionally infinite on a human timescale,
We really ought to just set a date after which the sale of petroleum-derived fuel will be prohibited in the US, and start building new nukes. You can use 'em to charge batteries, you can use 'em to drive the electrolytic separation of hydrogen, you can use 'em to power factories that create petroleum substitutes through organic means. All of this is feasible given present-day technology.

This will, incidentally, have the secondary benefit of driving down the cost of petroleum on the global market, which will have a beneficial effect on the populations of China and India. Their productivity will increase, and they will be able to manufacture more cheap **** to sell to us. Simultaneously, all automakers everywhere will become strongly incentive to invest in the production of non-petroleum fueled cars at a level sufficient to supply US demand, which will drive down the cost of said vehicles to parity with their present-day counterparts (as opposed to the extremely low-volume "alternative" vehicles of today).

The sudden influx of cheap, non-petroleum based cars in the global market will have a rippling effect, incentivizing other nations to invest in non-petroleum infrastructure to satisfy the inevitable resultant demand within the domestic market for the now cheaply available other-than-gasoline cars.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:54 PM   #19
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But, what about "D" . . . nukes are scary to the average Joe (pun intended)!!

Seriously though, sounds good to me. Burning hydrogen derived from electrolysis should keep the exhaust valves and turbo nice and clean.

BTW, on point A1, burning fossil fuels is actually an excellent way to create (rather than deplete) ozone. If only we could instantly transport the resulting ozone from the LA basin to the ionosphere. Charging your leaking AC system with R-12, OTOH . . . .

Also, as a combat veteran of an oil war, I feel entitled to burn some. Aren't we, after all, an entitlement society?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #20
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Just to throw fuel on the fire: Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it | Mail Online

Haven't read the whole thing yet, so I don't know how legit it is (too much so to quit?).
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