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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Is Ben Stein Really This Stupid?

Ben Stein

Short answer? Yes.

Ben bloviates in the New York Times business section - "Running Out of Fuel, but Not Out of Ideas":
...But we have become addicted to gasoline. (I, of course, include my own bad self.) Even if we all bought smaller cars, we would need gasoline and lots of it — although a great deal less than what we use now. And while I have previously said, and I believe, that we are in a temporary price bubble, the prognosis for gasoline is grim in the long run...

...What are we going to do? If there were another oil embargo, we would be in real trouble. If Mexico fell into chaos, if Venezuela stopped sending us oil, there would be extreme hardship.

Beyond that, what if we are close to peak oil — that point at which we have pumped out more than half the oil on the planet? What if supply slips and demand continues to skyrocket, as they are already doing, and these trends continue indefinitely? What if the world has a bitter fight over its remaining oil? Even if this battle is fought with money and not guns, we are at a disadvantage with our pitiful currency and our budget and trade deficits.
Oh, yay. Conservative blockhead acknowledges Peak Oil - but then...
So, what to do? First, we do not kill the geese — the big oil companies — that lay the golden eggs. We encourage them and cheer them on to get more oil. They need incentives, not hammer blows.

BUT most of all, we treat this as a true crisis. As my pal Glenn Beck, the conservative commentator, says, we need a new moon-shot mentality here. We need to turn coal into oil into gasoline, to use nuclear power wherever we can...
Oh, please. "Glenn Beck" and "moon-shot" in the same sentence.
...and to brush aside the concerns of the beautiful people who live on coastal pastures (like me). And we need to drill on the continental shelf, even near where movie stars live. This must be done, on an emergency basis. If we keep acting as if the landscape were more important than human life, we will make ourselves the serfs of the oil producers and eventually reduce our country to poverty and anarchy.
Did you just say "If we keep acting as if the landscape were more important than human life...", Ben? Why, yes you did. To Ben and his ilk, our planet, the mother and source of all life, is merely "landscape." And then he goes on...
...The hour is late. The clock of destiny is ticking out, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said...
Oh, no, you didn't paraphase Dr. King, did you?
Let’s roll.
Let's roll? Jumpin' bejeezus.

Head over here for a sanity check. The venerable James Kunstler:
...One of the basic differences between a child and an adult is the ability to know the difference between wishing for things and actually making them happen through earnest effort.

The companion belief to "wishing upon a star" is the idea that one can get something for nothing. This derives from America's new favorite religion: not evangelical Christianity but the worship of unearned riches. (The holy shrine to this tragic belief is Las Vegas.) When you combine these two beliefs, the result is the notion that when you wish upon a star, you'll get something for nothing. This is what underlies our current fantasy, as well as our inability to respond intelligently to the energy crisis...

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