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Author Topic: SotU discussion
WarrsawPact
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Talk about the SotU here. I'll be posting shortly.

text and some video here

Thoughts? Concerns? Surprises? Criticism and jokes? What he did well? What he didn't? "Inside baseball" on this election-year speech? The effect on the Majority Leader vote on Thursday?

[ January 31, 2006, 10:59 PM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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Quaestor
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good speech......."woodchips"?? alrighty...
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Quaestor
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As for the Majority Leader vote this week: Did anyone notice Rep. Blunt in the entourage of Congressman as POTUS made his way down...hmmmmmmm...of course, this is the guy he claims he has the Majority Leader slot wrapped up...though not according to the latest count! So this was a way to try to shore up support...

[ January 31, 2006, 11:08 PM: Message edited by: Quaestor ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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I thought it was a great speech. It seems to get back to some of the core Republican values (small government, fiscal responsibility, immigration policy, etc). I would hope that the emphasis on fiscal conservatism will enable Shadegg to carry the Majority Leader position.

--Firedrake

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The Drake
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I enjoyed the trap the speechwriters laid for the Democrats. When Bush talked about the defeat of his social security initiatives, all the Democrats started booing and making a general ruckus. Then Bush flubbed the punchline.

I thought that there was little that was new in the speech.

The Democratic rebuttal was hugely different than last time. They picked a Governor instead of an embattled legislator, and they had him standing rather than sitting.

But the text! Laundry list of direct attacks. Tired of getting called weak, I guess. Did a good job of adressing the hindsight and second-guessing criticism of the President by listing specifics.

Between the two, there was a lot of "You're being partisan - no, you're being partisan." Here's a clue guys. If you want people to think you are not partisan, you'll need to find a new seating arrangement during the speech.

I thought it was interesting that the theme of the President was against isolationism. Made me think of poor Wilson, who argued the same stuff.

Last quick thought - China was pretty conspicuously absent from the speech, especially here:

quote:
At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in democratic nations. And we do not forget the other half -- in places like Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran -- because the demands of justice, and the peace of this world, require their freedom as well.


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WarrsawPact
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Starting off with the Coretta King thing... kinda wierd.

quote:
In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom – or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy – or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting – yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people … the only way to secure the peace … the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership – so the United States of America will continue to lead.
New Leadership school of international relations. Openness, free trade, anti-protectionist measures, anti-isolation, and my favorite ideological word: opportunity. So far, so good for the neolibertarian in me.

He keeps hitting it up against isolationism several paragraphs later.
-=-=-=-=-=-
Several references in there about a historical march of freedom and democracy. I was wondering when he'd appeal to history, and it didn't take long. I was IMing FiredrakeRAGE and he pointed out that appeals to history don't work well on an isolationist theme -- we tend to swing back and forth pretty regularly.
-=-=-=-=-=-
Hamas and Iran
The words on Hamas and Iran were not nearly so important as the way he said them. Especially to Iran, he seemed to be saying: "Please revolt."

To the rest of the world: "Time to modernize. This corruption stuff, the bad governments, the oppression... you're on your way out. Soon enough, you'll all come around. It'a happening there, there, and there already."
-=-=-=-=-
Then, the Patriot Act. Predictable results.
-=-=-=-=-
The "last best hope" line
quote:
The only alternative to American leadership is a dramatically more dangerous and anxious world.
It would have been just mean to bring up Darfur in the next line.
-=-=-=-=-
Long War
quote:
Our own generation is in a long war against a determined enemy – a war that will be fought by Presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress.
If there was a wide-eyed smilie here, I'd be using it. I wonder if the Democrats even heard it.
-=-=-=-=-
The Economy
quote:
Here at home, America also has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.
Sorry. I heard the word "opportunity" again.

quote:
Our economy is healthy, and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs – more than Japan and the European Union combined.
Zing!

quote:
Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.
Funny thing, that.
I was wondering if the economy would play such a role in his speech, given the preliminary fourth-quarter report just released that pegged growth at 1.1%. Of course, everyone's too confused by the numbers to do any hand-wringing. So, something of a mild surprise there.

quote:
Protectionists want to escape competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy. Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy – even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction – toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.
Three things:
One: He takes another opportunity to attack protectionism against China and India et al. I say, put your money where your mouth is and kill the tariffs, subsidies and quotas that give us an effective extra 49% tax on clothing in this country. Then he'd be my frikkin' hero. 'Course, to do that he'd hafta stand up to King Cotton. And they're a much tougher nut than your average xenophobe.
Two: against more government interventionism. Plays well with the base and hte libertarian types again. I'm starting to get the feeling he's buttering me up for something.
Three: the immigrants thing. Kind of a straw man against many groups who have a more nuanced position against illegal immigration. Try harder, I said... so he did later on.
-=-=-=-=-
quote:
our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to spend, save, and invest. In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left 880 billion dollars in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses, and families – and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth. Yet the tax relief is set to expire in the next few years. If we do nothing, American families will face a massive tax increase they do not expect and will not welcome.

Because America needs more than a temporary expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. I urge the Congress to act responsibly, and make the tax cuts permanent.

To keep the deficit hawks happy, he'd better talk about cutting spending too... which, again, he does a little bit... perhaps not enough.

But tax cuts in general... I'm in favor of that. Especially given that the capital gains tax cut has more than paid for itself already, big time.

Anyway, about that spending...
quote:
Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars. Every year of my presidency, we have reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending – and last year you passed bills that cut this spending.
And another set of bils that raised it! Keep working though...
quote:
This year my budget will cut it again, and reduce or eliminate more than 140 programs that are performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities. By passing these reforms, we will save the American taxpayer another 14 billion dollars next year – and stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009.
Could still cut harder. There's more fat to trim.

quote:
I am pleased that Members of Congress are working on earmark reform – because the Federal budget has too many special interest projects. And we can tackle this problem together, if you pass the line-item veto.
Perhaps the only real big surprise of the entire speech. That came out of left field, but I like it! For a guy who has touched hs veto pen once in five years, that was really strange. But, again, welcome.

Now here's taking the spear to Leviathan, the real meat of cutting spending:
quote:
We must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending, or entitlements. This year, the first of about 78 million Baby Boomers turn 60, including two of my Dad’s favorite people – me, and President Bill Clinton. This milestone is more than a personal crisis – it is a national challenge. The retirement of the Baby Boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the Federal government. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire Federal budget. And that will present future Congresses with impossible choices – staggering tax increases, immense deficits, or deep cuts in every category of spending.
Bringing this back is pretty much a requirement. Doing it in an election year is very interesting.

quote:
Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security, yet the rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away – and with every year we fail to act, the situation gets worse. So tonight, I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of Baby Boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
And then cut them. Examine the full impact, then cut them.

quote:
Keeping America competitive requires us to open more markets for all that Americans make and grow. One out of every five factory jobs in America is related to global trade, and we want people everywhere to buy American. With open markets and a level playing field, no one can out-produce or out-compete the American worker.
All I heard there was "open markets and a level playing field." Let's see if he can deliver.
-=-=-=-=-
Immgration
... which means it's an election year and the Republicans figured out this wil be an issue come November.

quote:
Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values, and serves the interests of our economy. Our Nation needs orderly and secure borders. To meet this goal, we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty … allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally … and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.
New Bracero program. Got it. Good. Now just make it work. Much more difficult.
-=-=-=-=-
Then there was the health thing... fairly predictable. Health Savings Accounts (saw that one coming, ask Firedrake), medical liability reform... let's see if they can challenge the Democrats on this issue.
-=-=-=-=-
Energy
quote:
Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.
Seems to me that a big chunk of this speech should have been in the 2002 State of the Union. But I digress.

quote:
The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources – and we are on the threshold of incredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative – a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wind technologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy.
So far, so good, except for the concentration on the Department of Energy bit.
quote:
We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment … move beyond a petroleum-based economy … and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.
Better sooner than later. 2025? I'd like to think that those other technologies will do much better than that, considering the accelerating pace of technological progress.
-=-=-=-=-
quote:
Tonight I announce the American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our Nation’s children a firm grounding in math and science.
Math and science have definitely been weaker in this country than they should be. I awaited a more specific proposal.

quote:
First: I propose to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years. This funding will support the work of America’s most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.
So long as the money's going to the kind of research private firms won't risk, I cautiously support that. The next sentence was a good follow-up:
quote:
Second: I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit, to encourage bolder private-sector investment in technology.
Good.
quote:
Third: We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science … bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms … and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs.
Could have done without bringing up NCLB.
Other than that... mostly bland but good stuff.
-=-=-=-=-
quote:
Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row.

These gains are evidence of a quiet transformation – a revolution of conscience, in which a rising generation is finding that a life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment.

I've been talking about this stuff in scattered bits for some time, actually. I was just bringing up the personal responsibility thing yesterday in an IM.
-=-=-=-=-
quote:
A hopeful society depends on courts that deliver equal justice under law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. And I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench.
That plays well with the conservative base. Very well. Alito seemed as surprised as anyone to be in there, and so soon. Chief Justice Roberts, as Dale Franks pointed out, didn't have those gold stripes on his sleeves. Interesting change, makes sense to me.
-=-=-=-
Then: Katrina, HIV/AIDS, and he wrapped it up. God Bles America, The End.
-=-=-=-=-
Style Points...

A few hiccups, but mostly delivered fine.

He was actually smiling and chuckling at times, particularly when addressing the Democrats or noting that they didn't stand up.

Blue tie, not red. Interesting, more of a conciliatory tone. Very few big surprises.

Cheney's tie had this pattern that was just killing me every time they zoomed in. It was dancing all over the place; that's TV, some things work and some don't.

For once, didn't introduce every person within spitting distance of Laura. The two people at her sides were conspicious but unmentioned.
-=-=-=-=-
Oh, and hte Democrats' response was underwhelming. "A better way" pounded home, and unfortunately I find myself criticizing another Catholic Democrat (did the Kennedy assassinations put us off of good Catholic Democrats for good, or what?). He had no passion or fire, he didn't really address the SotU speech at all, and he brought up some things that have little or nothing to do with the federal government at all. I think they wanted a red-state Democrat, someone who was a fresh example of victory rather than habitually losing, someone who wasn't too far to the Left, someone who wasn't anything like frightened-looking Pelosi last year. And they got him, except they forgot to bring the charisma. Or stay on topic. Or really differentiate themselves from the Republicans meaningfully. Or bring up fresh ideas.

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Pelegius
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The State of the Union Address is a pathetic manifestation of the way politics work in the U.S. I much prefer the British system where the Prime Minister has to actually debate. Constitutionally, the U.S. President has the right to take part in Congressional debates, and was probably expected to do so. However, Washington was bored by them, and set a precedent for future leaders. After all, it is so much easier to read a speech, which the President doesn't even write, than actually have to answer questions. Besides which, Washington was right, Congressional debates are boring, especially when compared with debate in the British or Canadian Parliaments.
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Adjudicator
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The devil is in the details. If we see actual follow-up with all of these things then we would see amazingly good things happen.

Line-item vetoes are a great idea, but how about eliminating earmarks altogether. That would be even better.

In education I am more and more of the opinion that something radical needs to be done. I think that education as mandated by a centralized government is a bad idea. I think that allowing vastly more heterogeneity and choice would improve the system immensely.

And now to wander a bit further off-topic: Here is another idea just off the top of my head: If they want to improve math and science, why not have engineers and scientists teach class regularly? One of my biggest beefs with the education I had was the apparent inability to tie theory to practice.Why do you need to learn calculus, billy? Why, so you can use it to design this cochlear implant/model the electrical activity of the heart etc. Build up a core of temporary teachers by offering tax incentives for participation.

Anyway, I'll post again tomorrow with some more on-topic comments.

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Everard
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" If they want to improve math and science, why not have engineers and scientists teach class regularly?"

Because most of them can't communicate with a 14 year old [Smile]

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The Drake
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Can anyone communicate with a 14 year old? Somebody should write a paper.

"Communication and Selective Cognizance in the Pubescent Condition"

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard said:
quote:
Because most of them can't communicate with a 14 year old [Smile]
No, most of them just don't want to. Engineers and scientists tend to communicate about their subject matter very well. The excitement they feel tends to rub off.

...but who wants to talk to a room full of 14 year olds? Thanks, I'd rather lick fire ants off a stick. [Wink]

--Firedrake

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WarrsawPact
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Hehe Firedrake...
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Cytania
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Actually I saw an insert on Euronews on the 'wood chips' thing. It's already happening in parts of Scandinavia. Trees are logged from farmed forests and pulverised into pellets. These pellets look a bit like animal feed pellets and are delivered to householders. The pellets are stored in a hopper and then screw fed into the home's furnace. They are quite popular as they don't need splitting and the trips to reload that logs do.

The whole cycle is carbon neutral since the carbon dioxide being produced as the chips/pellets burn will be captured by the trees in the farmed forest.

At least I think that's what George means; could be he was getting hungry at that point in the SotU speech, mmm... chips.

[ February 03, 2006, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

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Godot
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I can sum his speach up in one of two ways, "smoke and mirrors", or "bread and circuses".

First, it was the wolf in the woods we needed to fear. Now it's going to be the werewolf in the woods. Aaaaaaahhhhhh! Run for your lives!

I thought it especially poignant that Bush's energy secretary came out the day after the SOTU to clarify Bush's remarks about weaning us from our oil addiction and pretty much said, "just kidding". All the while the Energy Dept is beginning layoffs of researchers in wind and biomass.

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Adjudicator
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quote:
Can anyone communicate with a 14 year old? Somebody should write a paper.

Maybe the solution is to introduce the useful and important bits before the child becomes a teenager and knows everything.

quote:
No, most of them just don't want to. Engineers and scientists tend to communicate about their subject matter very well. The excitement they feel tends to rub off.

...but who wants to talk to a room full of 14 year olds? Thanks, I'd rather lick fire ants off a stick.

Maybe that could replace the test for a PE license. If you can teach your subject to a roomful of teenagers, you are clearly a qualified engineer [Wink] .

Seriously though, I wouldn't mind teaching a class once or twice a week. Especially if I got a tasty tax break for my trouble. Realistically though, such an option would likely only be feasible for AP type classes at first, since a regular class would likely kill off teachers who only teach irregularly.

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Mariner
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Because most of them can't communicate with a 14 year old.
Hey now, I'm, like, incredibly offended and stuff. Why, this is a worse insult than making a pun on a state name! [Razz]

But anywho, Firedrake is right. Saying scientists and engineers should teach high school is all well and good, but that actually requires scientists and engineers to want to. For one thing, there's the money involved (or lack thereof). But even if that's not an issue, the fact remains that I didn't want to become an engineer so I could talk to kids. I wanted to become an engineer so I could do, y'know, engineering stuff. And I'm not going to completely change my life (to say nothing of dealing with the bureaucracy of the education system) just because something's a good idea. Besides, don't we kind of have a scientist and engineer shortage as it is?

But still, it is a good idea. Perhaps it's just me, but I was always wondering how these chemistry experiments or math tools are important in the real world when I was in elementary and high school. And when I used to do science demos and stuff with kids, I always took great care to explain how these things were applicable (and it seemed like the kids liked that aspect too). Thus, having people from the real world teach science and math classes would, I think, be extremely beneficial.

I wouldn't mind occasionally teaching a class or at least talking to students. And I think something like that - where scientists and engineers are integrated into the education system without actually becoming teachers - could work. Let the teachers teach the subject and give the kids the knowledge. Let the scientists talk about the same things, but how they work in the real world and how it all comes together. Take field trips to industrial plants or research labs or whatever. Get the kids a better sense of how this stuff works than a textbook can give them. Forget the tax incentives; I'd do it for free. I love talking to kids about science, and I love talking about my work. And if I can do that without having to become a teacher, I'd jump at the chance.

But anyway, now that that aside is finsihed, on to more important things. The President said switchgrass in his speech! Yay! I'm so proud... [Smile]

Not that I'm particularly happy about everything he said about energy. For one thing, I hate how, once again, we start with a preamble about needing to break our dependency on oil and moving on into stuff like clean coal or nuclear power. That's great and all, but it has nothing to do with oil. We use oil for liquid fuel (and plastics, I guess, but that's only 8% or so). We use nuclear power for electricity. Electricity can't replace liquid fuel in most of the applications we use it for, at least not yet. That's not to say nuclear power's important and all, but stop pretending it has somethign to do with eliminating oil. If you want to do that, you need to kill gasoline and diesel. That means hydrogen (long term solution), hybrids (partial solution), Fischer-Tropche fuel from coal (extremely short term solution), or cellulosic ethanol (short to mid term solution). Everything else - nuclear power, clean coal, wind technology, whatever - is for solving problems like pollution or coal sustainability. It has nothing to do with oil.

And I agree with Warsaw - increased funding of alternative energy is good, giving it to the DOE is not so much. If Bush is serious about making cellulosic ethanol completely viable in 6 years (easily attainable; I think given a tax break or two we're pretty much there already), he needs to get the money to people who will want to see it succeed. Like companies. This isn't just a rant against typical government inefficiency, it's just the simple fact that companies know more about what they need to know to start this up than the DoE does. They have more incentive to make it work. It took Genencor a whopping 3 years to drop the costs of the enzymes by an order of magnitude, something the DOE couldn't do in 20. The government's saying this'll be viable in 6 years while the only company with any experience working with this stuff on an industrial scale is already looking to build multiple plants. People have talked about co-firing biomass with coal forever, but the explosion of research came from either Canada or Iowa's programs where they actually did it. The biorefinery initiative is a start, but personally I'd go further. Offer federal funding for companies to build multiple pilot plants across the US. Different feedstocks, different pretreatment schemes, different locations can all be tested at once, at companies will get practical, hands on experience with this stuff. Errors in the current models, inefficiencies, and the like can all be weeded out. And maybe it would get these companies to invest in a demonstration or full scale plant on their own. The knowledge is out there after all. The effort put into application, however, is not.

And FYI Cytania, Bush was talking about ethanol when commenting on the wood chips thing, not home heating. Converting the cellulose from wood chips, agricultural waste, or switchgrass through enzymatic or acid hydrolysis is a fairly well known technique, it just hasn't been economically feasible until recently. I don't work too much with woody biomass, but it appears that one company is ready to try it.

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WarrsawPact
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quote:
Maybe the solution is to introduce the useful and important bits before the child becomes a teenager and knows everything.
I "knew everything" when I was six. It's taken me the last decade and a half to open my mind back up.
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javelin
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I believe that oil is used a LOT on the east coast, as a source for basic power and heating. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but between oil and coal, I'm pretty sure that covers the largest sources of energy being used for that purpose "over there". (Me being in green country Oregon - all MY money goes to green power sources, of course! [Smile] )
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Jesse
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Sure is. Out here, we use a heck of a lot of natural gas for the same purposes, but resources of that aren't unlimited either.

If you want to run heavy trucks on ethenol, you either have to blend it with bio-diesel (or rather, blend bio-diesel with ethenol) or accept massive, and I mean massive, increases in shipping costs. Diesel has far more BTUs per liter than gasoline or ethenol, which means you either use a hybrid system and accept the weight of the batteries reducing the payload of the truck, or use an immense and fuel wasting ethenol engine. Now, hydrogen fuel cells are a different beast completely, but that's a long way off.

I got to thinking about hydrogen a bit today when reading about how Egypt exports power from the High Aswan dam and Holland exports some of it's wind-generated power during peak production. We can only transmit electricty so far before so much is lost to the resistance of the wires that it isn't productive. Hydrogen, however, can be shipped as easily as natural gas. Anyone else see tankers from iceland bringing hydrogen produced by cheap geothermal power into American harbors?

To wait for fuel cells is, IMO, backassward. We can burn hydrogen in internal combustion engines and power plants with incredibely low emissions. We combine that with hybrid technology, and the emissions might as well be zero.

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Everard
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"But anywho, Firedrake is right. Saying scientists and engineers should teach high school is all well and good, but that actually requires scientists and engineers to want to"

The way I look at this, Mariner, is that we need more teachers who are scientists and engineers... not more engineers and scientists who want to be teachers.

Perhaps thats not very clear when I say it, but the point is that science teachers need to be trained as scientists while undergrads. This is happening, now, in a handful of universities. There need to be education classes that are designed for secondary science classrooms, and that is a new phenomenon. At U-Mass Boston, there is exactly one course for undergrads that deals with the issues in a science room, and 4 required education courses that are geared for english/history teachers. But we have ONE and thats better then most places around the country.

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IrishTD
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quote:
I believe that oil is used a LOT on the east coast, as a source for basic power and heating.
IIRC, 40% of natural gas use in the world is for heating in the NE US.

Edit: clarify.

[ February 05, 2006, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: IrishTD ]

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Mariner
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Petroleum consumption in the US in 2004:
(numbers in thousand barrels per day)
Motor Gasoline - 9063 (44.2%)
Jet Fuel - 1617 (7.9%)
Distillate fuel oil for transportation (Diesel) - 2774 (13.5%)
Other transportation fuels - 359 (1.7%)
(Total transportation use - 67.3%)

Electricity - 527 (2.6%)

Residential distillate fuel oil - 443 (2.2%)
Residential kerosene - 43 (0.2%)
Residential liquefied pet. gases - 407 (2.0%)
Total residential (non transportation) - 893 (4.4%)
Commercial sector - 395 (1.9%)
(60% of which is distillate fuel oil)

Asphalt and road oil - 511 (2.5%)
Petroleum coke - 517 (2.5%)
Liquefied petroleum gases - 1651 (8.0%)
Industrial fuel oils - 659 (3.2%)
"Other petroleum products" - 1590 (7.7%)

So there's the breakdown. Sadly, I can't figure out exactly how much goes into petrochemicals, but I believe it's historically around 10-15%. In any case javelin, only 2.6% of our oil goes for electricity production, which is why I said nuclear or wind power won't put a dent in our oil consumption. OK, so it'll put a dent, but not a big one. Gasoline is by far the biggest chunk of our oil use, and thus a good place to start. Diesel and petrochemicals are also more important to replace than home heating or power.

Jesse, nobody ever suggested using ethanol for shipping. Why bother when you can just use biodiesel? Algae can be grown pretty much anywhere, and can potentially produce a lot more oil per acre than anything else. Sure, it's more expensive now, but it's certainly a possibility. And like I pointed out, we need more gasoline than diesel anyway. Make ethanol for cars, biodiesel for trucks, and with any luck biochemicals instead of petrochemicals. Sounds good, right?

And waiting for fuel cells isn't "backassward." It's not much different than waiting for teleportation, ie, it's not ready yet. Logistically, ethanol is ready. Completely. We can build up an ethanol economy within a few years if we wanted to pay the cost and willing to do it. The only problems it faces are economics and engineering, as it needs to become just a little cheaper (well, ok, shipping may be a slight issue, but that can be worked around). Hydrogen, to the best of my knowledge, still has plenty of hurdles to jump through. How do you store the hydrogen in the car? How do you do this efficiently? How do you get enough storage space? How do you sell the stuff? How do you transition from a liquid fuel to fuel cell economy? It's going to take time to sort all of these details out. And we're going to hit an oil crisis long before hydrogen's ready IMO. Makes sense to start with another alternative, doesn't it?

And FYI, natural gas isn't all THAT easy to transport. After all, how often do you ship gases? 85% of our gas imports come from Canada, and that's because it's a lot cheaper than trying to liquefy it and send it overseas. In fact, there are plenty of isolated natural gas supplies in the world where it's simply flared, as it's too cost-prohibited to ship it anywhere useful.

Irish, worldwide use? The US only uses about 25% of the world's natural gas. Maybe 40% of the US consumption goes to the NE, but not the world. And even that I'm not too sure about.

[ February 05, 2006, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: Mariner ]

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javelin
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quote:
So there's the breakdown. Sadly, I can't figure out exactly how much goes into petrochemicals, but I believe it's historically around 10-15%. In any case javelin, only 2.6% of our oil goes for electricity production, which is why I said nuclear or wind power won't put a dent in our oil consumption. OK, so it'll put a dent, but not a big one. Gasoline is by far the biggest chunk of our oil use, and thus a good place to start. Diesel and petrochemicals are also more important to replace than home heating or power.
Fair enough - thank you for looking that up.
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Jesse
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Mariner, I'm not questioning your sources accuracy, but if it's a site could provide the link so that I can reference it myself later?

BTW : From what I understand, hydrogen is stored in a vehicle the same way as natural gas, which is workable and well proven in light vehicle applications. Iceland has sunk some serious capital into hyrdogen production and fueling stations, and it seems to be progressing well for them.

I am very well aware that we don't all have the same acess to abundant and cheap geothermal power generation that Iceland does.

[ February 05, 2006, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Mariner
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Oops, sorry about that Jesse. All that data comes from the Energy Information Administration. http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/petro.html Tables 5.11 and 5.13, to be specific [Smile]
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Jesse
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Thanks mariner [Smile] We're a fact-based community and that is one heck of a good resource.
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