Oily memes repeat, repeat, repeat!

One lesson of advertising is that, no matter whether true or false, to make a message stick, one must repeat, repeat, repeat. This is how false messages become enshrined into the ideological orthodoxy of the Left and ripple out to the collective consciousness of the masses.

Now, there are many ways to deliberately distort a message. One commonly used tactic is to deliberate omit information that provides necessary context. Thus, the message may be true as it stands, but it misleads by what it does not say.

Here is an article that simultaneously illustrates how the Left establishes talking points for wide dissemination based on distorted information, while demolishing one particular such talking point that was found to reverberate repeatedly on this blog: the claim that the United States uses 25% of all world oil production but contains only 2% of the world’s oil reserves.

Yes, the U.S. has only 2% of the world’s “proven reserves”. However, as defined, “proven reserves” represents only a very small fraction to total reserves. When total reserves are factored in, U.S. petroleum holdings are likely to rival Saudi Arabia’s. Read it all – it really is very clearly presented


The article then goes on to demolish the argument that the U.S. uses a disproportionate amount of the world’s oil production.

Observe, however: the usual response of the Left when confronted with information that proves anathema to developed orthodoxy is to personally attack the source (shades of Galileo!) rather than distort the information (a classic Alinsky tactic). Orthodoxy  must be protected at all costs!

And, rightly so. For once these tactics are exposed for what they are, the credibility of the Left is forever put into question and people go elsewhere for their information.

Whenever any information emanates from the Left, it should be viewed with great caution. Left-wing memes are like highly damaging computer viruses: easy to create and very laborious to detect and remove. Caveat emptor.

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  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: Let’s wait and see, shall we?

    It’s quite obvious that Fukushima damaged the nuclear industry, though probably not fatally. 

    Danny Lemieux: It’s far too early to exaggerate the possible fall-out damage from Fukishima, at the risk of repeating the hysterical claims made about Chernobyl.

    The evacuation zone around Chernobyl was 2500 km^2. Radiation was spread all over Europe. Talk about externalities. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    Chernobyl’s initial casualty estimates were in the 10,000s with predictions of hundreds of thousands of cases of cancer throughout Europe.
    Final casualty figure: 59 dead.
    Residual radiation concerns today: virtually none.
    Here’s a good link, if you want to bone up on this:
    Money quote: “The radioactivity spread over northern Europe caused some plants and wild animals to be more radioactive than was legal for human consumption. However, there were no identifiable illnesses outside the Soviet Union. There may be some increase in cancer but this is unlikely to be detectable, because of the large numbers of cancers from other causes.”
    This, from the “worst nuclear disaster in history”.
    Of course, that hardly prevents organizations like Greenpeace from scare-mongering, claiming a consensus of scientists to support its view (hey, it’s deja vu all over again!):

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Long Island was an even worse case of Z exaggerations and misstatements.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    We fully expected you to clarify your position, but you didn’t.

    This yatz actually expects people to read his mind. Do you assume others have psychic powers that you have attributed to yourself in the long forgotten past?

    People like Z are hopeless at social communication. They just don’t get it.

    No wonder Z is said to be a hive mind.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    So for example, if I wanted Danny to clarify his position, I, acting as Z, would write this.

    This, from the “worst nuclear disaster in history”.

    ………………………………………………… (waiting).

    …………………………………. (waiting)

    But hold on, I’m not part of Z’s hive mind, so I don’t communicate using the Leftist brain chat channel.

  • BrianE

    The alternative: Yucca Mountain and dry cask storage
    With the Yucca Mountain site closed by President Obama, there is no long-term storage available – a problem now being studied by a presidential blue-ribbon commission. But any long-term storage solution could take decades.
    In the meantime, the study suggests an interim solution would be to remove spent fuel older than five years – now cool enough to be removed from water – and place it in above-ground “dry casks” that would use passive air cooling. That project would require 10 years and cost of $3 billion to $7 billion, the report acknowledges. But while the expense would “add a marginal increase to the retail price of nuclear-generated electricity of between 0.4 to 0.8 percent,” the report says, it would make the reactor sites safer.
    One of the problems at the 40 year old Fukishima nuclear plant were the spent fuel rods, which are still stored on-site in water pools. The same is true for US nuclear plants. After 20 years of study, Yucca Mountain was selected as the best long term storage solution, and $8 billion later, a political decision was made to abandon Yucca Mountain.
    So here we have a problem that all nuclear plants face– long term storage of spent rods thwarted, leaving the risk in place for at least another decade or two after two decades deciding the best solution.
    This is why conservatives don’t believe a word from the anti-progressives. They don’t want solutions, they want problems to whine about.

  • abc

    BrianE writes:

    “You’re right, abc, I know nothing about your parenting skills, and was trying to make light of your lengthy posts.”

    No worries.  I am not good at detecting humor, irony or other attempts to lighten the mood, as I’ve already amply demonstrated.  One of my many perception deficits.
    “Yes, I do agree the Saudis have a range of oil prices where the pig is bled without killing it. The world’s economies can probably sustain slow growth with $70 oil (and that represents some level of inflation as much as scarcity, IMO). Others may be arguing that we can become energy independent with domestic supplies. I’m not that optimistic, but I believe a conservative estimate of increased production based on proven reserves would be 25% of current consumption. That is enough to affect prices, IMO.”

    In the short-term, perhaps.  But not on any sustained basis.  And it requires forcing Exxon to do uneconomical things, so you’d have to give up the laissez-faire, free market approach to implement. 
    “In my mind, we don’t want prices to collapse, but to reduce it back to economically sustainable levels.”

    I don’t know what that is.  In ’07, $100 oil seemed economically sustainable, and now it doesn’t.  A lot of variables have changed in the last 4-5 years.

    “I have no problem with transitioning to LNG for mobile power (years ago I had a friend running propane in his service trucks and was happy with the results, given the lower energy content of propane).  That would actually be a relatively easy conversion– if the anti-progressives weren’t so irrationally bound to pushing us back to the dark ages pre-hydrocarbons.”

    There is a group of environmentalists that are not entirely rational.  But that group doesn’t represent everyone on the left.There is another group of environmentalists that seem irrational, but they are not.  They just are working with a set of assumptions that say that we cannot sustainably continue with the current lifestyle, so they are calling for retrenchment.  Most people say, well, you cannot ask for that.  They reply, if the very sustainability of the planet is at stake, then you will have to.  They are not irrational, but they are working with different assumptions than you are.  To call them anti-progressive is really a misnomer, since, in their mind, the only way forward is to give up some of our current conveniences.  They would call themselves progressives.
    “I don’t know what the magic price that the world’s economy can absorb and produce the needed 3-4% real growth. I do know that the only hope of us recovering from the looming SS cliff is robust growth– we can’t tax or reduce spending enough to solve that one. Growth– and growth that exploits natural resources.”

    Actually, the best source of growth is innovation, which could reduce the rate at which we exploit natural resources.  I wish more solar fab plants, including the design of them, were happening in Detroit rather than Hebei.
    “Wind is a fool’s errand. You’re up against economy of scale.”

    Not necessarily.  The upper plains in the US get tons of wind, and the scale economies come into play only when trying to ship those electrons to SF or NY.  The real issue is the intermittant nature of the resource, and the inability to store electricity.  But in localities with a lot of wind, it can still be up to 30% of baseload power.

    “Solar- solar has potential, but how are those projects going in California? Stopped dead in their tracks by anti-progressives.”

    Solar is the ultimate solution, but we need a lot more time to become more efficient with the technology.  And the intermittant nature of it will require the same battery advances as with wind.

    “Nuclear is the only known source that could provide reasonably priced energy with controllable environmental impacts– but the anti-progressives will do exactly with Obama and Reid did to Yucca Mountain. For years, Nevada took billions of dollars to develop the site, then in one fell swoop, set back an essential element of safe nuclear storage 20 years.”

    I agree that the politics are very bad here. Essentially, Reid needed to rescind a prior commitment to support Yucca for storage in order to win a tight election.  That personal political ambition could hold up the entire nation’s nuclear storage plans is outrageous.  This is the ultimate NIMBY, except that they were paid and then said no.

    The impacts are not controllable, however.  Accidents happen and radiation will occur.  It is not a question of if, but when.  We should be honest about that.

  • Charles Martel

    Bear in mind, Ymarsakar, what the phrase “worst nuclear disaster in history” is intended to do. It’s to get people to assume that we’re talking about something incredibly awful, as the word “worst” implies.

    It’s only when you take the time to look into Chernobyl in detail that you begin to understand that the worst was far, far better than the doomsdayers had proclaimed was going to happen. If anything, it not only taught us to understand piss-poor reactor design, but how even a worst-case scenario cooked up by the hysterics in the anti-nuke movement failed to bring anything close to the end of Europe As We Know It or turn the region around the disaster site into a permanent dead zone.

  • BrianE

    One of the potentially serious consequences were the spent fuel rods at Fukishima, which have been stored on=site for 40 years. It could have been a disaster equaling the earthquake and tsunami itself, which may exceed 20,000 dead.
    In the US 65,000 tons of spent rods are being stored in the nuclear plants around the country.
    Yucca Mountain was supposed to solve that problem, moving the processed rods to a secure stable geologic formation where they would slowing decay. After 20 years of study, and $8 billion building Yucca Mountain, President Obama, paying off Reid and the anti-progressives put a dagger through the heart of Yucca Mountain.
    Starting over, it is estimated by supporters that within another 10 years and another $7 billion another solution will be found. Realistically, another 20 years will go by before the political will may exist to solve this serious technological problem. Why aren’t the same people railing against nuclear power up in arms that the solution to a major safety concern in the nuclear industry was tossed into the dumpster for political payoff. The silence is deafening.
    The anti-progressive movement in the United States doesn’t want solutions to problems, they merely want to whine and obstruct and offer unworkable solutions. It’s hard to believe they actually believe the idiocy that wind and solar will meet our energy needs in the foreseeable future.
    Of course, the Zachriels of the world will claim in 50 years we will have the solutions to the problem of energy storage. Fine, in 50 years we can utilize these technologies. But now and the foreseeable future we need to develop domestic hydrocarbon energy, keeping good paying American jobs in America. Anything else will constitute a slow, but sure economic decline.

  • BrianE

    I wrote post #108 before seeing abc’s comments in #106, so it is not a rebuttal.
    I’m glad to see he realizes the huge setback Yucca Mountain is to a sustainable energy path, that might not be everyone’s choice, but offers the best chance of cutting CO2 levels and meet realistic energy needs.
    Wind generators seldom produce more than 30% of rated output, economy of scale limits the potential output, the greenies aren’t going to like the esthetic blight and environmental cost in birds. These are local solutions, but can never develop into a national scale. True economic costs of wind are being hidden by subsidies. Our public power system is building windmillls to ship power to California. If the PUD has a portion of its power in renewables, the receiving utilities can count the power as a renewable source, regardless of where the power originated.
    It is my understanding that California changed those rules. Here is a real live experiment– 33% of energy produced by renewables by 2020. We’ll see how that works out. Here’s a wrinkle:
    “Under pressure from wind developers and investor-owned utilities around the region, the Bonneville Power Administration this week backed away from a plan to start pulling the plug on wind turbines when it has too much water and wind energy at the same time.

    BPA Administrator Steve Wright is still reviewing a controversial plan to occasionally “curtail” wind farms in the region, a move the federal power-marketing agency has said is necessary to maintain grid reliability, protect migrating salmon and avoid passing big costs onto its public utility customers.

    Wind developers and utilities who buy their output say such shutdowns are discriminatory, will breach transmission agreements and compromise wind-farm economics because the projects rely on lucrative production tax credits and the sale of renewable energy credits that are generated only when turbine blades are spinning.”


    True cost of wind is hidden by subsidies.


  • BrianE

    More from OregonLive report:

    The BPA, which operates 75 percent of the high-voltage transmission grid in the region, is responsible for balancing the minute-to-minute variations in supply and demand on the grid. The agency says growing wind capacity requires it to reserve more of its hydro generation as backup reserves, either to fill in for scheduled electricity when the wind isn’t blowing or back off hydro production when wind-farm output is higher than scheduled.

    The BPA charges wind farms for that flexibility. But it says there’s only so much it can absorb before those reserves start to compromise regular operations.

    Overgeneration typically occurs in the spring and early summer, when snow runoff and heavy rains combine to increase hydro generation and the same storm fronts rapidly ramp wind turbines. The BPA says the dam operators have only limited flexibility to dial back hydro generation to accommodate wind surges because dumping water through the dams’ spillways raises dissolved nitrogen levels in the river, which can harm migrating fish.

    The result, BPA officials say, is that the agency is left with more power than regional customers need or that an already congested transmission system can ship out of the region.

    “Eventually, you just run out of places to put it,” said Doug Johnson, a BPA spokesman.

    Long-term fixes
    The BPA has worked during the past two years — some say been pushed and dragged — to accommodate more wind by improving forecasting and transmission scheduling. Adding transmission or new storage is a potential solution, as is transferring the responsibility for balancing some of the variable supply and demand to other utilities. But those are expensive, long-term fixes.

    Meanwhile, new wind farms keep mushrooming on the Columbia Plateau, exacerbating the problem. Last June, high wind and water nearly forced the BPA into “negative pricing,” when it is forced to pay utilities and independent power producers in the region to shut down their plants and take BPA power instead.

    That’s expensive for wind farms, where the cost of curtailment is not just replacement power, but the loss of production tax credits and renewable energy tags they generate when operating. The BPA recently estimated the combined impact at $37 a megawatt hour.

    That’s not a price the BPA or its public utility customers want to pay.
    I should not have used idiocy in post #108, since they are sincere, but the cost of integrating variable sources such as wind have not been fully calculated. It would make sense to feather unneeded wind production– but those subsidies keep rearing their market-distorting heads.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Martel, if Russian maintenance isn’t enough to cause a nuke plant to go boom, then American engineering and Japanese engineering will surely beat down the chances.

  • Charles Martel

    BrianE, thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable description of what goes through a driver’s mind in autocrossing. Until you brought up the topic, I had no idea about it—now I actually think I could watch a competition and understand much of what’s going on.

    What I love about this blog is you never know what people will bring to the table. Nice work, man.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Martel, it’s almost like people offer their experiences, to be judged on the merits utilizing the personal judgment of the observers and readers. It’s almost like individualism. It’s almost like a non-echo, non hive chamber.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    It’s hard to believe they actually believe the idiocy that wind and solar will meet our energy needs in the foreseeable future.

    That’s assuming the Left will give any energy to the starving penniless out of work Americans. If they hog all the energy to their elite ranks, wind and solar will more than meet their needs. Wouldn’t you say.

  • Charles Martel

    Ymar, shhhh. You know this blog is dedicated to expositions of pure, objective, state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed assertions by our moral and intellectual superiors.

    It is not intended for independent people who like one another to get together to josh the pretensions of the age.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: Final casualty figure: 59 dead.

    First of all, we didn’t mention casualty figures. We were talking about the cost of evacuating and abandoning for years thousands of square kilometers of land. What it the price of coastal real estate in Japan, by the way?

    Danny Lemieux: Final casualty figure: 59 dead.

    Though cancer deaths are difficult to calculate, it is incorrect to say that the immediate fatalities are the only deaths that occurred. Radiation causes cancer in approximate proportion to the dose. Referring to the WHO report, rather than your secondary source, there will be approximately 2200 deaths due to high doses of radiation, 4000 cases of thyroid cancer, but nearly all survived, 4000 early deaths due to low-level exposure, 350 thousand evacuated, and persistent fear has led to problems with redevelopment. 

    Other people in Europe who were exposed have a reason to be concerned. However, the impact was less than some once feared. Now, assign a value to all this damage. This is called an externality. 
    Ymarsakar: So for example, if I wanted Danny to clarify his position, I, acting as Z, …

    We have repeatedly and directly asked you to clarify your position many times. Do you believe it is a reasonable to propose the execution of 80% of the Leftists in Britain as a method of crime control? 
    BrianE: Fine, in 50 years we can utilize these technologies. But now and the foreseeable future we need to develop domestic hydrocarbon energy, keeping good paying American jobs in America.

    Absolutely, the U.S. should develop its hydrocarbon resources, however, those resources are not sufficient to impact the situation sufficiently to solve the problem, or even to push it off by more than few years. Too many people need too much energy. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    The Chernobyl exclusion zone is 30-km in diameter, not “thousands of square kilometers” (scary phrase, that), but about 2,700 sq. km. Even that area appears to be shrinking, as people get over their initial irrational fears of irradiation, as promulgated by your favorite news cites/sites.
    As I said, Zach, Chernobyl was an “absolutely worst case scenario”. Fukishima will not approach this.
    In the meantime, Ukraine is actually pondering re-developing that very exclusion zone for agriculture.
    Two key takeaway points from this video:
    “A lot of the land life is immune to irradiation” and “We don’t understand….”

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Zachriel: The evacuation zone around Chernobyl was 2500 km^2. Radiation was spread all over Europe. Talk about externalities.

    Zachriel: However, the impact was less than some once feared. Now, assign a value to all this damage. This is called an externality.

    Danny Lemieux
    : Chernobyl was an “absolutely worst case scenario”. Fukishima will not approach this.

    You forgot to include the cost estimate.