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EPA debate over "carbon neutral" status of biomass

Post in 'The Green Room' started by heaterman, Aug 6, 2010.

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  1. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Interesting that the culture seems to want absolute protection from every harm that exists to man... to be 100% safe all the time at any cost. This is neither practical, nor feasible... and I for one do not want to live my life attempting to attain something that is unattainable, not to mention something so deadly to our current economic situation. All this is is an attempt to remove personal responsibility from our lives... which makes for no life at all.

    I understand that certain research scientists are now trying to measure into the "parts per billion." Really? Seriously? What's the margin of error on a "part per billion." It's ridiculous... My guess is that the EPA will definitely clean up the air with it's regulations... sure... it's easy... all they have to do is set the bar so high that small business ends up being no business. No business... no pollution right? Yeah... it makes sense doesn't it?

    This is not to say that science and technology doesn't have it's place... it most certainly does... but life and freedom are about more than numbers on a spreadsheet or measurements in the parts per billion... It's about INDIVIDUALS living side by side under DIFFERENT economic, environmental, and sociological circumstances. There is no one who can convince me that a monolithic organization like the EPA which ultimately does not and cannot distinguish between individuals is very useful for establishing sound regulation for everyone. What fits for inner city regulations does not fit for cow-town usa... and why would anyone think it should? It's funny how americans tend to thumb their nose at corporate america... and perhaps rightfully so. There is no soul in many large corporations. Employees tend to be just a number... everyone they sell to is a number... and all their spreadsheets revolve around numbers and dollar signs... and yet the EPA, which is embraced by many, is basically the same thing... the only difference is, we don't have a say as to whether or not we buy what the epa is peddling... nor do we have any direct access to them from an elective perspective. It's actually kind of scary if you think about it... a huge bureaucracy with tremendous power that doesn't really answer to anyone. Hmmmm. Kind of like the Fed.

    The sad thing is there are tons of really good people that have honest and legitimate concerns for what they believe in..., be it clean air, clean water, or safe highways... what have you... but once these concerns are in the hands of a beaurocracy like the epa or the FMCSA, all individuality goes out the window, and the people who originally voiced their concerns become nothing but a number themselves and ultimately used for the gain of political power and/or money. It's sickening.

    On a side note... RAW MILK!!!. Best stuff on earth!! Now, you wouldn't want to drink raw milk from a modern Holstein dairy cow... in order to increase profits (follow the money... again!!) they have been bread to produce way more milk than god ever intended a cow to produce and in the process they rely on great quantities of hormones and antibiotics just to keep them alive. Raw milk from a modern dairy cow can actually have puss in it which must be separated later on in the "refining process." PA allows the sale of raw milk through certified farms... we purchase about 3 or 4 gallons per week for our family... I grew up on the stuff... and actually have allergies to pasteurized milk..., which really isn't milk at all. Did you know that pasteurized milk, as it ages, actually rots.? While raw milk sours and gives us delicious cheeses and yogurts etc. Some of the healthiest, longest living people on earth live on Yak milk and fresh vegetables. Don't tell me that science is always right... one day butter is bad for you and margarine will save your life... the next day, margarine is made by the devil to be indigestible and butter is the only option. One day caffeine kills, the next day it saves. Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps there's just a little truth on both sides of most issues... and that perhaps, oh, I don;t know... maybe INDIVIDUALS should have some say in how they choose to live?

    At any rate... it is my true belief that regulation must exist to be civilized... I said that before... and I stick by it. But I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the over-regulation that is running rampant in our country these days is taking us one direction, and it's not up. Many times regulation is used to move technology forward... to bring new and better products into the forefront of our market. This is fine if the market can support it... right now..., it can't... and the very thing we need to be able to support these new regulations (a robust economy) is actually being attacked by them.

    Just my $.02.

    Cheers

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  2. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Regulation favors big business. That's why we have it, not to feed the great big government machine, but to take care of the less profitable parts of doing big business. Things like enforcing your will, and protecting your markets. The danger of any government entity is the tendency for power to co-opt it for their own means. FDA, FCC, EPA, FBI, CIA and all of them are used by those in power to get what they want. Government is an unpaid employee of the powerfull. r

    Think about it: We're getting so good at insulating our homes 30k btu/hr plus solar gain will be enough for the coldest enviroment. A single wood stove could heat a huge house, and I could afford to pay much more for wood than a power company subject to huge capital costs and distribution inefficiencies. I, as the residential wood burner, will raise the cost of fuel for the big boys, while at the same time eliminating one of their best customers. Wait for the fear-mongering (spread of invasive species) and the rip-off stories that force people to be regulated to handle cordwood. Push the part-timer right out of business.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    What's wrong with carbon? Last I heard it was good for the environment. I don't think anyone has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that carbon causes glowbull warming. This is nothing but a power and money grab. The glowbull warming crowd stands to make trillions in carbon trading if they can convince everyone that carbon is bad.
  4. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    And deer crapping in said creek don't carry E-Coli? I have lived in this dairy farming community all of my life (we have more Holsteins than humans in our county) and never observed or heard of farmers spilling or dumping milk in any of the numerous swamps, creeks and rivers around here. Regulating milk in this way goes to the heart of the matter and that is the fact that many regulations these days are not about advancing human health and safety, they are only about control.

    Sorry but I'm not drinking the kool-aid.

    Personal responsibility and accountability in all things are where our efforts should be invested.
  5. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Indeed... and we need leaders that can inspire us as a people to do great things for ourselves and for our neighbors. I have often said that the problems that we face as a nation cannot be answered by knowledge and intelligence alone... along with those things we must strive to be "good." The problem is, few people actually sit down to consider what goodness actually is... where it comes from... and who or what defines it. It's an important issue if you ask me... an issue that our nation's founders understood well... and it deals with matters of the human heart that require a great deal of self-reflection and humility. Self reflection and humility are seemingly in short supply these days

    cheers.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    >>>>>Regulation favors big business. That’s why we have it
    >>>>>nteresting that the culture seems to want absolute protection from every harm that exists to man… to be 100% safe all the time at any cost.

    Those statements, IMHO, are those of Ideology, not of Reality!

    It sounds a bit like talk radio...you know, since they repeat it so many times and it "sounds right", it must be accurate!

    How about this? Millions of lives and untold suffering is alleviated by regulation. For instance, we avoid more of the thalidomide babies as per the enclosed pic.
    As to absolute protection, that is a complete crock. We are right now in a situation where the VAST majority of disease is probably caused by food and the environment (through food, air, water, etc.). Cancer, asthma and many other horrible conditions are often a result of the lack of either regulation OR our lack of caring about being protected.

    Honestly, those are two of the least true statements I have read in a long time! Heck, we have 30,000 people die in the USA from car accidents alone each year. Add in injuries, firearm deaths and vast numbers of other "optional" situations, and it's hard to imagine we try to avoid all unsafe situations.

    These crazy ideas are part and parcel of the making of American into a third world country. It seems some long for the idea that people can expire en masse and we can just pile the corpses outside to be hauled away in the morning.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Radiation, X-Rays and Cat Scans are all good too. In fact, it has almost never been directly proven that radiation causes cancer. You see, it takes 5-30 years, so it takes 1/2 a brain to actually connect the two ideas! Meantime, millions of people have gotten cancer from radiation....the good part is that no one ends being responsible!

    What a country!

    As to GW, sorry to inform you that it may not be proven to YOU beyond a reasonable doubt, but then again that is not the standard used for science. After all, about 50% of Americans think we are going above the clouds or to a burning hell when we die...they KNOW that beyond a reasonable doubt, and yet it is not true scientifically.

    Humans are responsible for warming up the planet. That is science, and there is broad consensus on it except among certain rare bird scientists who are paid by Exxon, etc.

    Personally, GW does not concern me as much as the millions of gallons spilt into the Gulf, the trillions of dollars spent on Oil Wars, the other pollution caused by coal, oil, etc. - but that does not mean it does not exist.

    If you really like carbon, todd, there is plenty for free in the Gulf right now. Go down....I'm sure you can get some.
  8. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    My gut... it tells me there is perhaps something not so humble about your "IMHO" comment.

    "crazy ideas?" Hmmmm... interesting that while we simply just disagree on some basic principles of regulation, in what seems to be a pretty caustic tone I think you just called me crazy. It's interesting because in all actuality you and I probably share more things in common on the issue than not, and for some reason it's just easier to attack than to find common ground. It's a nice little snapshot of the current political state in our country.

    All in all, thus far the only difference I see between your thoughts and my thoughts are with respect to the balance of regulation... And really, we haven't actually talked about that all that much. I speak my mind about what I feel is over reaching regulation, or perhaps untimely at best, and immediately I'm just lumped into the crazy category. There is no doubt that regulation has saved countless lives and that it is at least partly responsible for our current standard of living in this country. There is also no doubt that regulation has has a down side. I believe that it has also made us lazy... we think less about our neighbor as an individual or how what we do affects them... we just think about the fine we'll get if we get caught doing something outside of what the regulations say.

    You and I both want health, safety, and freedom for ourselves and our families I am sure... Believe me when I tell you that over regulation can take that all away just as easily as under regulation can. You say that my "crazy" comments are "part in parcel of making America a third world country..." what kind of country do you think we will live in if we regulate our economy right out of competition with the rest of the world? It's already happened in a lot of industries... to the point a great deal of companies have jumped ship and headed overseas or to Mexico to continue operations because of oppressive taxes and regulations here in the states.

    Again... the bottom line is we all want to be safe. We all want to be healthy. We all want to be free... and it's interesting that we all want to be free and equal at the same time. That's what regulation is in a lot of ways... an attempt to make everyone equal... But freedom and equality are two forces diametrically opposed to one another and must be carefully balanced to maintain some resemblance of both. Think about it in extremes... if everyone is absolutely free, then there can be no equality... if everyone is absolutely equal, then there can be no freedom. The best we can hope for is not freedom and equality for all... but freedom and equal opportunity for all... equal opportunity being tied directly to the motivations of the INDIVIDUAL... which regulation tends to ignore.

    After considering your comments on what I said about the culture of protectionism... if I am wrong... and the culture does not want protection... then there must be some power hungry folks somewhere passing all these regulations just for the sake of control. I don't generally go down that path... I want to believe that people have good intentions, and that sometimes circumstances just align themselves in such a way that bad things happen and once in a while we get a bad law or a bad set of regulations or even a poorly timed set of regulations... but if you think we don't want it... then who is forcing it on us? Maybe the commies really are coming!? Maybe I sould turn on NPR to find out! %-P

    With all that said... I hope everyone has a wonderful day friday... and a very pleasant weekend. We have a lot to be thankful for... and even though sometimes we need to debate these types of issues openly and sometimes very frankly, I still believe we share more common ground than not... we just need to put ourselves in other peoples shoes once in a while.


    cheers
  9. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Interesting to note that no one has been able to measure any amount of global warming over the last 10 or 11 years. Actually, from what i have read we've cooled a bit. Proponents of the theory say that global warming is just "taking a break". Who knows... the bottom line is that whether or not global warming exists or not... there are people out there with no other intentions but to capitalize on it or to gain power... REGARDLESS of what side they are on. I think it's naive to think that everyone on the pro-global warming side of the debate is somehow above reproach.

    I love science... not a scientist... but I love science, especially astronomy. What is fascinating to me is how often things are "scientifically proven" and then end up being disproven at a later date. Not bashing science at all, but it's important to note that the results of scientific study can still be skewed by our human perceptions. I realize that science attempts to remove this from the equation as best as possible... but there are just circumstances that can't be overcome either because of the human element or the current limits of technology.

    Has anyone come to the conclusion that we just can't do it? That we just can't know everything or control everything in life? We go around and around debating particulates this and global warming that... it's like we are grasping at straws to actually make problems for ourselves, forgetting how good we actually have it... forgetting how blessed we have been in this country over the past 200+ years. Perhaps it's true that affluence can put you out of touch with perspective. It's just like the epa clean air regs.... where is the perspective in these? Don't get me wrong, I think we should strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can providing the importance of the individual is not compromised... but when mother nature herself can in one striking moment put more particulates and carbon emissions into the atmosphere with a forest fire or volcano than all the wood boilers ever created in the history of man... I'm just sayin'... there's got to be perspective, especially given our economy the way it is. It's kind of like how Lincoln knew slavery was wrong, but also knew the battle could ultimately only be won if he could preserve the union. Maybe we are in the same boat... an old boss once told me that a business is like a body... at it's core, it has a few necessary functions required to maintain it's existence... ie breathing, sustenance, etc. Other things like golf outings and new company cars, and things we enjoy can only be sustained if the basic functions are operating. Sometimes I think our country needs to focus on breathing right now... and the other stuff will come. And I am not just talking about the economy... that's obviously important, but I believe more important are things like our perspective on philosophy... do absolutes truth exist or is everything relative? If absolutes exist, where do they come from? Who defines goodness? Evil? Prosperity? How do you just know that somethings are inherently wrong or right? If absolutes are just what we decide them to be as a culture, then what foundation do we have on which to build our lives?
    Just my $.02.

    cheers
  10. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Piker - all good philosophical questions; maybe it's time to start a thread on emergence.

    But, might the answer be a bit more simple? No one disputes that human activity is not adding lots of carbon to the atmosphere. I haven't seen evidence that this increase in carbon has happened before since the last ice age. The world as it now is (before the last 100 years of carbon addition) has been pretty hospitable to humans for the most part. We have predictions on the effects of the additional carbon, especially if it continues, as it will. While the predictions don't all agree, the weight is that the result will not be good for humans. The effects of additional carbon are not easily reversible, and perhaps not reversible at all, especially in the short term (100 - 1000 or so years).

    Isn't a more simple and logical answer that the world and humans will have a more predictable future if we don't continue to add carbon to the atmosphere, rather than take the risk of continuing to add large amounts of carbon and face an uncertain result?

    Based on the evidence I have seen and the forums I have attended, which relate to forestry, the weight of the evidence and the weight of the theory falls on the side of reducing carbon, not maintaining the continuing increase. That makes sense to me. I feel it is extremely risky to take the chance that the additional carbon will not impact world-wide ecosystem changes resulting from increasing carbon in a way that is adverse to humans and life as we know it. I feel it is much less risky to try to maintain a status quo that has been in existence for a long time. After all, does Mom like us to fool with Mother Nature?
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, this thread appears to have run its course.
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