Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Not Easy, Being Green

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency yesterday afternoon due to record-breaking cold temperatures and shortages in natural gas. These shortages are due in part to rolling blackouts in western Texas, from which several crucial natural gas lines originate and pump supply into New Mexico. Because Texas and most of the Southwest have never ever experienced temperatures this low, many of these processing and distribution companies aren't equipped with back up generators.

As a result, dozens of communities throughout the state have gone without gas and/or electricity for anywhere from a couple hours to several days. Emergency shelters have been set up, the Governor has turned the heat down in all state buildings, sent all non-essential employees home, closed all schools, and is urging households who do have power to conserve electricity and gas by not running washing machines, dishwashers, or electric clothes dryers.

Even Albuquerque has been affected. When I went into town yesterday for the first time in three days to do some banking, eat lunch, and pick up a few groceries, I found two restaurants within a several mile radius were shut down due to lack of power.

In typical news media fashion, our local television stations took the opportunity yesterday evening to not only investigate and report on the cause of the problem, but also to opinion poll the general public about their thoughts on this emergency. Which, of course, produced the usual variety of responses ranging from "drill, baby, drill" to "We must implement alternative energies NOW!" (what, you mean right now? as in, this instant?) to this mind-blowing comment:

"I don't know what the big deal is; people in third world countries regularly live with events just like this. It's time we Americans feel ashamed for just how pampered we are and learn to live with less."

To which I wrote in and responded: "Hey, dumb ass: those people living with less SUFFER and DIE because of it. Why don't you ask a child living in one of those third world countries if they'd rather: A. have electricity so they can sleep warm at night or, B. freeze to death out of some high-minded, altruistic impulse to "conserve."

Better yet, let's plunk this idiotic respondent down somewhere on the outskirts of Mumbai and see just how he or she can live without heat, electricity, and running water. My money's on about 24 hours before they go screaming off into the night in their Prius. Which is run by an electrically charged battery. Which eventually gets used up and ends up in a landfill. Whose chemical innards leak out into the soil, down into the ground water, on into our tap water, and . . . Okay, okay; they go screaming off into the night on a bicycle. Whose construction produces chemicals that leak out into . . .

Oh, never mind.


Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

May I start by saying, I absolutely love that picture.

This reminds me of Katrina it became apparent that having almost all of a nation's refining capacity in an area that could be hit by category five hurricanes a shortsighted and foolhardy. Yet we still have not built a single new refinery since it happened. Yes we can go to alternatives but it will take time and they have their own pollution sources. Check into the byproducts from building solar panels.

The folks and third world countries don't have an energy grid but then again they don't pay for it either. We do we pay a lot of money to our gov't to our energy suppliers to our power companies for the services. And they should be held accountable for keeping those services up and running. There are folks in this area that went five days without power after the storm Thursday a week ago. There was only 4 to 5 inches of snow. There is talk here of implementing a penalty clause to force the utilities to pay back customers who lose power. I think it's a good idea.

I will leave you with the cheery thought, that if we go to all these plug in electric vehicles were going to have to burn a lot more coal to run them. We need a comprehensive energy policy.

Hope you get to enjoy your weekend.

Jenny said...

That's an hysterical picture and an even better response that "dumb ass."

Living with less, in MY world means buying less crap, not draining the equity in my house and maybe not buying 10 lbs of cheesy puffs at a box store.

It's NOT living with freaking electricity when the temperatures of record temps.


Buzz Kill said...

Don't you love knee-jerk reactions to freak weather events? Shit happens when you have extreme weather - deal with it. What are the odds of it happening again versus the cost of alternative/back-up energy systems?

Nuclear power is the only viable alternative but nobody wants a plant near their house. Covering the earth with solar panels and wind mills isn't going to get it done. And until you can charge an electric vehicle as fast as it takes to fill a gas tank, electric cars aren't going to work either.

I liked the 3rd world response. Rhetorically, why do you think everyone is coming to this country (illegally)? You don't here about many people tunneling into Ethiopia.

Anonymous said...

I know there is a large amount of natural Gas IN New Mexico along the Tejas border. I'm guessing they built all the processing capability on the Texas side?

Might be a good time to build a new modern facility that can operate in foul weather if the enviro-nazis will allow it.

A lot of our NG facilities and virtually ALL of our Petroleum processing facilities are OLDER THAN DIRT.

LOVED your verbal bitch-slapping of the idiotic zombie!

chickory said...

AMEN amen!

@karl: didnt you hear obama say he would make it impossible to mine coal because it would be so expensive it would bankrupt companies who tried? check the link

moi; this is planned scarcity. that tool with the money quote of americans learning to live 3rd world is their dream useful idiot. to accept a new normal. and make it morally superior to do so all the while. clever marketing!

i wonder why the birds by the millions getting killed in wind turbines dont rank with snail darters with environazis? like Buzz says, nukes are the way to go but our handlers wont let us have it - until they can find a way to make a shit ton of money off of us for providing it.

moi said...

Karl: My spousal unit has worked in the energy industry (electrical) for a gazillion years, and if he's taught me anything (that doesn't have to do with math) it's that ALL energy sources have their pros, their cons, and their waste products.

Boxer: Mmmmmm, you said cheesy puffs and then my mind went blank.

Buzz: One of the unfortunate hallmarks of being a human being is that we're knee jerk reactionists. It's why we have so many ding dang laws that do us no good whatsoever.

Troll: Righto, bucko. We got the gas, Teyhas got the processing plants. Which, normally, isn't a problem.

Chickory: Most people who just want to breathe clean air and drink non polluted water don't realize that their good intentions are hitched to a small but insidious faction of environmentalists who at their core believe human beings are not part of the natural order, have no business on this planet, and need to go away ASAP. Then there are those whose intent is to profit from this forced scarcity that you talk about. Neither group really give a rat's ass about the planet or its critters.

Milk River Madman said...

I love a good rant on a Friday. Well done. BTW, Gov Richardson put a moratorium on the drilling of any new gas wells. There is no shortage of supply, just availability.

The EPA put a stop on all drilling in Montana due to Montana's "emission standards" this is a back door attempt to shut down all new drilling and all current operating wells.

The worst part about the "third world" comment is that you are 100% correct that this guy wouldn't make it 3 days sleep on a dirt floor 10 feet from "bathroom". Not to mention eating with the same hand all the time HAHAHAHAHA

chickory said...

one wonders why the environazis dont show us how its done by committing mass suicide. freaking hypos. they are full of tofu!

chickory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl said...

@ chickory: I have seen the comments before, it just goes to show what a total wac job he really is. He has his agenda and generally says one thing and does another he was supposedly a proponent for the three nuclear power plants that are ready to be built. But then orders the DOE to charge such high fees for loan guarantees(in the case of Calvert cliffs unit 3 over 11%) as to make them unfeasible to build. Some of the information here.
And touting how great solar is and how the New Arizona plant will be so green. But the truth is the solar panels are being made by the Chinese, not only losing American jobs but one of the ways they keep their prices down is by the way they handle their pollution, a little on that here

By the way that really should be a seal turning on the spit. The only place a polar bear has ever seen a penguin is in the zoo.

Jenny said...

I said 10 lbs, I figured I was safe with that? No? Bad Moi!

I also left out a word or two in my comment, but it's a great post with equally good comments. Buzz's comment about tunneling to Ethiopia is one I'm going to steal.

Bretthead said...

It is easy to complain about this stuff and take for granted how lucky we are to live here. Read fiction and non fiction such as Little Bee and What is the What and it is hard to believe what other people have to go through just to be alive, much less live comfortably.

LaDivaCucina said...

sigh. Y'all have said it all for me. Why are some people so sanctimonious?! Can't stand that type.... Been super busy (yay!) and no time to read blogs (boo!) but miss you. Have a great weekend!

LaDivaCucina said...

And then, there are people like this, who give me hope!

Enjoy the snow, Miss Moi, thinking of you! xo

Pam said...

Mumbai? How about Cairo?

I love that pic too. Me and polar bears = hearts and flowers.

It is interesting that they aren't filtering resources from here in OK to TX. I hadn't heard they were getting it from NM either.

BUT, remember when I posted a few months ago about a call I got regarding power lines? Hmmmm, got to thinking, and realized that call directly correlates to where your SB has been lately. Hmmmmm.

Oh well, I found a great link for you, stop on by.

moi said...

MRM: Or wiping his bottom with leaves. Or not at all. Yew.

Chickory: Visualize: Whirled Peas.

Karl: Great spotting on the polar bear meal!

Boxer: You have no idea, the depth and breadth of my love of cheese puffs.

WTWA: Which was exactly my point with this yahoo. He's suggesting we're spoiled rotten and should be punished, not that we're lucky and should count our blessings. But we also pay for those blessings. We pay for these people to be competent and when they're not, there should be some form of compensation to the homes/people whose lives are affected and endangered. By the way, What is the What is one of the better books I've read in a long time. But for the grace of I don't know what . . .

La Diva: Ingenuity. Now that's something we could use more of. That, and cheese puffs. And Fresca.

Pam: Darn it. S.B. stuck his wrench in a socket AGAIN.

chickory said...

i am sick of western guilt! make it stop, moi.

Aunty Belle said...

thought provokin' post, Moi.

Jes recently picked up PRIZE again to read up on the history of oil.
Met a petro engineer on plane from Istanbul ( he wuz comin' home from laying pipeline in Azerbaijan) who said that book wuz pretty close to THE WAY IT IS.

We has plenty of our own juice, an I say we drill today!