Sunday, February 26, 2006

60 Minutes' Disco Inferno.

Satisfaction came in a chain reaction - Do you hear?
I couldn't get enough,
so I had to self destruct,
The heat was on,
rising to the top
Everybody's goin' strong
That is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say

Burn baby burn!
Disco inferno! (Aah yeah!)
Burn baby burn!
Burn that mother down

Lyrics: The Trammps.

CBS News: Montana's Coal Cowboy.

First they did an optimistic piece on Canadian oil sands, now CBS' 60 Minutes does another relatively optimistic piece on a proposal by the Montana governor on massive coal to liquid conversion.

I don't know about you, but it sure sounds like somebody at 60 Minutes read a peak oil book or two, freaked a little, and got on the stick. I don't think this coverage was prompted simply by $60 oil. If there was any mention of peak oil (I don't recall any, but I could be wrong), it sure wasn't highlighted. In fact, it seemed rather more like 60 Minutes is making the case we're covered, what with these various alternatives.

And while I'm a believer that the ride over Hubbert's Peak will be mitigated by solutions/alternatives like conservation [nee demand destruction], gas to liquid, coal to liquid [i.e. basically anything we can get our hands on that we can burn..], high efficency diesel vehicles and eventually electric vehicles of some sort, I think we have some serious questions that will need to be addressed about the increased CO2 output of some of these alternatives.

And on that topic, a sidenote unrelated to 60 Minutes:

A couple of times now I have read comments along these lines:

"Who would have thought that after a severe hurricane season that disrupted oil and gas production in the Gulf Region so severely, we would experience one of the warmest winters on record which would cut our natural gas use and save our butts!"

Hmmm.. Warmer than usual Gulf.. Powerful hurricanes.. Warmer than normal winter..

Is there a connection? I don't know. I don't think anybody really knows for sure, but if we are in some kind of pattern (whether it's due to cycles or global warming or both) and have another hurricane season like that last one, we are in for a heap of trouble.