WPITW: “God-Given Coal”

Had to post this because it’s all simply too delightful and hilariously funny to be ignored. “Environmental policy has to be good business policy,” Graham insisted. “What would happen in this country if you build a hundred nuclear power plants in the next thirty years? It would create millions of jobs. And we need to use the coal that God has given us.

I especially loved this bit of his rant directed at Malkin, Beck and that ilk, describing them as:

“A knee-jerk jukebox of party doctrine, screeching at every reform, mocking every expression of sympathy, repeating everything the nitwits they serve as doctrinaire slaves, try to palm off on the sheep they hope will lead them back to power…”

Bravo!

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23 Comments

Filed under Humour, US Politics

23 responses to “WPITW: “God-Given Coal”

  1. I usually get my coal from dried out bits of ancient plant remains or alternatively from Santa Claus when I fail to qualify for the nice list.

  2. One year, I put turnips with pithy sayings written on them under the Xmas tree. They were unimpressed. Of course, the actual distribution of copious amounts of toys, clothes, etc. went on unabated, but I thought that was kind of funny…

  3. Ti-Guy

    I’m pretty sure God gave the coal to the native Americans. So give it back to them and let them decide how it should be used. I’d love to see them turn into it piles of money and then invite the colonials to figure out, finally, how to eat it.

  4. Considering how much the American right-wing shamelessly adores Margaret Thatcher, they might want to regard how she effectively killed the coal-mining industry in Britain during her tenure at the helm (motivated by an anti-union sentiment as much as anything else) and then also launched somewhat strangely into a determined program of carbon reduction.

    It’s an interesting paradox… on the one hand fossil fuels are relatively cheap (notwithstanding manipulative price fluctuations by ruthless speculators, greedy producers, and so on), but other sources of energy would in fact quite a bit cheaper if they were only grown to scale and plugged into the energy grid in a far more effective way than is presently the case. That seems to be the challenge — how to make sustainable, virtually eternal energy resources more economically viable.

    That said, fossil fuels can’t be ruled out of the equation in the meantime given the nature of our energy infrastructure… Provided of course there are effective means of mitigating or limiting their harmful emissions that threaten to damage the environment in ways that aren’t quite fully comprehended as yet, but seem to be causing harm or at least producing weird climatic effects that are outside the bounds of normal experience.

  5. austin

    Wouldn’t that have been a sight, God descending from the heavens and layth thee coal in thy hands of thou Republicans.

  6. I happen to come from a long line of coal-miners on my father’s side of the family, so I’ve got some deeply mixed feelings about the subject.

    There is a certain love of that fuel that comes from the soil (quite literally) and it’s hard to depart from sentimental feelings of attachment to it for various reasons…

    But the fact of the matter is that it’s time to move onto new forms of energy generation that aren’t so dependent on the capitalization of resource extraction, but are geared more towards a less intense form of environmental sustainability.

  7. rww

    Well the earth is only 10,000 years old so the coal couldn’t have been made naturally so god must have given it to us.

  8. RWW — Ah, yes. Of course… I’d forgotten that angle. How exactly do the wingnuts explain the “miracle” of coal?

    What a brilliant catch.

  9. austin

    We will never be able to move on until we have a system that rewards energy innovation because right now it is way to cheap to burn coal and natural gas.

  10. Interesting point… But wouldn’t “rewarding innovation” go against the grain of right-wing/libertarian ‘anti-government’ thinking? I mean… it would be providing an “artificial” incentive to unduly influence the free market and such…

  11. austin

    Yes it would. Thats why I think it will be harder to get everyone to work together then it will be to actually invent or improve existing energy.

  12. benalbanach

    I lived poor as a child in Scotland and alongside a railway line. As kids we would throw rocks at the “train-driver” and in retaliation he would chuck coal back at us…..which we would take to our mothers for the stove.
    We didn’t give God a thought.

  13. Ti-Guy

    You know…I’ve never seen a lump of coal in my entire life.

  14. Really? I used to live in a house where the was a small mountain of the stuff in the basement. Mind you… it was built in the 1890s, so I guess that’s not terribly surprising.

  15. And funny thing… the owner of the house (my landlord) was an elderly Chinese fellow who was a coal miner up in Nanaimo back in the day. When the dear old man passed away, I “inherited” his place (the house sometimes pictured to the right — WordPress sometimes drops widgets, so they come and go…) and lived there quite happily for several years (while fending off disturbing incursions from his crazed widow and pawning off his son who suffered from a rather nasty addiction to gambling…)

  16. jkg

    It’s an interesting paradox…

    This is what I find rather perplexing at times. Within the realm of those who attempt to practice Hayekian or free-market policies, it borders on zealous piety when it comes to the belief that the free market solves all and is the most efficient at recognizing value and rewarding innovation. However, we are constantly confronted with contradiction upon contradiction that demonstrates it is hardly a necessary consequence that the free market will be able to identify and expedite bringing solutions to the marketplace.

    Heck, if people studied the development of most technology in the post war period., most of it we have today was the result of military research that spilled over into the private sector. Where did people think the integrated circuit come from let alone nuclear technology?

    It is strange; financial advisors and market “gurus” who love everything about the financial system like to point out that the investment will take the path of least resistance. That is why if one does want to profit from a wealthy enterprise they have to identify it before institutional interest and then widespread investor interest. It is only then that a marketable technology can enjoy widespread implementation as the funds dwarf those of the original venture capitalists. In other words, the process has an inherent lagging feature that only meets demand much later when in reality, such technologies should have been implemented further. The source of expedition this technologies long before the ‘market’ picks them up is the public sector. It is no wonder there is a streak of corporatism as the same free marketers have no problem bending the public sector to maximize profit and siphon off the fruits of intensive R&D.

  17. jkg

    * should have been implemented before oops sorry.

    As for the God given coal comment, it is also an interesting take on a particular worldview wrt nature. The biblical and religious interpretration tends to highlight the supremacy of man over nature, which explains the reticence of certain philosophies like deep ecology that espouses almost the converse: Humankind is integrated with the environment and considered on equal footing with nature.

    This tends to be an unsettling thought, but it is relatively new; I cannot remember whom, maybe Sir Thomas Aquinas, but originally, religious thought espoused the importance that one should the earth the way they found it, since it is god given (I suppose it was environmentalism lite?). Some people who believe the supremacy of man over nature still have the lingering idea that nature maintains a certain power beyond their own control, which explains the rejection that their actions have no detrimental consequences since such elements in nature are gifts from God. Empirical research in ecology disputes this original version of the gaia hypothesis quite clearly: Nature does cannot return to its original equilibrium state after major anthropogenic disturbances. Sorry, no hair splitting rationalizations and dubious research found in some skeptic’s blog is going to change that reality. It is has been shown time and again in scientific journals.

    It is fantastic paradox as it is so pronounced: Even in believing humankind reigns supreme over nature, there is this abdication of such a responsibility in that it is left to the all powerful god-controlled nature to internalize and compensate for the consequences of that supremacy. Yet, I am suppose to accept that you fully understand and should be trusted with the handling the environment when you construct an open pit mine near a watershed?

    It just doesn’t wash.

  18. JKG — Within the realm of those who attempt to practice Hayekian or free-market policies, it borders on zealous piety when it comes to the belief that the free market solves all and is the most efficient at recognizing value and rewarding innovation.

    George Soros calls them “free market fundamentalists” and contends they’re adherents of a “failed ideology”… He condemns Marxists for the same intellectual failure.

    Heck, if people studied the development of most technology in the post war period., most of it we have today was the result of military research that spilled over into the private sector.

    Quite so. In a similar way, it cracks me up when people who rigidly defend the concept of private for-profit healthcare talk about all of the cutting edge “research” and “innovation” benefits (much of which are actually created with some commercial advantage in mind) while carefully avoiding the inconvenient fact that the majority of such activity goes on with the significant aid of public funds in universities and other institutes that are, in one way or another, dependent on the government.

    The source of expedition this technologies long before the ‘market’ picks them up is the public sector. It is no wonder there is a streak of corporatism as the same free marketers have no problem bending the public sector to maximize profit and siphon off the fruits of intensive R&D.

    Precisely. One just has to look at the Internet as an example of how the whole ideology that “government is the problem” doesn’t really hold much water. That of course isn’t to say that things can’t go untoward in the other direction to the point where government becomes intrusive, obnoxiously controlling, and an impediment to innovation.

  19. austin

    “That of course isn’t to say that things can’t go untoward in the other direction to the point where government becomes intrusive, obnoxiously controlling, and an impediment to innovation.”

    Finding that balance in an enviroment of such partisan politics that has over taken North America is next to if not completely impossible.

  20. Tomm

    RT,

    “…turnips with pithy sayings written on them under the Xmas tree…”

    I think I will try your little experiment this Christmas.

    It speaks to me.

  21. It didn’t go down well with the kids at the time, but it made me laugh.

    My wife is actually looking through a WorldVision catalog at the moment that would perhaps accomplish the same goal in a more productive way — the idea of “gifting” seeds, a pig, a goat, etc. to some needy family in the third-world on behalf of someone else is a very compelling idea.

  22. Tomm

    That’s what we’ve done at the office the last couple of years.

    There seems to be quite a bit to pick from. Animals, plants, foot pumps, etc.

    My kids need the turnips…they just aren’t conservative enough for my liking. Youth… bah humbug!

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