Conservatism's Death Gusher

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bfgrn, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    The issue is death -- death gushing at ten thousand pounds per square inch from a mile below the sea, tens of thousands of barrels of death a day. Not just death to eleven human beings. Death to sea birds, sea turtles, dolphins, fish, oyster beds, shrimp, beaches; death to the fishing industry, tourism, jobs; and death to a way of life based on the beauty and bounty of the Gulf.

    Many, perhaps a majority, of the Gulf residents affected are conservatives, strong right-wing Republicans, following extremist Governors Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour. What those conservatives are not saying, and may be incapable of seeing, is that conservatism itself is largely responsible for what happened, and that conservatism is a continuing disaster for conservatives who live along the Gulf. Conservatism is an ideology of death.

    It was conservative laissez-faire free market ideology -- that maximizing profit comes first -- that led to:

    * The corrupt relationship between the oil companies and the Interior Department staff that was supposedly regulating them
    * Minimizing cost by not drilling relief wells
    * The principle that oil companies could be responsible their own risk assessments on drilling
    * Maximizing profit by outsourcing risk assessment that told them what they wanted to hear: zero risk!
    * Maximizing profit by minimizing cost of materials
    * Maximizing profit by failing to pay cleanup crews and businesses for their losses
    * Focusing only on profit by failing to test the cleanup methods to be used if something went wrong
    * Minimizing cost by sacrificing the health of cleanup crews, refusing to allow them to use respirator masks to protect against toxic fumes.


    It is conservative profit-above-all market fundamentalism that has led other oil companies to mount a massive PR campaign to isolate BP as an anomalous "bad actor" and to argue that offshore drilling should be continued by the self-proclaimed "good actors." Their PR fails to mention that in Congressional hearings it came out that they all outsource risk assessment to the same company that declared that BP had "zero risk." The PR fails to mention that they all use cost-benefit analysis to maximize profits just as BP did. Cost-benefit analysis only looks at monetary costs versus benefits, case by case, not at the risk of massive death of the kind gushing out of the Gulf at present. Death, in itself, even at that scale, is not a "cost." Only an outflow of money is a "cost." This is what follows from conservative laissez-faire market ideology, an ideology that continues to sanction death on a Gulf scale.

    But the facts won't make a difference to dyed-in the-wool conservatives, since the facts will be filtered through their ideological frames: when the facts don't fit the frames, the facts will be ignored.

    The conservative worldview says man has dominion over nature: nature is there for human monetary profit. Profit is sanctioned over the possibility of massive death and destruction in nature. Conservatives support even more dangerous drilling off the coast of Alaska and are working to repeal the President's moratorium on deep water drilling. Nature be damned; the oil companies have a right to make money, death or no death.

    Whole article...
     
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  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Corrupt relationships between corporate bigwigs and Interior Department staff bureaucrats isn't laissez-faire, numbnuts.

    But then I saw that George Lakoff was the writer of that dreck, hence intellectual honesty went straight down the crapper.
     
  3. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Bfgrn you're hyperventilating.

    Put a paper bag over your head, I'm going to see if I can find a breathalyzer.

    I'll be back in a few days to check back on you
     
  4. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    meh...........nobody cares about the opinions of Canada folks.......its called "brain freeze syndrome".
     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    I thought it was Cheney's fault?
     
  6. JohnStOnge
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    JohnStOnge Member

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    It's not as bad as you apparently think it is (i.e., as bad as the media are making it look). I live in Louisiana and working on addressing the impacts of this oil spill has dominated my life for the past couple of months. The Gulf environment is breaking the oil down, depleting it of toxicity, very well. Yes, there are adverse impacts. But this isn't the disaster the media is portraying it as. In fact a lot of the damage is due more to perception than reality.

    For example: It is not rendering seafood hazardous to seafood consumers. Actually, oil spills rarely if ever do that. It's more of a potential product quality and perception issue than a seafood consumer health issue. There is no real reason for closing most of the area closed to fishing. But it has to be done because of public perception and ignorance. People see some ugly pictures on TV and think the seafood MUST be dangerous. It's not.

    By the time oil is reachinig State waters it is extremely weathered. Most of the fractions people worry about have evaporated. And monitoring so far has not indicated subsurface flow into nearshore waters.

    You could still go down to Louisiana right now, go fishing, catch a bunch of fish, and eat them without having to worry at all as long as you're not stupid enough to go right where there's obviously oil. Actually if you did that you wouldn't catch anything because the fish will avoid it.

    It's not going to be the end of the Gulf environment world. Not even close. The sad thing is that it will be the end of a way of life for some in the fishing industry because of erroneous public perception and the resulting actions government must take.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  7. JohnStOnge
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    JohnStOnge Member

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    I don't think anybody seriously believed there was "zero risk." There is no such thing. But no rational person should over-react when a risk is realized.

    For example: There is a risk associated with driving motor vehicles. One manifestation of it is a US motor vehicle associated death rate of somewhere around 30 thousand per year (33,963 in 2009).

    We don't react to that by putting a moratorium on using motor vehicles. Why? Because we judge that the benefits of using motor vehicles exceed the manifestation of the risk. We look at ways of reducing the risk and implement them. Sometimes we go overboard on that front. At least that's what I think. But we do not panic and say, "NO MORE DRIVING MOTOR VEHICLES UNTIL WE REDUCE THE RISK TO ZERO!!!!"

    So we have had one major deepwater drilling adverse event now. It's not going to destroy the Gulf environment. People have already identifed actions and/or lack of actions that could have reduced the risk. A moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf is going to hurt the Gulf region more than the oil spill is going to hurt it. It is insane.

    Deepwater drilling proceeded for decades without a major accident. So what are the odds that there would be another major accident over six months? Very low; especially in an atomosphere in which people are going to be very careful about it. The risk is going to be lower than it was during the decades during which no major events occured.

    Could another major event occur over the next six months? Sure. It's possible. I once read a about a guy who won a lottery in the midwestern state, moved to Florida, played the lottery in Florida, and won the lottery in that state too. Unlikely things do happen. But it's still unlikely. The fact that the risk was realized once doesn't change that. People do win the lottery. But it doesn't mean it's likely...at all...that you are going to win the lottery next time you go out and buy a lottery ticket.

    And after six months, there will still be a risk. No matter what we do, that will be the case. The already small risk may be somewhat smaller. But there will be a risk. And if we outlawed oil entirely there would be risks associated with that as well.

    Meanwhile, if they stop deepwater drilling in the Gulf for six months it's not going to be a situation where they lift the moratorium things will go back to normal. The deepwater rigs will be gone. They will have taken other contracts and they will not be available.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  8. The Infidel
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    The Infidel EVIL CONSERVATIVE

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    Dont waste your time trying to be logical JohnStonge..... Bfgrn is an idiot.

    Its kind of like trying to talk to a wall
    :eusa_wall:
     
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  9. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    You are confused John... when the author talked about 'zero risk' he was saying BP and other oil corporations do not calculate death as a 'cost'... Not just death to eleven human beings. Death to sea birds, sea turtles, dolphins, fish, oyster beds, shrimp, beaches; death to the fishing industry, tourism, jobs; and death to a way of life based on the beauty and bounty of the Gulf.

    It is conservative profit-above-all market fundamentalism that has led other oil companies to mount a massive PR campaign to isolate BP as an anomalous "bad actor" and to argue that offshore drilling should be continued by the self-proclaimed "good actors." Their PR fails to mention that in Congressional hearings it came out that they all outsource risk assessment to the same company that declared that BP had "zero risk." The PR fails to mention that they all use cost-benefit analysis to maximize profits just as BP did. Cost-benefit analysis only looks at monetary costs versus benefits, case by case, not at the risk of massive death of the kind gushing out of the Gulf at present. Death, in itself, even at that scale, is not a "cost." Only an outflow of money is a "cost." This is what follows from conservative laissez-faire market ideology, an ideology that continues to sanction death on a Gulf scale.
    ------------------------------------

    The article goes on to address your post (I did not post the whole article)

    ------------------------------------
    The conservative worldview says man has dominion over nature: nature is there for human monetary profit. Profit is sanctioned over the possibility of massive death and destruction in nature. Conservatives support even more dangerous drilling off the coast of Alaska and are working to repeal the President's moratorium on deep water drilling. Nature be damned; the oil companies have a right to make money, death or no death.

    Directness of causation is a rarely noticed property of the conservative worldview. What are the causes of crime? Bad people, lock 'em up, say conservatives. There are no social or economic causes, that is, systemic causes, in the conservative universe. So it is with the Death Gusher. Blame BP, the "bad actor." Look for the immediate cause, but don't look any further, at the profit-above-all system in which all oil companies operate, a system idolized by conservatives. Without an understanding of systemic causes, the causes cited above won't make much sense.
     
  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    You are full of shit. The herring and other sea life is still a long way from where it used to be in the Prince William Sound.
     

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