Just a quick note about some incredible stupidity on TV. On the CMOI channel (the description says “Cinemoi is the home of film and fashion, a celebration of international style. It showcases feature films, fashion from around the world, environmental documentaries and children’s programming.) they are having a rant about oil on the series “Earth From Above”.
Some guy from France touring with the guy who made the Veggie Bus (and drove around the USA on used cooking oil). They are full on ranting about the “Running Out Of Oil” panic / fantasy. No problem there. (Heck, I did some of the work 30 years ago leading to the fad of veggy oil in Diesels. I’m all for the omnivorous Diesel eating our garbage cooking leftovers). I think they said the guy with the vegetable oil bus was Josh Patel.
No, what got me going was that they chose to use Las Vegas as their “Poster Child” for “oil waste” and how they were doomed, doomed I say when the oil runs out. That it was crazy to build houses and suburbs here “in the desert” as there was “no water” and no-anything-else and the Air Conditioners ran 24 hours a day. Even the strip has the lights on All The Time!!!! When the oil runs out, real soon now, it is all DOOMED!!!
What Makes This So Stupid
It would seem they didn’t notice that giant lake, Lake Mead, just on the other side of the hill. I’d have thought the long line of power boats headed that way would have tipped them off…
They certainly were not willing to put in the (near trivial) effort to find out that Las Vegas only grew up once the lake was in place. See, all those lights and A/C and all are not powered by oil, they are powered by hydroelectric power from Lake Mead / Boulder Dam. That, BTW, is also where they get all their water.
Rather than being a poster child for the oil wasting horrible consumption society, it is a poster child for “sustainable development”. They did not need to chop down any forests to clear the land, nor drain any swamps / marshland, nor plough under the prairie. They tend to build with tile roofs ( natural and recyclable material) and with a lot of stucco and masonry (all for heat moderation). Concrete slab floors too. (Concrete is made from stone, in large supply, and as it cures absorbs CO2 so that made in the production is removed from the air. It can be recycled too.)
So here is this party paradise, that depends on renewable energy and recyclable matrials that doesn’t destroy a lot of high value habitat in the making… THAT is the place they choose as a poster child for oil?
I think I’m seeing why I don’t watch that channel much. It’s aimed at emotional airheads with no depth of understanding at all. No history. No technical grasp. No questioning what is spoon fed to them. Sigh.
(As “filler” between episodes of that show they have a fashion show on. Lots of glittery sheer fabrics that are undoubtedly synthetics and made from petrochemicals. Aimed in terms of style at “all the right people” with lots of slinky and “good for a night out at a high end place”… rather like those in Las Vegas… Clearly “logical consistency” isn’t their strong suit…)
The next segment is all about ranting on coal. Why a story about oil is looking at coal can only be explained by political motivation. (Their star interview is with AlGore…) So I’m about to swap back to something less brain dead. All they are doing is saying “Coal and oil BAD. Coal and oil DIRTY” and some “Solar and wind save the world”… so a load of political propaganda, very very short on any thinking. Lots of ‘buzz words’ and no numbers at all. Even “incalculable CO2 from coal burning each year.” Really? Don’t we know exactly now much coal was burned? Do the math… How they think you can do any kind of sane engineering or economic analysis or decision making without numbers is beyond me. Numbers seem to be beyond them.
At any rate, choosing Las Vegas as a poster child for oil use is just stupid. In spades. ;-)
Sidebar on Laughlin
Just south of Las Vegas is the little town of Laughlin. It sprang up next to the river once it was tamed by the dam. But after the electric power was shared out, one presumes. Why do I say that? They have a coal powered electric plant just to the west of down town. (“Downtown” is a half dozen nice casinos along the river. You can catch a boat between them and swim if you like. There’s even a camp ground ‘outside of town’ all of about 2 miles up stream. A great place to go, BTW.) So I asked about it. They have a ‘coal slurry’ pipeline from somewhere ‘up north east’ toward Wyoming. Several inches in diameter. The powerplant is a square box with heat shimmers coming off it and not much more. IIRC there were some “smokestacks” but the emissions were not visible. Go Scrubbers!
I wanted to buy a house there, but the spouse didn’t. It’s a great place to visit and party, and a lot more comfortable than Las Vegas, IMHO. Nearby (leaving town toward the West) is Christmastree Pass. It is more or less a dirt road well suited to trucks and 4 x 4 vehicles. I crossed it in a Mercedes 240 D sedan ;-) but low ground clearance vehicles might be a bit challenged. Also be ready for dirt and carry water.
Another example of a great little development. Due to the dam stabilizing the water flow, they have plenty of water. Their electricity is dirt cheap (due to being coal based) and they are in a place that doesn’t cost forests or plains their wild life.
Had the developers of the dam not all claimed the electricity (including Los Angeles) there would be plenty from the dam to run this little town too. But the coal feed is a very low cost and low impact solution too. The water from the slurry is used in the facility for their water needs, so everything in the pipe gets used. (Until the realtor told me what it was, as we drove past it, I had no idea. Just a big sandstone colored building…)
Other than an individual Earth Ship, I can’t think of anyplace that would be more suited as an example of living with minimal impact on the world than these places on a small patch of an otherwise large and low life presence desert, supported by one dam, and making a water paradise in the desert for miles in all directions. My first choice of the ideal “retirement place” would be an Earth Ship somewhere in a near desert (enough rain to support low water gardens and trees). Close behind it would be Laughlin and an RV Garage with RV and boat. Many of the houses had garages sized for a bus sized RV. The lake is very near. I like to fish and swim with cold beer nearby. So do a lot of other folks. Boat, RV, or home. All three with everything you need. Ah well, the spouse likes to be near the shopping mall…