Glenn Beck: Genius, right?

Well no – a Republican that’s for sure.

Glenn – in his ever increasing wisdom has a go at taking the proverbial out of Obama and his speaking about correct tyre pressure. Now – many experts in the field have agreed with this policy. Glenn goes on a hissy-fit about it by saying:

But one phrase that he used deserves a little more attention: “but if everyone did.”

“But if everyone” donated their organs then people wouldn’t die waiting for them.

“But if everyone” ate only lettuce then our health care system would be fixed.

“But if everyone” just sent me one dollar then I’d retire with $300 million in the bank.

Of course, the reality is that people still die waiting for organs, obesity is an epidemic, and I’m still writing these columns. That’s why saying “but if everyone did” is such a red herring.

Actually Glenn is correct in a couple of cases there. If everyone did donate their organs there wouldn’t be a waiting list. If everyone sent him a dollar he could retire – don’t hold your breath – but he could. As usual he takes on McCain stature with his lettuce comment – obviously he knows as much about nutrition as he does about conserving energy and oil.

Now – Glenn being Glenn goes on:

Not surprisingly, drilling was nowhere to be found in the article, but Grunwald did include plenty of other, “simple” things we can do:

“We can use those twisty carbon fluorescent light bulbs. We can unplug our televisions, computers and phone chargers when we’re not using them.”

He’s living in a dream world! Not only is unplugging a television not going to do a darn thing, it’s annoying and almost no one in their right mind will ever, ever, ever, ever do it! Ever!

Using low energy bulbs can save you a fortune! Switching off the TV and other electrical products instead of putting them on stand-by can, again, save you money. Glenn Beck says that the American people are – essentially, lazy bastards.

Not only does he say that – essentially, he says that Americans want to drill off their shores to get to the oil that will fuel their SUVs and trucks. But, and Glenn in his comical role, says to do this Americans should drive naked, what they could do is drive much smaller engined cars – oh, they have started to do that anyway. I’ll bet they have their tyres inflated correctly!

European PRODUCTION car can now deliver upwards of 73 mpg! yes, 73 mpg – and the American government are asking that car manufacturers deliver 35? Are they nuts?

No Glenn – what you want is cheap, cheap oil so you can drive your [whatever you car is] that does X mpg and it costs you 3 cents to fill the tank.

You can read Glenn’s rant here.

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
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0 Responses to Glenn Beck: Genius, right?

  1. Matt says:

    Agreed that inflating tires is important to maintaining good gas mileage (but I have to wonder how many people drive around with low enough pressure to make a noticeable difference in the pocketbook).

    Agreed that unplugging electronics will save on energy bills (but Glenn is right that it’s really frickin’ annoying).

    Agreed that European cars are great on gas mileage. What I’d like to find out is why European car manufacturers open plants in America and start to grab a piece of the pie here. Japan seems to have no problem doing it…

    Agreed that the low energy bulbs can save a fortune. That must be weighed, however, against the danger of containing mercury within them. Most of the time, they won’t cause a problem. But should one break, you need to be careful cleaning up (though it’s not impossible). And if one should break in the kitchen, you’re probably going to need some help from an outside source to ensure you’ve safely cleaned the area.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the similarities I see in nuclear power. It can save us a fortune, but we need to be very careful because when an accident does happen, it’s potentially harmful and/or deadly. The scale is much larger than CFL’s, but the money we’d save is much larger as well. It’s a give and take, and both the pros and the cons should be given serious thought.

  2. Will Rhodes says:

    Agreed that the low energy bulbs can save a fortune. That must be weighed, however, against the danger of containing mercury within them. Most of the time, they won’t cause a problem. But should one break, you need to be careful cleaning up (though it’s not impossible). And if one should break in the kitchen, you’re probably going to need some help from an outside source to ensure you’ve safely cleaned the area.

    Well, you’re almost correct.

    http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp

  3. Matt says:

    Okay, fine, I’ll rephrase: if one broke in my kitchen, I’d get some outside help to verify I’ve cleaned it well enough to make myself comfortable with the prospect of preparing food in the cleaned up area. Such a stickler! But it does suck that I’d have to throw away any clothes that came into direct contact with fragments. What if it’s my “Stop staring: just touch me” t-shirt? I don’t know if I could stand to part with it.

    And besides, after I agree with you 4 times in one post, you still feel the need to hassel me? LOL

  4. Will Rhodes says:

    I’ll make you vote Obama yet, Matt. 😉

  5. B0bbyG says:

    I’m not sure where Mr. Beck got the impression that conserving energy around the house is so onerous; I can say from experience that it isn’t. In our house we have tried to be more energy aware over the past few years. We’re not perfect, but once you’ve gotten into the habit of doing things like switching appliances off at the socket when you’re not using them or switching off lightbulbs when you leave the room, it becomes second nature to you, and isn’t annoying at all.

    And I think he’d be surprised what many people are prepared to do in order to pay less.

    I had to laugh at the lettuce comment, though. If only a health care system were that easy! Ha!

  6. leapsecond says:

    The funniest part about the fuel crisis is that manufacturers are touting 30+ mpg cars like creating a fuel efficient car is innovative and new somehow. Think again, car companies: a 1978 Honda Civic got 33 mpg city/41 mpg highway. The 2008 Civic? 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway. Absolutely amazing.

  7. lunawolf says:

    People are missing the point of Obama’s statement. Idiots such as Glenn Bleck have taken the quote out of context and have portrayed it as Obama’s energy plan. The point Obama was trying to make is that there are alternatives to screwing up the environment and that there are things we all can do to make an impact now, not in 2030 when we start seeing that oil in ANWR. That’s not an energy policy, that’s a rhetorical example. Why are people so dumb?

    And why isn’t anyone at all addressing the 60 MILLION acres of unexploited land already owned by the oil companies? Drill there, fill your tires, and stay the f*ck off my coast!

  8. dz says:

    luna- I don’t think the oil companies own the land, but rather have leased it. And you can’t make them drill there. Why would they drill there? They’re already making pleanty of money, and drilling would cost millions. Plus, if they make more, they’re going to have to pay even more in taxes. And under Obama’s energy plan, if they make more, they’ll also get a windfall profits socialist BS tax on top of the 51% they already pay. So I’m sorry but there’s absolutely no way they’ll drill on that land. So if you want prices to drop, they’ll need to drill offshore. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes until we get that oil, 2030, anything… the price will go down immediately. The price is based upon speculation, and simply starting to drill will bring the price down.

    leapsecond – I’ve been saying the same thing about cars for years.. my great grandma has some old heavey Dodge something or other that gets 42mpg highway and it’s from 1973. I think the problem is America’s obsession with size and horsepower. The car companies have been making cars that will sell, and people would rather go 0-60mph in 5 seconds than get 55mpg. Hopefully that will now change and manufacturers will need to start changing the cars they design.

  9. Matt says:

    Politifact backs up Obama’s claim, but there are some issues.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/608/

    Politifact doesn’t seem to have actually crunched the numbers correctly (and I know where they goofed up).

    After some research on the tire inflation numbers:
    -Their assertion of the 0.4% saving is based on ALL FOUR tires being underinflated.
    -Their assertion that 25% of Americans drive around underinflated is based on 1 OR MORE tires being underinflated.

    Those two issues taken into account, and corrected with actual numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, gives instead a value of about 1.7 million gallons of gas wasted per day or 629 million gallons per year – a far cry from the 2.8 billion gallons Politifact claims (odd they’re off by about a multiple of 4, eh?).

    Still a good idea to inflate tires, but the numbers are quite exaggerated and frankly, wrong.

  10. Will Rhodes says:

    If you take into account, which Glenn Beck didn’t, that Obama said to keep your car turned properly as well as other factors such as tyre inflation that would give you the figure Obama was speaking of, Matt.

    A well maintained car always runs better.

  11. Matt says:

    Did you even look at the Politifact website? We’re only talking about tire pressure right now. They don’t take tune ups into account in their number I was disputing, so I didn’t either. It’s just strictly tire pressure. Gimme a day or so and I’ll compile the numbers on the tune ups as well.

    And bear in mind, I’m not disputing that these things work, I’m just disputing the claims of gasoline they’d save in comparison to drilling (the heart of Obama’s statement).

  12. dz says:

    I think the biggest problem is that changing your oil and air filter and overinflating your tires is not a long term solution to an energy crisis. I’ve heard estimates that the US comsumes around 1.4 trillion gallons of gas a year. That would save less than 0.05% of the oil consumed per year (I know, that was using Matt’s tire numbers, not air filters and other stuff). I don’t see how saving less than 0.05% of the gas consumed is an energy plan. I’ve always kept my tires 5lbs overinflated and I blow out the air filter once a month, I try to save and help where I can and I encourage others to do so as well, but this isn’t an energy policy.

  13. Matt says:

    dz:

    You should read Obama’s energy plan before commenting about it (if only for a few chuckles). Tire pressure is not the only thing he talks about.

    And saving any gas just by checking tire pressure is still a good idea…

  14. dz says:

    No, he now talks about allowing off shore drilling now, which he was adamantly opposed to only a month ago. Democrats love looking at poles only to appease the majority of Americans. Part of his policy is also a windfall profits tax, to increase taxes on oil companies (who already pay more in taxes than they make in earnings) so that he can give out $1000 checks to Americans. The princeple of the idea is fundamentally socialist. This isn’t an energy policy. It’s appeasement to the American people. “Hey, you said you want offshore drilling so I’ll give it to you. Hey, you think gas costs too much so I’ll throw everyone a thousand bones.” Empty promises. Socialism. Not a solution.

  15. lunawolf says:

    Still missing the point by arguing semantics and calling it his solution to the oil crisis. Good job. And you are completely wrong about offshore drilling, by the way.

    I keep hearing people in the news attributing the drop in price to the prospect of off-shore drilling. Oh yes, because words are magic. Let’s look at what else happened right before the price dropped, shall we? Saudi Arabia began producing more oil and Americans began driving less. It is the basic principle of supply and demand that dropped the price, not McCain and Bush’s plan to give the oil companies more power. Nice try, though!

  16. lunawolf says:

    “Democrats love looking at poles only to appease the majority of Americans”

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait- you are criticizing a politician for looking at what Americans want and changing his plan accordingly? Isn’t that sort of the point of Representative Democracy?

  17. lunawolf says:

    “increase taxes on oil companies (who already pay more in taxes than they make in earnings)”

    You show me anything legitimate that can prove those numbers, please. 40 billion dollar profit for Exxon alone. And are you not aware how many subsidies are government gives out to these companies? Talk about welfare and redistribution of wealth. Americans are paying for the government to give Exxon Mobile money to spray coal with diesel fuel. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1167738-1,00.html

    I can’t believe there are people out there who truly believe that when you leave a corporation to do the right thing, they will do it.

  18. Matt says:

    Luna:

    All those taxes Exxon Mobil pays? Where do you think that money goes? Oh yeah, they go to government programs…You want to see less profit from the oil companies, fine, but you’d better prepare to see less going into your government programs, too.

    And please tell me you were kidding about Americans driving less as a cause for the price of oil to go down; either that, or you have no idea how commodity futures work.

    Let me see if I can explain this to you in a simple manner. Traders buy and sell at today’s prices based on where they think the price is going to be in the future. If you think the price is going to go up, you buy. If you think the price is going to go down, you sell. When people buy more and more, the price continues to rise. When they sell more and more, the price drops. Now, when President Bush lifted the moratorium on offshore drilling, traders made the guess that eventually, more supply could be opened up. This, they figure, will lower the global price oil is willing to be sold at, so they start to sell off their shares. This drives down the price of oil even further. Oil has continued to drop, as the time limit on Congress to renew its moratorium is soon to run out (September) and it looks as though the Senate will have enough votes (at least 41) to block any bill that tries to sneak in the moratorium renewal. With those two moratoria out of the way, traders see no roadblocks to potential increases in supply. This is going to further decrease the price of oil.

    I can’t put it any clearer than that for you, so I hope you finally get it. If not, try turning on a business channel like CNBC, read CNN money, or any other source of business-related media.

    Yes, you are correct that it’s supply and demand, but not correct with the two causes you are talking about. If you chart Saudi Arabia’s oil production alongside the price of oil in the stock market, you’ll see that the amount S.A. introduces doesn’t change the price at all (this goes back at least 10 years from the data I have painstakingly collected). Additionally, when the report comes out AFTER the fact that Americans have driven less, how exactly is that supposed to affect the stock price? Did traders go back in time and change their purchases based on what they learned in the future? Seriously, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, please don’t spread the ignorance: it catches like wildfire…Do some due diligence and then come back to the grown-ups table.

  19. lunawolf says:

    Oh hell. I’m watching my father’s house for the weekend and am using his PC (Piece of Crap), and I had a really great response to you and the fucking thing stopped working (Didn’t even crash, just ground to a halt). I’ll attempt it again, but I can’t promise you it will be as witty, due to my burning hate at all things Microsoft.

    Basically, I’d love to hear more about your experience in the oil market and to see the data you collected, as well as the chart comparing the Saudi Oil price with the drop in price at the pump.

    I liked what you had to say until you became a pretentious, pompous, prick at the end, really. I’ll go ahead and extend you the same courtesy and tell you that you are an asshole of the most enormous kind. Bleeding hemorrhoids and everything!

    Now that that’s aside, I’d like to ask you how, if introducing the prospect of drilling that will get results in over ten years from now can lower the price of oil, why can’t the introduction of a comprehensive plan to expand and create new energy markets do the same? How can you assume one and not that other?

    Also, how exactly do we expect this band-aid to solve our problems? The lower prices ten years from now will arrive at a time when demand will be also be up. I understand we won’t be importing it (if our oil companies even plan to use it in America, which they probably won’t because they would rather sell it to make a quicker buck) and that is a good thing, but it is still just a band-aid.

    What happens ten years after that when we are back in the same position we are in today? With no where else left to rape? And do you have an answer as to why we couldn’t use the 60 million acres we already have doled out to the oil companies? Why wouldn’t proposing to drill those areas also cut the price at the pump? Democrats have been calling for these areas to be exploited since the Republicans have been proposing the raping of ANWR.

    Our problem does not lie in our dependence on foreign oil, but in our dependence on oil, period. If you found yourself in a hole, would you honestly keep digging to try to make it out through the other side? I would hope not.

    And these government programs, ah yes.
    I would argue with you on that. I would say that at 10 billion dollars a month, that tax money we’re getting from Exxon is going to Iraq to keep ensuring our dependence on foreign oil.

  20. lunawolf says:

    Oh! One more question. If Saudi’s oil doesn’t make that much of a difference, why did Cheney go to Saudi Arabia in June to beg them to up their production? Why did the price start falling that week, nearly a full month before President Bush lifted the Executive Order? The speculators manipulating the market stopped before Bush’s grand plan. But you give all the credit to him, an oil tycoon himself.

  21. dz says:

    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/may2008/db2008051_596535.htm?chan=search

    i was looking at older numbers, this claims 49%. SORRY!

    read. please. stop being ignorant. oil price is currently based on speculation. even most speculators admit it should be around $1.50 – $2.0o a gallon. with that inflation, supply and demand doesn’t even effect the price unless it’s drastic, so no the saudi production had NOTHING to do with it. but i’m not surprised that you can’t wrap your brain around this concept, because you refuse to believe that Exxon is still anything less than the evil big bad horrible Big Oil. writing to idiots can be so frustrating some times…

  22. Matt says:

    Luna:

    (I’ve got a novel for you, sorry if it’s a little on the longish side…)

    You started with the pompous, arrogant ridicule:
    “I can’t believe there are people out there who truly believe that when you leave a corporation to do the right thing, they will do it.”

    I was simply upping the ante because you had already belittled sound economic principles once, saying oil speculation lowers price because “words are magic” 🙂

    Now, the reason that announcement of alternative energy plans don’t decrease the price of oil is because there’s no sign of them happening just yet. It could very well decrease the price of oil because it will imply a lower demand in the future. When either Obama or McCain get elected and traders know which policy is going to be in effect for the next 4 years, they’ll make a speculation on how the price of oil is going to get affected. But speculators make educated decisions based on current events, and the polls are still too close for them to get a jump on the market.

    And if you re-read my post, I never once make the claim that drilling offshore will end our oil problems. I was explaining the cause of the drop in the price of oil. I also believe that we need to get off of oil derivatives for fuel for cars as soon as we can, but before we go eliminated all oil, we need to think of where are we going to get the millions of plastic products we make everyday out of petroleum.

    Obtaining leases to the 60 million acres you talk about is no problem for the oil companies. It does, however, take an erternity to get the permitting from the EPA (thanks to Congressional regulations). So even if they found oil on those leases, they aren’t allowed to drill for it without jumping through hoop after hoop in the huge bureaucratic mess that is the EPA. I would also contend that the prospect of drilling in those leases is already factored into the price of oil, though that’s just pondering on my part, both unfounded and unproven 🙂

    But even with drilling, we’ll still be importing it from crazy nations: whoever told you otherwise was just lying. All the oil in the world is traded on a global market, just like corn, grain, and every other commodity. If we were to pull out of that global market, the repercussions would be immense.

    And since you touched on the “raping of ANWR”, I’d like to point out that of the 19 million acres, only 1.5 million are possible to explore and less than 2 thousand would be developed by exploration (aka 0.01%). Then native Inuits are opposed on the basis that it could disrupt caribou populations, although it has been observed that they huddle by existing pipelines for warmth in the winter – effectively increasing the likelihood of survival through particularly harsh winters. More than 75% of Alaskans support drilling in ANWR’s coastal plain, and every member of Congress as well as the governor support drilling as well.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but taxes from both individuals and oil companies such as Exxon Mobil get pooled together, and then distributed out by the government. So whether or not the war in Iraq is going on is just a red herring: Exxon Mobil’s taxes aren’t earmarked directly for the war in Iraq. I didn’t mean to imply that Exxon’s money goes straight to government programs (sorry if it seemed that way): I was trying to convey the sense that if they get pushed too much, they aren’t going to just let themselves get taxed to death and that’s going to lead to a large cut in the government’s tax base.

    As far as the data supporting my claim that Saudi Oil production increases doing nothing: S.A. has increased it’s production per day by 0.7 million barrels (the most recent hike you were citing). The global production totals close to 82.5 million barrels per day, so S.A.’s increase was only 0.85%. Proper tire inflation alone adds 1.7 million barrels of oil to the global supply, or 2%. Huge impact from the Saudi’s. In fact, the non-OPEC sector accounts for 65% of the production market.

    The amount the U.S. uses per day is 20.7 million barrels. Even if all of S.A.’s oil went to America (which it does not), their increase amounts to 3% of our consumption. Oil price has dropped by 14% since that increase. Those 700 thousand barrels per day sure affected our stock market…

    Bottom line: come out with an electric car and create the electricity many sensible sources (wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal, etc.): it will help tide us over until we find ways to replace all petroleum-based products with an economically-feasible alternative.

    Thanks for reading!

  23. lunawolf says:

    “I can’t believe there are people out there who truly believe that when you leave a corporation to do the right thing, they will do it.”

    That’s not an insult! It is your own ego that took it that way! Lol! If anything, it degrades corporations! Don’t be too sensitive. Sometimes, it’s just not all about you.

    As for the rest of it, I wish I had more time for response, but I have to get back to the gas station so I can bend over and pull down my pants yet again for the sake of some CEO or Saudi Prince’s niece’s third Beemer or 911 or A8 (or any other car I’m jealous I don’t have) .

    With your trust in these companies that everyone says I’m just picking on because I don’t like big companies, you assume they will just turn over and sell it to the US, only the US at lower prices. I don’t believe it. I believe they’ll sell it to China and the what-not. Why not? They would make more money putting it on the global market than saving the American Middle Class from extinction.

    (Should I even mention that there are analysts quietly suggesting that our high oil prices also stem from the fact that we are trading in dollars and that the US adopting the Euro would have a positive impact on our economy? No, that would be un-American of me and I’d have to hide from the modern McCarthyists if I did . I’ll stop there at Devil’s Advocate and address more feasible solutions).

    I love your last paragraph! Perfect. So, now that we’ve created the electric car, could you please get the people who hold to patent to give it up to someone who actually wants to produce it? I live in a town that has a wonderful plug in station for those electric vehicles. And it’s FREE!

    There’s technology out there. A lot of it is very expensive-for now. Some of it is already out there! Ten years of aggressive research with the rate that technology increases these days would give us what we are looking for. The only thing stopping us are the cynics and critics who believe it “just won’t work.”

    Wind, solar, very limited nuclear, biofuels, geothermal, etc, are a replacement. No, really, stop laughing! Think about it.

    My dad used to tell me that if I spent as much effort trying to get out of doing my homework as I did on getting it done, I would be done hours earlier and would have gotten straight A’s. I would like to think this bit of wisdom should be applied to all the people that think we should raise our standard EMPG to 35 by 2020 and that we should still be using fossil fuels years after that, side by side with alternative fuels.

    Those goals are just not acceptable. They are jokes to the rest of the world who are driving around at 70mpg and developing cars that run on water. C’mon, this is America. Aren’t we supposed to be on the cutting edge?

  24. lunawolf says:

    Oh hell, and I forgot to mention how much improving our public transportation would help.

  25. Matt says:

    I agree that improved public transportation would be a HUGE help: if you’ve been to Europe you know what we’re missing…

    And I’ll be waiting for that detailed response when you pull your pants back up 😉

    (Specifically, why you claim on your blog that Saudi Arabia increased production by 10 million barrels a day when in reality, they increased it from 9 million to 9.7 million…hence my due diligence comment earlier)

  26. lunawolf says:

    Because it’s very early in the morning when I wake up for work and flip on NPR. And I’m not very good at numbers, as you can tell! 😉

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