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Thread: Dr. Brinkleys exchange with Congress

  1. #1 Dr. Brinkleys exchange with Congress 
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    A remarkably testy exchange between Dr. Brinkley and Senior Congressmen Don Young and than more digging about a Congressmen who doesn't love his own district.
    Doug Brinkley, Rep. Don Young squabble over Arctic refuge - latimes.com

    Dr. Brinkley's follow up.
    Rice professor defends testy exchange with Alaska Congressman | khou.com Houston


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    I think most Congressmen love the aspects of their district that generate revenues for their constituents. If that wildlife refuge were drawing tourists, he'd probably talk it up quite a lot. I know tourism has a lot to do with Oregon's environmental policies. (If you really want to save the environment, go visit it, and buy stuff at the local gift shops. It will *never* be torn down.)

    Also, I have to admit it's hard to take environmental professors seriously when they are "passionate". When I hear "passionate" I immediately translate that in my head to mean "unobjective".


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    Are you kidding? You can't get to an advanced degree without it. One can be passionate and still apply logic, reason and objectivity. They aren't mutually exclusive.

    This was a case of the Congressmen being disrespectful to a man who simply wasn't going to take it.
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  5. #4  
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    Prince has been to area under discussion. Wildlife are remarkably unaffected by petroleum extraction. Few constituents live there, most of them only seasonally.

    Area belongs to "American people"? Few American people living above Arctic Circle. Many American people drive cars.

    This is about as objective as it gets, dotcomrades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I think most Congressmen love the aspects of their district that generate revenues for their constituents. If that wildlife refuge were drawing tourists, he'd probably talk it up quite a lot. I know tourism has a lot to do with Oregon's environmental policies. (If you really want to save the environment, go visit it, and buy stuff at the local gift shops. It will *never* be torn down.)

    Also, I have to admit it's hard to take environmental professors seriously when they are "passionate". When I hear "passionate" I immediately translate that in my head to mean "unobjective".
    In Alaska, stuff in gift shops is mostly not made in Alaska. Is true. Is possible to get stuff made uniquely in Alaska like musk ox wool cap or birch tree syrup, but mostly souvenirs are made elsewhere. Maybe take home some moose droppings next time. When Prince is "passionate", people say he needs "anger management", which REALLY pisses him off. One can be "passionate" and still be right or wrong, so...
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    When Prince is "passionate", people say he needs "anger management", which REALLY pisses him off.
    Well than, perhaps learning to channel that that passion towards getting an advanced degree would be something to strive for.
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    So far Prince's formal education has done him little good, but if esteemed moderator is willing to finance another such degree, Prince will accept such aid with gratitude.

    In any case, it requires no such credentials to observe few Americans on tundra and many on freeways. Draw your own conclusions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Are you kidding? You can't get to an advanced degree without it. One can be passionate and still apply logic, reason and objectivity. They aren't mutually exclusive.

    This was a case of the Congressmen being disrespectful to a man who simply wasn't going to take it.
    That's like arguing that dedicated soccer mom can still objectively referee games in which her children are participating. When she rules in favor of her own child, people are apt to at least feel some impropriety. Anyway, science is not about what *could* happen. It's about what is overwhelmingly likely to happen. Is it overwhelmingly likely that an environmentalist will render a bad opinion about something they care deeply for if it is justified logically for them to do so?

    Certainly Dr. Brinkley's opinion about which course of action will benefit wild life the most should be considered reliable, because he loves wildlife and wants it to thrive, but his opinion about how the needs of wildlife should be weighed against the economic needs of a country is completely useless. He only understands one half of that question, and is hopelessly biased in favor of finding that half to be the more important one no matter what were placed on the other side of the scale for him to consider.
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    Actually he's an historian making him really an expert on neither particular issue but able to put them in the greater context of American history. In this case the preservation of our American National Park and wildlife refuse system, why they were created, American's views about their inherent values.

    Ow Kojax, I understand the Soccer mom's passion, but it's also quite possible to be passionate and completely rational and objective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Prince has been to area under discussion. Wildlife are remarkably unaffected by petroleum extraction.
    There is currently no extraction in the area under discussion - ANWR. Perhaps you have been to the areas farther west such as Prudhoe and Kuparuk. These are not like ANWR. They are essentially flat, dotted with pingoes and small lakes. I have been to Prudhoe and Kuparuk and have worked there. I have not been to ANWR and can only go by pictures and films I have seen that show it to be quite different. If you meant to say that the wildlife are unharmed by these operations, then you may have a point, but you are incorrect to say that the wildlife is unaffected; in fact the caribou like to come up on the gravel pads to escape the mosquitoes, and they enjoy standing next to the pipelines which give off a slight warmth. The arctic foxes scavenge the area and will steal your lunch if you leave it unattended for a moment on a drill pad. The behavior patterns of wildlife certainly are affected when they encounter drilling and production operations. Whether this effect is good, bad or neutral is open to debate.

    If production is allowed in ANWR it will not be just the delicate little pads the oil companies like to show. The drill sites are only a minor part of the whole operation. There will be a central production facility (Kuparuk has three) where oil, gas and water are separated and distributed to export pipelines and storage, a topping plant (refinery) where fuel for vehicles is produced, accommodations for the workers, gravel pits for extraction of gravel to build the pads, a tank farm, gas turbine power generation stations, roads of course, and so on. There will be emissions from gas turbines, fired heaters and flares that, at Kuparuk, used to create a brown cloud. Perhaps they have cleaned this up since I was there. Of course there will be pipelines too. A network to bring the crude to the CPF, then an export pipeline to bring the separated oil to the market. As the oil is depleted over the years there may be a waterflood facility built on the coast to bring warmed seawater inland to be pumped underground to force out more oil. I just mention this to make sure no one is being misled by oil company propaganda.

    I am in favor of protecting our wilderness areas but not at all costs. The environmental arguments against starting oil production in ANWR should be weighed against the economic arguments - and this will always be a subjective argument. You cannot put a cash value on a preserved environment. The economic benefit is small. It has been estimated that the world price of oil would drop, temporarily, by one half to one dollar a barrel, and the oil market is a world market, it is not an American market. The beneficiaries would be oil companies and the firms that depend on them and this would include me and my family. I am personally not interested in receiving my small share of that benefit in return for damaging a pristine wilderness area.
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