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George Soros on NCS

On this week's show, The New Capital hosts investor, tycoon, philosopher, philanthropist, and Bush-basher George Soros just prior to his appearance in Houston at The Progressive GeorgeSorosForum.  Soros' new book, The Age of Fallability, is a meditation on "what's wrong with America" through the lens of Soros' lifelong philosophical "reflexivity" framework.  In this framework, absolute truth does not exist, reality difficult to discern, and an individual's thoughts themselves play an active role in the creation of realities.  What does any of this have to do with America and American politics?  Tune in to find out. 

In Houston tonight, expect Soros to focus on the "war on terror," the main topic in his new book.  Soros echoes a frequent criticism: a war on an abstract concept, i.e., "terror," is untenable.  You can make war on an actual enemy, but you must adopt programs to deal with socio-economic phenomena.  To set the stage for Soros on today's show, I'll discuss the best piece I've read on how to "close out" the Bush War on Terror, Declaring Victory" by James Fallows, Bush's latest move with al Qaeda prisoners, and American officials in Iraq who are figuring it out.  As elections approach, and the Republican scare machine cranks up, it is vital that the American public not knee jerk into November, but instead carefully consider nuanced arguments about how best to attain security.


LISTEN: New Capital Show (September 7, 2006)

Posted on Sep 4 by Registered CommenterLEO GOLD in | Comments7 Comments

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Sep 6 | Unregistered Commenterwarren
I’m going to get to the point right away. We are not going to find a replacement in time for oil the way we are going right now. The focus on finding a cheap and plentiful fuel supply that does not pollute is not going to occur over night, it will take time. I believe that we should rethink our position on what we use at a fuel source. The things that needs to be considered for replacing our energy sources are:

1. Is it Renewable?

I would consider this to be the most important question to ask because as long as it is renewable then our current crisis should not be repeated.

2. Can it sustain the current level of Energy Needs and if not at what level can it?

This question is important because it will address two issues. First of all it should help determine if an energy resource should be developed or not. If it can only take over a very small percentage then it may not be wise to invest in it. Second, we must start looking into at least for now considering looking at multiple sources of energy because we may not find any one source to replace our energy needs.

3. How much time is needed to develop the new energy source?

This one is actually is a difficult question to ask. If you do not fund the program then it will take a long time to develop any energy source, but funding the program does not guarantee that it will be developed in the time it is believed it will be developed either.

4. What type of pollution (or waste) will be emitted (or produced) from the energy source, and can anything be done to control the emissions (or dispose of the waste safely)?

Just because an energy source emits pollution dose not mean that we should not use it. The main thing to consider is can we control the emissions (or dispose of the waste safely) or not.

5. How much will it cost to make the switch?

While I believe this is to be considered, I also believe this to be the least important. The reason I say this is because the cost will always be great when you first begin to make the change. If you wait until the cost comes down, you may find that you don’t have enough time to make the switch. Letting a market decide what the future energy source is going to be is an irresponsible way of not dealing with the problem. We currently have a limited amount of resources for energy, for which one, Oil, it may not be known how much we have left. We are also currently subsidizing most if not all energy sources in a frenzy to find a new energy source. A better way of doing this would be to only subsidize certain types of energy sources like ones that are renewable, can sustain a certain amount of energy production, how much pollution (or waste) is produced, if the waste is manageable or recyclable, and how much time is believed to be needed to develop the energy source. Spreading the funding to all energy sources only dilutes the funding for the ones that are achievable.

Mr. Gold

I was surfing the net today and I stumbled across this information that you might be interested in:


It is the second article down titled “Thoughts from Shell” The date is August 30, 2006

The president of Shell Oil made a speech on August 25, 2006, at the city club of Cleveland where they usually make a pod cast of. Well, I was interested in hearing the speech for myself so I started looking for the recording. I do not believe that they are going to allow the speech to be heard on pod cast because it is not in the pod cast section. I could be mistaken though and would appreciate it if you maybe look into this if you have time. From what I can gather from the news article it may have some interest to both of us.

Samuel Davis
Mr. Gold,

I have been periodically checking the City Club of Cleveland web site to see if they have posted the pod cast of the President of Shell Oil Company, John Hofmeister’s speech and they did.

The website is located at: http://www.cityclub.org/content/podcasts/index/Podcasts.aspx
It should be the first pod cast on top, titled August 25, 2006 featuring John Hofmeister, President, Shell Oil Company, US Energy Security.

It seems the reason they delayed getting it out is because of technical difficulties, the recording is choppy. The speech itself last about 30 minutes and a question and answer session follows after, which last around 30 minutes as well. It doesn’t really address anything new really but I think it is worth listening to.

Two things that he touched on that I would like to touch on:

First: From what Mr. Hofmeister said, between 2000/2001 and this year, an oil surplus of 8 to 10 million barrels (a day I believe) of oil has “disappeared”. The main cause of this is that both China and India has increased their demand for oil. This pod cast is one more piece of evidence that Peak Oil has occurred. I have read a news article about a week or two ago that our military is starting to convert coal into jet fuel. When I saw this article it showed me that Peak Oil has occurred and that we were in Iraq for their oil. Why would we need to convert coal if we had a reliable source? This also explains why the president did not release the national oil reserves last year either. If he did this, especially during a war, and if he could not replace any of it then the military would have a severe handicap.

Second: In the question and answer part of the pod cast he explains that his company has the rights to extract the shale oil in the Alberta Mountains. He explains how his company would extract it out of the rock. Basically what they would do is dig wells in the mountains, place electric powered heaters in the wells, heating the oil so it will separate from the rock so it can be extracted. The heaters would have to be on continuously for 3 years at least. I have gained a limited understanding of what one of the issues that needs to be looked at when considering an energy source, how much energy is going to be used when extracting the energy resource vs. how much energy will supplied by the energy resource. Mr. Hofmeister addressed the cost issue of extracting the shale oil but has not said anything about the energy output to extract the oil. I heard a report on NPR about shale oil and an expert called in and said that there is more energy in a box of cornflakes than in shale oil. He did not get into great detail about why but I believe he was talking about the energy expended to extract it is tremendous.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Samuel Davis

Thanks, the information on shale oil is very interesting. I am dubious as well but there is a lot of money going into it. It is very environmentally harmful, both in the extraction and burning.

Leo Gold
Sep 25 | Registered CommenterLEO GOLD
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