Obama’s Energy Solution


“There are things that you can do individually though to save energy; making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much.”

Thanks Obama!! Finally we have someone who understands our energy problem.  With his brains and the rest of the brilliant Democratic party backing him, how can we lose?

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31 Responses to “Obama’s Energy Solution”

  1. Jonathan Says:


    The fact that you and Jeff relish portraying Obama and Democrats as idiots doesn’t do much to boost your credibility in my view. Nor that you would portray that quote as being a complete summary of Obama’s energy policy. If you care to be informed, a thorough description of his energy policy can be found here: link

    Even so, I wonder what you think is so ridiculous about Obama’s statement. Perhaps you find it laughable because convincing everyone to diligently keep their tires properly inflated is not practical. Fair enough, but I doubt that’s what Obama was intending to communicate anyway. I figure he was making the point that conservation and improved efficiency will inevitably be part of the energy solution, as will technology advances and development of other energy sources. As a statement of fact, Obama’s probably doesn’t hold up exactly…a careful examination indicates proper tire inflation would probably only account for 2/3 of offshore drilling (link), but I’d hardly say that’s a laughable comparison (link) and would also point out that Republican governors of both California and Florida recently “…appealed to those with the real power to make change — average citizens — to drive slower, keep engines tuned and tires properly inflated, to buy hybrids and lower overall consumption.” (link). How brilliant.

  2. AvaP. Says:

    YIKES! Now that takes some thinkin’!

  3. Angry D. Says:

    Obi Wan Kenobi once asked, “Who is more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?”

    Riddle me this, fatman: If Obama, as we have seen, has the brains of a canary in a methane atmosphere, but 90% of the MSM and 50% of the American people are willing to follow him into hell…

    …isn’t that a great argument for school vouchers?

    Angry D.

  4. AvaP. Says:

    Angry D, UG..don’t get me started on school vouchers! Does anyone know if that has even come up yet in this campaign? I don’t remember which way either one swings (voucher wise I mean…).

  5. Roland Says:

    AvaP, yes, it has.

    McCain: “Some parents may opt for a better public school or a charter school: others for a private school. No entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity.”

    Obama: “.. tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice.”

  6. AvaP. Says:

    Thanks for the info. The quotes alone speak volumes!

  7. Jonathan Says:


    I have a comment above from August 1 that is still “awaiting moderation”

  8. Roland Says:

    Jonathan, that is because it IS a stupid thing to say. Plus, it is an out right lie. There is so much untapped oil in our country it’s not even funny. We could bring gas prices down to under a $1.00 if we would tap into our own oil, build some nuclear power plants and ease up on many of the restrictions.

    Jonathan, I’ll be watching to see you come to the defense of Bush when everyone and his brother call him a moron and a dumbass. I’ll be watching when you condemn the comics on late night TV when they call him stupid.

  9. Jonathan Says:

    What’s a lie? That you enjoy portraying Democrats as idiots? I get that strong impression, but maybe I’m wrong. I agree that is also wrong to portray Bush as a dumbass. I believe his intellect is not sufficient for success in his job, but that is still far from saying he’s an idiot. I suspect he is of average to above intelligence, as so many of us are. If that part of my comment offends you, feel free to cut it out. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure you’ve been darn critical of ME quashing voices like yours that he disagrees with. Are you doing a little of the same?

    What about the rest of my comment? Doesn’t that merit discussion here? A link to a accounting of what could be saved with proper tire pressure vs what is in offshore reserves. A link to the Republican governors of California and Florida recently saying the same thing about tire pressure.

  10. Roland Says:

    What am I quashing out? I didn’t know your comment was up for moderation. I don’t moderate my comments before they are posted. I think, because you had links in yours, it flagged it for potential spam. Unlike Elrod, I allow comments that are contrary to mine and that point out my errors. Elrod never did that.

    Hey, I don’t deny that better tuned up cars get better gas milage. That’s fact but it will in no way solve our shortage and it sure as heck won’t save us as much as we would gain from drilling. THAT is an out right lie.

  11. Jonathan Says:


    I think I was confused…you were saying that Obama’s statement was stupid and a lie…but I got mixed up and thought that you were saying that my statement was stupid and a lie and therefore you wouldn’t publish my comment. Now I see that you did publish it and that I was confused.

    Anyway, have you read the articles I linked above in my first comment? Your response was that we could [easily] get gas prices below $1 if we wanted to…but that’s beside the point in the analysis of tire inflation statement. The tire inflation argument compares how much energy could be saved by proper tire inflation to how much is available offshore…the price of the energy is not relevant to that comparison.

  12. Jonathan Says:

    Yep, I got confused. I thought you were saying you wouldn’t publish my comment because it was a lie.

    I now I understand the target of your lie charge.

    However, you haven’t established the basis of that charge. Please point out for me the flaws in the analysis published here: link. It argues that 800,000 barrels a day could be saved in vehicles but 1,250,000 barrels per day could come from drilling offshore. So, yes, 800,000 is less than 1,250,000…but they are still of the same order of magnitude…and both just rough estimates…so hardly what I’d call an outright lie.

  13. Kristi Says:

    800,000 and 1,250,000 are not of the same order of magnitude. At least, not as far as any math I’ve ever worked with. I’ve only taken up through cal 2, but I’ve got a chemistry degree and I’m fairly sure those two numbers are not of the same order of magnitude.

  14. Dude Says:

    lol Kristi. Good point.

  15. Jonathan Says:


    Those two numbers are of the same order of magnitude. Rounded to the nearest power of ten, 800,000=10^6 and 1,250,000=10^6.

    From Wikipedia (link):

    Orders of magnitude are generally used to make very approximate comparisons. If two numbers differ by one order of magnitude, one is about ten times larger than the other. If they differ by two orders of magnitude, they differ by a factor of about 100. Two numbers of the same order of magnitude have roughly the same scale: the larger value is less than ten times the smaller value…An order of magnitude estimate of a variable whose precise value is unknown is an estimate rounded to the nearest power of ten.

  16. Roland Says:

    Ok, Kristi, the gauntlet has been thrown down. 🙂

  17. kristisweeney Says:

    Find a different source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and therefore proves nothing to me. For all I know, you made that entry yourself. Besides, I don’t know a researcher in the world that would call the basically the same number, which is what happens when you talk about orders of magnitude. However, if you can show me from a source other than Wikipedia, I will be more than happy to admit that I’m wrong.

  18. Jonathan Says:

    I posted a longwinded response to Kristi that hasn’t appeared yet (the spam filter again?). Anyway, here is another citation: link:

    Two quantities f and phi which are within about a factor of 10 of each other are then said to be “of the same order of magnitude,”…

    1,250,000 and 800,000 are within about a factor of 1.5. 1.5 is much less than 10. They are the same order of magnitude.

  19. Jonathan Says:

    Here is another link that aggregates several sources: link. My use of the term is consistent with these definitions.

  20. Jonathan Says:

    Wikipedia is inferior to primary sources. However, the fact that anyone can edit it is actually a strength. Spurious info can creep in, but there is also an extraordinary community of people who monitor the content, correct errors, and make a good effort to keep the info is balanced and even-handed. This is possible because a large and robust community is control instead of a small number of information gatekeepers. Fundamental misinformation on Wikipedia, particularly in an area like mathematics (where there is little room for debate), does not persist.

  21. Jonathan Says:

    It seems like it is the link I’m trying to cite comparing Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica may be what is keeping my comments from appearing. Is the Encyclopedia Britannica a sponsor of The Moratorium Site or something? 😉

    I’ll try again with a different link. Better to cite a more primary source anyway.

    A study by the scientific journal Nature a few years back showed that errors occur in Wikipedia at a rate that is only slightly higher than the Encyclopedia Britannica (link).

    The error rates were the same order of magnitude ;P

  22. Jonathan Says:

    Ah, that worked. Anyway, Wikipedia is not perfect (what source of similar breadth and accessibility is?), but it is certainly trustworthy enough to be useful for discussions like this.

    I know what an order of magnitude is. I have a PhD in chemical engineering and have worked in field of materials and polymer science for almost ten years now. But why would you believe me about that if you don’t trust me about something as basic as an order of magnitude?

    Take for example, this one: link. If two numbers differ by an order of magnitude (as the term is commonly used), they differ by a factor of approximately 10. a = 10 x b. 1,250,000 = 1.5625 x 800,000. 1.5625 is much less than 10. Therefore, the two numbers are of the same order of magnitude. This shouldn’t be controversial for anyone with a background in science, math, or quantitative analysis

  23. Jonathan Says:


    If you’re actually interested, feel free to google “orders of magnitude” and you’ll have a challenge to find a definition that is not consistent with calling two numbers that are a factor of 1.5 of each other “the same order of magnitude.”

    Why was it my responsibility to show you another source when you haven’t shown the first source to support your interpretation of “orders of magnitude”? As you can see, I try to make a habit of citing evidence for my statements. Obviously, this is a desirable habit to form if you’re actually interested in communicating and learning from each other.

  24. Jonathan Says:

    Regardless, I’m not arguing that 1,250,000 is “the same as” 800,000. That is not what is meant by them being the same order of magnitude. Based on the logic used in the article I cited that estimated those numbers, I assume that the amount of energy available off shore is the greater number (I have no data or analysis of my own that I can cite to show any different). However, to compare the two numbers fairly you have to know the uncertainty. If, for example and for the sake of argument, we only know each number a precision of 500,000, then we really can’t say they are different with much confidence. Taking the ratio of the two numbers to compare their orders of magnitude simply indicates that while one number may be larger than the other, it isn’t drastically so.

    To the approximation of an order of magnitude (power of 10), they are the same…which is why I hardly think the comparison is ludicrous or a lie.

  25. kristisweeney Says:

    Wow. That’s a lot of responses. You seem tightly wound. You were right. Calm down.

  26. Jonathan Says:

    Trust me…I’m calm…to a fault.

    I broke my response up into several pieces because my original longwinded response didn’t appear (luckily, I was able to retrieve it with the back button).

    I apologize for belaboring some of these points, put it seems like folks are misunderstanding what I was trying to say.

  27. kristisweeney Says:

    I understand what you meant; in fact, I believe we’re on the same side. I think I probably just noticed it because in my field of chemistry, we would never call numbers with differences like that the same order of magnitude. It’s probably the difference in formal definition and specific field vernacular.

  28. Jonathan Says:


    You could be right about the vernacular among your chemistry colleagues, but frankly I would be surprised to hear a scientist using the term in a different way. As a chemical engineer working for a major chemical company, I’ve worked with many other chemists, chemical engineers, materials scientists, etc., am very familiar with your specific field of chemistry (both as a student and employee), and have never heard another scientist use the term in any way other than what you called “the formal definition.” It’s not like it’s borderline even. A factor of 1.5x is not at all close to 10x. My hunch is that you wouldn’t use that term when comparing those numbers because you tend to think that “same order of magnitude” implies “no significant difference”…which it does not.

  29. kristisweeney Says:

    You don’t know what my specific field of chemistry is.

  30. kristisweeney Says:

    Actually, I quit. I’m letting you know that you were right and I that I don’t wish to have a stupid argument anymore. Roland, my sincere apologies for participating in the hijacking of your blog.

  31. Jonathan Says:

    I misunderstood…I thought you were referring to the specific field of chemistry (chemistry in general, as opposed to other sciences), not a specific sub-field of chemistry. Anyway I agree, we’ve beat this dead horse enough.

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