A Different Mountain View
It is clear that brave, macho, cool and cunning
Jerry Eagan, author of "Who Walks with the Warriors?" (January),
empathizes and identifies with the Apaches. It was cool how he juxtaposed
Vietnam flashbacks of fierce firefights with Native American warriors
preparing to battle Mexican and American enemies.
Eagan's sense of being a kindred spirit, at one
with the Apaches, is not necessarily reciprocated. "'Go there! Take your time. See what
is there!' the Apaches seem to urge," Eagan writes. More likely,
the warriors would be shouting, "Get the hell out! Get off our
land. This land is ours, not yours!"
The author's white skin precludes him from being
kin or kindred. "What
do you mean, 'we,' paleface?" Had Mr. Eagan been hiking in the
Floridas in the 1870s or 1880s, his white skin would be spotted by
Apaches from high atop the mountains. Then, not even the most elaborate
breastwork could save him from being captured and tortured, or killed
outright. Cynical? Perhaps.
Paul Hoylen Jr.
Pique Over Peak Oil
Your article on "peak oil" (Running
on Empty? December
2005) appears little more than designed hyperbole to instill hysteria
among the masses. Has the Desert Exposure become
a parrot of the apocalyptic harbingers of doom and their mendacious balderdash?
It does appear the content of this article is based solely on the joint
babblings of William Joseph and John Fridinger and their myopic assertions
concerning natural petroleum. The ranting of this pair of fabulists constitutes
intellectual fraud and shameless audacity in their egregious attempts
to create the doomsday scenario to instill fear.
Natural petroleum is not a fossil fuel. Repeat
that: "Natural petroleum
is NOT a fossil fuel." Never has been and never will be. Wow! Can
this be true? Could it be possible that Joseph and Fridinger are fools,
promoting a shell game and leading the public down the primrose path
to destruction? How can that be, you say? Now, pay attention boys and
girls, and relinquish your belief in Chicken Little and Ducky Lucky.
Natural petroleum is a result of deep abiotic (non-organic) origin through
a process of extreme pressures and heat, forced to near surface or surface
by high pressures, much like that which forms diamonds. It has nothing
to do with biological detritus. You mean all these years of watching
TV commercials of the cute little green brachiosaurus morph into a pool
of oil and then to a gas pump and into the little car which carries little
Tommy to school are false? Well yes, we've been lied to for a long time. "Peak
Oil," "Global Warming" and "Sustainability" are
generated myths designed to rob Americans of Life, Liberty and Property.
The formation of natural petroleum from organic detritus near the earth's
surface is in direct violation of the second law of thermodynamics, which
dictates nothing heavier than methane can be formed at those low pressures
and temperatures found near the earth's surface. These facts are beyond
contestation and proven with thousands of prestigious peer-reviewed scientific
journals for at least two decades.
Other sources include: coal oil (original kerosene), another energy
source produced from coal which yields vast quantities of natural gas
and oil. The US alone has coal reserves of 3.2 trillion tons, sufficient
to supply the US for 1,000 years. Cost-effective extraction through low-temperature
carbonization produces a yield of one barrel of oil, 3,000 cubic feet
of rich fuel gas and 1,500 pounds of solid smokeless semi-coke from one
ton of coal. So, 3.2 trillion tons of coal would yield—well, you do
the math. Western oil shale deposits will yield 2.1 trillion barrels
of oil. Test facilities have been erected and technologies perfected
which will provide petroleum products well into the future. Anyway, natural
petroleum is not depleting and will remain the premier fuel source well
into the future. It could run out several thousand years from now, however,
I'm confident the misanthropic agenda of the doomsday environmentalist
will contrive a better method to destroy mankind long before oil collapse.
Editor's note: Is there a petroleum geologist
in the house? Failing that source of clarification, we turned to the American
Heritage Dictionary, which defines "fossil fuel": "A
hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived
from living matter of a previous geologic time and used for fuel." Although
petroleum IS a fossil fuel, it's true that cartoon notions of dinosaurs
dying to help fill our pumps are erroneous, according to the Encarta encyclopedia: "Petroleum
formed chiefly from ancient, microscopic plants and bacteria that lived
in the ocean and saltwater seas. When these microorganisms died and
settled to the seafloor, they mixed with sand and silt to form organic-rich
mud. As layers of sediment accumulated over this organic ooze, the
mud was gradually heated and slowly compressed into shale or mudstone,
chemically transforming the organic material into petroleum and natural
Chicken and Egg, Unscrambled
In Mr. Lightcap's December column, he declares
a lifelong dislike of philosophy. He attributes this in part to the "unanswerable" question, "Which
came first, the chicken or the egg?"
But Henry, there is an answer! You begin by discerning the question's
true nature. It's simply a four-part metaphor.
Step one: Kill the metaphor.
Literal question: Which comes first, experience or meaning?
Expanded question: Does definition derive from experience or meaning
and what role might circumstances play?
Step two: Answer expanded question.
Experience precedes meaning, if only in thought. One must at least abstractly
conceptualize a thing before meaning can be assigned and formal definition
made possible. Of course, circumstance influences the entire process
for the simple reason that humans exist in something less than a perfectly
controlled environment. In short, shit happens.
Step three: Refine answer.
Experience creates meaning.
Meaning creates definition.
Circumstance colors all.
Step four: Practical application.
Question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Answer: The one first experienced by the individual asking the question.
If both are experienced at the same time, both came into existence at
the same time. Of course, this brings forth an additional philosophic
premise: There are as many realities available as there are sentient
beings attempting observation.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go for a walk. I've been spending
far too much time indoors lately.
Randy L. Clark
Editor's note: Is there
an epistemologist in the house? (Perhaps on that walk reader Clark
will find an answer to "Why did the chicken
cross the road?")
Let us hear from you—even if your
letter does not send us running to the encyclopedia!
Exposure Letters, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
fax 534-4134. Letters are subject to editing for style and length.
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