Thursday, February 9, 2012

William Claiborne survived the Gunfight at the OK Corral

Every serious Star Trek fan knows this. And it was this reality that led to Kirk's recognition--in The Spectre of the Gun--that the fix was in, that history wasn't really a guide, that it (history) was being intentionally subverted to achieve a goal. One would think Robert Redford would know this as well--that Billy Claiborne survived the fight--given his background in Hollywood. But it doesn't seem that way.

Recently, I examined Redford's op-ed on the Keystone XL Pipeline and took issue with some of his faulty assumptions. Namely:
President Obama has just rejected a permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline -- a project that promised riches for the oil giants and an environmental disaster for the rest of us.
Big Oil had their Congressional boosters put the president to an election-year test by forcing him to decide the pipeline's fate within 60 days.
My problem with the first is that it is stating something as fact--the "environmental disaster"--that is no such thing. With the second, it's that the statement is an outright falsehood. The President had ample time to make a decision, but kept delaying it despite his claim that he was "focused like a laser" on job creation (which is something the project would certainly do: create jobs). This is all fully documented, as I noted in the above piece.

Now, Redford has revisited the issue, ostensibly to take issue with Joe Nocera's op-ed in the New York Times, but with the apparent intent to simultaneously rewrite history. In making his case against the pipeline--after claiming he wants to "focus on the facts"--Redford says:
Throughout his entire column, he gives not a whiff of mention to a clean energy future or economy or so much as a nod to the viability of any alternative form of energy. Even though it's a fact that clean energy investments can create four times as many jobs as similar investments in fossil fuel energy.
Pardon? On what planet and under what conditions? Has Mr. Redford been keeping up with current events, because "clean energy" just got its ass kicked. Twelve times. To the tune of $6.5 billion dollars of taxpayer money--along with a ton of private investment monies-- all down the proverbial drain.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm actually all for new energy sources, green or otherwise. And investing in them can be--can be--a good thing, if it's done by people who know how to assess potential and are willing to take the risk (yes, that means it something that has to be left largely to the market). But it's not automatic, and throwing money at something just because someone shouts "green" is no way to create real jobs, just empty, temporary ones that result in no productivity and disappear when the free money is gone.

But the point here is that we know from recent history that Mr. Redford's "fact" is no such thing, that--ala William Claiborne--his false history is being used in service to a different end.

Cheers, all.


  1. I am not entirely clear as to what the point is. Even if his assertion was fact, does it mean that private investment into the pipeline should be blocked? Insanity

  2. "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed."
    ( my old thermodynamics professor )

    One problem with a great many political statements is that they use an unfortunate term: "jobs". In present day political speak, a job is anything you get paid money to accomplish. Odd job, day job, blow job, etc. The "jobs created" by the current expenditures on green energy, well, you might as well have stood on top any tall building and thrown dead presidents to the wind.

    On the other hand, building a pipeline will involve, among other things, manufacturing pipe, transportation of the same, construction, and maintenance for starters. At the downhill side, there must needs be a refinery. Continuous "jobs", salaries supported by a revenue stream which needs no public support.

    Mr. Redford is a fine actor, but methinks he needs better writers at this time. EOL

  3. Damnations I ended up here looking for some info on Billy. This was a shock all the way around. Though I like Robert Redford as an actor I would ask when he became an expert on energy? Brian

  4. Robert Redford is an "activist" and therefore considers himself an expert on whatever cause he is involved in, I think. Thanks for the comments, Brian. Sorry about the shock...