• Apr 29, 2010
There were obvious eco-preservation overtones in the movie Avatar, but we didn't know James "King of the World" Cameron was such a fervent defender of the planet. With Pandora safe from mineral exploitation, Cameron is leading a charge here on Earth against what he considers a disinformation campaign perpetuated by the oil and coal lobbies. If you've seen a TV spot that includes the words "clean energy" but is signed off by either a coal or oil company, you know who he's talking about. Cameron is appearing on a CNN International special called "The Special Debate for Earth's Frontiers: The Future of Energy." The debate also features Mohamed Nahseed, the president of the Maldives, and Changhua Wu, the Greater China Director of the Climate Group.

One of Cameron's key arguments is that the U.S. needs to put a fair price on carbon:
Nothing is going to change until we properly price carbon. Right now gas is $3 a gallon at the pump. In my perspective, gas is $15 or $20 a gallon if you fully burden it with the cost of all of these big military actions, the overall consequences to the economy and the long term costs of climate change.
$20 a gallon? Wow. We all believe gas prices will have to be higher if the American public is ever to embrace smaller cars, and $20 would definitely do it, but heck, even Bob Lutz thinks they only need to go to $4 to change American buying habits. We're really interested in hearing what else Cameron has to say. If you want to check out the show, it airs on CNN International tonight. Check local listings.

[Source: Treehugger | Image: bernov69 – C.C. 2.0]


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  • 53 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hate to repeat myself, but um... who doesn't use oil?

      Why add a tax ONLY on fuel? Oil is used in hundreds of non-fuel applications. Not just that but if you have something delivered, buy something new, if you fly, if you take the bus... all these things use fuel... which are made of oil.

      Everyone uses oil, everyone pays taxes, so to be perfectly honest if we're at war for oil then we're all already paying for oil.

      However, I don't buy into the conspiracy theory that the military fights wars for oil. Here's the top 15 countries that export oil to the United-States, and their exports in thousands of barrels a day.

      CANADA 2,490
      MEXICO 1,134
      VENEZUELA 1,009
      NIGERIA 932
      SAUDI ARABIA 898
      IRAQ 540
      ALGERIA 461
      RUSSIA 423
      UNITED KINGDOM 413
      COLOMBIA 386
      ANGOLA 326
      KUWAIT 228
      BRAZIL 226
      VIRGIN ISLANDS 187
      ECUADOR 152

      Apart from Iraq, and maybe Kuwait, I'm not following the logic of a war for oil here.

      Besides, think about it, if this was all about money it would be cheaper and simpler to simply raise the price of oil than send in soldiers to go reclaim it. You think the oil giants want us to be spending money on taxes to pay for a war rather than on buying their oil? If they can't sell oil out of Iraq, they just don't give a damn. They'll pass on the costs to the consumer without even batting an eye. Doesn't cost them a dime.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are missing a major point. We only had a 2% slow down in oil production which caused the massive price shocks and gas lines in the early 70's in this country. At that time, the US only imported about 25% of our oil in TOTAL. Yet look at what OPEC did to our economy.

        They are not spending all that money fighting wars and protecting oil supplies because the middle east supplies ALL of our oil...but they supply ENOUGH that we are totally dependent on them to keep something like that from happening again.

        Also, Mexico is winding down and they will be a net oil importer in about 5 years. So look at the top of that list and realize that the total % that comes from the middle east will start to grow quite rapidly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sorry to disagree with you boys. If we did not send our military in every time our oil supply was threatened, you can bet we would be paying 10 - 20 dollars per gallon. Military, subsidies, clean up, pollution, deq, refinery subsidies, land lease subsidies, regulations that are not enforced, (much like the banks) mass lobbying dollars. 700 billion up in smoke each year in a deficit. Economical losses when oil becomes to high and sends our economy down. Oh yes 10 dollars minimum, probably 20 per gallon is right. 25 years from now when we are finally getting off oil, the real story will come out but right now the, just create doubt oil corps can keep a cork on all their under handed crap they pull to keep you all addicted. The just create doubt campaign will cost us dearly in GW flooding.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah.. but wouldn't it just be cheaper to use alternative fuels that are $1-$3/gallon more expensive ( ultimately ) than foreign oil?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The market of oil controls the price of it's alternatives. Macroeconomics.

        If the price of foreign oil were to be $10/gal then domestic oil will match... then alternative fuels might become primary... but only be slightly cheaper than oil based fuel... because consumers will have no other choice.

        Since our economy depends so heavily on oil, enter subsidies to keep the price down.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good luck promoting $20 a gallon gas. It seems he believes every penny of military spending should be counted into the cost of oil. It's easy to say just raise the gas tax and everything will be fine but what about the economic cost? Are people prepared to pay 10%-20% more for everything that moves by truck? We (as a country) need to promote alternative forms of energy, but we also need to realize that oil, and oil products are going to be with us for many years to come. I would rather not weaken our already weak economy any more if at all possible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So Cameron makes a movie, which i thought was awesome, about humans raping a planet for its resources and now he's an expert on both mineral development and climate change?.

      What a douche. If he seriously thinks that the right thing to do is destroy the worlds economic and technological growth by over taxing the input costs of energy, he's more of a threat than a nation of terrorists.
        • 4 Years Ago
        He is saying that the world's economic and technological growth is *already* suffering from $15-20 gas, but that you only pay $3 of that at the pump. The rest of the cost is hidden.

        He is *not* saying that we should pay more for gas. If you think otherwise, show me the quote where he is saying that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why are we singling out just oil for adding in these protection costs. How about everything that comes across the sea. We cover the a**es of the entire EU also. They spend no money on defense. So lets not just pick on oil for this additional cost everyone seems to want.

      But first we must delve into why we pay any attention at all to the usual left wing Marxist economics of a Hollywood illiterate.

      That part is an even bigger problem.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If we didn't buy Saudi oil then the terrorists wouldn't be funded. Plus they mostly hate us because we barge our way in and corrupt their governments, steal their resources, and try to impose our values on them. If we didn't do this, they wouldn't hate us and we could save those trillions of dollars and not go to war in the first place. Everyone could drive an electric car charged with the electricity not needed to refine oil anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago
        *eyeroll*

        Yeah. The rest of NATO doesn't have a standing armed forces. Especially the UK, France and Germany. They're all powerless to defend themselves against nasty developing countries comprised mostly of sand dunes. And America defends the whole world from a sparse collection of poorly armed religious fanatics out of the goodness of their own heart, I'm sure.
        • 4 Years Ago
        we save our own asses
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cameron is ignorant at best. Surely we know that you can't honestly believe in this day and age that Oil and Coal is clean energy even if you completely ignore the Green House Gases. $20 a gallon is absurd it wouldn't take more than $4 or $5 a gallon to make a difference.

      I believe the Global Warming/Cooling Manmade climate change movement has peaked. Organizations like NASA can prove the Climate has changed since it's inception but it can't prove that it is manmade in anyway. Saying that the average temperature rose 1 degree and blaming mankind for that change is absurd and only an ignorant fool would believe that, without looking into where the average temperature came about from. Which the records will show that you cannot link climate change with human behavior there is no link between the two.

      The Tea Party is a movement against infringement on individual rights and freedoms and unlike the Great Secession which led to the Civil war it's a movement that is not dependent on one particular part of the country or group of people or even on violence. Violence is not a productive tool in the US especially since 9/11 and the "Patriot Act."

      You think enacting a Gasoline tax is going to do anything productive? Guess again, if Diesel fuels become popular demand will spike and that puts a strain on businesses that require the fuel to keep costs down. Many of these things that are touted as environmentally friendly or even as far as responsible have done nothing but overstep the bounds that the Federal Government is given. The US Federal Government was founded to help defend the country and function as a banner for the states to manage interstate commerce, foreign affairs which the states are banned from doing, and defend the country from foreign and domestic aggressors. Politicians hate limitations but the only way to limit corruption is checks and balances. The number of brilliant leaders is very few the majority are going to be well educated idiots if you will pardon the rude language. And no, good public speaking doesn't matter except to smooth over minor imperfections.

      Another option is this, statewide smog laws are legal and they work if only paying for themselves. Many of the hotrodders and car modders hate them because they are very restrictive but the right to drive freely isn't in the bill of rights. None of this CARB stuff, just mandating that emissions meet a strict requirements and ignore EPA MPG numbers they're junk anyway, less emission is easier with a more efficient car to begin with, there's no reason to have excessive numbers of programs. If they want to drive different cars, require that they make them smog legal and restrict Petroleum cars like crazy where having an alternative fueled car is not only an option but the only way to have a vehicle that is road legal and isn't underpowered.

      Colorado is seeing E85 acceptance because not only does it have the infrastructure but the emissions laws are lenient enough to allow cars to be converted to E85 and still be smog legal. In some states it's legal to run without emissions systems albeit requires ignoring Federal Law but in some States the only way to run a modified car is on E85 because the vehicle burns very clean with or without emission systems and most of the total Emissions are at the plant/farm. It was once estimated that Corn Ethanol emits 20%-40% of the total emissions that Gasoline does at the tailpipe and that the other half that adds up the the 80% total is from Corn Ethanol Production. In other words, Corn Ethanol Emits 80% of the pollution that Gasoline does but half of that is at the tailpipe and the other half is between the factory and farm. I'm not saying whether it's a bad thing because it should be reckoned and discuessed but it should be noted that it is better overall not just on minor things like it doesn't give you as much Cancer like the media would have you believe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Avatar 2:

      Native Alaskans rise up against giant oil conglomerate over the mining of oileum which sells for $5.29 a kilo liter and pays for a bunch of trigger happy soldiers of fortune. Instead of riding hexapod horses and flying dragons, the natives uses elks & man made gliders.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So it won't be Pocahantas in Space, part 2
      • 4 Years Ago
      I try not to believe anything any celebrity (of TV/music/movie fame anyway) has to say about anything important. Those guys are usually misinformed at best, and far too emotional to make any reasonable claim. They can debate until they're blue in the face, I'll be watching Life on Discovery Channel... it's sooooooo gooood.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why don't they have the right to have an opinion and voice it? What makes you any better?

        Besides, at least the guy is spending his money on educating and making people aware....it's free education for most people....just like yourself. Learn something for a change.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No need for personal attacks, Ben. I don't think being a celebrity makes you wrong all the time, but it certainly does keep me from taking anything you say seriously. Also, you don't have to be a celebrity to be totally ignored. Bye.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pray tell what reliable sources are those?

        Any reliable source that claims we have a global environmental crisis suddenly becomes unreliable to many here....so what exactly are you looking for?

        NASA has hoards of data about global climate change and environmental changes yet some people here don't even believe that.

        I'd rather err on the side of due diligence and caution rather than continue what we are doing until "we prove" (whatever the fk that means) that we are doing harm.

        I'm not sure what else we need to show people to demonstrate we're screwing up this planet. Basically to me it comes down to who can comprehend and who cannot. It's got nothing to with facts anymore...those are already out. Now it's a matter of who can come to terms with what they are doing and are they willing to change.

        Clearly some here think it's a joke to change....I can only hope misery comes to them sooner than the rest of us.
        • 4 Years Ago
        NASA is a good source, but I am partial to military studies, industry studies, and generally speaking well received peer reviewed documents. That is, I take the advice of scientists and researchers, not bloggers and movie makers. I also enjoy the opinions of news outlets such as ABG, BBC, and (believe it or not) my local news station. The local news may suprise some people, but I feel like they have less political influence compared to major network news, therefore have more freedom to report as reporters, not pundints.

        When the US Army says we'll be in a oil crunch in 2015, I generally believe them. When NASA says our atmospheric temperature has risen an average of 1 degree over ten years, I believe that too. The weather channel gives great coverage of temperature record highs and lows, the Discovery channel covers the ice caps to a fault, and anyone can see that wars around the world are being caught over oil.

        The thing I'm against is politically or emotionally motivated people spouting off misinformation or skewed/slanted/stretched information and having no data present at the time of their statement. Getting people riled up isn't helpful. Information and SOLUTIONS are. We need fewer complainers and more thinkers working on our problems. I choose to fight for the thinker team. Who's team are you on?
        • 4 Years Ago
        They certainly have the right to their opinion. I may not agree with it or support it, but they can have their delusional opinion and spread it any way they please (so long as it does not infringe the rights of others). The flip side is, I have the right to voice my opinion as well, and my opinion is that their opinion is just that, an opinion. Since it is just an opinion, not supported by research or hard data of any kind, I choose to ignore it. I prefer to "learn something" from reliable sources of information, not some overzealous producer.

        "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Voltaire
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's probably true in general, but if you think that means that if a celebrity says it then it's wrong I believe that would make you an idiot.

        Glock23: you're confusing wishful thinking with fact. Would you care to discuss fact? Of course we all _want_ free energy, and the less money we have, the more we want it. That doesn't mean that it exists. What do _you_ think is the cost of oil? What do _you_ think it will cost to clean up the mess--the wars, the economic recessions brought about by price fluctuations, the toxins and carcinogens, the greenhouse gases, the 40000 people killed by cars (not to mention the million who are seriously injured and those hurt by the secondary effects) in the USA alone every year, etc...? Show us data that support your analysis. Thanks :)

        Wishful thinking isn't an argument.

        As for the agenda of the rich: I personally find it rather refreshing when the rich want to make sure that everyone has clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, rather than just securing their power and taking ever more money from the poor so that they can insulate themselves from the deteriorating world.

        But I agree that that's so rare that it's pretty hard to recognise.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are right on target. These celebrities are the biggest hypocrites on the face of the planet.

        They have their millions, mega mansions, private jets, fleets of cars and yet want to tell you and I how "green" we should be by demanding high fuel taxes and force changes to support their agenda. They already have their riches and they wouldn't think twice about $5-$10/gallon fuel. Meanwhile, the poor guy just trying to make a living has a fuel bill higher than his monthly car payment.

        Whenever I hear these people spouting off is when I no longer watch/support their films.


      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree, but there is no harmless way to harness energy. Hydro power kills fish by warming the water and it destroys entire landscapes, chasing more animals out of habitat. Wind power requires huge windmills that are essentially bird mincers. Solar power means covering miles of land with solar captors.

      Yes, gasoline should be taxed more, but so should electricity. I think we could change our home energy habits at 2-3$ a kw/H.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Won't hurt my wallet, I would just laugh while I am plugging in my car.

      Funny how that Deep Horizon well blew up. First there was no oil leaking from it. Then 42k gallons per day, now 5000 barrels per day. Who pays for the clean up? Who pays the Coast Gard. BP will pay in about 25 years after years of appeals and every one who lost their income from the damage is dead and the fines are reduced. Yes the true cost of oil should be paid at the pumps instead of on April 15th.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Won't hurt my wallet, I would just laugh while I am plugging in my car."

        Just consider how much it would cost you to have your Yaris trucked back to NC the next time it breaks down...

        Is your transmission still leaking, or have you gotten it replaced?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Won't hurt my wallet, I would just laugh while I am plugging in my car

        Going to plug in your combine too? At $20 a gallon t would cost $2067 to fill it.

        That means it will cost more to fill the combine than the what you will get for the crop you harvest with tank load

        Which means the farmers will let it rot in the field

        The bright side is you will get better millage in your EV ... because you will weight a lot less
        • 4 Years Ago
        My point is, even though I don't own a car or have to worry about whether I can afford to drive to work, is that I understand how important the cost of fuel is in the overall scheme of things.

        As floorman56 points out, there are a great many reasons why I personally want to keep the cost of petroleum as low as possible. The cost of producing food, as well as shipping any number of material goods.

        Hey, I do my part. I just got my brand-new Samsung Reclaim - made from bio-plastic!

        http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/mobile/mobile-phones/all-phones/SPH-M560BLABMC/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Corn subsidies sure put the Mexican corn farmers out of business."


        I 100% agree with you! Corn subsides are bad - for everyone!

        However, I like the idea of plastics made from non-petroleum, renewable sources.

        Death to big-oil!

        End big-corn subsidies now!


        (LOL)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lets... How dare you? Well I never... Don't make me go all Dan F on your ass. LOL!

        "Is your transmission still leaking, or have you gotten it replaced?"

        Ahh, well, ahh... I was told the gearbox... It is a gearbox technically and not a transmission as it never actually shifts, though it does leak transmission fluid. I was told the gearbox was replaced last time it was shipped to other side of the states. But ahh, yes it still leaves drops in my garage. It no longer leaves pools on my garage floor so it is a improvement. I don't think I will be shipping it back, over two months is to long to wait. It will require me to add trans fluid approx every 2500 to 3000 miles at this point. I look forward to it being out of warranty and will just throw money at it and provide some local shops with income or attempt to work on it my self it myself.

        It is a oxymoron, having a EV that leaks oil. Mine leaks but the other two T-1200 gearboxes on the other Yarises that were built by Li-ion Motors do not. Just my luck.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lets... Samsung Reclaim, made out of corn? Is their anything corn can't do? Corn subsidies sure put the Mexican corn farmers out of business.

        floorman56, since I need to go on a diet and need more exercise anyway, yes, I would eat less and use a sigh to harvest the wheat and corn. That's how they did it long ago. Perhaps you pick it would work? You harvest it? Don't need any girly man combine. We could open up our boarders and get some labor in here to harvest. I watched a interview with Ex President Bill Clinton and he says we need more immigrants in this country for our economy to grow.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am with you there! The price of the sunshine on my solar panels won't change a bit! It will make tires a lot more expensive, although I'm pretty sure they can be made from vegetable matter instead of oil.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just hope he doesn't over do it. Yeah, we need to change our ways a bit. But does he want to live like the natives in Avatar? How's he gonna make movies?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The key is how fast the price changes. Even $20 a gallon is feasible if it goes up gradually, over maybe twenty years or so. If it suddenly went to $20 tomorrow, it would be economic armageddon.
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