cars, trucks, and automobiles (and dominionism)Let's get away from my "feelings" and take a non partisan look the future, and energy. Where is the REAL discussion on energy in this election season? Oh, it's there, if you rummage to the bottom of CNNs editorials, or spend awhile googling, but why isn't being covered by the television journalists rather than gallup polls, identity politics, and gossip news? I have large interests in some of the key issues right now -- the energy issue is probably the most important crossroads our country has ever come across in an election, and where is the information? and when i say "energy issue" I don't mean "gas prices"; I think 80% of Americans think they are the same thing. I could care less about gas prices-- in fact, jack them up higher, it will only do us good. But what about that stuff gasoline is made from...oil? and what happens when it's gone? and how do we pay to drive when it's going? You can hear plenty on CNN and FOXnews about drilling ("55% of americans are now in favor, etc..." "John McCain says that we will see results in two years" "Barack Obama does NOT support offshore drilling! What do you think?") But it's not the news' job to tell us what we're thinking, the news is supposed to HELP us think. So what about the rest?? Where do we drill? How much will it produce? How fast? Are you getting these facts from oil company CEOs? What does a scientist say? What does an economist say? How much oil do we NEED to drill to lower costs? Do we have that oil? How long will it last us? What happens to us after we start drilling? But all of that is second to... why would we even WANT to drill more oil?
Lets look at THOSE questions.
The fact of the matter is that the American style of living has to change, either stop using oil, or invent something else in its place. Our infrastructure doesn't fit into the space made for us by the rest of the world, you can't hammer a square block into a circular hole very far before it breaks -- it was sustainable for a short period of time, and it was nice. You could buy a big car, you could live in a suburb or, hell, even out in the rural area in a big house, and you could drive every day 30, 40 minutes to work, and your kids could all drive to school, and you could drive 10 miles to your favorite supermarket, and it could all balance out. We've taken ideas of comfort and turned them into what we think it means to be "American". Unfortunately it DOESN'T balance out -- people think that "energy issues" are about getting gas prices back down to maintain that balance again, but no matter WHAT, that model has to go. People are saying "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!", but what will that do??
According to the CIA world factbook, we have 1.6% of the world's oil reserves, and we use 25.9% of the world's oil.
Explain to me how we are going to drill our way out of this hole?
It seems to me like we have two options.
1. Drill (McCain stance)
2. Alternate Energy (Obama)
I mean, we CAN drill, because here's the argument: " We should keep more of our dollars here in the U.S., lessen our foreign dependency, increase our domestic supplies, and reduce our trade deficit ", but I can't understand why this is the REPUBLICAN stance, because this is what it means -- we turn the United States into San Francisco or New York City. We all move into apartments, ride our bikes around town and take the commuter train to work. Preserve oil, reduce plastic manufacturing, recycle your garbage or carry around a refillable nalgene bottle. So, lets raise gas prices, like I said, I think every city should be built like that, because that's the REALITY of what it takes to prolong our oil use. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be what would happen, would it?
So why is it on the Republican ticket?? Because it's good for business, in the right now. Lets say you are John McCain on the Republican ticket, and you are running for the incumbent party, and George Bush has built its administration on oil policies, and oil companies are more successful at the moment than ever in history. So now you've been given 49 million dollars to your campaign by the big oil companies. I have no doubt that they plan on competing in the new energy market, whenever that appears, because they didn't get rich by being stupid. But, if they can buy policy that allows them to sell more oil, right now the most profitable substance on the earth, that's what they'll do. It has nothing to do with the fact that oil is GOING to run out, and it's getting there, and it's hurting our country to continue its use; they want you to use it because it will make them money. You want to use it because they tell you that you don't have to get rid of that Ford F150 and big white house with a picket fence.
"My friends, we have to drill off shore. We have to do it. It’s out there and we can do it. And we can do that. The oil executives say within a couple of years we could be seeing results from it. So why not do it?"
Why not do it indeed? If we open up drilling, it will be 2030 before what it yields starts affecting price, and if oil prices are rising a dollar a gallon per year (at least) right NOW, how high do you think they'll be by 2030? I'm guessing they'll rise by a lot more than our drilling will be able to offset, especially considering that the 3 billion people in India and China are starting to drive cars now, too. And even if the drilling we open up DOUBLES our oil production, hell, TRIPLES it, QUADROUPLES IT, we'll only be producing a tiny fraction (tinier by then) of what we consume.
Not to mention, when things start getting increasingly expensive, you're not going to give up your F150 and white picket fence house, you're going to lose them.
Option number two? Alternate energy. And saying "Invest in cheap, clean nuclear energy!" doesn't count because there's a secret you're not being told... your car doesn't run on nuclear energy, it runs on gasoline.
What scares people, but what HAS to be done, is huge government plan to get us energy independent, along the scales of what JFK proposed in taking us to the moon, and it WILL be that big of a project, if not larger. Since our infrastructure is built around oil, there is no other way to produce a turn around except on a federal level at the moment. Hey, here's an actual plan...
# Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump
# Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
# Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
# Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
# Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
# Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
In other words, use technology that's being developed (and could have been developed 30 years ago) to make the ammount of oil we use equal to what we can produce, rather than trying the impossible policy of trying to make the oil we produce equal to what we use. Not to mention it's possible to produce these cars and technologies to cut our consumption before the yields of drilling are ever felt. If Detroit is making the most efficient hybrids and ethanol cars in the world, and the ethanol is being produced in Wyoming, those jobs aren't going over seas. Why on earth do we want to "lessen" the ammount of oil we're importing to use in Japanese and European cars, rather than eliminating both of those outsources of wealth?
Oh, and also, there's another small problem with the McCain energy policy -- if we try to continue our use of oil, it's going to be a lot harder to drill in Alaska when it's under water.