Thursday, June 12, 2008
I know I said I wouldn't post on vacation . . .
. . . but with the prospect of returning to California and filling the gas tank on my truck to the tune of a cool $100, this is truly sad. Now, perhaps some of you think this old conservative war-horse cares less about the environment and more about filling the coffers of Big Oil. Well, you'd be half-right. I do care less about the environment; but, on the flip side, it's because I care more about promoting the good of humans than caribou. I would love it if we could develop a completely renewable, earth-friendly energy source that could also drive the global economy - and my truck - as efficiently as oil. I honestly hope we continue working to that goal. That goal will not be achieved overnight, or in a week, month, year, or ten years, however. In the meantime, while we work on that noble goal, there are other, more immediate goals we should pursue in our own interest, like weaning ourselves off Middle Eastern (and Venezuelan) oil which only profits contemptible and dangerous regimes, keeping a vital commodity like gas cheap for the middle and lower working classes (I can afford a $100 tank at the cost of eating out less and buying generic diapers instead of the brand name for my son; in a lower income bracket, I could see that filling up to get to work might require much harder sacrifices), and keeping our economy strong by permitting a flow of goods around the country and overseas without undue added expense. These goals cannot be achieved wholesale by expanded drilling; but for the love of God, drilling will certainly help, and much more quickly than waiting for a car-sized cold fusion reactor to be invented. The technology has developed to the point where it's less invasive, requires a smaller footprint on the environment, and is more secure in the face of natural disaster (Katrina didn't just beat the hell out of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but savaged the legions of off-shore drilling platforms in the Gulf. Did we see huge oil spills and pictures of cute little birds coated with crude on the news? No.). The only things stopping us from acting on this are old, overblown fears of environmental catastrophe and the notion that it's not fair for oil companies to make so much money. Well guess what: someone's always going to make money off you, and when Greenpeace finally invents the cold fusion flux capacitor that runs off garbage, they'll be the ones raking in cash hand over fist and then Congress will start calling them Big Green with the same sneer now reserved for Big Oil. So how about we do ourselves a favor and start drilling; it'd be doing our economy, our working class, our national security policy, and yes, our own wallets, a great service until the garbage-powered Escalade hits the market.