"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

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.

5 comments:

ENSBB said...

I'm not sure I could hear the full extent of your desire to drill over the roar of the V8 pickup I bought myself 5 months ago... my very, very very comfortable V8 which I love... and it loves me.

Meghan said...

You should care about animals. They live on the planet too, I'm pretty sure that no human has the deed to the earth.


I'm just sayin'

Cincinnatus said...

I do care about animals, to the extent that they're also God's creations and thus should not be destroyed or exploited simply out of malice or cruelty. But animals are also not humans, and if there is a human good which may require some inconvenience to animals, then I think that only life form created in the divine image - us - comes first. Like the human good of not starving, for instance, which I and you and billions of others celebrate every day by eating our animal friends. And wearing animals shoes and clothes. If there is a human good that CAN be fulfilled without unnecessarily disturbing the animal world, then I would choose that course. But if doing something that could bring a great benefit to a large number of people is restricted only because, say, it might make the nesting place of the Richtoven's Mottled Grommet somewhat less amorous, then I'm sorry, those created in the image and likeness of the Almighty first. I would rather provide more oil to reduce prices for humans, improve their economy and protect their national security than worry about displacing a few caribou, who don't vote, don't pay taxes, and don't give a rat's ass about national security because they're not endowed with the faculties of their Creator (i.e. they're dumb animals. And incidentally, drilling ANWR would have such a small footprint the caribou wouldn't even notice or care. So they win too). And this doesn't apply only to oil drilling. For instance, I find it absolutely ludicrous that, only a few days in California, a court ruled that the state could no longer draw water from a confluence of several rivers that irrigates hundreds of thousands of people because some local water fowl has a penchant for getting stuck in the water pumps. We're in a drought, and thousands of taxpayers just had their water supply restricted because some duck can't swim very well. There's caring about animals, and then there's common frickin' sense.

I'm just sayin'.

Meghan said...

you lost me with your basic premise that humans are more important than animals.

Cincinnatus said...

If we disagree on the fundamental premise that there's a vast moral difference between humans and animals, then yes, there's nowhere we can go on this debate and in fact we should be having a different discussion entirely. But I suspect you do recognize that there's no moral equivalance between man and animal, and that humans have inherently more moral and spiritual worth, because I'm willing to bet that if, say, terrorists threatened to kill one of your friends or a moose, you'd pick the moose. At least I hope you would. It'd probably be harder to enjoy Wii Skiing with a moose. They have no opposable thumbs to hold the controls and they probably poop a lot.