Big Oil, Big Oops
Okay, so with all that has been going on with me I have not yet chimed in on this mess that BP has made in Gulf and seems hopeless to stop. I won’t spend time going on about the evils of BP or other big oil companies, they are taking a beating in every way and given the abject humiliation of their total failure to bring an end to their massive blunder, I almost feel bad for them and their investors as their stock seems to be in free-fall and the amount of reparations they are going to be on the hook for mounts ever higher.
Here is what I will say, this completely underscores what the gas pump and the tumultuous politics of the middle east have been screaming at American’s for some time now; We need off this oil thing, pronto. Also, with the politics, the environment, the dwindling supply and this current disaster I am going to pause and relish in saying on behalf of every intelligent person that has lived over the last 70 years “I told you so, idiots.”
Given that I feel it is much too late to stop the aggressive schedule of changes due to for our climate and atmosphere, the more pressing issue for me now is the politics. The middle easts only true source of power is oil and if the western world abandoned oil as a primary fuel source the power of the middle east is destroyed. It is the insane amount of oil revenue that enables them to remain isolated from and selective about their cooperation and interaction with the rest of the world. Their oil contracts constantly pit our own allies against us, for fear of being cut off or having prices raised. From ludicrous cartoon leaders with a vendetta against the west, to bratty little terrorists trying to fight giants with fly swatters, the middle east is a problem for the entire world and the elimination of their insulating, wealth generating, single commodity would either force them to grow up and start engaging and cooperating with the world or plunge them into a dark and violent chaos that makes their current situation look like serenity. Either way, they are on board or out of the way.
Of course, there are those who would tell you that we have no real, viable alternative fuels. Many ultra liberals are certain this is due to conspiracies that have buried all the promising technologies that have come along in the last 100 years. Maybe they are right, I don’t know. When I think about this issue and the “why” of it, I think of a lack of determination. I am reminded of something my father explained to me when I was kid. He told me about the space program. See, when my father was a young boy, the thought of putting a man in space, nevermind on the moon, was literally the stuff of science fiction, the fancy of writers and comic book artists and no more possible than time travel.
First when he was still just a boy they put men in rockets and sent them to space, but still in the minds of most Americans the thought that men could ever go to the moon was impossible to the point of being just plum silly. Then, when my father was still just a teen, John Kennedy said in no uncertain terms and with the power of conviction that only men of his caliber and charisma can muster [paraphrasing] “Within the next decade we will put a man on the moon.” And 8 years later, there were American men on the moon. My father told me this as a tale about the power of determination and the fortitude of the American character, indicating that we have an ability when we put our minds to it and our shoulders to the wheel to accomplish things that seem impossible.
This notion of my father’s was true at one time, it is how we garnered enough juice and swagger to have the world entertain and put up with our other notion of American exceptionalism for so long. But really, we have rested on our fat laurels for a very long time and given that reality and our inability to resolve issues even as they reach and exceed crisis levels, including fossil fuels, environment, economy, health care and an eroding global image and influence, I no longer believe that notion of my fathers holds true. Perhaps it could and the will is just no longer there, or our idealogical divisions are too great to even decide on a common way to tie our shoes. What I do know is when I think of these issues, I am saddened to also have to wonder if the character of our country and the things that once elevated it to greatness have been sucked under by greed, narcissism and a basic rottenness found rooted in the souls of corrupt agents of power and control.
Well, my two cents anyway.