Santa Claus Is Dead
of you who understand supply and demand, raise your hands. If you
have a lot of something like sand and not many people want it, the
price stays down. If something is in short supply and a lot of people
want it, as in the case of diamonds, the price goes up. Take this
one step further. Now, all of you who know why we are building permanent
bases in Iraq raise YOUR hands!
Oil and fossil
fuels are in high demand in this country, and the supply is dwindling
here at home. My former brother-in-law worked in the Teapot Dome
oilfields in Wyoming, which was once our biggest bonanza. Now, it
is dry and he is living in Bakersfield driving a truck. Once the
coal deposits in this country were thought to be inexhaustible,
but now abandoned strip mining pits and closed mines attest to its
depletion. Our supply is going down. So, where do we get the fossil
fuel we need to run our cars, make plastic, manufacture pesticides,
fertilizer, electricity, etc.?
I once visited
the Valley Steam Plant down in L.A., which supplies electricity
for much of the San Fernando Valley. The steam turbine-generators
are fueled by oil, "sweet bunker crude" from Indonesia,
on the other side of the Pacific! I wonder why we supported a nasty
dictator there for years. Could his guarantee of that oil flow to
us have been a factor? Could our recent, and ongoing, attempts to
overthrow a democratically elected leader in Venezuela be to assure
the continued flow of oil, and oil profits, to the U.S.? Could our
love affair with the Saudis (remember it was Saudis, not Iraqis
that flew the planes into the Twin Towers) have anything to do with
their oil? Could our support for the tyranical Shah of Iran, have
had anything to do with his oil? Did the Iranians after the revolution
call the U.S."The Great Satan" because they hated democracy,
or was it because of our greed for oil? Why did we go to war in
the Persian Gulf over Kuwait under George's Father? Not to bring
democracy to them, that's for sure! How did our oil get beneath
their sand anyway?
(the oil industry toadies aside) agree that the world's supply of
oil is not getting any bigger. Our access to the lion's share of
it is critical to maintaining our high "standard of living."
WE NEED MORE OIL AND NATURAL GAS! Probably... unless we get serious
about lowering our demand, and/or finding creative alternatives
to oil. That
won't happen under this government, populated as it is with oil
industry people like George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice.
Their focus is on getting more oil, not in getting us free of its
stranglehold. Unless we change our ways we will continue to wage
war, support brutal dictators, and attempt to overthrow democratically
elected governments to assure that flow of oil and oil profits.
So, is there
any way we can cut demand without sacrificing our lifestyle? I don't
think so. Are you ready to give up that big 20-mile-per gallon SUV
for a smaller, 40 MPG Toyota Prius? Are you willing to move to where
you work and save a two hour commute each day? Are you willing to
forego that flight to Hawaii? Could you possibly use a solar clothes
drier (clothesline) to save fossil fuel electricity and natural
gas? Can you think of ways to help slow down world population growth?
(religion gets into this one...hoooooo boy!) Can you cut your TV
watching in half? Can you to use less a/c and house heating energy
even if it means some personal discomfort? Would you hook up a generator
to your exercise bike to charge the batteries to run your radio,
TV or computer? Would you put an expensive photovoltaic array (solar
cells) and a solar water heating collector on your roof? Would you
consider closing off half of your house and only heating or cooling
half of what you do now? Would you buy stock in a wind farm? I could
go on for hours, but you get the idea....
used to give us cheap energy. When there was a huge, easily-accessible
domestic supply of fossil fuels, we could live like there was no
tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here, and Santa is long gone. Do we
have the smarts to deal with this new era? Will we cut demand or
deal with more wars and higher prices?
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