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Cheap Gas! – Redux

3-Jul-2008

What price are we willing to pay to willfully waste oil?

Two blogs have caught my attention lately, that highlight a common theme – wasting energy purely for the sake of the waste. The first is a blog commentary about Rush Limbaugh’s intentional use of a gas-inefficient vehicle over long distances. He did this to “stick it to the environmentalists”. The second is in a similar vein – a blog entry in response to a commentator urging public buildings to reduce air conditioning. In order to flaunt his ability to waste energy, the blogger turned his thermostat down to 65 degrees Fahrenheit – even though he is not there to enjoy it.

Nominally, Rush and the blogger are the one bearing the “cost” of their actions. If they have the money, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do this – even if it is wasteful? Even though gas is $4.00 per gallon, these guys decided to use this expensive commodity, and pay for it themselves; right? But, what are the *real* costs?

How many marines are you willing to let die in the middle east, so Rush can drive his 12 mile-per-gallon behemoth? How many soldiers should lose their legs, arms, eyesight or portions of their brains, so bloggers can turn thermostats to 65 degrees – just to prove a point? Because these are the *real* costs.

We import more than a third of the energy we use (includes all raw energy we consume, like that used to generate electricity). More than one-fifth of the imports come from the Persian Gulf.  Significant imports also come from Nigeria and Venezuela. Do you think we would be fighting in Iraq if not for oil? If we are on a humanitarian mission there, then why do we not also fight in Rawanda? How about Zimbabwe? Cuba?

We, the people, have already funded terrorists via Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Emirates. We have built the nuclear facilities in Iran. We ponied up the money for bin Ladin and his 9/11 band. All paid for by America’s oil obsession.

Why have we seen success disarming a nuclear North Korea (who’s leader is as much a whack job as anyone), but have no luck with Iran?

It is only a matter of time before we are involved in other wars on other continents. Nigeria is a corruption mess, that is becoming more and more important as an oil exporter to the United States. We are funding Hugo Chavez’s anti-American stance (and raising his role from petty-wacko dictator to regional trouble maker), by purchasing Venezuela’s oil. How long before troops are in Africa and South America, losing life and limb, so we can rest assured Rush can waste freely, and bloggers can freeze their abodes to prove their point?

At what price?

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2 comments

  1. Although the Rush story has some interest as a form of neo yellow journalism it really isn’t much. The real industry that is supported by US energy imports is the cornerstone of our economy.
    Should conservation be a priority ? Of course but conservation and even the utopian notion of converting away from fossils will not prevent the international friction you foresee.
    I don’t think we should pat ourselves on the back re NK disarmament. It isn’t reality. As for Iran other than supporting the incidents that lead to the Revolution the US is pretty clean.We don’t trade with Iran so we are NOT financing their deeds.Seriously at what point is Iran responsible for their actions ?
    OBL is a punk but the Taliban has it’s roots in US foreign policy. It came back to bite us in the ass and we responded. We did the same throughout history. Noreiga in Panama,the Shah in Iran and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. We make bad decisions just like other govts.
    Hugo is a joke also. He plays the anti American card and plays it for all it’s worth. The opposition in Venezuela has little to offer hence his power. The oil is best for US consumption since we have the best refinement technology for what is far from “sweet crude”. Also US trade with Venezuela is hardly one way. Chavez speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
    Nigeria and Angola are the Wests and Sudan is for China. Do the math the USA are not the only protagonists.


  2. Hi Alfie,

    My descriptions of foreign impacts, and the activities of those foreign countries, was intentionally simplified, in the interests of brevity. I do not have an issue with the more detailed assessments of those countries you provide. I could argue about Chavez a bit, but at this point, he does not have the resources, or the backing, to be more than a sputtering mouth piece. That could change.

    Yes, for the foreseeable future, oil will cause international conflict. We have to fight for it. As I had stated in my original “Cheap Gas” rant, we knew this was a problem 30 years ago. We should have done something about it then. However, in the absence of that, we should start today.

    The point of this entry is that the arrogance and complacency I highlighted in this post, will hinder us from going down the conservation/energy independence road. It is the military members who are paying the price for that arrogance.



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