Sunday, June 29, 2008
Democrats On the Wrong TrackThe big debate in Congress this week is oil. The prices, why are they so high, and who can we blame? Most of the blame is falling on Big Oil, Exxon Mobile, BP, but there is a new villain in Washington, the futures players. I don't really understand commodities trading, I think it is a little bit like betting on who will win the Superbowl. You have information to place your bet, like inventory levels, demand from all over the world, but in this crazy environment, just about anything can go wrong. It is a pretty safe bet, that global demand for oil will outpace the current oil production capacity. Here at TBV, we have been talking about peak oil for a couple of years now, and now that it's actually happening, lawmakers are surprised. Most of us at TBV are not economists, and some of us, like me, are just regular people who make food, not experts. So if we saw this coming, what's wrong with our elected leaders?
Oh...it's an election year. Right. So now is the time not to take any serious action, but to blame someone.
I can't stand the oil companies, but when gas was cheap, we bought it. We drove, we moved further out into the suburbs, we bought mini-vans and SUV's. We flew first class, (well I never did, I'm short, so I don't need that extra leg room), we traded in our cars every two years. We gave our money to Exxon Mobile willingly, even when we knew that what we did caused harm to our environment. I was in Europe in 2000, and I had a rental car. The gas was something like $1.80 a liter and to fill it up cost me more than $4.00 a gallon, and that was eight years ago. I went back to Italy in 2005, and took the train everywhere, it was subsidized by the government, and to get from Florence to Cinqa Terra, it was like 8 euros, and the conductor was really good looking. I don't understand why Americans are crying about the price of oil, when the rest of the world has been paying these prices for at least a decade. They felt the pain all those years ago, and started building cars that were no bigger than my arm span, and called them Smart Cars. I wonder if we will soon be calling those luxury Lexis gas guzzlers Stupid Cars.
The more I hear about Democrats today, the FISA flip-flop, the campaign finance flip-flop, the stupid witch hunt for someone to blame for the state of the oil crisis, the more I want to leave the mainstream political parties, and let the country dissolve into the inevitable puddle of bankruptcy and self-absorption. The longer we try to blame others for our current situation, the further away the solution is.
The time for blame is over, and the time for action is here.
If our elected leaders won't act, then we need to elect new ones.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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