Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Is It All Just About Oil?I don't really want to buy into the hysteria from the peak oil crowd, the idea that our future, and our financial resources will be severely constrained by the need to find new energy sources. I don't want to imagine a future where we send young American soldiers to die for a barrel of oil. I would much rather go without proscuitto imported from Parma, and oatmeat from Scotland, than send someone's children to die in a hostile desert far from families and loved ones. I don't need to have tropical fruit in winter, I don't need to drive 8 blocks to the grocery store if it means that someone has to die to put gas in my tank.
But maybe it's not my decision. Maybe thousands of children have already died to provide me with a full tank of gas, and all of the imported hams and berries that I have taken for granted all of these years. Maybe as much as we speak about green energy, the fact remains that the only way to keep global trade moving is to ensure a steady supply of oil, because we are surely in no position to transition tomorrow to a world without fossil fuels.
And maybe, the AfPak conflict that is about to escalate, is not really about Al Queda, or the Taliban, but sadly, just about pipelines.
Nobody knows, least of all me, why the Obama Administration is pursuing the escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan. It would seem like a losing battle, another Vietnam, unless the peak oil people are correct, and we are in a struggle for the very last drop of oil, because the green technologies are so very far from feasibly replacing our need for oil.
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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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