30 June 2010

Our Leaders Deny Our Oil Reality

'Americans are not addicted to oil, Americans are addicted to freedom - the freedom to move freely and independently where and when we want," - former Virginia governor, George Allen (said to a standing ovation from the crowd). It is hard to believe that we keep denying the truth: that our entire way of life is dependent on oil.


Mark Miller said...

"Addicted to oil"?!? Too melodramatic. Over the top, even.

When America was founded, modes of travel were horse and ship. Were we addicted to hay and wind? Paul Revere's horse made freedom possible, but he could have travelled by car or zeppelin if they existed. He simply used what was readily available.

Later, as rail and steamboats gained market share, were we addicted to coal? Of course not. It was merely the latest mechanism to provide the freedom to travel and trade as mankind strived to improve.

Likewise, modern society isn't addicted to oil but rather to the freedom, mobility, and cost-effectiveness that oil currently provides. As soon as something better, faster or cheaper comes along Americans will no doubt abandon oil.

George Allen is right. It's not at all about about the energy source, but the freedom which that energy makes possible.

CityKin said...

"As soon as something better, faster or cheaper comes along Americans will no doubt abandon oil."

and that is.... what?

Nuclear? Solar? What else is there Mark?

Energy is not free and it it cannot be invented. It must be generated and harnessed. Technological inventions do not eliminatte this dillema. Hydrogen is not energy. And when, and at what dollar cost and what environmental cost?

but the real question is: What are we getting freedom from? How much distance do we need from each other????

Why spend all this precious carbon trapped energy so we can haul a 2,000lb vehicle on my trip to get some pop-tarts? Only an insane person would devise such a wasteful system.

5chw4r7z said...

Yeah, the freedom to be chained to a steering wheel and the freedom to pay attention to traffic.
Give me a bus or train where I can surf the 'net, send txts, twitter and read email.
That's freedom.

Travis Estell said...

"As soon as something better, faster or cheaper comes along Americans will no doubt abandon oil."

The reality is that we won't abandon oil because something better comes along. We'll abandon oil because it becomes too expensive for the common person, or because someday (admittedly, decades away) we'll just run out.

When that happens, we'll be bailing out long-distance commuters at the expense of those who have short commutes, use mass transportation, or walk.

Or we can think ahead -- conserve oil, invest in renewable energy sources, build cities that are walkable and don't require you to drive for every single errand, and stop building new highways and interchanges like there's no tomorrow.

Dave said...

Keep your eyes open for the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt automobile.


More good news: Anyone still remember the announcement a couple weeks ago of the discovery of the vast mineral resources in Afghanistan? Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

The historical lesson:
It wasn't a Boeing Engineer that invented manned flight, but a couple of bicycle mechanics from the Dayton area.

Mark Miller said...

The Volt is kinda cute; but come on, only a 40 mile range before it's back to gas?!? Over 100 years ago the Baker Electric had a range of 110 miles.

Modern batteries may well be the breakthrough that revives electric cars. But it's not here yet. Then, as now, electric cars are for girls;-)

CityKin said...

^electricity, like hydrogen is a conduit not a source of energy.

I don't think we will ever run an jet airplane on batteries.

5chw4r7z said...

Never mind that oil companies are subsidized by the government.
Car companies are subsidized by the government.
Roads and bridges are subsidized by the government.
Its only socialist if the teabaggers don't like it.