Sma' Talk Wi' T

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(Taking Food) Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

with one comment

We Americans are a strange breed at times. WE, and what I mean by WE is US, and what I mean by US is YOU AND I and what I mean by YOU AND I are the 37% of the citizenship that fall to either side of the MEAN on a Bell ( or as physicists call it “Gaussian”) Curve. (I used the preceding declaration as proof that I , the Ole Wazoo, am not above including myself as a full fledged dues paying member of the afore mentioned “Strange Breed” but by now you already sorta kinda know that on your own don’tcha?)

Let me get right to my point (if I still have one after that time and font consuming blathering). We (and you now know who you are) are much too much in love with our automobiles, trucks, snowmobiles, ATV’s ect… They at once represent our penchant for freedom (“Don’t Tread On Me” unless of course, it is an all weather radial tread) and a perhaps more subtle means of social hierarchy (mine is bigger or faster or shinier or all of the above, than yours). We EAT in our vehicles for pity’s sake and rumor has it that more than a few of the aforementioned “WE” have been conceived on Tuck and Roll or Corinthian Leather upholstery.

OUR ( MEANING the aforementioned “WE” again) lust for these “Freedom” machines has taken US far beyond the sign post up ahead ( with apologies to Rod Serling) marked “Common Sense”. First, WE chose to usurp the property rights of many of our citizens to build Super Highways in order to “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. That wasn’t so bad as it was a boon to commerce. Next WE decided (with a twisted form of logic that still baffles me) that WE could and would express our freedom by purchasing foreign made cars. WE almost had the right idea there in that we knew we didn’t want to face shortages nor the higher prices of fuel. (Too bad Detroit wasn’t listening to US). As availability improved ( due in part to lowered speed limits) and fuel prices ebbed, we reverted to our piston driven ways of old and started gobbling up those gas guzzling land yachts now known as SUV’s.

Time marches on, not only here in the Land I Love, but in the rest of the world. China and India ( whoda thunk it?) have become major energy consumers who compete fiercely for oil on a global basis. Supply and Demand ( curse you Adam Smith) has caused the price of oil to rise to over $100 a barrel and the easy availability of oil contracts to go the way of the Hudson Hornet.

What have WE decided to do about this? Our politicians choose to fight over drilling for oil in Alaska or making a witches brew from our left over cooking oil, switchgrass and garbage. This is merely an attempt to save their collective political assets, a quasi “Green” bandaid on on a seeping gash. The idea on using hydrogen for automotive fuel keeps popping up but at this time is too expensive to produce and is not much more than science fiction for all practical purposes. Electric cars seem to have a future. There are a number of great improvements in that area but the technology is being hamstrung by a lack of a viable battery system.

Science is wonderful and will provide for US some remedy but time is a wasting as they say. What we need to do now in order to keep our hydrocarbon addiction at bay is to take a look back and take a low tech approach. A good start would be to lower speed limits on a National basis. This idea was shown to be effective in lowering consumption after the Oil Embargo of the 70’s and it will work again. WE cannot think on any other terms than conservation when it comes to energy. Ethanol is not the answer unless the question is “How can we raise food prices and fool ourselves into thinking that WE don’t have to make a change in OUR gluttonous energy consumption”. By switching to growing corn for ethanol instead of wheat for food, the price of wheat has risen dramatically in a short time. This rise will become evident at the grocery store nearly immediately. We are literally taking the food out of our mouths and putting it in our gas tanks. WE have the Freedom of choice in this issue, CHOOSE to SLOWDOWN.


Written by smalltalkwitht

February 28, 2008 at 12:04 pm

One Response

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  1. <~~~ grumbling under my breath about lower speed limits!


    February 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

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