5.04.2005

Steven Grant Tells It Like It is...

... and ties it all together. Really worth your time and effort:

Thirty years ago, the push was on for: developing alternative energy sources; switching from monster gas guzzlers to small, fuel efficient cars; energy conservation; and various other practices. The overall term was appropriate technology, which somehow got confused with the Luddite notion of abandoning technology and going back to dirt farming. It was known then that known oil supplies would likely last no more than 100 years; today they're saying 50, and that's without factoring in the industrial designs of the two most populous countries in the world, China and India, which recently entered an alliance to challenge the West's technological dominance. (Specifically, China intends to dominate computer hardware and India software.) If two billion people - and, admittedly, that's assuming every one of those countries' citizens, so that's likely to be a little high but even if a quarter that many - suddenly consume energy at the same level that the US population consumes energy, that drastically cuts the time frame. One of the arguments against appropriate technology was that new oil fields would be found and opened, but in the last 30 years that hasn't been the case. None have been found, no significant fields have been opened. All that's happened is improvements in getting the stuff out of the ground from existing fields, which won't significantly extend the life of the fields.

Since we knew all this was going to happen, what did we do? Come the Reagan era, when the first surge of the radical religious right spread the concept that since the Second Coming was imminent it was wasteful to not use up the resources God gave us before that event (and I'm not being facetious: Reagan Secretary of the Interior James Watt said exactly that on at least one occasion), all that "austerity" stuff became a thing of the past. Republican science declared there was no energy crisis. Oil conservation was declared no longer an issue; auto manufacturers decided small was bad and (not coincidentally more expensive) big cars were where America wanted to do. (Because, hey, it's the public that drives the market, and they want to feel positive about America again!)

Next stop, lots of SUVs.
Lots and lots of SUVs.

And 2 Billion folks to compete with. So what are we doing? Arguing about Evolution, 'gay marriage' and abortion (answers: fact; as we told the nice lesbians, as long as we don't have to marry another dude it's cool with us; and if men could get pregnant this would not be an issue).

It's all connected folks... so start connecting the dots.

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