Friday, February 01, 2008
Election 08 - Black Gold
And then there were…. As the field narrows for the upcoming presidential election many of us have begun to zero in on the candidate we hope will lead the nation for at least the next four years. I’ve read a good number of blogs, articles and thoughts and though I’ve done just a little investigation I have to tell you that I’m a bit disappointed. Through all the bluster, typical promises, posturing, negative campaigning and the like not much of substance has been said on a few issues that concern me.
For instance I’ve not heard much regarding detaching ourselves from being so overly dependent on foreign oil. It’s not as if we’re unaware that the world’s oil supply is dwindling. And even if we discover new sources of the black gold it’s now obvious that the U.S. isn’t the only nation that craves the taste of sweet crude to grease the wheels of a middle class lifestyle. China, India, the countries of Europe, Brazil and others are lining up to slake their thirst for Texas tea.
Of the debates I’ve listened to and the discussion’s I’ve read little if anything has been said regarding a plan to invest in new sources of energy. True, the candidates have mentioned the need to detach ourselves from our oil addiction but doing so doesn’t appear to be a central motif in their campaigns. It seems that in the face of dwindling supplies, located in precarious situations and with the prospects of more and more completion that our leaders are content to stay with the status quo. Has anyone asked the next prospective leader of the free world what he or she plans to do once it become crystal clear that within a few years of their stewardship the world’s oil supply slows to a mere trickle? At this point I have no intention of voting for someone whose only plan involves us gulping oil like a drunken sailor until we find ourselves once more fighting a war for ‘freedom’ that just happens to take place in or around an oil producing land.
Look at it another way. Should the present world oil reserves were to remain essentially the same even taking into account the growing world demand are we really willing to shell out over $100.00 per barrel for the stuff. A little more than eight years ago oil was trading for about $25 to $27 a barrel. The issues of increasing demand and geo-political instability don’t favor a return to those prices anytime soon. It could be that $3.00 a gallon gas is just the beginning. And unless you’ve got some major stock in Exxon you’ve probably felt the sting of rising energy cost. Why continue to put ourselves in a position where we’re held hostage by a commodity that we might be able to replace?
What do I want to hear from the next president? I want him or her to tell the American people that it is unwise and untenable to continue our present course regarding our use of energy. I want him or her to tell us that conservation and learning to live on less is not a dirty, liberal, four letter word. I want him or her to call us to do the difficult things now, so that our future isn’t so inextricably tied to murky fortunes of oil. I want him or her to stand up and challenge us to consider changing the way we live now or prepare to fight for that lifestyle tomorrow.
The Lord’s Peace