Humans need to work more in tandem in order to survive in the long run. This site is a small effort to contribute to that direction. Stand As One is not a call for everyone to be the same, or follow the government, or lose their individuality or freedom. Nor is it related in any way to the End Times.

We can all agree, hopefully, that we would like the Earth to continue to support humans for as long as possible, at the highest standard of living as possible. Assuming that's the goal, this site is a small effort to present ideas to help anyone interested to work towards that goal in their own way. That's all Stand As One means. We have one planet that we've evolved to live on. If we screw this one up - there is no place left to go in the foreseeable future.

It ain't no doom and gloom - it's about challenges and opportunities.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reframing the Oil Debate

Currently the oil debate is framed into two sides. One side says oil is $4/gallon and rising, so that means we need to tap into domestic sources including ANWR and offshore drilling. This side also tries to go to large oil producing nations and asks them to please lower their prices. This side also states that China and Cuba are allowed to drill in our offshore waters, but that, due to environmentalists, we’re not allowed to. Today the ban on offshore drilling was lifted by the President, even as his own White House spokesman admitted to reporters that it would have no impact on either drilling or gas prices (But the President strongly suggested that it would lower gas prices, and that only Congress stands in the way of lower gas prices now. In the same press conference, Bush acknowledges that we need to move away from oil but falsely states that this new direction doesn’t help anything short term so we need a short term fix – offshore drilling – even while he knows that will not impact prices or supply. This type of game-playing with factual information, regardless of what party does it, damages the human race).

The other side says oil is $4/gallon and rising, and we need to explore alternative sources of energy. There is not a lot of substance on this side of the argument either, but it has this general flavor to it of some sort of new direction.

One thing that’s interesting is that, no matter which side you’re on, you can see there is not much in favor of oil. At one time, it was a great energy source, back when it was cheap and plentiful and safe to acquire. Now, it’s expensive and getting more so, it threatens U.S. national security on multiple levels, it’s damaging our environment, and on top of that the supply is running out. Also, an oil economy keeps new jobs stagnated, except any created for new offshore oil rigs.

But it seems to me that the debate, like so many debates in this country, is about the wrong aspect of the problem. The question to me seems to be “Do we want more oil?” and based on what I can see, we really don’t. What’s the point? Since supply is limited, we’ll be here again X years from now. And it’s obvious that we’re throwing money away when it comes to oil security spending, and in fact are spending billions to chip away at our nations’ security over the course of decades, and of course speeding up with the latest Iraq war.

The debate should really be about effective transportation that provides more benefit than loss. It should be about increasing national security instead of eroding it. It should be about creating new jobs, new technologies, and a new international competitive edge for the U.S., instead of continuing to retard that growth.

I’ll post more on this topic as far as solutions.

1 comment:

Will said...

Like all finite natural resources, we’re usually aware of a general time line to that resource's demise, yet people act like this is all news to them. It’s no different than eroding coast lines, and people who are willing to build a house on a beach. Yes, the house won't fall into the water until well after the person who built it dies, but eventually - whether 100 or 1,000 years from now - the brilliant, live-for-today idea is going to be in the water...the view will still be beautiful, well, except for the rotting house foundation sticking out of the water.

It boggles my mind how everyone is scrambling for solutions as if this wasn’t an obvious outcome someday. Was it the oil industry doing whatever they can to prolong their income while pushing back on alternative solutions the reason that everyone has procrastinated on A solution? The rise in prices is like people pulling their money out of the bank during the recession. Get as much as you can before it’s all gone! The reality that this money-maker is running out is causing this ridiculous panic. Unless that influx of oil profit is going towards real solutions with a realistic implementation, then the rise in prices is a farce.

There are so many shifts that have driven our dependency on oil that it’s tough to see a true solution in my lifetime. The migration of people away from the cities created a greater need for fuel. Our dependency on plastics throughout our life, and other petroleum-based products are also an issue, but what are our solutions? Are we going to improve mass transit in all of the cities, or create solar-powered trains for commuters? Are the city schools and infrastructures going to improve in order to handle a shift of people back to the city? Can we create biofuels that won't take such a large chunk out of the world's food supply? Can we find a solution to adapt all current automobiles to run on an alternate fuel source without crowding the earth with an insanely large junkyard of pre-biofuel automobiles? Recycled cars, maybe?

Maybe the masses of lazy Americans can learn to walk and be active before we go through a de-evolution and the next illustration in the evolution scale is a man in a permanent seated position? Sit in the car, burn gas. Get to work. Sit in an office chair in front of a computer that burns energy. Sit in car for ride home - burn gas. Sit on couch and watch TV (more resources burned). Lay down…or just recline and sleep. Ha ha. Ape > Man > Lazy Man.

I don’t know. Greed and an ever-decreasing educational standard is destroying the long-term future - not just the current future - of this country/world, and it's pretty damn depressing. My only hope is intelligent, open, thinkers like the Reeds can raise their child to be not just a problem identifier (as the majority of us are - myself included), but a problem solver.