The Politics of Energy
Washington, DC May 20th, 2007 --- As the Sun begins to set on the Age of Cheap Fossil Fuels the industrialized nations are taking control of their energy consumption, their energy producing industries, and developing major sources of power generation. Corporations are aggressively reviewing their operations and supply chain to minimize their Carbon Footprint and conserve energy.
Then there are the politicians in Washington, DC who have decided not to upset the lobbyists for Big Oil and Gas and just Keep on Rolling Along blaming all the world's problems on Al Qaeda. They subscribe to the mirage of producing the massive amount of power we need from Solar and Wind, with vehicles running on Bio Diesel and Ethanol from Corn. The public not knowing Ethanol from ceiling paint continue watching the Sports Channels and paying more and more for fueling their gas guzzling Detroit Monsters. Now if some politician slipped up and called it Ethyl Alcohol, or even Moonshine then the problems coming down the pipeline would immediately become apparent.
Nobody wants to face reality in the run-up to the 2008 election and face reality in a timely manner. Why should they? There are billions of dollars of government grants, State grants and investments at stake, not to mention the billions being siphoned off in Iraq. Wait till gasoline reaches $8 a gallon and fund new refineries for the Oil Giants, suddenly realize the power grids are failing, with rolling blackouts and push through a whole string of Coal burning power stations to please the Coal lobby.
You would think we had two OIl men running the Administration, with a Secretary of State from Chevron. Oh sorry we do. Then log on to the Oil Companies web sites and Go Green. That's Green as in dollar bills for those not understanding the greatest heist in history.
The fact is there are so many lucrative lobbying forces pulling lawmakers in every direction that they will end up doing what Washington politicians do very well.........Nothing!
True there will be volumes of impressive plans, reports and initiatives that give more funding to the Usual Suspects, but like the Middle East the politicians will do anything to not have to address the underlying causes of the problem.
The problem with the United States is an unsustainable level of excess and wasted consumption. The Greed of Detroit has destroyed the rail network across America in favor of the gas guzzling autos they produced. The post war housing developers have make billions off developing sprawling sub divisions as far as the eye can see, each with manicured Grass Sod from wall to wall. Many even make the deed for the property read like a horticultural manual with the type of grass to be grown, and the length it shall be kept. The McMansions that are sprouting up across the country pay homage to the Gods of Excess with huge floor to ceiling windows to look at the same house a few feet away. Great plastic portico columns reach up to the polluted skies as low cost airlines track their vapor trails across the skies, taking their passengers to ogle at the fireworks and plastic castles in Disney World, thousands of miles away.
Every morning the hermetically sealed nests open up and a SUV designed for crossing the Outback of Australia drives out with the single driver onto the multi laned Asphalt highway to the acres of air conditioned and heated offices where workers watch computer screens for hours, the same screens the left at their homes, moving electronic messages around the world. The it's back into the all terrain super vehicle back along the congested Asphalt highways to the home and onto the computer. One wonders why it was necessary to leave one computer to waste all that energy to work on the same model computer miles away. But the call of the wild pulls our product of the American Dream outside, to walk the gas powered lawn mover over the parched grasses, cut them to a socially prescribed length, then use more gasoline to trim the edges and then blow the grass cuttings first one way then another.
Of course most will pay illegal immigrants to come thousands of miles from their homes to do the work for them, to allow them to spend more time on the computer, or to drive around spending money to have other people cook their food and tend to their every need. Of course this is all on plastic for to maintain this false lifestyle involves borrowing and running up debt, leaving nothing but promises for the future.
Faced with that politicians would sooner take the easy way out, take the bribes from the Lobbyists and start stashing away wealth for retirement when the whole House of Cards collapses, but that probably won't happen till 2030 so it's someone else's problem.
Energy is the Snake Oil of the 21st Century and rest assured there will be enough hype before reality dawns on the people, and the politicians that the world really is running out of fossil fuels, regardless of whether America is prepared or not.