Human's Biggest Blunder
The energy we consume cannot be stored and we guzzlers refuse to obviate our doomed. Nevertheless, there is no infinite supply of energy- least of all being fossil fuel. Even suns burn out, explode and are recycled to form more suns, more planets. Do humans really have preeminence over nature? Well, let us see.
If we totally convert to nuclear power, there is only so much uranium in the ground. Sun power will only work during daylight. Other methods being explored are contingent upon a limited amount of materials being produced from the soil. The very best we can do is conserve and hope like hell perpetual, alternate energy sources will be invented or found or brought down to us from the Gods. There is no mandate coming out of Washington, no high court decision, no Manhattan-style Project to solve this one.
President Jimmy Carter, in his infinite wisdom, warned us about our lavish, wasteful way with fuel and it cost him his day job. Well, conservation will only prolong the inevitable. We will run out! We are drinking all the wine (on a global level) and there is no way to grow more grapes. I personally believe no one wants to look realistically (some may say fatalistically) at our consumption habits and our inability to find perpetual energy sources. Here is a realistic thought. There may be none available! In our present cognitive and technological state we may lack the ability to develop a source for sustainable energy.
Who among us have the foresight to determine what to do before the last drop of oil drips? Yet, we grandstand and create pages of statistical nonsense as to which methods are best (solar, nuclear, bio…). All seem doomed to failure. Perhaps our total dependence on fossil fuel was a mistake. An economy dependent upon one product to sustain a way of life is subject to collapse. Without a doubt our dependence on the combustion engine (in the form of a car) as our primary method to transport one human was a mistake. Additionally, the type of vehicle one drives in America has always been directly related to a person social standing. For those who don't choose to drive a car but take the subway, ride a bike, the bus, in order to accommodate a life-style beyond the car, their names are carved lowest on the social totem poll. On the other hand, fuel conservation, alternative methods such as building up the infrastructural for public transportation has never been seriously contemplated.
As long as we continue to feed the automobile and waste precious resources, we expedite our own demise. Did we expect to enjoy cheap gas forever and not understand how oil is priced on the world market? Here is how the price of all commodities is driven upward. Most Americans are functionally illiterate as to how the process works although our hunger for oil persists. (close to 20 millions barrels a day- 25% of the world's total) and the supply is low. Before we actually run out of oil, the price will levitate and balance with the demand. Consider China and India for a moment. They are comparable to growing industrial babies and their desire for sweet crude (low sulphur) will become ferocious. But the world output for these little toddlers will not be able to satisfy their appetite. The cost of future crude is going to be enormous. (China, India, Russia and the Middle East for the first time will consume more crude oil than the U.S., burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year- April 21, 2008 Bloomberg)
As for an appetizer- prices for corn, chicken, pork and soybeans are predicted to double within a year. This will happen because we choose to feed grain to our insatiable hunger for the combustion engine- that stupid, so-called sexy, automobile- another mistake in progress. We can refer to this as the Dinosaur AFF-ect whereby they could not foresee their approaching doom.
Remember the good old days before 1973 when gasoline was cheap? We could drive around town in our air polluting V8, run low on fuel, simple drive up to the pump and yell, "filler up". Then alone came Yom Kippur. You remember them- Sadat, Meir, The Sinai, The Golan and the OPEC oil embargo against the US and other western nations. We thought the shortage of oil was them-dammed Arabs holding out on us. Well, the oil embargo is 30 years behind us. Why has oil gone form a simple shortage in 1973 at $12.00 a barrel to $25.00 a barrel in 2003 trading at over $140.00 a barrel in 2008 and headed toward $200.00 a barrel in just 5 years? The answer is we have nearly exhausted the only developed energy resource.
Now there are some questions we might want to ponder. Can oil producing countries become self sufficient and never purchase oil form the world market? Would that not disrupt the market itself? Are we isolated from the ebb and flow of an ocean we are deeply entrenched? (Answers) Any statement from Washington declaring our desire to be free from OPEC is nothing but political grandstanding. As long as oil is traded America will purchase it.
Enter our existing president. In his finite wisdom (Mr. Bush) wants to ripe out the wilderness of Alaska and drill beneath the tundra in order to exploit more of that Texas tea. Bush urged congress to allow the pristine remoteness of the Alaskan wilderness to be exploited for the benefit of the American people. What benefit? So Americans can become free from Middle Eastern oil and return to the days of cheap gasoline? Those days are gone! Even if all world governments subsidized their oil it puts nothings back into the ground and does nothing to locate alternative sources. It would be a foolish and futile attempt to satisfy and addiction that borderlines suicide. This ancient tradition of wastefulness confirms our lack of dominion over the natural world. Because nature is not wasteful, it is circular. It comes back to the starting point renewed, fresh, and invigorated. Even a ragging forest fire only destroy trees, the forest is then transformed. Yet Bush is willing to exploit the last great American wilderness because the single developed energy resource is being depleted. He and his oil-invested cronies, unlike the dinosaurs, know the end is near. Its profit now or never.
So if present trends continue- and they most likely will- the last few billion barrels of oil will not be traded on the open market. They will become the property of a military victor. Under the pretext of national security we will fight throughout the Middle East, drill beneath the tundra- off the coast of California and the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere to secure that last barrel of Oil. Within the lair of oil Gods they will plan for war under the pretext of anything imaginable to position themselves for that last taste of crude. The die is already being caste- invading Iraq when it was not a threat and al Qaeda was never there before the war- forming a pretext to invade Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons- wanting to place military bases throughout the Middle East…
When the human species are gone it will be to a large degree our own arrogant, ignorant, self-centered doing- the complete mismanagement of our meager resources. And the combustion engine and our love affair with the horseless carriage will go down as human's biggest blunder. Good luck to you all and you have my deepest sympathy.