Friday
Jul022004

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I have been rabidly reading about the world, American Imperialism, suburban decay, and lots of other things that I find really seem to dovetail together rather nicely, in a disturbing way. Here is more food for thought:

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com:

After terrorists killed Western oil executives in the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil region over the Memorial Day weekend, the price of oil rose to $42 a barrel, its highest level in history. Headlines warn that Americans may soon be paying $3 a gallon for gasoline. But rising prices at the pump only hint at our true energy dilemma. Imagine what would happen if the world's supply of oil were magically to vanish overnight. Life as we know it would shudder to a halt. Without oil to transport it, food could not get to market—nor could it be grown and processed by our oil-dependent agricultural system. Most Americans could not get to work, take their kids to school or do any other of the countless tasks cars help us perform. Air travel would stop. Hospitals would be crippled as supplies of blood, medications and other vital materials became unattainable. There would be no more plastics, no more videotapes. You wouldn't be reading this newspaper, at least in a print edition, because trucks would be unable to deliver copies to doorsteps and vendors.

Or this one from http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk:

The obvious immediate answer is conservation. It is very easy—more insulation, more efficient cars and light bulbs—and could be mind-blowingly effective. If our energy use were only three per cent a year more efficient, says Paul Roberts, "we could meet world demand in 2100 with around a quarter of the energya we use today." Politically, however, conservation is anathema, especially to free marketeers. They hate its implication that extravagance is somehow blameworthy. The consequences of all this are so cataclysmic that we can't bear to think about them. Since voters dislike bringers of bad news, our politicians do not encourage us to think. Our government recently pressured the Office of National Statistics to omit from its report on the environment figures showing sharp increases in greenhouse gas emissions from air and freight transport. You can see their thinking. What are they supposed to do? Ground the planes, remove the trucks from roads?

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

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