Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There's no place like now

A few days ago I wrote that I was playing a bit of an energy game -- one that projected future fuel requirements based on the current state of affairs.
It seems I'm not the only one...

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 — War in Iran. Gasoline rationing, at $5 a gallon. A military draft. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan. Double-digit inflation and unemployment. The draining of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

This is where current energy policy is leading us, according to a nightmare scenario played out

played out where, you might ask -- in a basement while mom fixes a snack and a group of 12 year old boys take turns with a joystick? Oil Shockwave...

as a policy-making exercise here on Thursday by a group of former top government officials.

Far into the future?

The ignition for the game was $150 a barrel oil.
Oil yesterday closed above $100. It had hit $100 but hadn't closed there before.

The factors in the game included sanctions against Iran, instability in Central Asia and the political situation in Venezuela. I don't know what the Story in central Asia is -- guess I should figure that out tomorrow.

The group was led by the national security adviser, played by Robert E. Rubin, secretary of the Treasury during much of the Clinton administration. At one point, weighing a variety of unpleasant options, Mr. Rubin said in near despair, “This wouldn’t be this big a problem if the political system a few years ago had dealt with these issues.”

Carol M. Browner, the Democratic former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who played the secretary of energy, chimed in, “Year in and year out, it has been difficult to get a serious energy policy.” She and others noted that previous Congresses failed to act on auto mileage standards, efficiency measures and steps to replace foreign sources of oil. Michael D. McCurry, President Clinton’s former press secretary, who played a senior counselor to the fictional new president, said that energy issues were barely discussed in the 2008 campaign.

I'm not sure what piece is so alarming -- the proximity of the panic date -- the extreme and yet entirely plausible circumstances -- or, more than all that, the fact that private companies and retired government officials are enacting awful scenarios simply to try to get some attention -- and that the answers over and over revolve, in the future, of someone saying no one did anything now.

In the game, now is foregone...

Thursday’s exercise, the organizers acknowledge, was a bit of a stunt to publicize the issues and nudge Congress and the presidential candidates.

A few minutes ago, my alarm went off. I was downstairs and it went off loudly with an annoying rock song and scared the life out of my 7 year old daughter who had climbed into my bed for protection. I wonder what the world will look like for her.

I wrote a a friend I was feeling vulnerable yesterday...

Vulnerablity is a funny thing -- we can feel it and strong at the same time -- regard and disregard concern at the same time.

He didn't answer.

I don't know -- maybe I want to give someone in Washington a pair of ruby slippers:
There's no place like now; there's no place like now; there's no place like now.

No comments: