Friday, July 25, 2008

The Cure Is Not Cheaper Crack

Sometimes I try to use news stories as stanzas in a way, I think -- let them contrast and sit next to each other to point out irony or something... I'm going to use four stories today -- and I say use in the very worst sense f the word... the funny thing is, they each came to me after the thoughts came -- as if to illustrated rather than generate today entirely...

I want to make something really really clear -- though I do hate my own posts like this -- I do not think peak oil is the problem!!!

If it were, we would simply be in a financial puzzle, and the stakes, while high and painful, would somehow be simpler.

There was an interesting article about Dubai in the NY Times today -- this is from Deal Book, which is, I believe, one of the financial blogs of the Times, edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

"In one sense, Dubai ran dry years ago. The tiny kingdom, one of seven that make up the United Arab Emirates, once used the cash it generated from pumping oil and gas to fuel its ambitions. But now that the wells are nearly depleted, it has focused on banking, finance and deal making to keep the boom times flowing."

So there you have it -- they had it -- they used it up. It happens and here's a case in point.

I do not think peak oil is our problem.
I think peak oil will be our salvation.

Among other things...
here in the North West we are being pummeled by rain. Days and days of very strange whether -- and I for one think it is related -- the changes in the weather and the climate -- they are tangible and real and they are altering our lives far more than our wallets.

Yesterday I wrote a little bit about Arctic drilling -- that post is what prompted this mornings thoughts -- look at this scary little tid bit -- I found it on -- an environmental watchdog group in Russia, it appears (the rain is making my head hurt and I just haven't been up for all the reading this month...) --

"A Russian Academy of Sciences study indicates decades worth of nuclear reactor and radioactive waste dumping in the Kara Sea by the Russian Navy - as well as fallout from Soviet-era nuclear bomb test - could cause heightened levels of radioactive contamination when major Arctic oil drilling projects ramp up. Charles Digges, 14/04-2008"

So if it's not peak oil...

There was an article on the front page of the Times this morning about a boy -- smart, good family, given all chances -- totally fell into drugs and can't stay out of jail. Can't stop dealing. Can't stop doing.

Thomas Friedman says we are "addicted to oil" -- I would bet he coined the phrase. It's a good one -- so while I had already read the article about our drug dealer who used to get all A's, I thought I'd see what Friedman had to say this morning. Right on cue, last week he wrote an amazing column exactly on this point --

"We are addicted to dirty fossil fuels, and this addiction is driving a whole set of toxic trends that are harming our nation and world in many different ways. It is intensifying global warming, creating runaway global demand for oil and gas, weakening our currency by shifting huge amounts of dollars abroad to pay for oil imports, widening “energy poverty” across Africa, destroying plants and animals at record rates and fostering ever-stronger petro-dictatorships in Iran, Russia and Venezuela.

When a person is addicted to crack cocaine, his problem is not that the price of crack is going up. His problem is what that crack addiction is doing to his whole body. The cure is not cheaper crack, which would only perpetuate the addiction and all the problems it is creating. The cure is to break the addiction.

Ditto for us. Our cure is not cheaper gasoline, but a clean energy system. And the key to building that is to keep the price of gasoline and coal — our crack — higher, not lower, so consumers are moved to break their addiction to these dirty fuels and inventors are moved to create clean alternatives.

I understand why consumers think we have a gasoline price problem — because they are immediately hurt by higher gas prices and the pump is where most people touch our energy system. They tend not to see the bigger picture. But that is why you have a president: to explain that and lay out a response."

"Where Oil Flows, Deals Follow" NYTimes July 24
"Arctic Drilling Threatens International Radioactive Contamination Site"
A 'Good' Kid Gets His Day in Court, Again and Again
"9/11 and 4/11" Thomas Friedman

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