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Sunday, August 3, 2008

When You Ride Alone, You Ride with Bin Laden



The View from My Porch

Bill Maher coined the above phrase after September 11th and based it on a WWII poster. Since 9/11 a certain segment of American citizens has wanted to equate the War on Terror (and the War in Iraq because the government has muddled it in their minds) with WWII, drawing parallels with Pearl Harbor and what happened on September 11th, 2001. They want to feel a part of a “good war” without any of the inconvenience. They believe that if we alter our lives for the sake of the conflict with the terrorists, Bin Laden wins. This makes no sense.

During WWII Americans on the home front were inconvenienced through rationing. Did they say Hitler and Hirohito had already won because of it? No, they planted Victory Gardens and invented recycling. How can we possibly expect to defeat an enemy whose main weapon is that the part of the world they come from sits on most of the world’s oil without asking Americans to curb their appetite for it?

Everyone is feeling the effects of an unstable economy which is at the center of the presidential campaign. The bite at the gas pump has extended to the grocery store and most everything that gets transported by/or uses petroleum products. The recent slight decline the price of gas may have been the result of consumers using less. We can make a difference. Americans should continue to use as little oil as possible and demand that the government, regardless of who’s in office, support research into alternative energy with an eye to wean Americans off their addiction to oil.

In 2006 President Bush stated that America is addicted to oil, but he has been loath to support efforts to end the addiction that damages the environment, is terrorism’s biggest weapon, and lines the pocketbook of the oil industry which has a huge lobby in D.C. In mid June of this year he once again called for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. John McCain wants to open more off-shore oil drilling. Neither of these proposals will affect the American domestic oil supply for years and when they do it will be by a scant 7% at best and not be felt until 2030. In the meantime, who will stand to benefit? You’ve got it. The oil lobby. Oil companies currently sit on 4,000 unused oil permits. Why drill in ANWR while those permits go unused?

America cannot drill its way out of the energy crisis, hasn’t the oil refining capacity to satisfy American demand, and discussion of drilling in sensitive areas distracts from the real solution which will be finding many forms of alternative energy that substantially decreases, if not eliminates, our dependence on oil. This is the research which the Federal Government ought to be funding. We have the know-how to do this, but the government, corporations, and individuals need to get on board with this effort.

Despite a 361% increase of permits to drill on public lands between 1999 and 2007 increases in production has not been reflected in lower gasoline prices. Obviously the price of oil is not tied to American domestic production. The United States sits on 2% of the world’s oil and consumes 25% of it. There is no way we are going to produce enough domestic oil to break the stranglehold the Middle East has on us. End our dependence on foreign oil and the United States becomes safer. We win.

Sometimes it feels impossible to believe that decisions we make on a daily basis can impact national problems that loom like the political equivalent of the Himalayas, but each and every one of us can make a difference. Together we can make a huge difference. We can choose to use public transportation whenever we can and make every trip count when we can’t, choose to live closer to work when that’s an option, choose to use reusable cloth bags and recycle, plant a Victory garden. American citizens are a part of the War on Terror and the Energy Crisis. We are a nation of the people and the people need to stop being dictated to by big businesses who are the pushers of the drug to which we are addicted. The Greatest Generation did not sit back and wait for the military to win WWII. They rolled up their sleeves and did whatever they could to make victory a reality not just over there, but here.


Bundle up this winter and turn down the thermostat. Remember, when you ride alone, you ride with Bin Laden.

25 comments:

VW said...

Didn't we go through this in the 70's with Jimmy Carter?

Supply and demand is what drives the price of just about everything outside of government taxation.

Cutting off all oil or making it so expensive that only the rich will be able to afford a family vacation is not the answer to our problems.

We need to develop more domestic capacity. That means drilling (and everytime someone drills doesn't necessarily mean they find oil). We can drill and pump without destroying the environment. It's done everywher all over the globe. If you look back, almost all of the major spills have been due to transporting the oil, not drilling or pumping.

We have vast reserves of coal that can be burned cleanly and efficiently.

We need to invest in Nuclear Power. Much of Europe and specifically France is way ahead of us in this. Unfortunately, It's almost impossible to build a plant here because of lawsuits. Congress must pass a law to stop much of this nonsense litigation so we can build Nuclear plants.

I'm all for alternative sources, but people like Ted Kennedy take a NIMBY approach and do what? File law suits. Yep, Kennedy and his rich neighbors filed suit to keep wind turbines away from Nantucket Sound! Why? Because it would keep tourists away! When there's no gas for tourists to get there, I guess he'll given in, huh?

hhttp://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/04/27/kennedy_faces_fight_on_cape_wind/

America needs to take a pragmatic two pronged approach. Develop domestic oil production while developing alternative sources for the future. We need to take away the litigation roadblocks that are hindering our ability to develop alternative sources. As long as trial lawyers make the rules, don't look for that last to happen.

I think that is the middle ground. Oil and coal are not evil commodities. We need to be smart about how we use them, but we need to realize they are finite resources. There is enough oil and coal to propel us for a long time if we are smart about it. Ruining our economy with ultra high energy prices will not spur development. It will slow it down.

It just isn't us. China and India are emerging as huge consumers in the Oil Markets. They are not cutting back one iota as they demand more and more oil. That is one big reason the price has risen as it has. It's not just "speculation", it's real time.

I might add that India and China were given exemption in Kyoto.

Domestic Drilling along with developing alternatives makes sense and even Senator Obama is starting to concede that point.

VW

Stephanie Frieze said...

Then let the oil companies use the permits they already have and employ people building the refineries necessary to process it. In the meantime, alternative energy is the only way we can cut our ties to the Middle East.

GI JOE said...

Riding with someone shows that bi-laden is wining. It shows are economy is hurting. The purpose of 9-11 was to destroy America by destroying our economy. He's also getting all the help he needs from the one person his parent invested in.
I hope all those who voted for him so gay can't get married are not bitching about high gas prices and being unemployed. Because I don't understand why one would vote for someone to run our country who has failed @ everything he owned

Stephanie Frieze said...

GI - I agree with your comment, but I'm old and cranky and see very little difference between candidates. PEOPLE, you me and everyone else, are what makes the difference.

What is important is to stop sucking at the tit of the oil that comes out of the Middle East. As long as we do that we are losing.

Thank you for your comment. It's always nice to get new voices here. I invite you to come back often.

Stephanie Frieze said...

And making every trip count WILL make it possible for us to win. The consitution does not guaruntee the squandering of resources unless we are prepared to live with the consequences.

VW said...

So what do you expect? Just riding the bus, planting a garden (And most city dwellers can't plant enough to meet their needs anyway) and shopping with a cloth bag are all great things and will help out, but seriously, that won't make a very big dent in anything.

Other than not drilling for more oil, where are we going to get our energy? What is a practical solution?

Anti-Bush sloganeering is easy, but what do you propose that will off set oil and not kill our economy?

VW

Stephanie Frieze said...

People ARE planting gardens, VW. no one suggests that a family, especially a city family, can be self sufficient, but they can help themselves and make an impact on energy. If EVERYONE attempts to save energy we can make a big difference. The present administration, not Democratic presidents of the past, is responsible for the state of the economy and much of the problem can be laid at the doorstep of the present administration and their ties to oil interests.

When did saving ANYTHING become unpatriotic. Over consumption does not serve families, the nation or the planet. Maybe we are just too lazy to put our energy where our mouths are. It's fine to armchair quarterback the War on Terror, but it requires effort to do something about it. It doesn't have to be something grand. You've told me that you recycle. Maybe that's all you can do, but there are plenty of people who don't even do that. People charged with running households understand that the pennies add up. Pennies of energy add up and it's time the fat cat oil companies felt a little of the pain everyone else is feeling.

VW said...

Stephanie, I'm not disagreeing with you over the fact that saving energy and conservation is a good thing. It's a great idea, but it's not enough. And who said saving was unpatriotic? I've read and re-read what I wrote and I just don't see how anyone could think that.

Sure, we can all take a little delight in sticking it to the oil companies a little. But exacting a tiny bit of revenge isn't going to solve anything either.

I told you that I thought we needed to take a pragmatic approach to this problem. Conservation, of course, but we need to pursue alternative sources such as nuclear, wind, geothermal and even coal which is in abundance. We need to also drill in more places and let's not forget the oil shales deposits that are potentially larger than All of the Saudi reserves.

We need to remove the legal hurdles to developing alternate energy sources.

Outside of Using a cloth shopping bag and wearing a sweater, what do we need to do without killing our economy? Where are we going to get our energy?

VW

Stephanie Frieze said...

I'm all for any energy form which can be manufactured and used without damaging the environment, threaten future generations and doesn't involve the goodwill of another country.

I would like to see the railroads make a comeback. They are able to transport goods and passengers more cheaply than trucks and autos over long distances. It's the chicken-and-the-egg. Trains and other forms of public transportation went away because people fell in love with the sense of freedom they had from hopping in their car or on a plane. It was lovely, but our freedom is tied to reducing our consumption of oil. I would like to see us re-examin trains as an option.

So yes, if you think it will help more than marginally, let the oil companies use some of their 4000 permits, but stay out of ANWAR. We will have to build the refineries to process that oil, but we've built industry before and can again.

We can cut our consumption while we research alternatives to oil. I still believe that choices we make as individuals can make a differenece and I believe to not be damaging to the economy. We have become a nation of corporations, not the people, but we have power in our pockets (though less than we did a year ago).

Christmas is coming, VW and I will undoubtedly advocate the gift of experiences or thrift store finds over feeding the corporate machine or China. :-)

Now, VW, please tell us where you've been and what you've been up to this summer.

Anonymous said...

Steph, if you really want to kill the USA, please hope that your wish of using only renewable sources of energy comes true. Someday, I think we can do that, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the economy and personal comfort that I've worked for all my life to do it. Aside from a kneejerk reaction to ANWAR or off-shore drilling, what do you think it is going to hurt? Just NIMBYs and Greeners who don't just conservation, they want the USA to reverse all industry to pre-industrial levels..... This is, like it or not, a capitalist country. You will have noticed that rich, well to do countries are on a capitalist system. Socialism does not work and will never work no matter how many times you "tweek" the process. The point being, the Socialist side of Congress is trying to make hay with dictating how business should be run....the tail wagging the dog, IMHO.

Blaine G. aka, tubbythetuba

Stephanie Frieze said...

Anonymous, how will alternative energy destroy America? Are there no profits to be made in alternative/renewable energy? We cannot continue to plunder the Earth’s resources with no concern for the future of the planet. What happens when the oil runs out and the air isn’t breathable or do you just plan to be gone by then and don’t care? Is colonization of the Middle East part of your plan? What is your plan, business as usual? Can you not see how much safer we’d be if we were not dependent on the goodwill of that part of the world—goodwill we no longer have. Would you not rather have your fuel dollars stay at home?

ANWR is not a long term, or even short term, solution to the energy problem and until the oil companies have the capacity to refine the oil they could get out of the 4000 permits that sit unused, ANWR should not even be part of the discussion. Personally, I think that windmills off any coast are a great idea. I’d like to have one of my own, but the city fathers would take a dim view since I live in town. My hope is that solar collection will become cheaper.

In the meantime we try to walk lightly on the earth. You tread however your conscious allows.

Stephanie Frieze said...

And Anon, only friends and family get to call me Steph and since you do not know me (for if you did the idea that I seek to destroy America would be as ludicrious to you as it is to me) and choose to hide your idenity I suggest that you not engage in familiarities when addressing me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you sure chewed me out..... But, you're wrong, I do know you. A mean, opinionated, snotty Greener. The major thrust of your arguement against me was personal attack and sprinked in, for effect, were a few comments that you would like to think were facts, but are not..... The oil is not a zero sum commodity, there is more, and more available every day that can be recovered. Natural gas for centuries, and coal along with a clean burn technology to safely use it.Go ahead, jerk the plug on oil too soon, before we have something of value with which to replace it, and see what sort of world wide havoc you'd cause. Don't lecture me, Clown....we can have our prosperity AND tread gently, not like you'd do and transport us back a hundred years.... Riding with Bin Ladin, my ass, you geek.

Blaine C Garver (and I gave my name the first time...get some glasses) Have Good Day, Stephie <|;-)~

Anonymous said...

Tread lightly, eh? I see you admit to two homes and what do you drive going between them? Boats? Campers? So, you think you know me. I could have all those things, but I choose to live simply and economicly. I have one modest, used home, a Honda Civic and a Honda Motorcycle...I guess I average 45 mpg......My electric bill is about 35 bucks a month, in the winter it's twice that. I keep my thermostat at about 50 on the propane heater because people like you have driven up the price to nearly 4$$ a gallon delivered......What's your "footprint"...yeah, that's what I thought. Hypocrite. Bye, Bye, Hon.......

Blaine C Garver

Stephanie Frieze said...

Blaine, I am sorry my asking cogent questions offended you. Thus far you have not stated what your solutions to the current oil situation and War on Terror are. It sounds as though you are making wise choices regarding transportation so I am puzzled as to why you find alternative energy threatening to the economy.

We have a summer home we plan to retire to if the economy ever allows and drive a hybrid that gets 55 mpg. We had thought to travel, after retirement, but realize that causual traveling may well is becoming something for the upper class only. There is nothing in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights about cheap energy so we must adapt to whatever the economy and personal finances allow.

I realize that you do not like my solutions for the economy or energy crisis. Tell us what yours are, please, but the public forum is not a place for name calling.

VW said...

Blaine,

Stephanie and I probably disagree politically on a lot of issues and we've had some political battles here, but never would I ever knowingly stoop to the ad hominem attacks you are using. Sometimes I'm a bit too direct, but I would never deliver the type of invective you seem to think is called for.

I'm a red meat conservative and proud of it, but there is such a thing as manners and courtesy and you seem to be sorely lacking both.

If you can't rein in your diatribes, perhaps this isn't the forum for you.

VW

Stephanie Frieze said...

Heck, VW, sometimes we've argued ourselves around to agreeing more than disagreeing. Funny how that can happen. :-)

Lorraine Hart said...

I stand with my neighbours here in this forum and also take you to task, Blaine, for your lack of manners in this discussion. You're welcome to an opinion here but it requires the extra work of preparing for polite debate, not childish, name-calling tantrums.

Stephanie Frieze said...

Lorraine & VW, I thank you. I own that I am a "greener" if that means always having the Earth and its passengers in mind, but I take exception to "snotty." Passionate definitely, but not snotty.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, PC I am not. Sorry. Personally, I can not think of any "invective" greater than the topic of this blog: Riding alone is riding with Bin Laden....That statement, to me, is far worse than anything I said. Liberal Policics needs to take off the gloves and admit, for once, that Green is an anti capitalist agenda and an anti-Bush/Conservative movement and that they care little about what they preach. It's laughable, I'm the bad guy, but I'll bet anything reasonable that I'm leaving a smaller "footprint" than everyone on this blog. We may, someday, be able to step away from hydrocarbon fuels, but not now...and please do not disallow production and exploration stop, driving up the price as to wreck most peoples lives..... I suspect that most calling for this are well enough off that 8 or 10 dollar gasoline and 1000 dollar heating bills will not bother them. I'm sure the Liberals (Socialists) will have a government plan to lump the Hoi Poloi in beehives walking distance from their job. We can do both: Back away from petro fuel and get into the alternate. I will add this: Seems like the solutions we have come up with (clean coal, wind farms, bio-fuel, etc) have all had resistance from the Liberal corner. And please, unless this blog is nothing more than a mutual admireation socity, don't lecture me on behavior. I consider Liberal (socialist) solutions involving the government as Mommy and Daddy to be just as silly and rude as you consider me........ Don't do away with a way of life until you have something of value with which to replace it, please. BTW, prehaps if you don't talk down to me, I can look up at you??? Sorry for the apparent disruption I caused.

Blaine C Garver

VW said...

Blaine,

Here's the deal. You and I probably agree on a lot of things. The difference is, messages rarely get received when they are delivered with a hammer. Chill guy! You can state your views, just don't call people names.

I gotta tell ya, no one is talking down to you. Calling someone a clown - that's talking down.

If trying to politely ask you to tone down your comments to a more polite level is talking down to you, then so be it.

And further more, at the risk of talking down to you, your use of "invective" is somewhat incorrect.

It means "abusive speech or writing". You may have disagreed with her position, but she did not state it in an abusive manner. On the other hand, your comment was abusive, hence my use of the word. I don't have a college education and I'm not always grammatically correct, but I try hard to use words in accordance with their accepted definitions.

VW

Stephanie Frieze said...

I believe that we are on ship Earth to care for it and each other. If I seem passionate about motivating people to do even little things that will add up to making it a better place and take power away from those who hate us, if I rail against the corporations that only want to part us from our money without thought to what their products do to the environment, it is because I see so much waste; so much greed; so much indifference. I take my hat off to anyone attempting to live softly. We only have this one ship and there are no lifeboats. The Beatles got it right. We all live on a yellow submarine. I salute the crew without regard to their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Gentle People......clearly you are more interested in the delivery than the message..By focusing your frustration on me personally, you are trying to deflect my message. On an average day, Mother Nature deals more blows to herself than man could ever possibly inflict on her. It's a fact that now, as compared to fifty years ago, our water is cleaner, the air is cleaner, there are twice as many trees, and we are making headway on the quality of our stewardship of the planet. Ruining the economy by sacrificing the ability to run the economy is suicide, and will lead to an inability to continue on the path of recovery. Sooner or later, I will reach a level of communication that will meet with your approval and you will have to engage on the topic, instead of the manner in which it was delivered <|;-)

Blaine C Garver

Lorraine Hart said...

Blaine, how about you show your resources for the "facts" you list about the water and air being cleaner than fifty years ago...and that there are twice as many trees.

Anonymous said...

I'll grant you that the trees are second and third growth farms such as Vail, for example. But trees are a renewable resource and the industry takes care of their investment. Another "for example" is Lake Erie. When I was a child, the lake was nearly dead and the river that fed into it in Cleveland would actually catch on fire. These EPA victories are all through the USA....More needs to be done, but the progress can not be truthfully overlooked.... It takes money and lots of it to remain green......Go ahead and pull the plug on the energy system as we know it, and plunge the Country into a depression and see how much progress we can make then. We can transition slow enough not to bankrupt the common folk. Seems to me like Socialism would reduce everyone to the same level of pain, where a conservative/capitalist/marketplace solution would provide equal opportunity for all to ride the tide up.....Money, wealth, and energy is not a zero sum game and there is plenty for everybode as long as Mom and Pop Socialist Government is not doling it out to it's own advantage.

Blaine C Garver