Let me preface this by admitting that, yes, I’m one of few Anglicans I know who votes Republican. Not always–but often. I believe that a strong corporate sector is a benefit to society as a whole. Remember, corporate America isn’t just a horde of faceless automatons powered by greed, it’s the way that we create and maintain a decent standard of living for the majority–though not all, of course–of Americans. Corporations do need to be called to account and the best way to do it is with our checkbooks, not legislation. Or at least a judicious blend. Certainly legislation alone is not the answer. No, we have to think about what we buy and how we spend our money and also to be vocal about our spending choices.
That having been said, what are you doing now to reduce your use of fossil fuels? The loss of life in New Orleans and the cultural losses in and around that city are dire; these should be our foremost and immediate concerns. There may well be a long-term warning here too (in addition to lessons about building below sea level…). Another thing that this emergency is doing is demonstrating once again American over-dependence upon fossil fuels. The most obvious sign is the dramatic and drastic rise in the price of gas. I hate to see what heating is going to be like this winter. Part of this is due to the refineries in the Deep South, the importance of NO as an oil port, and also the destruction of oil rigs in the gulf. Another significant factor is fear–the oil companies and others know that we know this and can play on our fear.
Some of the academic bloggers have been recently writing quite a bit about the notion of peak oil and the current energy situation. Yes, I still call it a situation rather than a crisis because I don’t think it is at a crisis point yet. But neither should we be actively helping it reach the crisis point. So…what are you doing about it?
Now, the answer to this problem does not solely with Detroit/Tokyo/Seoul or with the way we use our cars although this is obviously a big part of the equation. But how about your lighting? How does that electricity get made after all? And what is that material that your fingers are on right now and that surrounds your monitor? Hmmm, plastic isn’t it…Ya know, that stuff really doesn’t grow on trees…
Naturally, I’m not asking this because I *have* an answer. But it is something that we seriously need to think about. What can we do and what are we doing?